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Craft Vinyl Basics

Understanding the basics of craft vinyls will help you save costly mistakes when you use this medium. Learn which vinyl to use and when,

Craft vinyl comes in a multitudes of colors

Craft vinyl comes in a multitudes of colors

Types Of Craft Vinyl-The Basics

There are three basic types of craft adhesive backed materials that you have to chose for your projects. What they all have in common is a flexible side of PVC or Polyurethane film, an adhesive layer and a release layer. It can be purchased in 12 x 24 inch sheets or by the roll. There are endless amounts of colors and patterns to choose from.

Craft vinyl comes in sheets or rolls. Some folks feel like the rolls are more economical, especially if you are going to make a large amount of a project.

One of the most popular materials, vinyl can be used for all kinds of craft projects. It can be used on wall décor both indoors and outdoors. The matte finish vinyl has a low tack adhesive which can be removed from most surfaces. Matte surfaces also make words and images easy to view on both wall and glass surfaces. It's perfect for seasonal wall stickers. It works best on smooth flat surfaces and simple curves.

You can also choose a shiny vinyl that is considered to be a more permanent adhesive. This type of vinyl would be used on trucks, boats, ect. They can be removed, but would leave a residue that would be difficult to clean off the surface

There is another type of vinyl that is a glossy vinyl. It can be used outdoors on boats and trucks and even watercraft. They have a strong adhesive and should be considered permanent.

T Shirt Graphics- One of the most favorite vinyl is for decorating clothing, especially t shirts. This special iron on vinyl is applied with an iron or a heat press. It works on cotton, polyester and cotton blends.

Two Basic Kinds Of Craft Vinyl

The basic idea behind craft vinyl starts with the two basic kinds:

Adhesive Vinyl

Adhesive vinyl is the kind of vinyl that you might use to make stickers for walls. You might also use it to make Christmas ornaments, signs, and anything where heat was not required to make it stick. Adhesive vinyl always has a paper backing. When the backing is removed, it feels sticky to the touch. Think of adhesive vinyl as you go to for any smooth or hard surface.Think of walls, mirrors, bottles, ect.

There are two basic kinds of adhesive vinyl.

Removable indoor vinyl is for a temporary application. It would be used for things like wall decals, indoor signs and chalkboards. It typically has a matte finish.

Permanent outdoor vinyl is a long lasting more permanent vinyl. Don't let the term outdoor confuse you. It is probably the most used craft vinyl of all. As well as using it outdoors, it is also used for coffee mugs, water bottles as well as car decals.

It is meant to be permanent. Outdoor vinyl would be used for things like mailboxes, car detailing or anything. If you try to remove it, you may see damage to the item it was placed on.

Outdoor vinyl generally has a glossy finish.

Heat Transfer Vinyl

Heat transfer vinyl (also known as HTV) , has an adhesive back that requires heat activation to make it stiHeat ck. Think about things like t-shirts, pillow, toysand other fabric products. HTV does not have a paper backing. instead, it has a has a clear plastic carrier sheet that covers the top of the vinyl.The other side is where the adhesive is (it is not sticky or tacky to the touch), and this is the side of the vinyl that you will cut on. Think about heat transfer vinyl for anything that is soft like clothes, pillows, fabric, ect.

Other Things To Know About Vinyls

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Transfer Tape

This product was made to transfer all kinds of vinyl to different surfaces. The tape holds better and offers a cleaner and easier release. It has a grid that enables you to line up your vinyl images. It is used to transfer your design to the project.

Printable Vinyl

Who knew that there was vinyl that you could print on and then have your electronic cutter print them. Wow ! The project ideas are endless ! The product that we saw was made for the Cricut .This product has a smooth matte surface. It's made to be used with an inkjet printer and the print and cut feature of the Cricut Explore. You then add the images onto the Transfer tape. The Design Room of the Cricut Explore offers so many images that the possibilities are endless with this product

Window Cling Vinyl

Window Cling is a special product that is made to be used on glassware, mirrors , windows and other porous surfaces. This type of vinyl will allow you to cut in intricate details and layer different colors. It's made for indoor use and has a backing that makes it easy to store

The Difference Between Adhesive Vinyl And Heat Transfer Vinyl

If you are stuck with a left over piece of vinyl without a label, as we all have, you might be confused as to which kind of vinyl you actually have. There is an easy way to tell the difference.

