Craft Like A Pro: Building Your Craft Room for Heat Transfer Vinyl Projects

Craft Like A Pro Series: Building Your Craft Room for Heat Transfer Vinyl Projects

December 29, 2016 5:13 pm Published by

Hello hello crafters, and welcome to SVG Salon’s Craft Like A Pro series!

Here, we will discuss the various techniques you’ll need to learn in order to create professional-quality products including shirts, onesies, mugs, framed vinyl art, and more.  We’ll also discuss setting up an Etsy shop, selling on Facebook, craft fairs, branding and marketing techniques, and how to grow your crafting dream into a real business.

Today, we will discuss Building Your Craft Room for Heat Transfer Vinyl Projects.  I’ll share below the items that I personally use to create items for both sale and personal use.  In later posts in this series, I’ll delve into each product more deeply, explaining when and how to use them.  Also stay tuned for future posts discussing Indoor/Outdoor Vinyl Projects, and Paper Crafting.

Each crafter will have their own favorite type of project, and I am among the many who most enjoy creating items using Heat Transfer Vinyl (otherwise called HTV).  There are may reasons why I prefer working with HTV, but essentially, it’s because it’s the easiest.  Easiest to cut, easiest to weed, and easiest to transfer.  And boy, do I love easy.  Don’t get me wrong, it does take a lot of patience, skill (that you all have the capacity to acquire), and a good eye.  But overall, I find it much easier to work with than “sticky” vinyl (indoor and outdoor vinyl).

There are many possibilities for projects with HTV, but the stand-out categories (particularly for those of us who have small businesses and sell our products) are baby onesies, children’s shirts, adult shirts, and mugs.

Below, I have compiled a list of “must-haves” for crafters who are setting up shop and looking to sell their products.  Please take the term “must-have” with a grain of salt – some of these items are on the pricier side, and may not be practical for you right off the bat.  Take your time to build your craft room, and do what is right for you.

Each image below is linked to a website where you can purchase the product.  Just click on the image to open it.  Please note that some of these links are to my affiliated sites.  I stand behind every product I recommend, and use each of the products recommended below personally (and often!).

Heat Transfer Vinyl: Siser EasyWeed

My go-to vinyl is and always will be Siser EasyWeed.  It lives up to its name and weeds like a DREAM.  It cuts flawlessly – if there are issues, I know it’s either with my blade or my mat.  And it transfers impeccably every single time.  I can’t say enough good things about this vinyl, especially after trying to save money and try out other brands that were a little cheaper (though this is still a great price).  I ended up tossing the cheaper vinyl, and going straight back to good ol’ Siser.

Siser also makes Stretch vinyl, perfect for athletic wear, and Glitter vinyl, perfect for damn near everything.

Dental Pick

Yes, I realize how silly this looks in a crafting blog, but TRUST ME.  This tool will make you squeal with joy when you compare it to all of the other weeding tools on the market.  Want to weed vinyl with ease?  Befriend a dental tech or pick this baby up on Amazon for under four bucks.

Heat Press

This is the F2C 5 in 1 Digital Transfer Sublimation Heat Press, and it is a fantastic deal, in my opinion.  With it, you will be able to press clothing, mugs, plates, and hats, with professional results.  If you are considering selling your items, I strongly urge you to use a heat press rather than an iron to transfer your vinyl.  Using a heat press is the only way to be certain that the vinyl has fully adhered.

This press is a hot commodity, so if you find that it’s sold out when you check it out, also look at the OrangeA 12×15 5 in 1 Heat Press.  They are virtually identical, and the OrangeA even has various options if you’d like additional accessories.

Important Note: This machine is not manufactured in North America, and as such, the instructions are not as useful as I personally would have liked.  That said, it didn’t take long to master the machine, and I’m very pleased with the results, particularly with the amazing things the mug press can do with HTV!

Teflon Sheet

If you are using your heat press with clothing, you will need a teflon sheet.  This sheet is placed between the top plate of your heat press and the item you are pressing, in order to prevent the vinyl from melting to your press when you are working with layers.  Essentially, after you have put down the first layer, the vinyl is then exposed.  If you were to press the next layer with some of the first vinyl exposed, it would melt off of your material and right onto your press.  Sadness would ensue.  Trust me, I’ve been there.  Rookie mistake.

Tee Square It! Transfer Alignment Tool 

I was on Facebook the other day and saw a post from a woman who was asking how everyone gets their transfers to be perfectly centered on clothing.  She said her general technique was a quick prayer, but she’d found that sometimes the good Lord had better things to do than make sure her baby onesies were perfect.  Fair enough.

If the quick prayer method isn’t giving you the results you’re looking for, I recommend the Tee Square It! Transfer Alignment Tool.  It quickly and easily measures the center of the material you’re working with, and is excellent when you are creating a large order and want all of the designs to be on exactly the same place, from shirt to shirt.

Raglan Shirts

Raglan 3/4 Sleeve Tee Shirts from Wordans.com

3/4 length baseball shirts are hugely popular right now.  Wordans is a great place to find them at wholesale prices.

Blank Tees

Bella Canvas Tee Shirts from JiffyShirts.com

Find excellent wholesale pricing and good quality blanks at Jiffy Shirts.  I recommend Bella+Canvas for soft, good quality material.

Baby Onesies

Blank Baby Onesie

Go to Kids Blanks to find a huge selection of infant and toddler blanks.

Ceramic Mugs

When I first purchased my heat transfer machine, my main use for it was to create personalized mugs for my family for Christmas.  Up until that point, I had always thought that the best way to decal a mug was with outdoor vinyl, using a wish and a prayer to hope that it would hold up to even gentle hand washing.  But wouldn’t you know – you can use HTV with mugs!  I’ll be giving a full tutorial on this in coming posts, so do stay tuned.

A very important note for those of you building your craft rooms – the mug press attachment that comes with the heat press I recommended above ONLY works for 11 oz mugs.  There are numerous other attachments available, should you wish to do latte-style mugs, to-go tumblers, etc.  Just be aware of this and make sure you purchase the correct mug for the attachment(s) you have.

 

Congratulations!  You’re now ready to set up shop and start selling products created with heat transfer vinyl.  If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!  Happy Crafting!

 

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This post was written by Jennifer Milliron