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Adhesive Craft Vinyl-Tips And Ideas

I love to learn new crafts and am always on the lookout for easy new products and ideas to share with the crafting community.

Adhesive vinyl can be either permanent and temporary, It is perfect for almost any project you can think of.

Adhesive vinyl can be either permanent and temporary, It is perfect for almost any project you can think of.

What Is Adhesive Vinyl?

Adhesive vinyl is a thin, flexible, self-adhesive material (think durable sticker) that is typically used to create wall and window decals and business signage. It’s durable and can also be waterproof which makes it very versatile. Adhesive vinyl comes in many forms; glossy, matte, glitter, patterned, metallic, just to name a few.

It is different from heat transfer vinyl. Adhesive vinyl has a sticky back that adheres once it is applied. Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) on the other hand requires a heat source to make it adhere to your surface.

Adhesive vinyl comes in both rolls and individual sheets. The overall width of a vinyl roll is 12in, and the length can go from 12 into 20 and even 40ft. There’s less variety on large rolls, but tons of it when you buy anywhere from 12x48in.

Sheets are sold in different sizes; the most common ones are 12x12in and 12x10in. The cool thing about individual sheets is that you can get a single package with all kinds of colors.

However, the two main types of adhesive vinyl are removable and permanent.

Removable Adhesive Vinyl

This type of adhesive vinyl is usually used for temporary applications like seasonal window decor, decals, wall decorations, indoor signs, and chalkboards, It usually has a matte finish.

Permanent Outdoor Vinyl

Considered one of the most popular vinyl, it is a permanent application. The permanent outdoor vinyl is perfect for things like coffee mugs, water bottles, car decals, and any other outdoor projects. While it is not totally permanent, it will last up to 8 years of use. It usually comes in a glossy finish, but there are a few matte finishes available.

Technically you can remove permanent adhesive vinyl with some effort. But more than likely you will find that the surface it was applied to will be damaged.

Adhesive Vinyl always has a paper backing. When cutting adhesive vinyl, the paper goes directly on the cutting mat. You cut with the shiny side facing you.

More About Adhesive Vinyl

What Are The Basic Steps Of Using Adhesive Vinyl

You may think that using adhesive vinyl is difficult. But when you break it down into the simplest steps is becomes easier than you may think.

  1. Select the design and what you are going to place it on
  2. Prepare the surface where the vinyl will be applied
  3. If the design is not in your cutting machine program, import it in
  4. Size the design for the project
  5. Cut the design an electronic cutting machine
  6. Weed the design (remove any waste vinyl)
  7. Place the design on the surface of your project using transfer tape
Adhesive vinyl is fun to work with, easy to cut, and has lots of craft opportunities

Adhesive vinyl is fun to work with, easy to cut, and has lots of craft opportunities

Types Of Adhesive Vinyl

There are several different types of adhesive vinyl, depending on your needs.

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  1. Matte-vinyl that has little if any shine. Comes in lots of different colors.
  2. Patterned-Comes in different patterns and designs in both permanent and removable.
  3. Glossy-Shiny vinyl with multiple colors.
  4. Metallic-Bright metallic colors.
  5. Glitter-Shiny glitter materials in multiple colors. It can sometimes be hard to see where the cut lines are once you cut your design. It also needs an extra-strong transfer tape to pick it up and apply it to your project.
  6. Adhesive Foil-Removeable vinyl only so you will have to use indoors
  7. Mosaic-Is a permanent vinyl, but you can only use it indoors. It is a water-resistant vinyl
  8. Stencil Vinyl-Designed specifically for stenciling
  9. Etched Glass Vinyl-Has a frosted look that makes the glass look like it has been etched.
  10. Printable Vinyl-Can is printed on using a regular home printer. This is especially useful when a design has many colors and you don’t want to cut each color out individually and layer them together.
  11. Chalkboard Vinyl-You can turn any surface into a chalkboard with this vinyl.
  12. Dry Erase Vinyl-Turns any surface into a dry erase board
  13. Holographic Vinyl-Very shiny vinyl. When light hits it, it shows all kinds of color variations.
  14. Glow In The Dark Vinyl-After being exposed to light or sun, it will glow in the dark.
  15. Window Cling-If you want to add a touch to your windows and want to remove it quickly, window cling vinyl will be your best friend. You can cut fun figures and let your kids decorate their windows or mirrors with it too.

