It's time to get creative! The holidays are approaching and it’s time for you to get prepared. Instead of buying pre-made and designed pillows and towels, how about you look around your home and start crafting? Instead of reusing the same decorations, why don’t you design and create your own? Go to the store, buy some supplies (or use the ones you already have at home), and go get started. In this article, we’re going to provide some examples of the kinds of impressive projects you can complete on your own with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) rolls
and explain how to use them.
We all love and adore the logos and phrases printed on the shirts we buy from stores or platforms like Etsy, but what you may not realize is that those shirts are made with heat transfer vinyl. With it, you’ll be able to apply and design your very own shirts, napkins, and aprons, along with other items.
But what exactly is it? Heat transfer vinyl is a kind of vinyl specifically used for decorating garments and various fabric items like tablecloths. You’ll be able to do exactly what you want to do, personalize and decorate! The material can be cut, weeded, and applied to a garment for styling. All you need to do before you start, though, is to know how heat transfer vinyl works and what you should do before you get started.
Know Your Vinyl
Heat transfer vinyl comes in either pre-cut rolls or sheets. It’s simply up to you which one you’d like to use, but we’ll be referring to vinyl rolls in this article.
There are several kinds of heat transfer vinyl rolls that you can use for your projects, but the most popular ones include the glitter, standard, glow-in-the-dark, and flock heat transfer vinyl. All of them have their own unique and useful attributes. Certain materials are better for different projects, and others are just more pleasing to work with. For example, if you want vinyl that can glow in the dark, glow-in-the-dark vinyl is the way to go. Not only is it going to make your project turn out better than expected, but it’ll also be more fun to use simply because of its unique quality.
Although, you should make sure that you perform test cuts on any new vinyl type you use, even if it’s not your first time with the material. The settings for each material vary. Vinyl will sometimes behave differently with minor changes like color, so just be sure you’re adjusting your pressure and temperature so you don’t negatively affect your overall design.
How to Apply HTV
When it comes to HTV, there’s a shiny side known as the carrier. The carrier sticks to your cutting mat to keep the vinyl pieces in place while you cut. You don’t want the material to move and result in uneven and badly cut pieces. You want your design to turn out perfectly in the end. The more matte side is what will be cut through. It isn’t sticky, so you should be able to easily identify and cut through it. When it’s time for the application, the carrier should be facing up.
Once you’ve cut your design using a cutting machine, knife, or scissors, remove the leftover vinyl you won’t use with a weeding tool. Weeding tools simply get rid of the excess vinyl you don’t need, so you only have what you need for your application. It’s just a steel hook.
After that, you need to apply the carrier to your garment of choice and heat up your heat press. Be sure to heat it to the appropriate and suitable degree, so as to avoid mistakes and damage. Apply the heat press, then set up a timer for it. Cover the vinyl with a Teflon sheet to protect your design. You may need to look up the pressing time for the material you choose to use if that information isn’t available to you.
After the timer has gone off, remove the heat press and peel off the carrier sheet. Ta da! Your newly-designed shirt, napkin, tablecloth, or apron is now complete, and ready to be worn. Of course, it can be a lot more complicated than this.
Now that we’ve gone through the general gist of how to use heat transfer vinyl, it’s time to get crafting! Look around your house and pick an item that you think could use some sprucing up. That ugly sweater you haven’t worn since last Christmas would be a hilarious way to lighten up the upcoming holiday. Want to add some fear to your home on Halloween? Get some glow-in-the-dark heat transfer rolls, pick some spooky decals, and apply them to pillows around the house. Just add some clever wording, and they’ll have everyone talking!
Of course, if you’re looking for specific DIY ideas, just look below.
• design your own Minecraft pajamas
• create a foam pickaxe and sword
• design your own wooden sign
• decorate your coffee machine
• create your own cotton sign
• customize your boxing and regular gloves
• personalize your leggings
• decorate your umbrella
• decorate your camera bags
• customize your dog’s collar or bandana
• decorate your shower curtain, and lots more!
As you can see, there are a lot of options available for you to choose from. All you have to do is figure out what you’d like to do first. Once you get started, you won’t want to stop. Imagine how happy you’ll feel when your family and friends compliment you on your decor, and you tell them you created it all yourself. Imagine them relaxing on the couch whose pillows you adorned and decorated.
You’ll soon want to recreate and redesign everything in sight, and no one blames you! You’ll be the one family member with the great decorations that everyone loves, so go be creative! Go have fun! With heat transfer vinyl rolls, you can do whatever you want as the possibilities are limitless.