Transfer Tape: what are the first words or thoughts that come to your mind when you hear this? For a lot of us, it’s not been a great experience. I totally get it. I’ve been there! When I first started using Transfer Tape, I actually didn’t like it…for a lot of different reasons. Most of the time, my vinyl was tearing, ripping and getting ruined. Or I wouldn’t be able to actually get the vinyl off of the transfer tape and onto my surface. And then I would throw the transfer tape out after every time I used it. Other times the transfer tape felt too sticky. Overall, I would say I just wasn’t understanding it. It was frustrating! Can you relate?
But there’s GOOD news, you guys! I’m going to share all my best tips for using Cricut’s Transfer Tape so that you can have a better experience. I’ve been using Transfer Tape for the past three years now and I’ve learned a lot along the way. And now, I don’t mind it at all – it’s a breeze to use! I’ll also share a little bit about the two different kinds of Transfer Tape that Cricut has to offer. Let’s dive in!
Cricut Transfer Tape versus Cricut Strong Grip Transfer Tape
If you didn’t know already, Cricut has two different kinds of transfer tape. Please, please take note of this before you buy transfer tape! If you buy the wrong one, you will RUIN your project. You have to look carefully at the labels to determine which is StrongGrip and which is regular transfer tape. Take a close look at the green label before you buy it.
Cricut Transfer Tape is the most commonly used transfer tape. You will use this transfer tape for your every day vinyl uses – Premium Vinyl, Permanent Vinyl, Foil Vinyl…anything NOT heavy duty (i.e. Glitter Shimmer Vinyl).
Cricut Strong Grip Transfer Tape is a super strong transfer tape that is used primarily for glitter shimmer vinyl. Since glitter shimmer is a thicker material it needs a strong transfer tape, which is why Cricut made a specific tape just for glitter shimmer.
Overall, I would always recommend having the regular transfer tape on hand because you’ll likely use it for 90% of your vinyl projects (unlike you’re a glitter shimmer fanatic!)
Transfer Tape Materials + Tools
You can buy everything you need for transfer tape right on our website!
- Cricut Transfer Tape
- Cricut StrongGrip Transfer Tape
- Cricut Weeder
- Cricut Scraper + Spatula
- Cricut XL Scraper
These are my favorite tools to use with Transfer Tape.
How do I use transfer tape?
So now that you know which transfer tape to use for your project, it’s super important to know how to take care of it. For a visual, check out this project to see how I am transferring vinyl to the window using transfer tape.
To start, after you weed your project, apply the transfer tape to the front of the vinyl. Make sure that your transfer tape is not kinked in any way or you might mess up your project. I like to lay the transfer tape down on my table, face up. Then I lay the vinyl on top of the transfer tape. I like to start at one end of the vinyl and apply it slowly, working its way down on the transfer tape. If you just kinda throw the transfer tape on the vinyl quickly, you may end up getting air bubbles or kinks in the transfer tape and it may affect your project.
Once you have the transfer tape on, use a scraper tool (here’s one, but my favorite is the XL Scraper) to burnish the vinyl completely on the transfer tape. Burnish is a fancy term that basically just means to rub the tape onto the vinyl. Once you feel the tape has completely stuck to the vinyl, peel back the paper backing from the vinyl. I like to do this at a 45 degree angle slowly, making sure that all of the vinyl is sticking the transfer tape.
Now we are ready to get our transfer tape/vinyl combination on our surface! Make sure that your surface is smooth and clean. If it’s a rough surface, you’re going to have a hard time getting your vinyl to stick. You can lightly place your vinyl/transfer tape on your surface to get everything lined up but make sure you do NOT push down – you don’t want to apply pressure until you are ready to commit to its placement.
Once you have it in the spot you want, use your scraper tool again to burnish the vinyl onto your surface. You’ll want to make sure that it’s completely adhered, so you can press down hard. Burnish over the entire vinyl surface.
Once it’s completely applied, we will start to remove the transfer tape. When we do this, the vinyl should have completely adhered onto your surface. Start peeling from one corner (I like to start in the top left-hand side) and pull at a 45-degree angle. I also like to peel slowly, and rock the transfer tape back and forth. If you start to notice that the vinyl has not completely adhered to the wood and is stuck to the transfer tape, just burnish the vinyl again.
Other Tips & Tricks
First, did you know that you can reuse your transfer tape? YES! You can. This will save you a lot of money. I roll mine up and store it in a basket. If your transfer tape gets lint or dust on it, it’s still okay to use. It might be annoying but the transfer tape will still work. It’s cheaper for you and better the environment. However, if your transfer tape ripped or has awkward bubbles in it, it may not be worth it to save.
Another tip is that if your transfer tape feels a little too sticky – you can gently press it on a couch cushion or sweater. Yes, you’ll get some fuzzies on it but it’ll take some of the stick away and might help you on your first transfer. The more you use the transfer tape, the less sticky it will get…so you’ll probably only need to use this tip when you first use the tape.
I hope this was helpful for you! Do you have any transfer tape tips you want to share? Leave a comment below!