Adhesive vinyl always has a paper backing and is sticky to the touch.

Heat transfer vinyl on the other hand, does not have a paper backing. Instead, it has a clear plastic carrier sheet That covers the top of the vinyl. The other side where the adhesive is, is not sticky to the touch. This is the side that you will cut the vinyl on.

Glitter Vinyl

Glitter vinyl is just what it sounds like, vinyl covered with sparkly glitter is a brilliant display of colors. Glitter vinyl is a bit stiffer than standard vinyl, so it can be a little challenging to work with.

The first thing to note is that you may have a little problem getting the vinyl to stick on your mat. You will want to use a very sticky mat. The stickier the better. It has a tendency to curl on the mat. So you will want to gently bend it backwards to help it relax a bit.

Another thing to consider is the quality of your blade. You will have problems cutting through this type of vinyl with a dull blade. A deep cut blade may help you get a more precise cut.

Weeding can be challenging too. It can be difficult to see the lines to be able to weed correctly. One hint to make your weeding easier is to place it by a window where you can see the lines against the lines from the window. A light box would also work just as well.

The nice thing about glitter vinyl is that you do not have to use transfer paper. Because this vinyl is so stiff, all you need to do is peel the backing and place on your surface.

Every company may have a few differences in what they call their vinyls or how they rate them. So, as a consumer, it is really important to read the description carefully so that you are not disappointed when you receive your order.

Oracle Vinyls

Oracle 631

Perfect for indoor use on walls, glass, plates, and any application that will be used indoors. It comes with a matte finish, which keeps glare away. It's rated for 3 years

Available in matte finish. Matte provides a natural hand painted finish without reflection.

Oracle 641

Good for outdoor use or items indoors that will be hand washed. Rated permanent for about 3-5 years

Matte finish permanent. Considered water resistant

Oracle 651

Gloss is perfect for outdoor mailboxes, boats, front doors, and any application that needs to withstand the weather. It's rated for 6 years outdoor and features a gloss finish. Also perfect for plates, tumblers, & key chains.

Gloss provides more of a shiny finish (we think of it as a shiny new car) and reflects light.

Oracle 751

Good for multi sided surfaces or curved surfaces. Permanent for about 8 years. Better fir areas where sunlight is an issue

May be harder to cut and weed. Somewhat stretchy and can be difficult to apply. Because of its' longer rating, it can be a little more expensive.

Oracle 951

Rated to be permanent for 8-10 years

Higher grade vinyl. Comes in colors as well as metallic

Oracle 5600

Specifically made for boats, cars and trucks. Has reflective properties.Rated for 7 years

Is considered a permanent vinyl, but can be removed with heat

Oracle 6510

This vinyl does not have the same color on each side

This is a flourecent vinyl

Oracle 8300

Considered UV stable

Good for high quality illuminated signs

Oracle 8510

Gives an etched look to glass, Considered a permanent vinyl.

Can be washed by hand

Oracle 8710

Similar to 8510, but is removeable

Gives a translucent dusted look to glass and mirrors

Oracle 8810

Similar to etched vinyl, but has gold specks

Gives a frosted look to shop doors, widows and glass like surfaces

Oralux 9300

Glow in the dark, permanent adhesive vinyl

Good for signs and decals

How To Avoid Vinyl Waste

Vinyl can be expensive, so you will want to avoid waste whenever possible.

Try to cut the vinyl just slightly bigger than the project itself. This will help you avoid wasting vinyl. You can cut off any excess with a paper trimmer. Keep your edges aligned to your mat and you can trim closely to the design maximizing the vinyl material.

Craft vinyl can be applied on different surfaces

Craft vinyl can be applied on different surfaces

Cutting And Using Vinyl Guides

What Kind Of Tools Will You Need To Apply Vinyl?

There are a few basic tools that will make all of your vinyl projects go smoothly. The nice thing about all these tools are that they can be used for other craft projects too.

