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How to Apply Iron-on Vinyl + Best Tips

Posted by on Apr 5, 2015 in DIY | 0 comments

Hello! With my Etsy shop and lots of personal experience ironing on adhesive vinyl, I wanted to share some of my top tips for success for ironing on designs to fabric.


1. Select a fabric item that can be ironed at high heat settings (cotton and cotton blends work great). For women’s shirts in particular, be careful not to select a shirt that is particularly tight across your chest if that’s where you’ll be applying your vinyl, as it will stretch and skew the design. If you are ironing on a shirt, try it on in advance so you can see where you want to place your design. Generally across the chest, just above the armpits is a good placement, but depending on the length of the design and neckline of your shirt, you may want to move it.
2. Remove design from wax paper and masking tape. Leave clear plastic protective backing on. This is heat safe for ironing and the design will peel away easily when finished.
3. Position the design onto the surface of fabric with the design facing up and smooth adhesive side down. Design should no longer appear reversed. Use a ruler to ensure it’s straight (or if you’re daring you can eyeball it). After it is placed, I find a straight edge of the fabric and make sure it looks parallel.
4. Place cloth over design and apply firm pressure with a heated iron for about 45-60 seconds. Flip and iron directly on back without removing plastic transfer sheet (without fabric on back). Leaving the clear film on, I then turn it inside out, flipping from the side without the transfer on it. Iron directly on the back so that only the fabric layer of your article is in between the iron and adhesive. Flip back out and slightly check the edges to make sure it has adhered.
5. Slowly peel away clear plastic sheet, ensuring design is completely transferred. While I am slowly pulling away, I push down on intricate parts of the design as I am pulling off the sticker backing so it doesn’t pull. If it is not full adhered, replace plastic sheet and iron again. Once the sheet is off, I usually do one more pass through with the iron just to make sure it is completely secured.

Pro tip: Wash inside out on cold and low heat to protect the design.

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