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.

Materials:

  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

Steps:

  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.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Applying HTV to a Vinyl Tote

  1. Thanks for all of the great instructions. A folded wash cloth or hand towel works well if you don’t have a pressing pillow but I have found the pressing pillow was worth the investment.

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