Use Adhesive Vinyl For Seasonal Decor


Reasons To Avoid Buying Vinyl In Big Box Stores

We all love to shop at the big box craft stores. Who does not love wandering down the aisles of Hobby Lobby, Joann's, or Michaels? But in fact, they might not be the best places to get your adhesive vinyl. Her is why:

  • They are probably more expensive than the prices found on the internet. Average roll price (outside of sales and coupons is $8-$15 a roll. With a little time and exploration, you can do much better at most online vinyl stores
  • The rolls are generally smaller than the online stores. You really need to look at the size of the roll, even at a sale price. Average length-1.5-2 feet. Added to the cost, that is no bargain by any stretch of the imagination.
  • You generally have to buy a roll rather than a sheet. Many times you might just need a little bit of something rather than a whole roll. Cost savings are found when you can buy a sheet rather than a roll of something you may never use again.
  • Online stores tend to have more variety and color options than big box stores. They tend to have more stock available and a wider color option.
  • Brands are generally limited to Cricut and Sizzix in the box stores. Online stores have wider brand choices
  • Your 40% off coupon will never work on Cricut or Sizzix brands. There are more sales on vinyl online than in your local craft store.

Another way to save is through newsletters and rewards programs. Lots of online vinyl stores have newsletters that will alert you to special sales and promotions. You can also sign up for rewards programs at some sites. So take some time to find the ones that fit your needs and have the prices you feel comfortable with. Stretching your craft budget is a must these days.

Where To Use Permanent Adhesive Vinyl

There are a few places where permanent adhesive vinyl is the right choice

  • Glass-glass jars, glass bottles, ornaments, candle holders, glass on picture frames, old windows
  • Stainless steel -water bottles, tumblers, trays
  • Plastic- buckets, lights, cups, wine tumblers, playhouses, baby wipes, and more
  • Permanent Labels-Lunch boxes, backpacks, craft areas
  • Wood signs, boxes, and decorative items like personalized memory boxes

Before you Get Started Cutting Vinyl

There are a few things that you can do before you get started that will help you create the perfect project.

  1. Layout all the vinyl you are planning to use. If you are layering vinyl, place each color in the stack the way you are planning to cut it. This step wi;; he;p you from cutting the wrong color in the sequence.
  2. Have some scrap paper nearby. You might want to jot down a note or reminder.
  3. Have someplace to put your scraps as you cut. It can be a box, a bucket, a mini trash can. It keeps you all organized. You can go through the scraps later to see if any of it may be useable later.

Cutting Adhesive Vinyl With An Electronic Cutting Machine

Not only can you cut adhesive vinyl with a cutting machine you can decorate the machine itself

Not only can you cut adhesive vinyl with a cutting machine you can decorate the machine itself

There are just a few tools that you will need for applying and using adhesive vinyl. More than likely, you have many of these tools already in your craft space.

Electronic Cutting Machine

There are many different choices when it comes to electronic cutting machines. You have to choose the one that meets your specific needs. Most come, with a computer software program that already has some cut files. Silhouette Cameo and Cricut cutting machines are probably the most popular. The blades of the cutting machines are an important part of the procedure, so you will want to keep them sharp and clean.

Some of the machines require a cutting mat. Others have matless cutting off a role of vinyl attached to the machine.

While you can always cut vinyl by hand, an electronic cutting machine gives better cuts.

How To Cut Adhesive Vinyl With A Cutting Machine

  1. Choose the file you want to use and load it to the workspace in the design program of your cutting machine
  2. Prep the cut file-Once you have your design and surface picked out, you need to measure your surface to determine how big you will need to cut the design.
  3. Open up your cut file design in your cutting machine software, and then scale the design to the size you want
  4. Move the design to the cutting area of your program
  5. Place the vinyl on your cutting mat or set up your vinyl roller system following the instructions from the maker of your machine. The colored vinyl side should always be up!
  6. Adjust the cut settings in your software or on your machine to work with the material you are using. Make sure to choose the settings for the particular type of vinyl you are using (glitter vinyl may require different settings than regular glossy vinyl, for instance
  7. Cut your project out

Make sure that you do a test cut if you have never used that particular brand or that particular vinyl. Even the same kind of vinyl can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Depending on your machine you may need to make adjustments in the blade setting so that the blade does not go through the vinyl backing.