  • An electronic cutting machine-Used to cut intricate designs on vinyl. There are many popular ones such as the Cricut line and the Silhouette. These are an investment, so you will want to spend time investigating which one is right for you.
  • Software-Most cutting machines have software or platforms that may have additional costs. In most cases, the software is necessary for peak performance.
  • Blades-No matter what electronic cutting machine you use, you will want to have at least one to two extra blades that you just use for cutting vinyl. Vinyl will dull your blades and if you try cutting paper with the same blade, you may get poor results. You can mark your blade with some nail polish to know which is which.
  • Cutting mats-with most machines, you will place the vinyl on a cutting mat that holds the material while it is being cut. Some machines like the Silhouette do not always need a mat. When you purchase the electronic cutting machine, it usually comes with a mat. Check to see what mats you may need to cut vinyl properly
  • Scissors-To cut excess vinyl away
  • Weeding hook-this is a hook-shaped tool with a pointed tip.It is used to take out the scrap vinyl or waste off your project.
  • Tweezers-Used to pick up pieces of vinyl
  • Coursage or straight pins are used to weed or remove bits of waste vinyl.

Adhesive Vinyl

There are two basic types of adhesive vinyl-temporary and permanent.

Temporary adhesive vinyl is able to be removed without any damage to the surface where it is placed, Projects like wall decor would be considered temporary vinyl.

Permanent adhesive vinyl is meant to stay on. If you were to try to remove it, you would have damage to the surface where it was applied.

Adhesive Vinyl is applied with transfer tape. Unlike heat transfer tape, no heat source is necessary. Heat transfer tape comes in different tackiness (how it sticks). There are low, medium, and high tack tapes. The nice thing about transfer tape is that it can be used several times before you throw it away.

Types Of Adhesive Vinyl

Type Of VinylUsesNotes

Stencil Vinyl

Used to make stencils

Seals to a project better with less chance of paint or other media seeing through

Etched Glass Vinyl

Made to look like etching on glass

Considered a removeable vinyl. Gives the impression of etched glass

Mettalic Vinyl



Glitter Vinyl

Any project that requires a glittery finish. Think Christmas and holidays

Gives a sparkly sheen to any project. Somewhat stiffer than regular vinyl, so you have to be sure that it firmly adheres to your cutting mat.. Glitter vinyl can be layered.

Patterned Vinyl

Create a special sports logo. use as a skin for laptops,decorate appliances

Pair patterned vinyl with a solid or create a patchwork pattern with two patterned vinyls

Chalkboard Vinyl

Adds a writeable surface t anything it is applied to

This is a chock board finish that can be written on with special markers

Glow In The Dark Vinyl

Used for signs as well as deigns on cars and trucks

This vinyl has properties that cause them to glow

Transparent Vinyl

Has luminescent properties

Used generally for signs and letters

Printable Adhesive Vinyl

Prints and cuts without weeding. Used to make stickers, decals and labels

Is mostly permanent, however some companies have some removeable

Extra Supplies For Adhesive Vinyl

There are just a few extra supplies that you will need for adhesive vinyl:

  • Transfer tape-this tape helps you move the vinyl project from from the mat to your final placement location.This is an essential supply with this type of vinyl. Electronic cutting machine companies generally have their own version of transfer tape. You can also check with vinyl suppliers to see what they have available. Mostly these are on rolls.
  • Application tool-this tool helps you apply the vinyl to your surface. Think of it as a tool to smooth out the vinyl. It helps you get any wrinkles and tiny bubbles away from your surface. These are usually made of plastic and are very inexpensive

Adhesive Vinyl Guide

It is not hard to work with surface vinyl. There are just a few steps to learn and then you can create all kinds of projects for your home and to give as gifts.

Before you get started, it is important to prepare your blank. A blank is any surface that you are going to personalize with vinyl. It could be a wooden sign, a coffee mug, a wine glass, a plastic storage piece- anything you are applying a vinyl design to. Skipping this step can result in the vinyl peeling from the surface.

Any solid surface should be clean before the vinyl is applied. Use either alcohol wipes, or rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. This removes all dirt specs, lint or oils that may b=have accumulated.

