Heat Transfer Vinyl is one of my favorite things to craft with of all time!! Many people are intimidated by it, but it’s not scary. I have step-by-step tips for heat transfer vinyl to help you get started on all those projects that you want to tackle. Just keep on scrolling down for my CAN’T MISS TIPS!
I also have FREE Crafty Life cut files so you can make your own Crafty Tees and more, wahoo! Those are on down in the post. This post may contain affiliate links. This is a sponsored post as a brand Ambassador for Expressions Vinyl.
Heat Transfer Vinyl Projects
–blank fabric item (tshirt, pouch, etc)
Vinyl Sampler Box
Have you ever wanted to try out ALLLL the kinds of vinyl? Like try glitter and metallic and patterned and HTV and Adhesive and basically ALL. THE. THINGS?! Well you’re in luck because that’s exactly what comes in the Vinyl Basics Box – it’s a vinyl sampler box so you can try one of each of the types of vinyl and see which ones you really love.
AND, when you purchase it, you get access to tutorials that are just for you, that’s an awesome freebie bonus! Get yours HERE: Vinyl Sampler Basics Box
Tips for Heat Transfer Vinyl
- Practice on something cheap!! it’s always a bummer when you buy a special tshirt and make a mistake and can’t use the tshirt anymore. So go to the $1 store or the thrift store and stock up on things like kitchen towels and onesies and canvas bags and cheap shirts, etc. START HERE! Then if you make a mistake, no big deal, it was only $1! That takes the pressure off!
- MIRROR YOUR IMAGE. This is a must – you will be cutting from the back side of the vinyl, so the image must be flipped.
- Place your HTV (heat transfer vinyl) on the mat clear sheet (also known as shiny side) DOWN. That means the back of the vinyl is up – that’s why you cut the image mirrored. It might not make sense right now, but trust me on this.
- Check your cut settings – different HTV will require different settings on your cutting machine. USE A TEST CUT (I often skip this and just as often regret that decision)
- Peel out, or weed, your design in a well-lit area – it really does make a difference!
- IRON – YES! you can use an iron – just be sure to use it with more of a “pressing” and less of an “ironing”
If you love video tutorials, here’s a step-by-step of how to use Heat Transfer Vinyl:
Steps for Heat Transfer Vinyl
Now that you know the tips, let’s work those into a step-by-step project! Here we go! Grab your materials! Tshirt, Vinyl (this is HOLOGRAPHIC, so see the details below for using it), Cut File (FREE file down below!), iron, etc.
Remember to MIRROR your image! To do this, flip it horizontally. It’ll look backwards, like this:
Put your vinyl onto your mat with the top/clear/shiny side DOWN, like this:
After you cut it and pull it off your mat, you can use scissors to cut around the design to make it easier to weed:
Weed out the parts that don’t belong:
Use an iron to press it onto your shirt:
Peel off the carrier sheet, and voila!! Enjoy your DIY TEE!!
How to Use HOLOGRAPHIC Heat Transfer Vinyl
For this project, I used Rainbow Pearl Holographic HTV. It is awesome in person (and super hard to take a picture of) because it’s always catching the light and changing colors. It is a little trickier than regular HTV, so I wanted to give you a couple of tips to holographic htv:
- Cut it way deeper!! regular HTV is a blade 2, speed 7, force 5 – for holographic, you need a blade 5, speed 5, force 20 – that’s a big difference! (Again, use your test cut – ask me how I know, ha!)
- It is a COLD peel!! regular HTV you can peel when it’s hot/warm – for holographic, if you try to pull off the carrier sheet when the vinyl is still hot, it won’t stick to the fabric. You have to wait until it cools.
FREE Crafty Life SVG Cut File
Guess what – I have this cut file for you for FREE!! In a few different style options, so you can pick which one you prefer (or make them all, ha!). To get access to the FREE CUT FILES, enter your email address into the box below:
Basic HTV Projects
Want to try some more projects with Heat Transfer Vinyl?? You won’t want to miss these: