Applying HTV to a Vinyl Tote

I actually made something just for me today! I created a cute laptop bag by applying HTV to a reversible vinyl tote that I picked up at our local Walmart.

Apply HTV to Reversible Tote

I’d seen these online but was a bit nervous about using my heat press on a vinyl bag. However, by starting with a low temperature and “inching” my way up until I got the results I wanted, I was able to successfully adhere the vinyl without melting the bag. I made a couple of mistakes through the process, but nothing disastrous.


  1. Vinyl tote. I found mine at Walmart, but have seen there various places.
  2. ThermoFlex Plus
  3. GlitterFlex Ultra
  4. Red or Blue Capped Blade
  5. Parchment Paper
  6. Make The Cut!
  7. Heat Press

Settings for KNK Zing:

  1. Speed – 10
  2. Force – 18 for ThermoFlex, 50 for GlitterFlex
  3. Mulitcut – 1 for ThermoFlex, 1 or 2 for GlitterFlex


  1. Open design in, or import into Make The Cut!
  2. Don’t forget to MIRROR your design before cutting.
  3. Cut and weed vinyl.
  4. Place parchment paper inside your bag so that it doesn’t stick together when you press it. If you forget (like I did) you can carefully pull it back apart while it is still warm.
  5. Carefully place the bag on your heat press. You might need to use a pressing pillow, folded cloth, or other item to build up under the area you want to press. (I did not do this on the first press and was not able to get a good even press.) I used a block of wood for this. The thickness of the wood kept the heat press from snapping shut, which simply meant I had to hold the press down and manually apply the pressure.I added a piece of wood under the heat press pad.
  6. Make sure you use a Teflon or other protective sheet between your heat press platen and your HTV.
  7. I wasn’t sure what temperature to use so started at 200 degrees for 17 seconds. Close up of textureThis was not nearly hot enough, so I increased the temperature gradually until I got good results at 300 degrees for about 15 seconds. I would suggest trying first at a lower temperature since your heat press may differ some from mine. Make sure that you see the texture of your bag through the vinyl before you peel off the clear transfer sheet.
  8. If you are adding another color or glitter HTV, repeat the process for the next layer. When you are done and the transfer sheet is removed, press one more time with the Teflon sheet in place.

There are a couple of places on my bag that got pressed a little too much and it flattened the texture of the bag. This is from pressing unevenly, across the handles. After I used the block of wood to raise the portion I was pressing, I no longer had this problem. Since I made it for myself, I won’t worry about these imperfections since they really aren’t noticeable.

Love my HTV vinyl bag.




I had a couple of requests for camping related items. It is usually pretty easy to find an image on line that can be traced, I usually look for black and white silhouettes.

team knk camping 2 team knk camping


Heat transfer vinyl

Outdoor vinyl


15″ KNK Maxx

Red capped blade

Force 40

Speed 350

The shirt started out just being a simple font design(remember to mirror your design) but once I pressed it I noticed I had a tiny stray vinyl outline where I missed vinyl when I weeded, thus the arrows were added to cover up my mistake.

The mugs was simply cutting the design and applying. I made sure I told the new owner to hand wash only and she informed me that when you camp everything is hand washed!

Here is the file for both. Team KNK camping

Birthday shirts

As I am preparing this post I have come to realize that my Maxx and I may have an unhealthy relationship. I chose to use my Maxx to cut the Heat Transfer Vinyl instead of using my Force. I was trying to rationalize why and thought that it is like having a husband and then seeing a new guy that is newer and stronger and deciding that he was better and then FORCEing him to stand by while you played with the new guy. Like my husband, Maxx and I have been together a long time. As long as Maxx is alive he will be my go to guy. But I need to learn how to use the Force so when that sad day comes I am prepared. I know, therapy is probably in order…but then, Maxx is my therapist. :~)

On to the shirts. These started out when I was able to buy Crayola Fabric markers on clearance for $1. I told my daughter that I would like to make shirts for my granddaughters birthday party and have an outline so the girls could then color the shirts. This is what she asked me to design. The girls will color in the heart and the {you}. Once it is colored it will then be heat set and ready to wear. Here is the file for the shirt. It should have KNK,MTC and SVG ready for the Force. Be you tiful shirt

IMG_4751 Materials


heat transfer vinyl

t shirt from Wal-Mart

heat press



red capped blade

70 force

400 speed

heat press 320 degrees for 20 seconds

Use HTV to Hide Stains

Life happens.

