Using transfer tape with vinyl decals

March 19, 2011 at 5:00 am | Posted in crafts, Cricut | 7 Comments
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Transfer tape is a wonderful invention!  It can be used to move vinyl decals, stickers, or paper piecing – the tape keeps your design perfectly lined up, and allows you to see exactly where it will be placed.  Personalized Christmas ornaments look so much nicer with the letters lined up neatly.  And transfer tape is relatively inexpensive – I paid $14 for a 300ft roll of 6″ tall clear industrial grade transfer tape.  (Clear contact paper is an acceptable substitute that is more expensive per square inch, but easier to find and available in smaller amounts.)  {UPDATE: This is a great way to transfer vinyl.  Vinyl will just wash off of a coffee mug though, so don’t transfer your vinyl to a coffee mug 🙂  }

To start with, you will need a vinyl decal.  I designed and cut my image using computer software and my cricut machine.  You will need to peel away the extra vinyl so that only your design remains.  (If you would like to purchase a custom vinyl decal visit my etsy shop or contact me.)

If you are using stickers, you can line them up on a piece of waxed paper or parchment – I prefer parchment since nothing sticks to it.    I accidentally transferred my penciled guidelines a few times, so if you need a guide line draw or print it on a separate piece of paper and place it beneath the waxed paper.

Cut a piece of transfer tape a little larger than the image – you don’t want a lot of excess tape around the edge of your design.  Rub the tape down onto the vinyl using your finger, or something flat and smooth like the lid of a glue stick.

Make sure that the object you are transferring onto is ready.  Lift the transfer tape starting in one corner, leaving the backing behind and just lifting the image.  If you notice a portion getting left behind, rub the tape back onto that area and bend the backing paper as you lift that section.

Center your design on the object you are decorating.  Since the transfer tape is see through, it is easy to line things up.

Place the decal on the object, starting at one side and gently smoothing it down to the other side.  Rub the decal onto the object.

Slowly pull the transfer tape off of the object, making sure that the vinyl is left behind.

And you are done!  Sit back and admire your perfectly spaced and centered lettering.



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  1. Great post! This may be a silly question but can I use this tape to move wall decals from one house to another? (they’re already on the wall and are the kind that came stuck to this type of tape). Could I use the tape to “pick it up” off the wall, then put it on the original backing for the move and reapply in the new house?

    • You probably can, it depends on the type of vinyl, how intricate the design is, and how well it is stuck to your walls. Some really detailed designs will stretch out of shape if you don’t lift it exclusively with transfer tape, some vinyl will tear as you remove it, and some vinyl won’t stick to a new surface. Hope it works out for you 🙂

  2. Thanks for the demo. I was wondering where you purchased your transfer tape? Im using one that is not as clear as the one you use above-

    My email –


    • I bought my transfer tape at Fellers – they have a local distribution center so I didn’t have to pay shipping. Other professional wrap and sign supply stores should have it too.

  3. wont the vinyl letters wash off the cup

  4. How long can you keep vinyl on the transfer tape, was wanting to create something then send it to a family member…. any advice for how i can send it to them and keep it ready to apply so they don’t have to do the intricate work?

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