Cutting Tips For Adhesive Vinyl

  • If you have an intricate design slow down your cutting speed.
  • Occasionally the adhesive vinyl won’t stick to a surface because of the way that it was treated. You can usually make it stick by spraying an adhesive spray onto the hard surface.

Other Tools To Use With Adhesive Vinyl

There are a variety of tools that you can use for weeding

There are a variety of tools that you can use for weeding

Weeding Tools

Most companies that deal with adhesive vinyls have kits for your weeding needs. Kits are a convenient and practical way to get the tools you need.

  • Hook Tweezers-Removes larger pieces of vinyl
  • Straight Tweezers-Hold and lift smaller pieces of vinyl
  • Hook Weeder-Angeled to help you remove trickier vinyl pieces
  • Classic Weeder (weeding hook)-Angled to pull away pieces of vinyl
  • Piercing Tool-Pierce and lift pieces of unwanted vinyl

The most popular weeding tool is a weeding hook. This is a metallic hook the will help you pick up the pieces of vinyl that are not part of the design.

Straight Pins are a great tool to have on hand for weeding extra small pieces

Light Pad

A light pad enables you to see the cut lines of your design when you are weeding the excess vinyl from your design. It illuminates under the design to make it easier. It is not an expensive purchase. You can also use it for tracing and dot painting too.

Transfer Tape

Allows you to take your design from the mat or roll to the project and apply it to the project. The perfect transfer tape is strong enough to adhere to your vinyl and pull it up off of the vinyl backing, but at the same time isn’t so sticky that it is hard to get it to release once you have it on your surface.

Scraping Tool

The scraping tool lets you burnish (rub) the transfer tape onto the vinyl design. You can also use it to adhere to the design to the project. There are different sizes of scraping tools available. If you are seriously into vinyl projects, you will want to have a couple of different-sized scrapers on hand.

Laser Square

We Are Memory Keepers has a tool that helps you place letters and words exactly where you need them. The tool is called Laser Square.

It has a mat and a ruler and a laser at the top as well as the side. This is especially helpful when applying lettering to wooden signs. You just push the ruler/level against the side of the wood and a laser shines across.

This is going to give you a better result for0 your wooden signs and projects.

Vinyl Tool Kit Every Crafter Needs

Transfer Tape Comparison And Options

Learn which transfer tapes work best

Learn which transfer tapes work best

What You Need To Understand About Transfer Tape

Transfer tape (also called application tape) is used to move the adhesive vinyl off of your cutting mat and places it on the surface of your project. Most transfer tapes are sold by the roll or by the yard.

It needs to be sticky enough to hold the vinyl, but not too sticky that it will not release the design to the project surface.

The trick is to have it completely flat without bubbles or wrinkles. Once you apply the transfer tape to the surface, use a scrapping tool to even it out and make sure it adheres to the design.

The Tack Of The Tape Is Important

There are two different types of tack (stickiness) in Transfer tape. There is low tack, medium tack, and high tack transfer tape. Try to match the tack level of the tape with the properties of the vinyl and the projects you are making.

There are three factors to consider; the adhesive bond between the tape and the vinyl, the bond between the tape and the project, and the bond between the vinyl and the project.

