Since I got my Silhouette Portrait, I’ve had a blast trying out different types of crafts & materials. I’ve been wanting to try using Heat Transfer vinyl.
My husband and I don’t have kids, but we do have two fur kids. When we travel, they go to a wonderful doggie day care. I’ve been using a reuseable grocery bag to transport all their things in, but the other day, I thought – how cute would it be if I made a personalized tote bag for their food, toys, medicine etc.
I ordered a couple of canvas tote bags and a pack of glitter heat transfer vinyl off Amazon. (If you’re interested links Heat Transfer Vinyl and tote bags). I would recommend washing & drying the tote bags before working with them.
Next, I started working on the design. I began with a simple paw print. You can easily grab a clip art paw and trace in Silhouette Studio.
I wanted to curve each dogs name around the paw. To do this, I first drew an ellipsis and then cut it in half so there was a curve shape around the bottom of the paw.
Next, I chose my font for the dogs names. I bought this font – Lemon & Honey – from the Silhouette Design Studio a while ago. I just love it and use it A LOT. To curve the text, type what you want and then double click until you see a lime green outline around the text box. Grab and move the box so it is over the curve that was created. The text will “adhere” to the curve and you’ll notice the curve will now be grey instead of red. You can move the text so it sits below or above the curve. You can also adjust where on the curve the text sits and the curve itself.
Once I got to the point where I liked how the text looked with the paw, I highlighted the text and welded the letters together. I also grouped the paw and text, so I could adjust the size more easily.
Before you’re ready to cut, do NOT forget to mirror the entire image!
I used the default settings in Silhouette Studio for Glitter Heat Transfer material. I found that this setting cut very well with no issues. Also, make sure that you place the vinyl with the plastic backing DOWN on the sticky mat when cutting.
After cutting, I removed the excess vinyl and weeded as usual.
Onto the actual heat transfer. For this material, most sites recommend high heat (hottest setting) and 10-15 seconds of firm pressure.
We don’t have an ironing board, but I find a bath towel can convert any firm surface into a great ironing surface. I borrowed an old cotton undershirt from my husband to place on top of the material while ironing.
I don’t have a very nice iron, so I found that I had to work the design in sections and it only covered a portion of the design at a time. My process was – iron a section for 15 seconds – check that the plastic backing peels away easily – and repeat until the plastic backing comes away cleanly from the entire design.
I created a second design for the other pup. Cut, weeded and ironed-on for my finished tote.
Here is the final product:
Now the fur babies have a custom tote bag for their trips to day care! The verdict on heat transfer vinyl: I found it relatively easy to work with and the result is soo cute! Maybe the weeding was a little more difficult because it was a thicker material (probably because it was glitter), but overall once you are comfortable working with vinyl I don’t think you’ll see a big difference with heat transfer vinyl. There are many good guides, like this one that give good guidance for how much heat and how long it should be applied for the different types of HTV material.