October 4, 2012

Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl: A Tutorial

I am familiar with T-shirt vinyl or heat transfer vinyl, but I have yet to delve into the world of specialty T-shirt vinyls.  There are patterned, glow in the dark, flocked, and glitter...probably more, but I just don't know about them.  The glitter vinyl sheets are much thicker than regular vinyl, so if you are using a cutting machine, you will have to adjust the blade depth accordingly.

Once you have your image (I cut mine with my Silhouette), how do you get it on the fabric?  Well, you're in luck, cause I took pictures along the way and I will explain it to you.

First off....supplies:

T-shirt vinyl image with plastic still attached

clothing item

clean, cotton cloth (I use my kitchen flour sack towels)

iron and ironing board

 STEP ONE:  Iron your clothing so there are no wrinkles.

 STEP TWO:  Place your vinyl image on your clothing.

Quick tangent:  You want to make sure that you place the vinyl image on correctly.  There is the vinyl image itself (the red, glittery Tootsie Pop Indian in this case) and the plastic sheet that keeps all the pieces of the vinyl grouped together.  There is a sticky side to the plastic and a smooth side.  When you place the image on your clothing to be ironed, you want the sticky side facing DOWN, touching the fabric and the smooth plastic side UP.

The picture above is with the sticky side of the plastic up...DO NOT iron it this way! You will iron the image onto your cotton dish towel instead of your clothing (not that I've learned that from experience or anything, ha!)

This picture is with the sticky side down, the correct way to iron it on your clothing.  You can kind of see the sheen of the shiny side of the plastic.


 STEP THREE:  Ok, once you've got your image placed where you want it and with the sticky side DOWN, you can place your cotton cloth on top of the image and press the iron firmly down on all the layers.

A few tips:

Turn off the steam on your iron.

Don't use the highest setting on your iron; mine is from 1-6 and I use about a 4, works great.

Press firmly without wiggling the iron around (it could shift your vinyl image) for about 45 seconds.

STEP FOUR:  Take off your cotton cloth and let the image cool slightly.  Slowly begin to peel the plastic off.  It should come off easily.  If any part of the vinyl is still sticking to the plastic, place the plastic back down, cover it up again with your cotton cloth, and iron that spot for a little longer.  Try 20 seconds or so and then see if the plastic peels easily.  Repeat as needed.

STEP FIVE:  Once the plastic is off completely, I replace my cotton cloth again and iron it once more for another 30 seconds or so.  It's probably not necessary, but it makes me feel like I'm really "sealing it in".

And that, my friends, is it!  Easy, peasy.  Wash on gentle cycle inside out and dry on low heat.  If any part of the image begins to peel up from the fabric, just get out your trusty cotton cloth, iron, and reapply some heat.  I have had great success with my regular T-shirt vinyl staying on my boys' shirts, they are pretty rough on their clothes too.  We'll see how the glitter vinyl holds up....  I'll let you know after a few washes.

1 comment:

Grammie Star Wars said...

Love the "Glitter" ;.)

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