Types Of Transfer Tape

  • Paper Transfer Tape-This is a paper tape with an adhesive backing. It is similar to masking tape but more flexible. Paper tape is composed of a paper-based face film coated with adhesive. Paper tape can be purchased in low, medium, or high tack variants.Because of its paper face film, it’s not as useful for building multi-colored vinyl graphics that require the precise registration of one layer upon another. It tends to be softer and more flexible than clear tape. It is more budget-friendly. But the downside is that you cannot see through it. That makes the placement of your design on your project more challenging.
  • Clear Transfer Tape-Allows you to see where the design is and where it will be placed. Clear tapes are so transparent because they’re made from plastic face films instead of paper. Clear tapes also tend to have lower tack adhesives and are therefore not as effective in transferring certain kinds of vinyl. Some vinyls require a more aggressive adhesive to remove them from the release liner. Most clear tapes are not well suited for these vinyls. Another drawback to clear tapes is static. The plastic face film tends to generate a static charge, especially in arid environments. This can attract dust and debris, which makes clean bubble-free transfers more difficult.
  • Clear Gridded Transfer Tape-Very clear tape with a grid that allows you to place your design perfectly.

What To Consider When Buying Transfer Tape

  1. By the roll or buy the yard-That depends largely on how many projects you will be making. If you use a lot of projects, then rolls will be more cost-efficient
  2. The width of the rolls or yard transfer tape-Transfer tape comes in different widths, so think about the sizes of the projects you may be doing. You can always cut the tape down.
  3. Wrinkling and edge lift: The most aggravating aspect of low-quality paper tape is wrinkling. If your tape wrinkles as you’re applying it to the vinyl, that wrinkle can transfer to the vinyl graphic and ruin it. Proper application technique helps, but opting for a higher quality paper tape makes this work-stopping problem much less

Transfer Tape Tips


Here are a few tips to make your use of the product easier:

  1. Rather than just peeling the transfer tape and decal off of the paper backing immediately, try just folding back one edge of the paper backing so that only a portion of the adhesive side of the decal is uncovered. This allows you to carefully position the decal without it getting stuck down prematurely.
  2. No matter what surface you are using, always make sure to clean it properly and let it dry.
  3. Just before applying the vinyl, wipe a little with a dry cloth. This will help remove all the dust and make the dust clean.
  4. Test first. If you are using a new material, please make a small test piece first. You don't need to print the entire vinyl. Just test a small part.
  5. You can use your transfer tape more than once. Keep your tape for at least three or more applications. So, when you peel off a piece of transfer tape, don’t throw it away! Keep it on hand for your next project.
  6. When you are moving a design from a flat surface to a curved one, you have lots of opportunities to end up with a wrinkled vinyl decal. Using scissors to clip through your transfer tape (but not your vinyl!) can help you to avoid bubbles and folds.
  7. Burnish (rub) your tape on the front and back with a scraper. After you've got your tape on your design, make sure you are burnishing (rubbing) on the front and back of the vinyl/transfer tape combination. This will help will getting the vinyl to stick to the tape.
  8. When removing the tape, pull it down at a 45-degree angle. First, pick a corner and remove it at a 45-degree angle. You'll obviously start this way since you're starting in a corner but I like to continue using this angle as I'm removing it. If the vinyl is not adhering to the project, lay the transfer tape down again, burnish it and try again.
  9. Consider the difference between a strong grip and regular transfer tape. The Strong Grip is for really thick, heavy-duty vinyl that they carry— like glitter vinyl. For every other kind of vinyl, use the regular transfer tape! If you apply Strong Grip on top of regular vinyl, you may not be able to get it off
  10. Go slow! This is especially true when you are working with intricate vinyl designs but if you're a beginner, I can't emphasize this enough.

Transfer Tape For Adhesive Vinyl Projects

More Transfer Tape Ideas And Tips

How To Use Adhesive Vinyl

You may think that it is complicated to use adhesive vinyl, But when you break it down, there are only a few steps and they are not that complicated at all. The first thing is to gather the tools and supplies you will need to get started

  1. Remember to do a test cut of the vinyl that you are planning to use, This will give you an opportunity to make adjustments in your cutting machine before you complete your design. That means you will not waste vinyl or time.
  2. Always cut adhesive vinyl with the colored side up!
  3. Place a rectangle around your design. That will help with your weeding later.
  4. If you have an intricate design and are using a Silhouette cutting machine, you may want to slow down your speed.
  5. If you have several different components in one design, then you can place a box around each component in your cutting software. Your cutter will cut a box around each component in your design. Then you will be able to weed your entire design into sections. You will be able to pull your vinyl up in individual strips making weeding less complicated!