  1. Cut Your Vinyl-You need to cut your vinyl in the design that you have selected on your electronic cutting machine. Remember to use the correct settings for your machine. Remember that different brands of vinyl may require different settings. Check the manufacturer or sellers website. They often have guides for their products. The main idea here is that you want to cut through the vinyl but not through the adhesive backing sheet. This is called a kiss cut.
  2. Weed The Design- A little hook tool is used to remove the parts of the vinyl that is not part of the design. If you are going to work with a lot of vinyl, a light box is especially useful.
  3. Remove The Vinyl Backing- The easiest way to transfer your design to the material of your choice is with transfer tape or paper. It comes in rolls or sheets. It ca be used more than once, so keep the backing paper. Just replace the sheet to the paper once you are done. Cut a piece of transfer paper slightly bigger than your design. Smooth it over your design. Burnish( Rub) the transfer paper over the design with a bone folder, credit card or scraper. That will help the deign vinyl to adhere to the transfer paper. Remove the vinyl backing paper by turning the project over, Fold back the backing paper carefully over itself.
  4. Applying The Vinyl To A Surface- Simply place the vinyl down onto the surface with the transfer paper towards you. Burnish or rub the design onto the surface and remove the transfer paper. Fold the transfer paper onto itself to remove it.
  5. Let The Vinyl Cure-Leave vinyl alone for at least 72 hours before handing it so the adhesive can fully adhere to the surface.

Adhesive Vinyl Tips

Here are a few tips that will help you achieve better results with adhesive vinyls:

  1. Always make sure that the surface you are working on is clean. If the decal does not stick, try cleaning the surface with some rubbing alcohol.
  2. Always make sure to sand and smooth a wood surface before applying any adhesive vinyl. It will not stick unless the surface is smooth.
  3. If the vinyl does not stick after you have smoothed it, try adding a coat of paint to the wood surface,
  4. Use a tennis ball to apply the vinyl on wood, You may get a better stick.
  5. If your transfer tape is not picking up your design, it is probably not sticky enough. For heavier vinyl-like glitter and foils you really need to use a good transfer tape. Try using a new piece of transfer tape or go to a heavier product.
  6. The opposite is also true. If your vinyl is not coming off your transfer tape, you probably need a lighter tape. If all you have is a heavier tape, stick the tape on something fuzzy like a blanket to de-stick it a bit.
  7. Allow your vinyl decal to remain on a surface to allow it to bond. After about 10 minutes remove the transfer tape
  8. Always hand wash anything that has had adhesive vinyl applied to it. No adhesive vinyl is dishwasher safe.
  9. Always allow 24 hours before using or washing any project. The vinyl needs an amount of time to set on the surface.
  10. Test cut your vinyl with some scraps before you start cutting your project. That way you will avoid problems. Always easier to adjust the cut settings before you start.

Personalize Tea Cups And Mugs

Personalize all your mugs and cups. Her is how.

Personalize all your mugs and cups. Her is how.

More Adhesive Vinyl Tips


Heat Transfer Vinyl

Heat transfer vinyl (also called iron-on vinyl), for the most part, is used on fabric, In order for the vinyl to stay on the fabric, it requires a heat source like an iron, Easy Press, or a heat press. Once the heat is applied, the vinyl bonds with the fabric.

The heat sources can include an iron, an Easy Press, or a Heat Press. There will be an investment of anywhere from about $57-$450. Take some time to look into the options on these tools, before you make your decision. Your decision will be based on cost, how often you will use them, and the space you have for them.

