Expressions Vinyl FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)
Choose from the following FAQ categories or scroll down through all FAQ's
What do I need to get started?
All you need to get started is some vinyl and a way to cut it. There is an array of cutting options for vinyl from scissors, paper punches and die-cuts to electronic cutting machines like those offered by Cricut and Silhouette. As for vinyl, we are here to help with that! We have a HUGE assortment of vinyl to choose from, and if you’re unfamiliar with vinyl and don’t know what type of vinyl you need for your project we’re here to help with that too. We’ve created an easy to use chart to help you decide which would work best. (Regardless of your project, we have the vinyl you need!) You can find the chart HERE and we’ve made it both printable and pinnable so that it can be easily accessible whenever you need it!
How does vinyl work?
Adhesive vinyl comes with an adhesive on one side that is temporarily covered with a backing sheet. When using an electronic cutting machine such as the Silhouette Cameo or Cricut, the goal is to cut through the vinyl without cutting through the paper backing. If you need help figuring out the right settings for your machine, we have a handy Cut Settings Chart that will be a lifesaver! After the cuts have been made, the excess vinyl is removed and you're left with only the project on the backing. This process is called “weeding”. You can then transfer the vinyl to its desired location either by hand or using transfer tape. Check out these videos on vinyl basics HERE, we also have step-by-step instructions on using both adhesive and heat transfer vinyl that you can find HERE.
Does the vinyl come with adhesive?
Yes. All of the vinyl we carry has an adhesive on one side. The adhesive craft vinyl is covered with a paper backing that protects the adhesive until ready for use. Heat transfer vinyl, also known as t-shirt vinyl or HTV, has the adhesive exposed (this is what makes one side of the vinyl look dull). This adhesive will be activated with heat during application.
Can you help me with color selection?
The colors on our site can appear different on each monitor and that can make things difficult at times. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to describe a color and even harder to help make a color selection without being there and knowing exactly what you are looking for. We all share different opinions. However, we have sample kits available on the site so that next time you can make a better decision by having all of the colors right there in front of you. http://expressionsvinyl.com/sample-kits.html
What is transfer tape and do I need it?
Transfer tape aids greatly in the process of moving the vinyl from its backing to its desired location. Transfer tape is only used on adhesive craft vinyl. Heat transfer vinyl has a clear carrier sheet attached to the vinyl that is used instead. Once the vinyl is cut the excess vinyl is removed (weeded) and the project should be left on the backing. Transfer tape is then applied over the project so that when the backing is removed the vinyl sticks to the transfer tape. The tape (and vinyl) are then applied to the desired location. Using an application tool the vinyl should be rubbed with pressure adequate to adhere it to the applied surface and remove any air bubbles. The transfer tape is then slowly removed by pulling one corner downward at an angle, slowly watching for any lifting of the vinyl. So do you need transfer tape? In short, probably. You can move vinyl from its backing to another location without transfer tape, but if there are any spaces or intricate details it will be very difficult. If you’re new to using transfer tape, we have a great video tutorial!
Clear or Paper Transfer Tape?
This can be a difficult decision. Since 2010 we have seen nearly equal numbers sold of the paper and clear transfer tape rolls. The major differences are clarity, flexibility and stickiness. The clear is easier to see through and can be a great help when trying to line up a project or do any layering. The paper tends to be a little more flexible and has better workability. The clear has a slightly stronger adhesive and it can be difficult to get the vinyl to release once applied. If you’re struggling to decide which to choose, we recommend taking a minute to check out our Transfer Tape Information page to learn more to help you make the best decision based on your needs.
What is a Cricut?
Cricut, made by ProvoCraft, is a brand of craft cutter. They have a number of models including the Personal, Create, Expression, Imagine, Cake, Mini, Expression 2 and Cuttlebugs. These machines will cut a variety of materials including vinyl, paper and fabric. The issue that many users have with the Cricuts is that they can only be used with purchased cartridges. The cartridges can be costly and you are restricted to cutting with the cartridges that you have.
What is a Silhouette?
Silhouette is a brand of craft cutter that makes the Portrait, CAMEO and the new Curio (among others). The Silhouette CAMEO is the ultimate DIY machine. Like a home printer, it plugs into your PC or Mac® with a simple USB cable. However, instead of printing it uses a small blade to cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric, and other material up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. When the blade is replaced by a pen, the CAMEO will sketch instead of cut. It comes with a free design software, Silhouette Studio, that allows you to create your own designs and trace any image you may have. And for those who are a little more advanced, Silhouette sells software upgrades as well. For those just getting started with the CAMEO, or even if you’re on the fence about getting one, make sure to check out our Cameo Videos to learn more.
