Either I was a very good girl last year or Santa keeps a close eye on me here and on Facebook because I got spoiled with a heat press at Christmas. It took me a bit to break it in, work out the kinks, and feel confident cranking out custom t-shirts…hence this post coming four months AFTER Christmas! But still, I thought I’d pass along my top three tips for working with HTV.
(These can be used when applying HTV with an iron, too…not just a heat press. But I can tell you this: I used to be someone that swore I could do anything with my iron that you could do with your heat press. And yes, I could. But I now realize it’s about ten times easier and ten times faster with a press! If you ever have the opportunity to use one, or better yet buy one, I think you, too, will quickly come to that same conclusion!)
PS…I whipped up this cute little onesie so you could see some of the tips below in action. The adorable little pirate octopus can be found in the Silhouette store here!
Nikki, In Stitches
1. Picture In Picture!
(I use this trick all the time…not just for HTV designs!) Before I set to work on a file, editing it, filling it, layering it, etc., I take a screen shot of the finished design, crop it if necessary, and open it right up INSIDE THE FILE in my Silhouette Studio software. I save the file right then and there, and now every time I open it, I not only have all the design pieces, but I have a picture handy to use for placement, color, etc.
2. Light It Up!
The number one complaint I here about HTV is that the cut lines are so hard to see, which means weeding can be difficult. And if you’re anything like me…blind as a bat…it’s even more frustrating! Lucky for us there is an easy fix! Place your cut HTV on a light box and then weed it! Your cut lines will be so much easier to see! Don’t have a light box? No worries! Grab a flashlight and a Pyrex pan from your kitchen and you’ve got yourself a homemade light box that will work just as well!
3. Stick To The Edges!
The number two complaint I hear? “UGH! This HTV has so much static…it’s stuck to my fingertips, my hands, my arms. It’s everywhere!” Again, this is an easy fix! The first thing to weed away is the very outside of your design. This will leave a border of the plastic backing (which is very sticky!) behind. As you weed the rest of your design, press those annoying pieces of HTV that are sticking to you right to it! When you’re finished weeding, trim off some of the border, cutting away all those sticky bits with it!
One of my biggest pet peeves with applying vinyls would definitely have to be when the excess sticks to me. It can be so annoying, so I’m glad to see there’s such a quick and easy fix for it. Thanks for sharing the tips!
My pleasure, Rachel!!
great!! nice tutorial thanks for the tips. this is really helpful.
Ellie Davis says
Thank you for suggesting using a light box for your images. My sister is wanting to make some shirts. I’ll have to help her find the best heat transfer vinyl for her project.
Sariah Meagle says
Before I buy some heat transfer metal vinyl sheets for my new t-shirt design, I’ll make sure to put the design in picture so that I have a guide. I might also use a lightbox to trace the design so that tracing and cutting will be easy. It’s a good idea to stick to the edges of the design as well so that I can cut the edges seamlessly.