Types Of Iron On Vinyl

Type of VinylAboutUses

Adhesive Foil Vinyl

Is a solid color with a sheen that is more metallic in nature. Also comes in colored matte type as well

Very similar to holographic vinyl. Personalizes and hard smooth surface. Can be used on doors, cars,and windows

Flocked Vinyl

Thicker than other vinyls in this category, but super easy to weed, This vinyl has a suede type of feel

Apply to any 100% cotton fabric, 100% polyester, polyester/cotton lblends and leather

Glitter Vinyl

Trickier to week, but has that glitter look

Can be used for decals, labels and other projects

Metallic Vinyl

Stiffer than other vinyls

Works best on small designs

Holographic Vinyl

Stiffer than other vinyls

Works best with small designs, Most often comes in a petterned design

Reflective Vinyl

A little thicker than some iron on vinyl

Used for clothing where you want to be able to be seen

Stretch Vunyl

Thin and stretchy

Works well on leggiings

Patterned Vinyl

Wide variety of patterns to work with

Add designs to all types of fabric

Extra Supplies For Heat Vinyl Projects

Again, there are just a few tools or supplies to make sure that your heat vinyl projects are a complete success:

  • An iron, heat press, or the Cricut Easy Press-to activate the adhesive on the heat vinyl, you need a heat source. You can use a home iron. If you are, you will want to use one with the least number of steam holes on the plate.If you want the best results, then you should invest in a heat press.
  • Parchment paper-you can get this in rolls in your supermarket. It protects your surface when you are applying heat. You can use a thin piece of cotton in a pinch
  • Ironing pad-If you are ironing on a counter or a counter an ironing pad will protect your surface
  • Craft Irons-perfect to apply small amounts of vinyl to surfaces

Heat Vinyl Tips

Need some tips to work with heat vinyl? Here are a few that should help you have success in your projects:

  1. Practice makes perfect! Go to the dollar store and find some towels, onesies, tote bags, etc. That way you can practice a few projects before you start on more expensive pieces.
  2. Pre-press your garment or piece before decorating it for the best results. It will allow the best adhesion of the vinyl and will give the piece a finished look. The only exception to this would be highly heat-sensitive materials like nylon.
  3. It is not necessary to pre-wash your pieces ahead of time, but if you do avoid using fabric softeners. They can leave behind a residue that may cause your vinyl not to stick.
  4. Mirror your image. Make sure before you cut that you have mirrored or flipped your image. You are cutting from the backside of the vinyl so when you press it on the correct side will be up.
  5. Place your heat transfer vinyl on the mat clear (also called the shiny side) side down. Again, you are working from the backside.
  6. Check your cut settings and always make a test cut with the vinyl that you are planning to use. That way you can make any corrections ahead of the actual project.
  7. Look for the CPSIA certification on vinyl that will be used for children's clothes. It certifies that there are no toxic materials used to produce the vinyl

More Heat Vinyl Tips And Ideas

More Vinyl Application Guides


Weeding Vinyl Tips

Weeding, simply put, is the process of removing the waste vinyl from around your image or project. You need to remove the bits and pieces around the edges of the project. There are also sometimes bits of vinyl that need to be removed within the design itself.

There are just a few things that you need to get the job done.

  1. A weeding hook
  2. Tweezers that you use just for vinyl projects
  3. A quilting pin, corsage, or straight pin
  4. A piece of paper towel to hold the waste vinyl
  5. A tabletop waste can to collect the trash vinyl and keep your space tidy.

You need to work in a very brightly lit area so that you can see the design and know which pieces to remove, Work by a window, use an Ott light or a lightbox. Another choice to add more light is a lightbox or a light pad. You can also use the light on your cell phone.

No matter which kind of vinyl you are working with, the process is still the same. Here are some tips to make the job easier:

  • Make sure that you are using the right blade. Many cutting machines have different blades. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines on which blade is right for your vinyl project.
  • Use the right blade setting. When it comes to wedding, using the right blade setting makes all the difference in the world. Check with the guidelines for cutting with your specific machine.
  • Use quality vinyl. Cheaper vinyl will not cut as cleanly making your weeding more difficult. Better vinyl cuts better!
  • Gather and keep your tools handy within arms reach. This will save you time.
  • Have that adequate light source. Try taking a shade off the lamp by your work surface. A lightbox is an easy solution to be able to see the weeding lines/
  • Make sure that you have clean hands. No lotions or creams on your hands. it will spoil the vinyl.
  • Oils from your hands may spoil the adhesive on your vinyl. Always use your tools, not your fingers.
  • Always work from the inside to the outside. You will have fewer problems with your design sliding. Do all the inner pieces first and gradually work till you get to the border of your project.
  • Now start peeling the areas around the border of your project. Try curling up the pieces as you go along. Go slow and have your tools ready.
  • Try to avoid any pulling or stretching, especially as you pull off the excess around the project. You may wind up with an oddly shaped piece.
  • You can always re-cut the shape if the outer pieces are not lifting. This is most often caused by a dull blade. Check your blade and replace if necessary,

