Using Adhesive Craft Vinyl

Expressions Vinyl has some great beginner 'How-To' videos that can take you step-by-step through everything you need to know to apply both adhesive and heat transfer vinyls. You can find all of our videos HERE, but in the meantime, here's a rundown on the basics of using adhesive craft vinyl!

STEP 1: Clean Your Surface

The first thing you will want to do is make sure the surface that you are planning on applying the vinyl to is clean and dry. The smoother your surface the easier it will be to transfer your vinyl onto, but rougher surfaces like wood, textured walls, etc. will still work.

Step 2: Cut Your Design

You can cut your design by hand or use a craft cutter. After your design is all cut, remove the excess vinyl from around your image/lettering (this is called weeding).

Step 3: Apply Your Transfer Tape

Simply place your transfer tape over your vinyl, then take something flat and hard (i.e. credit card, scraper, application tool, etc.) to smooth out any bubbles and to make sure it is securely fastened to the vinyl. Next you will carefully pull off the backing paper from the vinyl being careful to make sure that the vinyl has transferred to your tape.

Step 4: Adhere Your Design

Carefully position it onto your project; once you have it in place, firmly press down and use your scraper to smooth out any bubbles. Always make sure to start from the center and work out towards the edges, this will press out any bubbles instead of pushing them in. Once you have your vinyl securely adhered to your surface, take one corner of your transfer tape and slowly pull downwards at an angle. Run your scraper/application tool (credit card, etc.) over the vinyl once applied to get out any remaining bubbles and help secure it to the surface.

How To Videos Using Adhesive Craft Vinyl

Tips & Tricks for Adhesive Vinyl

  • Try not to lay all of the vinyl down at once as it may stick to your new surface at the wrong angle. It is still possible to slowly pull up sections and reposition it but the vinyl will stretch out of shape if you move it around too much...and no one wants that!
  • You want to try and smooth out any bubbles before removing your transfer tape, but sometimes the vinyl has other plans. If you find that with the tape removed you have some pesky air bubbles, simply prick them with a needle and press down until it no longer shows.
  • Even though many of our vinyls are water resistant, we still recommend hand washing all items with vinyl on them. The combination of detergent, heat and agitation that a dishwasher provides can be an unfortunate combination to even the toughest adhesive vinyls.

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