Materials and Supplies

  • Electronic Cutting Machine (Circut Or Silhouette)
  • Adhesive vinyl in the color or pattern of your choice
  • Clear Transfer Tape
  • Cut file
  • Ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Weeding tool
  • Application Tool
  • Scissors
  1. Prepare The Design. In both the Cricut and Silhouette there are many designs to choose from. There are also thousands of SVG files that you can download into your computer program. Take some time to learn the features of your program and what is available. Once you have chosen your design, scale it to the size that you want to use. Measure the material surface that you are planning to use so that you have the right-sized vinyl design to fit on your surface,
  2. Cut Your Design. Place the adhesive vinyl on your cutting mat with the paper side on the mat. The vinyl should be facing you. Load the mat into your machine, Select the material settings for your vinyl. Send the design to the machine and start cutting. In some cases, you will be cutting from a roll. You need to follow the manufacturer's directions on how to do this.
  3. Weeding The Excess Vinyl. Once the machine has cut your design, remove it from the machine. Next, remove any excess vinyl from the design while leaving it on the mat. Use the weeding tool. If your cut design is considerably smaller than the piece of vinyl you cut it from, then I recommend first trimming off the extra vinyl before weeding. You can use a pair of scissors to carefully cut around the design.
  4. Apply The Transfer Tape. The quickest and easiest way to transfer everything at once is to use transfer tape or transfer paper. To do this, you’ll just cut a piece of the transfer material a little larger than your design. If your design is larger than the transfer tape that you have, use several pieces. Use an application tool to smooth the transfer tape onto the decal and trim it to size. Now, you can remove the vinyl backing.
  5. Transfer Your Vinyl Design To Your Project Surface. The item you are applying the vinyl on is often called a “blank”. Blanks can be anything from wooden signs and tumblers to mugs and walls. Before you apply the vinyl to your blank, you need to be sure the surface is clean and smooth. You can use rubbing alcohol or wipes to clean off the area and remove any grease. Once it has dried, carefully place the vinyl decal over the surface and smooth it out with your application tool. Finally, remove the transfer tape from the decal and you’re finished!

More Tips To Apply Adhesive Vinyl

  • With text or any graphic that has small parts, you want to make sure that the transfer tape is well-adhered to all parts. Think of the little dot in letters like lowercase i or punctuation marks like periods.
  • Sometimes, you’ll notice when peeling the vinyl graphic from the vinyl release liner that parts of the graphic didn’t stick to the transfer tape. That’s OK, just go put the transfer tape back down & press down more on the graphic to ensure it sticks.
  • A squeegee works best, but if you don’t have one, you can use your thumb to apply pressure to the transfer tape.

More Adhesive Vinyl Techniques And Ideas

Tips For Weeding Adhesive Vinyl

Sometimes it is very difficult to see the lines that you are weeding. This is especially true in vinyl like glitter and holographic vinyl. Here are some tips to make the process easier on your eyes and less frustrating.

  1. Keep the image you are weeding on your computer screen, close by, to help you guide your weeding.
  2. Extra light – good light is always important, especially at night when your eyes are tired. This could be as simple as a good table lamp or I’ve even heard of people using headlamps. Some folks swear by a good ring light over their workspace. Whatever you decide to use, make sure to get yourself a good light source.
  3. Lightbox – this is a lighted desktop surface that you can put your vinyl on. These come in a variety of price points. The light shines through the cut lines, helping you see. The lightbox I use has a large light area and has several light settings. The time you save using a lightbox well off sets the cost.
  4. Baby Powder – yes, you read right. A light dusting of baby powder will get in all the cracks and crevices making it show up better and therefore easier to weed. It wipes off easily when you are done.
  5. Start in one corner and gently pull off the background – the part of the vinyl you are not going to be using.
  6. If your design is smaller than the piece of vinyl you used, cut around the outer part of the design leaving a margin. That way you may be able to save some of the vinyl for use later
  7. Have a place to put your scraps. You can get a little trash can at the dollar store, Or you can use any container, just have someplace to put your scraps while you are weeding. Remember the larger scraps can be used for other projects so save them.