A Must Have Lightbox For Weeding

More Weeding Tips And Tricks

Electronic Cutting Machines

You can cut vinyl by hand, cut most vinyl crafters prefer to use an electronic cutting machine to cut their vinyl designs. The most popular lines in these machines are Cricut, Silhouette, and Scan and Cut. Each machine has a computer program that helps you design and edits the project you are working on. Mosy has preloaded images already in the computer program. You may also have the availability of loading files called SVG files to add more design options. Some of these files are free and others have a charge.

You will need to take time to learn and understand the computer program of the machine that you chose. It is not difficult to get to learn these programs. There are plenty of resources to help you get started.

Each of these lines has both pros and cons. Before you invest in any of these machines, take time to look at each one to decide which features are right for you.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $149 all the way up to $500. Your considerations should include:

  • The amount you have to spend
  • The amount of space that you have in your craft area
  • The computer program that the machine uses
  • The speed of the machine
  • The ease of use
  • The features of the machine

What Are Cut Settings?

You will hear a lot of talk about cut settings, These are the settings that you will use to cut your vinyl. They refer to how fast the machine cuts, and how deep the blade cuts.

The Cricut line has presets which make it easy to get the right cut. You select the type of vinyl you are using and all the settings are set for you.

Other machines require some hand settings and these are easy to get done too. Some folks prefer to set the cuttings themselves as they can make adjustments when needed.

The most important thing to remember is to always do a test cut of any material that you have never worked with. That gives you time to make adjustments so that you do not waste your time and supplies.

Many manufacturers will also have information on cut settings on their website, so always check to see if they have information. Settings may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. So be sure to understand what the cut settings are for the vinyl you are using.

Cut Settings For Vinyl

Cricut Machines have a choice by material and do not need specific settings

Type Of VinylCricut SettingsSilhouette SettingsBrother Scan And Cut

Etched Vinyl

Light Cardstock

Material: Cardstock Plain - Blade 1, Speed 4, Force 14

Blade 3, Pressure 3, Speed 3

Flocked Vinyl

For a Cricut Explore Air 2 cutting machine, set your machine to ‘Iron On’, and then test to see if this has worked. If it needs to go deeper, change the setting to ‘Iron On/Glitter.’

With a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine, try a thickness setting of 33 and a blade setting of 2.


Glitter Vinyl

Use custom setting and then select "glitter vinyl"

SilhoutteCameo -speed 5, Thickness 10,blade setting 5

Blade 3, Pressure 3, Pressure 2

Oracle 631

Custom Vinyl Matte

Material: Vinyl Matte - Blade 1, Speed 5, Force 10

Blade 3. Pressure 3, Speed 2

Oracle 651


Material: Vinyl Glossy - Blade 1, Speed 7, Force 20

Blade 3,Pressure 3, Speed 2

Oracle Flourescent


Material: Vinyl Glossy - Blade 3, Speed 7, Force 20

Blade 3. Pressure 3 Speed 2

Oracal Printed Pattern 651


Material: Vinyl Glossy - Blade 1, Speed 7, Force 20

Blade 3, Pressure 3 Speed 2

Oramask 813


Material: Vinyl Glossy - Blade 2, Speed 5, Force 10

Blade 1, Pressure 1, Speed 2

Siser PSV Chalk Board

Siser PSV Chalk Board

Material: Cardstock Adhesive Back - Blade 4, Speed 3, Force 33

Blade 4, Pressure 4, Speed 4

How To Get Vinyl To Stick

If you are having problems getting vinyl to stick to your projects here are a few ideas to get the job done:

