Disclosure: The Durathon Iron in this post provided by Hamilton Beach. All opinions and the Tips and Tricks for Awesome Heat Transfer Vinyl Projects are my own from pure experience.
I’m not sure if completing four heat transfer vinyl projects makes me an expert on the subject, but I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two. Or three. Heat transfer vinyl isn’t difficult, but it is intimidating at first. After all, if I’m working on an unique project where I only have one shot at getting it right the first time, it can be anxiety causing. But using heat transfer vinyl (HTV) is ridiculously easy, and once you have a project under your belt you’ll be addicted. HTV projects are the best bang for your buck. I can’t think of many other crafting materials that make items look professional with so little time and effort. So get your project materials together and read on for my Tips and Tricks for Awesome Heat Transfer Vinyl Projects.
What kind of iron-on vinyl can I chose from and where do I purchase it?
HTV falls in three basic categories– regular ol’ vinyl, glitter vinyl, and flocked vinyl (this one has a raised texture and “fuzzy” feel). Use whichever one fits best with your projects. There are several online vinyl companies where you can order any of these types of vinyl. I typically stock up from Pick Your Plum whenever they offer HTV at their awesome deal prices. Once, in a bind, I went to a local arts and crafts store for HTV but I was very disappointed with the selection. I only found a few packages in the T-shirt section, but I definitely didn’t have my choice of colors and textures like I can find online. So, when possible, plan projects ahead of time so that you can order online.
Here are a few options on Amazon for heat transfer vinyl (affiliate links):
- Firefly Craft Heat Transfer Vinyl
- Firefly Craft Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl
- Cricut Iron on Silver Glitter HTV
- Cricut Iron On Lite White HTV
- Silhouette Printable Heat Transfer Material for Light Fabrics
What’s this shiny stuff on the HTV?
It helps to understand the components of HTV before starting. On one side of the vinyl will be a shiny surface. This is a plastic-like surface that is made to hold the cut together and to protect the vinyl from the heat of the iron. The shiny plastic-like surface peels off at the end. It’s important to understand that so that you realize the shiny surface is placed on the shirt or project facing up.
How to use HTV
Cut out the desired shape. For those with a cutting machine, this part is easy. Simply place the HTV shiny side down on the cutting mat and cut. Be aware that for designs that go one way (like a word, etc.), you may need to mirror the image. For those without a cutting machine, cut out the design with scissors.
Once the shape is cut, lay it on the fabric project with the shiny side up. Cover it with a thin piece of fabric and press hot iron (set on cotton setting) on the fabric for 30-60 seconds. Lift the iron and check the project to see if the vinyl has adhered. If it hasn’t, repeat the process in 15 second increments.
If doing a large area, iron in sections. It is best not to slide the iron for fear of shifting the vinyl before it has “stuck.” Press the iron, lift it up, and then press again.
Peel the clear plastic off of the fabric and done!
Let’s Talk Irons
Using a good iron is important for any project. The minute you pull out that old iron with interfacing burnt onto it is the minute that the craft you’re working on is ruined. A crafter needs an iron that’s nonstick and durable with awesome steam power. I’ve used the (affilliate link) Hamilton Beach Durathon Iron for several years.
It lasts through my sewing projects, my heat transfer vinyl crafts, and I use it to heat set all my fabric paint projects. The Durathon Iron has a great non-stick surface and glide performance of any other iron that I’ve used. The steam capabilities are amazing, and the iron is lightweight enough for me to carry around with all my project materials.
See that 10 year limited warranty? Ya’ know that’s gotta be a great iron!
It has a retractable cord!!! I am forever fighting with the cord on my old iron….actually it’s my mom’s old iron that I ‘borrowed’…so I would love a new one 😉
amy @ one artsy mama says
I love making shirts! I always have trouble with the HTV getting all wonky in my machine, so I use the flocked kind usually.
Do you use a mat when cutting HTV? I always do and never have a movement problem.
I use a cutting mat and have not had a problem with the plain.
10 times more durable than traditional nonstick
It is self cleaning and has 25% more continuous steam power than the leading competitor
I’ve always wanted to do HTV projects, but just like you said, they certainly do seem intimidating for someone who hasn’t tried them before, ha ha ha. Thank you so much for the tips and encouragement!
i’m going to have to give this a try!
I LOVE that it has a 10 year warranty!
Tabitha Klucking says
I like the 25% more steam power!
I learned that it is a self-clean iron. Sweet!
That warranty certainly catches my attention. Love your insights on heat transfer projects as this is something I’m interested in. Also curious on iron temperatures and how they work in dry mode vs steam mode. Definitely would love to check out the Hamilton Beach iron as your review shows it to be a great iron.
Pam S says
It’s self-cleaning! I’d never heard of that before!
Benny Sequeira says
Retractable cord, not heard of and also self-clean.
Love the retractable cord on this iron.
retractable cord! So cool!
June @ QuiltQuest says
Retractable cord! Wow! My life has too many loose cords – really like this idea! Thanks for putting my name in the hat for this drawing.
Whoa, this looks amazing!
[email protected] says
You had me at retractable cord!!! So cool! (I might actually iron!)
Jessica Hornibrook says
it is scratch resistant!
Dawn Jones says
It says it is Self Cleaning, my iron is probably 30 years old so I didn’t know an Iron could be self cleaning.
Jennifer Almond says
I love the retractable cord!
Lena Yakim says
Great giveaway! You didn’t mention if it is open internationally. I sure hope so!
I learned that it can produce vertical steam.
Good luck- thank you for entering!
Rebecca Parsons says
I love that it has a retractable cord for easy storage!
Lena Yakim says
I follow you on Pinterest! Thanks 🙂
Meghan Hightower says
25% MORE Steam!! (:
These vinyl crafts looks so fun!
Lindsay @Artsy-Fartsy Mama says
Love the retractable cord!! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!
I love the retractable cord and that it’s self-cleaning.
Yes, yes, yes…………Please, please, please………….Thank You, thank you, thank you….I so need a new iron ; )
What brand of HTV do you use?
I order HTV from Pick Your Plum when they have it in stock. I have also ordered recently from My Expressions vinyl. I believe they both sell oracal vinyl.
I order the Easy Weed HTV from Expressions Vinyl (expressionsvinyl.com). They have it in every color, and it is really, really easy to weed. I love it! Expressions Vinyl ships really fast, too. I’m in California and they’re in Idaho. I usually get an order within a couple of days.
AAre you supposed to use steam on have? I have a cheap $10.00 iron and sometimes it bubbles up the vinyl. I don’t even leave it on there but for 15 second increments and then check it. Help! Lol
I do not use the steam. Are you covering it with a thin piece of fabric? If you are, trying doubling up the fabric.