More Adhesive Vinyl Weeding Tips

How To Apply Adhesive Vinyl To A Curved Surface

It is not nearly as difficult as you may think to apply adhesive vinyl to curved surfaces

It is not nearly as difficult as you may think to apply adhesive vinyl to curved surfaces

Flat surfaces are easy to work with when apply adhesive vinyl to a surface. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to adhering vinyl to round surfaces.

You will have weeded and applied transfer tape before you start the application.

  1. Make sure that the surface of your project is clean. Any dust or dirt will cause an uneven application of your vinyl
  2. Make sure that your project does not move. Use a bag of rice or barley, a cornhole bag or a bean bag to keep your project from moving. Mold whatever you have around the project to keep it from moving or rolling.
  3. Start to place your design from the center and then applying the vinyl from both sides rolling it onto your surface,
  4. Once the design is adhered, gently roll back the tape onto itself from corner to corner to release your design to the surface.
  5. If any bubbles are still visible you can take a little heat from a hairdryer and warmup the vinyl. After a few seconds you can use your fingers, or the scraper tool to press again onto the vinyl to get the air out!

More Ideas To Apply Adhesive Vinyl To Curved surfaces

How To Store Your Vinyl Pieces And Scraps

There is an easy way to store all those leftover pieces of vinyl that you tend to want to not throw away. It is simple and will cost you very little time or cash.


  • 3 Ring Notebook
  • Page Protectors
  • Notebook Dividers (optional)
  • Label Maker Or Permanent Markers

You can choose to set up your notebook by color, type of vinyl, or brand. That is your choice. You can use dividers or keep it simple.

The idea is to set up the notebook and place the scraps in the page protectors. That way, you can always find that small piece of vinyl you may need to complete a project or do a test cut.


Reverse Weeding

When you are doing intricate designs and smaller detailed letters, especially with adhesive vinyl, reverse weeding can be a useful tool to get better results.

Reverse weeding, simply put, is where you weed off of the transfer tape rather than off a mat or backing paper. The transfer tape is applied to the decal or design before weeding. The backing paper is then removed. The design is carefully weeded off of the transfer tape. (This does not work well for HTV)

  1. Create your design using your electronic cutting machine
  2. Trim and cut the vinyl close to the design.
  3. Cut and apply the transfer tape to the design. Make sure to burnish (rub)the transfer tape to make sure that the entire design will lift with the tape.
  4. Turn it over and remove the backing paper.
  5. Lift up one corner of the vinyl and pull it away flat against the tape, until all the excess vinyl is removed. The adhesive side of the vinyl should be exposed on one side and the gridded transfer tape on the other side.
  6. Lay the transfer tape on a flat surface. Remove any cavities from the letters or any unwanted pieces of the vinyl that may need to be removed. Now only your design should remain on the transfer tape. Cut closely around the word to remove the excess transfer tape,
  7. Apply the design to the clean surface of your project
  8. Burnish the design and then remove the transfer tape by rolling it back, flat onto itself. If you pull transfer tape straight up it will likely pull up the design along with it.

More Adhesive Vinyl Tips

adhesive vinyl is perfect for glass application.

adhesive vinyl is perfect for glass application.

SVG And Other Files To Download

You need a pattern or design file to create your adhesive vinyl design. These are often referred to as cut files. The most common cut file type is probably SVG, but you might be using a . Studio, .png, .dxf, or .jpg file depending on the software you are using. These designs may be in the program of your cutting machine. But why stop there? There are thousands of designs available. Some are free to download and use. Others will cost you a bit, but they are yours to use forever.

Some programs like the Cricut Design Space allow you to upload SVG files. If you are using a Silhouette, you must have at Silhouette Studio Designer Edition or higher to use SVG files, and I definitely recommend that Silhouette users upgrade to Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.)

SVG files usually come as a zip file. You need to open the file to transfer the file to your cutting machine program. See the video below to learn how.

Free To Use Files

There are lots of files that are free to use for your one use. That means for things you use yourself or gift to someone at no cost. If a file is free to use, there are a few things to remember about them.