  1. Before sticking the vinyl to glass or metal, make sure to clean the piece very well with rubbing alcohol. If the vinyl still is not sticking, you can try nail polish remover. Whatever you use, make sure the surface is dry before applying the vinyl.
  2. The key to applying vinyl to wood is to make sure that the wood is smooth. That means sanding and smoothing the wood so that there are no little pieces that would keep the vinyl from sticking.If there are any stray pieces, not only will the vinyl not stick properly, it also may rip. You can add a layer of paint or varnish to help the process. Use a hairdryer or heat gun on the surface of the vinyl while applying it to the surface of the wood. It will help the vinyl conform to the slightly uneven surface a little better. You can also try using a tennis ball to rub the vinyl while you apply the heat, rather than a squeegee.
  3. If your transfer tape is not picking up your vinyl, it may just be not sticky enough. Not all transfer tapes have the same stickiness. You may want to keep different transfer tapes on hand if you are planning to do a lot of vinyl projects. For heavier vinyl types such as glitter and foils, you want to use a stronger adhesive to pick up the heavier materials and different textures. We all want to be able to use our transfer tapes as long as possible. If an older piece of tape is not doing the job, try a new piece or a heavier tape.
  4. If your vinyl is not coming off your transfer tape, your tape may be too sticky. If that is the case, you can remove some of the stickiness by running the tape across some denim or other material (no felt). Remember to Leave your vinyl decal on the surface for a few minutes and allow the vinyl’s adhesive to bond to the surface. After about 10-20 minutes, try to pull off the transfer tape again and see if you have better results.
  5. If your vinyl does not allow you to weed correctly, the blade on your cutting machine may not be sharp enough. The more detailed the design, the harder the cut will be on a dull blade. It may be time to replace your blade.

Vinyl Application

Which Craft Vinyls Can Be Layered

Type Of VinylWill It Layer?





Liquid Metallic




Glow In The Dark














Layerng Vinyl With Parchment Paper

Using parchment paper to make layering vinyl easier makes a great deal of sense. Here is the easy way to get the job done.

  1. Transfer your top layer onto the transfer tape.
  2. Cut a piece of parchment paper and lay it on top of the bottom layer of your design, leaving one side of the liner uncovered by the parchment paper.
  3. Place your top layer and line it up, scooting it around freely with the help of the parchment paper until you are happy with it.
  4. Press the transfer tape done on the uncovered side of the liner.
  5. Remove the parchment paper and allow the design to lay down naturally. Then voila! You have perfectly aligned layers of vinyl!

Warm Or Cold Peel- The Difference

When you are using heat transfer vinyl there are two methods used in the application of the vinyl on a garment. While some vinyl will only be applied using one method, other vinyl have the option of using both. It is important for you to know which method to use for which vinyl to get the best application.

Peel refers to the method that is used to remove the sheet off the vinyl once it is applied.

Cool Peel is where the vinyl is allowed to cool completely before the backing is removed.

Hot or Warm Peel is where the backing is removed off the garment while it is still warm or hot.

Vinyl TypeWarm PeelCold Peel
















Liquid Metallic















Glow In The Dark



Storing your vinyl is not difficult even in small status

Storing your vinyl is not difficult even in small status

How To Store Craft Vinyl

Once you start making projects with the craft vinyl, you will find that you start collecting rolls of vinyl, especially when you find good sales. And of course, you will always have a little bit of vinyl leftover that needs to be stored. Here are a few ideas to keep your leftover vinyl in line.

Separate And Sort

You will want to separate and sort your vinyl based on the types that you use or have. The easiest categories to consider are :

  1. Standard
  2. Iron-On
  3. Everything Else=patterned, glitter, holographic, etc.

Now of course you can adapt your sorting based on the types of vinyl that you use the most.

Re-roll The Vinyl

Unroll each if your rolls and take out that cardboard center. It simply takes up too much space. Once you get that center out, re-roll as tightly as you can. Secure the roll with washi tape or painter's tape. You will save a tremendous amount of space with this one step. Write the type of vinyl on the painter's tape.

You can also roll duplicate rolls together to save even more space. Of course you may want to keep the same colors and types of vinyl together.


