Adhesive Vinyl 101- Complete Guide to Using Vinyl

Adhesive Vinyl is so fun to use! I love making crafts with it because it is fast and easy, but looks so nice. It’s a quick way to make a custom gift or make something special that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Here you’ll learn the supplies you need, how to buy the right vinyl for your project, tips for getting a good cut/weed, and how to apply adhesive vinyl.

Please be aware that there are affiliate links in my post. That means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will make a small commission.

Supplies for using Adhesive Vinyl

Buy the right Vinyl for your Project

Adhesive vinyl comes in so many options. It can be so overwhelming when you start out.

The main differences are if the adhesive is permanent (651) or removable(631). When you buy, check the description and it should tell you which kind of adhesive it has. It will also tell you if the vinyl is matte or glossy.

Removable vinyl (sometimes marked 631) has an adhesive that works great for walls. It is great for indoor applications and on items that won’t be handled. If it is marked 631, the vinyl will be matte unless marked otherwise.

Permanent vinyl is best for use outside and on objects that will be handled often. Some application ideas would be cars, windows, mirrors, mugs, water bottles, and labeling bins. If the vinyl is labeled 651, it will be glossy unless it is marked otherwise.

How to Cut Adhesive Vinyl

When you are picking a cut file, thicker lines are generally easier to cut and weed. When you’re making your first cut, I would choose something with thicker lines.

After it is sized to the area you want, you’ll send it to cut. Silhouette and Cricut both have a setting for vinyl. I always do a test cut to make sure that the vinyl I am using cuts well with those settings.

If you are cutting a small design or one with thin lines, you’ll need to change the settings to slow down.

Sometimes it is necessary to move the blade up a little. You want the cut to be all the way through the vinyl, but not leave a cut mark on the backing paper.

After your design is cut, you’ll take the vinyl off the mat, trim down the vinyl. and take off the part of the vinyl that you don’t need. If you are making a vinyl decal, you’ll weed out the outside and the inside of the letters. If you are making a stencil, you’ll weed out the design.

Applying Adhesive Vinyl

When the design has been weeded, you’ll take a piece of transfer tape and put it over the design. Take your scraper or brayer and push down to get the transfer tape to stick to the design. Now, peel up the transfer tape with the design attached.

If the transfer tape isn’t picking up the design, you can use a scraper to push down on the top of the transfer tape or on the bottom of the backing paper to get it to stick to the transfer tape. Pressure is the most important part of getting the transfer tape to stick.

After the backing paper is off, you can stick it to the item you want your vinyl on. Then use your scraper to push the decal down. Then you’re ready to take off the transfer tape. If your design doesn’t stick to your project. use your scraper to apply more pressure and go slow.

That’s all there is to it! If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them! Come hang out with me on Instagram or TikTok.

1 thought on “Adhesive Vinyl 101- Complete Guide to Using Vinyl”

Leave a Reply