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How To Transfer Vinyl without Transfer Tape?

How To Transfer Vinyl without Transfer Tape?

Since garment crafts have excited an increasing interest among people who prefer to spend more time and money on enriching their life diversity, a bunch of vinyl materials has been emerging on the market. To make perfect vinyl designs, vinyl transfer paper(or, interchangeably, transfer tape) seems to be a crucial accessory in the process.

Do you need transfer tape for vinyl for sure to finish vinyl projects? The truth is, no. Here, in this tutorial, I’ll discuss with you what is the difference between transfer tape and vinyl, what type of vinyl can work with vinyl transfer paper, how to transfer vinyl without transfer tape, the common transfer tape alternatives, and common FAQs.

What is the difference between transfer tape and vinyl?

Type the keywords “Vinyl Transfer Paper” in Google, and you will notice that there are two phrases that frequently connect with craft people: Transfer paper and Transfer tape. It’s easy to mix them up, but technically, these two materials function differently for making diverse projects in handicraft activities. 

Before diving into today’s topic, let’s clarify these two things for better crafts. 

Usually, transfer paper for vinyl is transfer tape, an essential accessory with grids for transferring adhesive vinyl designs to smooth surfaces. This kind of vinyl transfer paper features a strong adhesive that is able to copy a complex vinyl design with every tiny part staying in the right place. Of course, it is not only for adhesive vinyl. Since this transfer paper for Cricut can be reused multiple times, the second-used one can work flawlessly with other types of vinyl. One of them is named Heat Transfer Paper.

How To Transfer Vinyl without Transfer Tape?

Heat Transfer Paper always stays in crafters’ minds with the abbr., Transfer Paper. Transfer paper for Cricut is the primary material for garment crafts and does not work as a helper for vinyl. This Transfer Paper can use to print out vibrant and colorful pictures and adhere to fabrics seamlessly via heat transfer. But it does not have excellent stickiness to paste other vinyl designs.

If you are still bewildered about their actual usage, check out some videos on YouTube. They will show you clearly what transfer tape and Transfer Paper are for.

How To Transfer Vinyl without Transfer Tape?


What type of vinyl can work with vinyl transfer paper?

Since transfer paper for vinyl combines adhesive and alignment grids, it’s primarily for sticking and aligning positions. From these two perspectives, there is more than one answer about its usage.

Working with adhesive vinyl is particularly prevalent. You can easily create those vinyl designs on flat and smooth items like glass, cups, mugs, mirrors, metal, phone cases, etc., without damaging their textures.

Sometimes, suppose you have trouble transferring a complicated picture with several tiny parts of heat transfer paper. In that case, you can apply the second-used transfer tape. The vinyl transfer paper that had been used before performs excellently with less stickiness. It will not ruin the surface of your materials or hurt the design and can work as a protective film now and then to avoid direct touch between the vinyl and the heat plate.

How to transfer vinyl without transfer tape?

How to transfer vinyl without transfer paper? how to apply vinyl decals without transfer tape? what can i use instead of transfer tape? After talking about the essential information of vinyl transfer paper, I will show you the details about transferring vinyl designs when there’s not enough transfer tape all of a sudden. 

You may not believe what I really use to transfer my design. Last weekend, I was working on my personalized phone cases with permanent vinyl. I finished all steps of designing my image, cutting out the design, and weeding away the extra parts, and then I couldn’t find my transfer paper for vinyl to use.

Since my design has so many tiny patterns inside, it was impossible to stick them one by one to my phone cases. I knew I would definitely get pissed off if I did that. Luckily, I realized I left several pieces of sticky PET backing after I crafted my shirts. I always save some backings when I design with Heat Transfer Vinyl because I sometimes use them to clean dust and scraps of vinyl or paper in my craft rooms.

I took out my PET backings, covered them on my weeded designs, and removed bubbles with a scraper. When I peeled the backing off, it really copied perfectly the whole design. And it transferred to my phone cases successfully!

How To Transfer Vinyl without Transfer Tape?
How To Transfer Vinyl without Transfer Tape?
How To Transfer Vinyl without Transfer Tape?

That was really an amazing and economical Cricut transfer tape alternative! I do recommend you guys save some of the backings when making HTV projects for the unexpected situation!

Of course, if you don’t have the habit of saving some remaining HTV clear films or do not use HTV very often, there are other transfer tape alternatives that you may have in your house: masking tape and painter’s tape. 

These tapes are common accessories for repairing items and burnishing your wall. Their adhesive is excellent that can stick to items firmly and will not leave any sticky residues. Meanwhile, they’re easy to peel off after use, leaving your designs intact. Perfect choices when you have no idea “what can I use instead of transfer tape.” 

But these two tapes are more expensive, so you also need to make great provision of vinyl transfer paper for your further crafts while taking these tapes for temporary uses.


1. Do you need transfer tape for iron on vinyl?

Technically speaking, it’s needless for iron-on vinyl to transfer with sticky transfer tape since its protective film already features strong stickiness.

2. Can you reuse transfer tape?

Sure! This transfer paper for vinyl has the right amount of tack, so it remains sticky even after multiple uses. But remember to stick it back to its backing. This way, it can avoid touches with air and dust and last longer.

3. How to use transfer tape with vinyl?

It’s pretty easy to use vinyl transfer paper. After you cut out your permanent vinyl design and remove the excess vinyl parts, just cut the transfer tape into a proper size according to the design. Then stick the vinyl transfer paper all over your design, use a scraper to get rid of bubbles, peel the tape off, and stick the design on your target item. The Done! 

4. Can you use transfer tape on paper?

If you’re using transfer tape on regular paper, it’s not recommended. The strong stickiness of transfer paper for vinyl may rip off the surface of regular paper for further use. But it’s OK if you’re using heat transfer paper, a type of vinyl with great tenacity.


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