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Adhesive Vinyl - The Ultimate Beginner's guide

adhesive vinyl

What is adhesive vinyl
What is transfer tape
How to use adhesive vinyl
How to cut adhesive vinyl
How to weed adhesive vinyl
How to use transfer tape
How to apply adhesive vinyl

If you are interested in making wall decals, stencils or signs to be displayed indoors, you can use adhesive vinyl. As a beginner, I know that entering the wonderful world of adhesive craft vinyl may be at a loss. But don’t worry, in this blog we will introduce adhesive vinyl,types of vinyl and detail how to get started with Adhesive Vinyl. For example, What is adhesive vinyl? How to use adhesive vinyl? We will even show you step-by-step applications towards the end! Before you know it, you will use adhesives vinyl to make professional-looking home décor, apparel and other fun craft vinyl projects!  

adhesive vinyl

#1 - what is adhesive vinyl

In the world of electronic cutting machines, adhesive vinyl is one of the most popular materials we cut. Adhesive vinyl, also known as self-adhesive vinyl, is a flexible material with pressure sensitive adhesive. It is a vinyl stick on one side, just like a sticker. It is flexible and super versatile, and is usually used to make decals and commercial signs for walls and windows. It is durable and waterproof, making it versatile. It can be applied to the smoothest, hardest surfaces, and can be used indoors or outdoors.

There are two types of adhesive vinyl: permanent outdoor vinyl and removable indoor vinyl. Permanently adhesive vinyl, often referred to as outdoor, has super adhesion and can be used on almost everything except walls. It is very suitable for coffee cups, kettles, car decals and any outdoor application. It usually has a smooth surface effect. Although it is called permanent vinyl, it is not actually permanent. If you use permanent vinyl in your craft project, you can remove it (it may be difficult), but be aware that it may leave residue or damage some surfaces.  

Temporary adhesive vinyl, usually referred to indoor, is far less viscous and is very suitable for indoor walls or other places that only use vinyl for temporary decoration or where you don't want to use it and cause damage when disassembled. Temporary adhesive vinyl usually has a matte finish. In addition to the basic two vinyls, there are many special types of vinyls. For example, glitter, fluorescent, glow in the dark, holographic adhesive vinyl etc. The type of vinyl used depends on the surface of the vinyl you want to coat and the surface treatment required, that is, which adhesive vinyl you use depends on what you intend to apply it to. If you want to create seasonal blackboard artwork, or add decals to the walls in the house, use temporary adhesive vinyl. If you want to add monograms to the sand bucket or create a coffee cup, use permanent! Generally speaking, if you want it to be exposed to heat, water or any extreme factors, outdoor permanent materials are the only way to go. HTVRONT is one of the most common brands of permanent adhesive vinyl.

Vinyl adhesives come in sheet or roll and come in several different sizes. Adhesive vinyl is attached to the back of the paper. The backing fixes the vinyl in place during cutting and removes it before finally coating the vinyl.


#2 - What is transfer tape

At the same time, what you need to know is transfer tape. The tape is used with adhesive vinyl. Transfer tape is used to transfer the adhesive vinyl design from the vinyl backing to the surface to be pasted. Contact paper for vinyl transfer transfers your design to your project. Almost all adhesive vinyls require some kind of transfer film or tape. Don't let this confuse you. The transfer tape temporarily adheres to the non-adhesive side of the vinyl, allowing you to lift the vinyl off the liner and expose the adhesive side of the vinyl. It can keep everything in place so that the entire design can be transferred from the backing to the surface. After applying the vinyl, tear off the transfer belt.

There are two basic types of transfer tape: transfer paper and transparent transfer tape. Transparent transfer tape can make arrangement and application design easy. The paper tape is similar to the textured paper tape, but the width is larger. Both materials can transfer adhesive vinyl, you can use either.  

What you need to pay attention to:

Adhesive vinyl always has a paper backing material. You should be able to peel the vinyl from the paper and feel the sticky adhesive. If it can't, it's not adhesive vinyl. When cutting vinyl, always place the paper backside down on the cutting mat.

Do not apply any adhesive to the hot press! Essentially, these products act as stickers, and they are all designed for hard surfaces, ideally a smooth surface.

Vinyl adhesive is not food safe, so please do not place it in areas where it will come into direct contact with food. For cups and glasses, please leave a space at the top so that the person can drink directly without touching them.


#3 - How to use adhesive vinyl

Now you are ready to start making some magical things with adhesive vinyl. You can get step-by-step.

Instructions to start with adhesive vinyl. In the following tutorial, you will find all the details on how to create vinyl decals!

Before making vinyl decals, you need to prepare some supplies.

Electronic cutter (Cricut or Silhouette cutting machines)
Adhesive Vinyl
Transfer tape
Cut file(SVG)
Cutting mat
Weeding tool

adhesive vinyl

How to use adhesive vinyl? The following simple steps are involved when using vinyl adhesive: preparing the design, cut, weed, apply the transfer tape, and then transfer the design to the blank.

The first step in using vinyl adhesive is to be ready to cut your design files. You need a special file to be used with the cutter, usually an SVG file, in order for the cutter to cut your design. Check out our free SVG file. After you select the design and open it in a software program on your computer, you will need to scale the design proportionally. You need to measure the surface and determine the size of the design to be cut.  


#4 - How to cut adhesive vinyl

After you have designed the dimensions and are ready for use, you need to prepare the vinyl to be cut. Place the vinyl adhesive on the cutting mat with the paper back down. Then load the cutting mat into the machine and press the start button. Some machines can automatically adjust the blade to suit the different types of materials they can cut. Other machines need to be adjusted manually. Choose the setting that suits your vinyl, and then send the design to your machine for cutting. 


#5 - How to weed adhesive vinyl

After the machine completes the cutting design, please remove the cushion and vinyl from the machine. Remove excess vinyl from around the cut image, including any internal debris.


#6 - How to use transfer tape

It's time to move the vinyl design from the paper back to the final surface. The fastest and easiest way to transfer everything at once is to use a transfer tape or transfer paper. For this, you only need to cut some transfer material that is slightly larger than the design. Use a scraper tool to put the transfer tape on the vinyl. Now you can remove the vinyl backing.

transfer tape

#7 - How to apply adhesive vinyl

Now transfer your design to your cup or other items. Before applying vinyl to the blank, make sure the surface is clean and smooth. You can use alcohol or wet wipes to wipe the clean area and remove grease. After drying, carefully stick the vinyl decal on the surface and use a coating tool to smooth it. Use your fingers or a spatula to apply pressure on the vinyl to make it stick to the cup. Slowly begin to remove the transfer tape. If you find that the vinyl is not fully adhered to the surface, put down the transfer tape and apply more pressure until it is fully adhered. Finally, remove the transfer tape from the decal and you are done!
types of vinyl

It is best to "curing" the vinyl adhesive on the cup for a few days before use, and then when washing the cup, please make sure to wash it by hand and avoid scrubbing directly on the decal. 

Now that you know how easy it is to use adhesive vinyl, I hope you try to create your own vinyl decals and start decorating everything you handle! Happy Crafting!

Check out our most popular adhesive vinyl below.

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