  • The Ikea wall trash bag holders are very popular for storing vinyl- make sure if you hang them in the wall that you leave space between them to get the vinyl out
  • Line rolls up in stacked shoe cubbies
  • Make a vinyl roll storage rack. Click here for details
  • Over the door handbag storage
  • Rubbermaid commercial wastebasket
  • Art portfolios-you can get them at most craft stores

Sheet Vinyl

  • Scrapbook paper racks
  • Multi drawer plastic files
  • Rolling bins

Vinyl Scraps

  • Baskets or bins

Pants And Skirt Hangers For Vinyl Storage

Use closet space by using pants and skirt hangers to store your vinyl

Use closet space by using pants and skirt hangers to store your vinyl

More Craft Vinyl Storage Ideas

You can use this transfer paper to create all kinds of designs

You can use this transfer paper to create all kinds of designs

Water Slide Decal Paper

Water slide decal paper is a special transfer paper that you can use to transfer an image or text. It is translucent and can be used on most smooth surfaces. Generally it is sold in sheets of ten, twenty or more.

It can be used on wood, objects made out of bamboo, glass, porcelain coffee cups, metal, terracotta pots, book covers, furniture, jars and candles.

Tips For Using Water Slide Decal Paper

  • If you use decals on any painted surface, you can use a matte finish spray after applying them, to seal both the surface and the decals.
  • If you are using your decals on glass, ceramics or porcelain, it is recommended that you choose a border for your images, so they would sort of blend in on the surface.
  • To better fix the decals onto glass, ceramics or porcelain you can bake the decorated object in the oven for 8-12 minutes at 110 Celsius degree, but make sure you check them constantly because they can easily burn. You will know the decals are ready when they will start to get a ‘glassy’ look. Even if you bake the decorated objects like this, they will not be safe to wash in a dishwasher machine, only by hand.
  • There are different types and brands of water slide decal paper, some are for inkjet printers, others for laser jet printers so make sure you also carefully read their instructions before using them, because there might me some differences.
Water slide paper can be used to decorate custom candles

Water slide paper can be used to decorate custom candles

How To Use Water Slide Decal Paper

Where And How To Buy Vinyl

Everyone who has an interest in learning and using vinyl wants to find the best ways to stretch their craft vinyl budget.

We have all seen the gorgeous aisles in the big box craft stores with rolls and sheets of colorful vinyl tempting us to buy.

But the stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, or Joann's may not be where you can get the best buy on vinyl sheets and rolls.

  • On average, the price of rolls in craft stores is more likely more expensive than the online alternative. You can expect to pay between $8-$15 per roll ( of course that depends on the type and brand of vinyl.)
  • You also have to consider how much footage there is on every roll. Think of it like being in the grocery store. There is a sign that tells you the price and how much per unit each item costs. So you can make a comparison with item costs less. You need to figure out how much you are paying per foot. On average you will pay less per foot.
  • More than likely in the craft store, you will have to buy a roll of material, rather than a sheet. And the color options might be limited. So if I need a specific number of sheets in a specific color, I probably will be more likely to find what I need online.
  • Another issue with craft stores is that they may only have one or two companies to choose from and those choices will be limited.
  • We all love 40% coupons, right? But more times than not, they will not apply to vinyl purchases.

The bottom line, get familiar with different online brands. Then compare to the craft store lines. Make a comparison and decide where you will get the best product at the best price!

Vinyl References And Resources

© 2020 Linda F Correa

We Would Love To Hear Your Thoughts On Craft Vinyl

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on October 09, 2020:

Thank you for the lovely comment. It has been my passion to help folks bring out their inner crafter. I hope you find creative passion just waiting to blossom.

Millicent Okello from Nairobi, Kenya on October 09, 2020:

Hi Linda. Thanks so much for this beautiful informative article. Crafting has been my best art work and am happy i am going to try out some of your crafts.

Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on August 30, 2020:

Thanks Marie for your comments. I just wanted to give some information for anyone who might be interested in getting into craft vinyl. Was hoping the information might help them. Thanks for stopping by !

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on August 28, 2020:

This is very informative and well organized, Linda. It appears you've thought of everything. I enjoy working with my hands and just may find a project where I can use craft vinyl. Thank you!

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