Do you have SCAL?
We no longer carry Sure Cuts a Lot and have not done so since the litigation between Craft Edge and ProvoCraft was settled. As we are not distributors or affiliates of Craft Edge we cannot answer any questions on their behalf. You can contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns. Further, the Silhouette Cameo comes with a FREE software that is very comparable to SCAL.
How do I etch glass?
Glass etching is made simple with vinyl. All you have to do is cut out the vinyl (indoor/removable vinyl works best) with the desired design. You then remove all of the vinyl that is in the areas to be etched. Apply transfer tape over the vinyl and transfer it to the glass. Next, apply your etching cream and follow the directions that came with the cream. Once complete remove the vinyl. However, for an etched glass look without all the work we offer a line of etched glass vinyl in an assortment of colors that provides the look of etched glass without the hassle!
How do I place an order?
To place an order, simply visit Expressions Vinyl and add the items you are looking for to your cart. We have sheets, rolls and accessories and you're able to add the quantity of each that you would like. Be sure to click the Add to Cart button before leaving the page. All orders must go through the website. We are not able to take phone orders. Expressions Vinyl accepts all major credit cards and PayPal.
Who manufactures your vinyl?
Expressions Vinyl sells only the highest quality vinyl. We feature brands that have set the bar for quality in the vinyl world, such as Siser and Oracal. We also offer our own lines of vinyl and transfer tapes. Technical specifications on each brand of vinyl can be found HERE.
How does Expressions Vinyl shipping work?
We provide same-day shipping on all orders placed before 2pm MDT Monday through Friday. Any order placed after the 2pm cutoff will be shipped the next business day. Please note that we do not ship on Saturdays. Standard shipping rates are based on the purchase price of your order. We offer FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $75 (within the US) everyday, no coupons needed! Delivery times are not guaranteed with Standard shipping, as we use both USPS and UPS at our discretion, and USPS only provides an estimated delivery date (typically 2-5 business days), not a guarantee. However, we also provide UPS Ground, 2nd Day Air and Next Day Air services which are based on your package’s weight and delivery location. All orders ship out of our warehouse in Shelley, ID 83274. More information regarding our shipping policies can be found HERE.
How long does shipping take?
Standard shipping will be delivered by USPS First Class mail, USPS Priority Mail or UPS Ground, depending on the size of your package. First Class mail typically takes 2-5 business days and Priority mail typically takes 3-5 business days, however, these are NOT guarantees and both services could take up to two weeks for delivery. UPS Ground has a service guarantee of 3-5 business days, while UPS 2nd and Next Day Air take 2 and 1 business days respectively. Please keep in mind that Saturday and Sunday deliveries are not available. Please reference our Shipping Policy for more information.
We are able to ship to select countries around the world. To see if your country is eligible, simply add any item to your cart and scroll to the bottom of the Shopping Cart page. You can then select the Country dropdown menu to see if shipping is available to your country. Shipping to Canada has the option of UPS - Standard to Canada. This service will be cheaper but will not include any of the taxes or duty. USPS Priority International to Canada will likely be cheaper in the end. All other international orders must be shipped via USPS Priority International. We are NOT able to mark your items as gifts as this is illegal.
I need this ASAP, how fast can I get my order?
Orders placed Monday - Friday before 2:00pm Mountain Time will be shipped the same day. We offer UPS Next Day Air as well as UPS 2nd Day Air as expedited shipping methods.
How can I get FREE SHIPPING?
All orders over $75 receive FREE standard shipping (within the US)! However, we also send out occasional coupons for discounted shipping and other great promotions. Make sure to sign up for our mailing list HERE!
Can I pick my order up?
Absolutely! We offer In-Store Pickup as one of our shipping methods. Our warehouse is located at 580 N. State St., Shelley, ID 83274 You will receive an email once your order has been filled and is ready for pickup. WE REQUIRE THAT ALL ORDERS BE PLACED ONLINE. Our warehouse is only a shipping facility and is not available for browsing or making purchases. But if you live close or will be passing through you are definitely welcome to save on shipping and pick it up.
Do you have coupons?
YES WE DO!!! You can sign up for our Special Offers email HERE. We frequently send out coupons to this list. It is a great way to save a little each time you order. You can also follow us on Facebook HERE. We occasionally have coupons, games and other incentives on Facebook. It is also an excellent place to ask questions of our thousands of fans. It has become a great forum for learning and sharing ideas.
Do you have gift certificates available?
We do have Gift Certificates available. You can find them here. Gift Certificates
We're tax exempt...
We are located in Idaho. Currently, if we're not shipping your order to a location within Idaho you will not be charged any tax. You can find a copy of our company's W-9 here. Our company is Tony Ventures LLC of which ExpressionsVinyl.com is a DBA.
