Cricut Guide: Transfer Tape Top Tips 

Why do I need transfer tape? 

When you’re using adhesive vinyl, you need something to physically transfer the cut-out decal from the backing paper onto whatever you want to decorate – whether that be a mug, a picture frame or even your wall. The transfer tape acts as a carrier and is removed once the design has been placed exactly where you want it to be. 

How to use Cricut transfer tape on vinyl 

The basic idea of using transfer tape is super simple, but let’s break it down into simple layers: 

  • The bottom is the backing paper which your vinyl comes attached to.  
  • The middle of the sandwich is the vinyl. The bottom of the vinyl is sticky and the top of the vinyl is what you will see on your finished project. 
  • The upper layer is the transfer tape. The bottom of the transfer tape is sticky (but not as sticky as the vinyl) and the top is smooth. 

And now, you’re ready to start!

Follow these simple steps for any Cricut vinyl project: 

  1. Prepare the image to cut in your Cricut software. 
  1. Place the vinyl on the cutting mat with the liner side down, aligned with the position shown in the software. Load the cutting mat into the Cricut machine. 
  1. Choose the appropriate vinyl in your software settings and ensure the correct blade is loaded in the machine. Press the Go button to begin cutting. 
  1. When the cut is complete, unload the mat. Weed the excess vinyl from the design with a  weeding tool.  
  1. Cut a piece of transfer tape a little larger than the design. Peel away the backing and apply the sticky side of the transfer tape down on top of the vinyl. 
  1. Burnish the design, using a scraping tool, roller or your fingers to secure the vinyl to the transfer tape. 
  1. Turn the design over and burnish from the reverse side. 
  1. Gently peel away the backing paper from the vinyl, leaving your design behind on the transfer tape. 
  1. Ensure the surface you will be applying the design to is clean and dry. 
  1. Use the transfer tape to apply the design to your desired surface. Burnish as before, rubbing from the middle of the design to the outside edge to remove any bubbles. 
  1. Slowly and carefully remove the transfer tape, leaving the vinyl design on the project. 
  1. Leave the project for at least 24 hours to cure. 

Are there any alternatives to Cricut transfer tape? 

There are other brands of transfer tape, designed to be used with vinyl. Your brand preference is likely to be very personal, depending on the sizes and the level of stickiness you prefer. Transfer tape should be transparent, and often has a grid printed on it which is extremely helpful for lining up your designs. 

Our top picks: 

If you can’t find proper transfer tape, you can also use: 

  • Contact paper, which may be listed as shelf liner, but this does not have grid lines 
  • A lint roller or household tape may work in a pinch, but it can be very sticky, so apply it to a clean flat surface several times to remove some of the adhesive 

Help! My transfer tape isn’t working! 

When crafters have problems with transfer tape, it generally falls into two camps – it’s either too sticky or it’s not sticky enough! 

If the tape feels like it’s not sticky enough, you might have trouble picking up the vinyl. When your vinyl isn’t picking up, try turning your work over and burnishing from the paper side as well as the transfer tape side. Then, instead of lifting the transfer tape away from the paper, lift the paper away from the transfer tape. 

If your transfer tape is too sticky, it sometimes won’t release the vinyl. If this is happening to you often, try tapping it onto any clean, flat surface to take some of the stickiness off before you begin. You can also try using a hairdryer. Once you have placed the design with the transfer tape, give it a quick blast on a low heat for about 10 seconds. Burnish with your hands or a tool until the piece is cool, and then try peeling away the transfer tape. 

How are you getting on with Cricut Transfer Tape?

We'd love to hear if you have any questions about using Cricut transfer Tape - we hope that this guide has helped, you can find our Pinterest Board full of top articles from Cricut experts who all have great ideas about getting a professional finish with Cricut Transfer Tape. Tag us on Instagram with your Cricut and Digi-crafting Projects @craftstashcouk

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