Using Heat Transfer Vinyl

Expressions Vinyl has some great beginner 'How-To' videos that can step you 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 vinyl!

Heat Transfer Vinyl Application Steps

Step 1: Mirror and Cut Your Design

After you have selected your design, you will want to make sure to flip or mirror your image before cutting. Since you are going to be placing it face down on your fabric to iron, if it is not mirrored, your design will be backwards. When you're ready, cut out your design.

Step 2: Weed Out Excess Vinyl

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: Adhere Vinyl To Your Surface

Every type of Heat Transfer Vinyl has its own recommended press time, temperature, and pressure settings (see our Machine Settings Page), but make sure to do your homework to ensure you don't scorch your adhesive. Hotter is NOT always better, if you apply too much heat the vinyl will not adhere properly...not to mention you do not want to damage your fabric either!

Step 4: Remove the Carrier Sheet from the Vinyl

  1. You also need to make sure to check whether or not your vinyl can be peeled hot or cold. This is referring to the removal of the clear carrier sheet, and whether you can do this directly after pressing (hot peel) or if you need to wait until it has fully cooled and the adhesive has had time to set (cold peel). Definitely make sure to check before anxiously pulling off that carrier sheet, you don't want all of your hard work going down the drain.

How To Videos Using Heat Transfer Vinyl

Tips & Tricks For Using Heat Transfer Vinyl

  • Our heat transfer makes weeding a breeze, but if you're ever struggling, laying your vinyl on the bottom surface of your heat press or heating up the board you are pressing on, clear (carrier) sheet down, for just a few minutes will help release the adhesive and make weeding lines more visible. We also recommend purchasing a weeding really is almost a necessity if you don't want to rip your hair out by the end of an intricate project, and it works great for both heat transfer and adhesive vinyls.
  • NEON Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl glows under black lights!
  • The clear carrier sheet will keep your fabric protected if you are only doing one layer of vinyl, but it is strongly recommended you purchase a reusable sheet of mulit-use paper if you plan on layering the vinyl. Also, after pressing for the full recommended time, if you remove the carrier sheet and press the vinyl for 1-2 seconds (with the paper on top of the vinyl) it will help set the vinyl to the fabric.
  • You do NOT need a heat press, a traditional home iron will work perfectly. Your cotton-blend setting will typically put you in the ideal temperature range, remember that hotter does not equal better adhesion. The key to lasting application is PRESSURE! An ironing board has too much give in it to provide adequate pressure during application, especially for Glitter Heat Transfer. A counter top or other hard surface is ideal and remember to really put your back into it! :)

Want more cool inspirational Ideas? Check out these fun blog articles!

Using Heat Transfer Vinyl on a Pillow

There are so many fun things you can do with vinyl especially when you mix and match the different types. This fun pillow uses everything from Siser EasyWeed to Patterned and Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl.  

Show Your Personality with Vinyl

Using vinyl to show your personality is so much fun. It's all about the customized shirts right now. There are so many different things you can do and be creative about. Don't be shy about showing who you really are!