Using Patterned Adhesive 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 patterned heat transfer vinyl!

Patterned Adhesive Vinyl Application Steps


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.


You can cut your design by hand or use a craft cutter. If using a craft cutter, you will load your patterned vinyl into your machine with the pattern facing you.

Each machine has different cut settings, check out our full, machine specific, cut setting charts HERE!

After your design is all cut, remove the excess vinyl from around your image/lettering (this is called weeding).


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. If the vinyl sticks to the paper backing, simply lay the transfer tape back down and rub with your application tool.


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.


Tips & Tricks For Using Adhesive Patterned 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 re-position 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.
  • Our patterned vinyl is permanent, but it can still fade from the sun's UV rays. If you want your pattern to stay bright and vibrant for years, we recommend applying a laminate over your design.