The files really belong to the person who created them. So, you should respect that artist and use them the way they were intended. You should not share the file with anyone but can share the page or location of the file.

Copyright laws do apply to any of these files, so enjoy them, but follow the rules.

Free To Use For Personal And Commercial Use

Sometimes the creator will allow you to use a file free for both personal and commercial use. There may be conditions linked to the use of these files such as a limited amount of personal use. Always follow the guidelines that the designer has set and you will never go wrong.

Commercial Use

In commercial use, you will generally pay to use the designer's file. The fees are not very high and you will have use of the file permanently once you have made your purchase. Often these files come in bundles which are always your best buy. These bundles often come in different configurations, so understand what you are buying.

Free Vinyl Project Downloads

Learn How To Open A Zip File

Create fun projects with adhesive vinyl

Create fun projects with adhesive vinyl

Layering Adhesive Vinyl

There are a few things to think about when you are considering a vinyl design that has multiple layers. Heat transfer vinyl is only activated when a heat source is applied. So you can adjust the placement before it becomes final. Adhesive vinyl adheres as soon as it hits the surface. So you only have one chance to get it right.

  1. As you create your image in the computer program it is smart to create reference guides. These can be stars or any other tiny image that will help you line up your design. The guides should be used on every layer of your design. They should be placed in the same location on every layer. Once all of your stars are in place, you need to weld one of the top and one of the bottom stars to each layer.
  2. Once you have created all your layers, it is time to transfer them with the transfer tape. This is very important. You need to work backward when working with the layers. You need to transfer the image that you want on top FIRST. The bottom layer will be the last layer that you transfer over.
  3. Add your second layer to the transfer tape. The easiest way to do this is to lay the image you are transferring down on the surface you are working on. Then, take your transfer tape with the first layer already attached and hold it over the second layer. Slowly place the transfer tape down, lining it up with your guides. Once this is in place, use your scraper to smooth it down all the way.
  4. Once all of your layers are on the transfer tape, cut away the star guides. If you leave them here, they will become part of your project. Then, you can apply your adhesive vinyl, layered design to your surface. Use a scraper to make sure that you transfer it over well.

Layering Adhesive Vinyl Tips

Adhesive vinyl is perfect for personalized projects on glass

Adhesive vinyl is perfect for personalized projects on glass

Adhesive Vinyl On Glass

Adhesive vinyl is often used for glass like mirrors, windows, and storefronts. Self-adhesive vinyl is used for decoration, business branding, exhibitions, and even reminders of health and safety.

The first thong that you need to take into consideration is how to prep the surface before applying any self adhesive vinyl. This is a vinyl that will stay on any smooth clean surface, so you need to make sure that the surface is clean and lint free to get the best results.

Once that is done, the rest is pretty easy:

  1. Peel a small section of the paper and fold it back on itself. Be careful as you are peeling the paperback. If you peel too much, the vinyl and /or paper will stick to itself.
  2. Next, line up and apply the area with the exposed adhesive to the surface and rub down gently with a squeegee. Go slow and steady to avoid bubbles and wrinkles. Rub gently with a squeegee or a plastic scraper to make sure that all the vinyl is secured to the surface.
  3. Now pull away from the backing paper from behind in a downwards motion while rubbing down the vinyl as you go. Again, use the squeegee rather than your hand to avoid any bubbles. By applying the vinyl gently at first, it means that if you do get bubbles, you should be able to pull away from the vinyl where necessary and re-apply without damaging it. Remember, vinyl will stretch if pulled too tight.
  4. For larger or more awkward sizes, spraying the surface lightly with water and a teeny amount of dish detergent liquid really helps as it will stop the vinyl from adhering too strongly at first. This means you can make adjustments and reposition later.
  5. Once you’re happy, use the squeegee to rub the vinyl and expel any water away from in between the vinyl and the surface.

More Vinyl On Glass Tips


Stained Glass Adhesive Vinyl

This is really the wow of all the adhesive types of vinyl. It is a see-through transparent film.

Stained glass effect vinyl mixed packs contain transparent film which allows light to pass through creating stunning designs on windows & glass embellishments. The material is self-adhesive and suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. Once the design is cut, simply peel away the backer and apply it to a clean, smooth surface

It comes in both sheets and rolls.