Photo showing stains.Sometimes I find a stain on clothing or other item and have no idea what it is, or where it came from. This happened to me recently when I found stains on two different unused items; one was a Onesie on which I had applied HTV but it had not been worn, and the other was an unused flour sack towel.

After unsuccessfully attempting to remove the stains, I was going to discard the items… which seemed like such a waste. It then occurred to me that I might be able to use HTV to hide stains.


  1. Stained garment/item
  2. ThermoFlex Plus
  3. Red Capped Blade
  4. Iron or Heat Press
  5. Pressing cloth or Teflon sheet

Settings for KNK Zing:

  1. Force – 15
  2. Speed – 10
  3. Multicut 1 or 2


  1. Decide on design that will cover stain adequately.
  2. Cut and weed design.
  3. Photo Showing HTV PlacementLay out design carefully to make sure it covers stain.
  4. Use heat press or iron per manufacturer’s instructions. (Don’t forget to use Teflon sheet or pressing cloth between clear transfer sheet and iron/heat press.)
  5. Remove transfer sheet. Repeat last step.
  6. Enjoy your renewed garment!

Finished Towel and OnesieAlthough the Onesie that I used for this process already had HTV on it, you could use this idea for any stained t-shirt or other garment. Get creative! Just check manufacturer information to see if the HTV can be used on the fabric content of your item.


How to Distress Heat Transfer Vinyl

Footstool with "5th" in Distressed VinylSince developing a love for heat transfer vinyl, I have wanted to try giving some HTV the distressed look that is so popular. I have a footstool that needed to be recovered, so I decided it would be the perfect project to practice this technique on. (The footstool resides in our little “home-away-from-home”… a place where I don’t mind if things don’t turn out just so.)

This footstool had a light-colored fabric that was impossible to keep clean. Also, I didn’t like how it looked with the rest of the furniture in the room. I took the top off, painted the legs gray, and then added glaze to give them an antiqued look.

The furniture in this room has been picked up from second-hand shops, garage sales, and Craigslist. This has resulted in colors that don’t match perfectly. When I looked for a fabric, I wanted something that would help pull things together. I opted for a grayish taupe which I felt was somewhere in the middle of the warm and cooler tones in the room.

  • Materials:

  1. Fabric
  2. ThermoFlex Plus
  3. Heat Press or Iron
  4. Teflon Sheet or Cloth
  5. Red Capped Blade
  6. MTC or other design software
  • Settings for Zing:

  1. Speed – 10
  2. Force – 15
  3. Multicut – 1
  • Steps:

  1. Use Make the Cut or your favorite design software to create font or shape.
  2. Use eraser to create “scratch” marks, “worn edges”, and other distressed areas.
  3. Change size of eraser stroke to get various distress results.
  4. Edit and/or reduce nodes where needed for ease of cutting.
  5. Cut, weed, and apply heat transfer vinyl to fabric. (Look here for specific instructions.)

Close Up of Distressed Vinyl

It’s important to edit your design, as stated above to reduce unwanted nodes. It may be difficult to weed if you don’t, because you can get some rather strange results from using the eraser tool. (I also used Path > Simplify in Inkscape to reduce the number of nodes. If your software has this function, you may want to use it as well.)


Distressed Heat Transfer Vinyl on FabricAfter I added the black HTV, I still wasn’t happy with the colors so decided to add a little gold to the mix. My solution for how to accomplish this was to create little “brass screws” out the vinyl. I figured it would add interest to my distressed black design. To me it looks kind of like wrought iron and gives it an industrial look. (The “5th” is for our 5th grandchild on the way.)