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Layering heat transfer vinyl for beginners

Cheetah Shamrock SVG

Layering vinyl can be tricky so today I want to share with you some tips on making multi-layered designs when using heat transfer vinyl. You should already have your vinyl cut, prepped and your tee pre-pressed so I am going to skip straight to troubleshooting layering vinyl using our Cheetah Print Shamrock digital design.

Pressing the back layer.

Vinyl shrinks when it’s pressed which makes it tricky when layering. My first tip is to NOT OVERPRESS. I press at 325 degrees for 2-4 seconds max. You may have to test your press temp/pressure, vinyl brand and shirt choice to know how few seconds you can get away with on your first press. If you begin to remove the transfer paper and the design tries to come with it, then you need to press another second or two.

Lining up the second layer.

Smooth your tee back out after removing the transfer sheet from the first layer. This helps stretch your design a tad and put it back into place. When adding the second color, choose some reference points within the design to know where the second layer goes. I used the point at the top of the clover where the caramel vinyl had a little v in it and the stem where the caramel needed to line up on the edge.

When the second layer doesn’t line up.

When adding a large or full design second layer it probably will not line up on all sides. But don’t stress, that’s when you cut it up! For the shamrock I cut it into 3 pieces. Other designs may not allow for cutting the design up, so be careful on that first press not to shrink the back layer too much!

Putting it back together.

When working with a design like this with the cheetah print it’s easier to put it all back together if you keep the pieces where they go as you cut. That way there is no guessing what is up and what is down when all you are looking at is random dots of vinyl.

Give it one final press.

Now that you have it all lined up press it for 5-10 seconds then remove the transfer sheet from that second layer and press again. I always give a good final press of 10-12 seconds to remove any marks left by the transfer sheets and to make sure the vinyl adhesive is fully activated.

I hope you find these tips helpful when pressing layers of heat transfer vinyl. To purchase our Cheetah Print Shamrock click HERE or join our mailing list to get it for free so you can practice your layering skills!


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