Do you accept purchase orders?
We do not accept purchase orders. However, you can fill out a mail in order form. You must properly fill out the form and mail it with a check or money order to: Expressions Vinyl 580 N State St. Shelley, ID 83274
Can I place a Special Order?
We are able to special order certain items. However, we will need to be contacted first for some of these orders. Please contact us for questions regarding special sizes and special colors. We do not charge any extra for special orders. But they will take extra time. Once you have contacted customer service and confirmed that we are able to fulfill your request, simply leave a comment on your order when checking out stating that this is a special order and describing the changes needed.
Where is my order?
Once your order is shipped you will receive a confirmation email containing your tracking information. If you have not received this within 1 business day of placing your order, please check your spam folder. Depending on your location both USPS and UPS take between 2-5 days. However, USPS does not guarantee a delivery date and could take up to 2 weeks, while UPS does commit to a 3-5 day guaranteed delivery. If your order falls outside of these allowances, please contact us and we will assist you.
The tracking says my order should be here...
While tracking is generally accurate, it can be misleading at times. UPS tracking is typically very reliable and up to date. If there is an error with your UPS tracking, please contact us. USPS has a great shipping service but the tracking is less reliable. It states the expected delivery date as "shipping date + 2 business days." The problem with that is that variables such as location and delays are not factored into the date. Occasionally it will even show packages as delivered a day prior to actual delivery. USPS 1st Class typically takes 2-5 business days. USPS Priority typically takes 3-5 business days. However, both of these services can take up to two weeks.
I placed a order and haven't received a confirmation...
After placing an order, you should receive a few emails. You will receive a confirmation email shortly after placing the order. You will also receive another email regarding the shipment of your order and tracking information. These emails are automatically sent to the email as you provide it. If you haven't received a confirmation email, a few things could have happened:
- An incorrect email address was provided
- The confirmation email has gone into a spam/junk folder or
- You order was not actually submitted. Check your Shopping Cart page from the same computer used to place the order. If you still have items in your cart, then it is likely your order didn’t go through. You can contact us directly to see if we have received an order from you. We will need the following information to research any potential orders:
- All names that may have been on the order OR associated with the PayPal account
- Shipping Address and Billing Address (if different)
- Approximate Total of Order
I'm missing something in my order
If you receive your order and it is not complete, we sincerely apologize for our error. It is our goal to provide excellent product and excellent service and to do so as quickly as possible. That being said, we commonly package the sheets of vinyl in tubes. If you ordered rolls and sheets, then we likely packaged your sheets inside one of the rolls. Transfer tape, because of its properties, gets packaged first. It ships better this way, however, it also has a tendency to cling to the side of the tube. Have you double checked inside the packaging? If you still have questions, please contact us.
Something in my order is damaged or incorrect
Our customer’s satisfaction is our #1 priority! If you have received damaged or incorrect product, please contact us and we will remedy this immediately.
Can I return an item?
We accept unused/undamaged returns at: 580 N State St. Shelley, ID 83274. Please see our full Return/Exchange policy before making a return.
Can I exchange an item?
Unfortunately, as an online store it is very difficult to facilitate exchanges. However, we are happy to accept returns at: 580 N. State St., Shelley, ID 83274 Please see our full Return/Exchange policy before making a return.
Do you have a copy of my invoice?
We have record of all orders that have been placed and would be happy to provide you with an emailed copy of your original invoice. Please contact us indicating your request and include:
- Order number
- Name on the order
- Email address associated with the order.
I have a problem with my Silhouette product
We are happy to help with any issues you may have regarding your silhouette product. If you need advice on how to use it or have a general knowledge question about it, feel free to contact us. However, if your machine is not functioning properly or you have other similar issues with a Silhouette product, the best we will be able to do is send you directly to the manufacturer at email@example.com for further assistance.
I'm having issues with my heat transfer vinyl
Vinyl can be so much fun, but we do understand that sometimes there can be frustration, and we are here to help! Feel free to contact us with any application questions or visit our knowledgebase to learn useful tips and tricks!
Would you like to advertise with us?
We love good publicity. Advertisement is key to any successful business. ExpressionsVinyl.com has developed an Affiliate Program to help promote good advertisement. You can learn more about it here. For further questions feel free to contact us.
What is the affiliate program?
Can We Team Up?
Expressions Vinyl loves to work with bloggers and also offers an affiliate program to help promote good advertisement. If you are interested in working with us, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I need project ideas. Do you have a blog?
Yes, we do! If you’re looking for a new project or a great tutorial, our blog will provide hours of project inspiration! Come take a look! (link to blog)