There is a leading tape that is self adhesive to help you create a more realistic stained glass effect0

Creating wooden signs and projects is easy once you know all the right ways to apply it.

Creating wooden signs and projects is easy once you know all the right ways to apply it.

How To Apply Adhesive Vinyl To Wood

Adhering to or applying adhesive vinyl to wood can be challenging, but with a few adjustments, you can get the perfect project every time.

Prepping The Wood

One of the most important steps to creating the perfect projects is to prep the wood before any adhesive vinyl is applied.

  1. Sand The Wood- It is important to have a smooth surg]face so that the vinyl will stick to the wood. Sand the wood until it is smooth where you will be applying the vinyl.
  2. Add A Coating To The Wood-adding a coating of primer or paint will give you a better surface to get the vinyl on the wood permanently. Polycrylic, wood stain, or acrylic paint, are all good options. You can find these products in your local home improvement or craft store. Once you coat your wood in this base coat, you're going to want to wait 24-48 hours until your base coat is completely set before moving on to the next step.
  3. Before you start adding your vinyl, make sure to wipe the wood with a lint-free cloth. That will remove any dust that might cause the vinyl not to stick,
  4. Make sure to burnish(rub)the vinyl design onto the wood before you lift the transfer tape off.
  5. Carefully lift one corner of the design. If the vinyl lifts off with the transfer tape, place the tape back on the wood and burnish the project again.

Taking these steps should help you complete your wood projects with success

Common Adhesive Vinyl Problems

With different projects, you may run into a few challenges. Here are the most common problems and some possible solutions.

  • Vinyl is not sticking to a wood service. The trick to applying adhesive vinyl to a wood surface is to make sure that the surface is smooth and clean. Make sure that you are sanding and smoothing the wood before you try to place any vinyl on it. Remove any splinters, holes, knots, grooves, or anything that would cause an uneven surface. If the wood is not smooth, the vinyl will find all the imperfections. If you have smoothed and sanded the vinyl and it still is not sticking, try adding a coat of paint.
  • Vinyl is not sticking to the glass or metal surface. Clean your surface extremely well with some rubbing alcohol. The oils from manufacturing and your hands create a residue that vinyl just does not like. You really need to get that surface clean. If you are still experiencing some oily residue, you can also use nail polish remover. Make sure that the surface is completely dry before applying the vinyl. Also, try leaving the transfer tape on the surface for 10-15 minutes.
  • Your decal or design is not sticking to the transfer tape. More than likely, you do not have enough tackiness. It is a smart idea to have several different types of transfer tapes on hand so that you have the right tape for your project.
  • Your vinyl design won't release from the transfer tape. In all probability, you used a transfer tape that was too sticky ( had more tackiness than you needed). The only real solution to this problem is to use tape that is less sticky. If your options are limited, you can try de-sticking your more tacky tape. Stick the tape on multiple surfaces before trying to pick up the vinyl. Try jeans, blankets, or other fabric surfaces. Leave your vinyl decal on the surface for a few minutes. That will allow the vinyl to adhere to the surface. After 10-20 minutes try to pull off the transfer tape again.
  • Your vinyl is not peeling cleanly from the paper backing. Some of the backings rip off and stays on the back of the vinyl. In this case, you are probably cutting too deep with your electronic cutting machine. Lighten up the pressure of your cut. If you cut too deep, the blade cuts the thin layer of backing paper along with the vinyl. Adjust the depth of your cutting blade. Of course, making a test cut ahead of cutting the actual design will help avoid this problem.
  • Your vinyl is not weeding right. This will happen when you are creating small and intricate letters. In this case, the blade on your electronic cutting machine is not sharp enough. To get clean cuts on a very intricate design, you need a very sharp blade. Always have an extra blade in your craft space so that you can swu=itch if you need to. You can also try slowing down the speed of your cut to see if that helps. Reverse weeding, especially when creating small letters may help you get the design weeded cleanly. Again, a test cut will help you make adjustments before the design is created.

© 2021 Linda F Correa

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