Using Heat Transfer Vinyl (Iron-On) On a Wood Surface
I love using Heat Transfer Vinyl to make fun custom bags, pillows, and shirts. There are so many surfaces that could be improved with a fun little Iron-on graphic. Recently I learned a neat little secret! Did you know you can use heat transfer vinyl on a wood surface? How cool is that?! I’ve put vinyl on wood signs many many times. The hardest part for me is always the transfer. Transfer tape can be a finicky thing. When you cut iron-on vinyl with a cutting machine it leaves the film intact, making for instant transfer tape without the hardest steps. I put it to the test and now I’m totally hooked. Plus, the iron-on vinyl feels more permanently stuck to the wood, where regular vinyl sometimes peels. I am not sure I will ever use regular vinyl to make a wood sign again! It’s so much easier this way!
*Some of the supplies for this post were provided by my friends at Walnut Hollow and Cricut. All ideas and opinions are my own. Affiliate links have been used. Purchasing from these links won’t cost you more, but I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase which helps to keep the Craft Shack adventures going. Thank you for your support! You can read my full disclosure statement here.*
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Wood Sign with Heat Transfer Vinyl:
- Wood Piece (I used a Walnut Hollow Basswood Country Round)
- Heat Transfer Vinyl (I used Cricut Foil Iron-On and Glitter Iron-on Vinyl)
- Cutting Machine (I used my Cricut Maker)
- Iron or Heat Press (I used my Cricut Easy Press)
- Towel or Heat resistant surface
- Iron-On Protective Sheet
Cut your design on the heat transfer vinyl. I used my Cricut Maker to cut the design. I designed my image in the Cricut Design Space. It’s so easy to use! You can use my design by clicking this link HERE. After measuring the size of my Basswood round, I adjusted the size of my design to fit the wood.
Make sure to select the Mirror option to flip your design when you cut it so that it will appear the right way when you lay it on your wood sign.
Lay your iron-on vinyl shiny side down on the mat and cut.
Peel off the excess vinyl from around your design leaving behind the cut design on the transfer film.
Place your transfer design on the wood surface and iron into place. Because I cut it out mirrored it’s right side up on the wood now.
I used my Easy Press to attach the heat transfer vinyl to the wood. To find the appropriate setting you can use this handy guide that lists all the times and temperatures to press onto many surfaces. When applying any HTV to a wood surface you will use a temperature of 300°F and hold for 40 seconds. I used the Iron-On Protective Sheet with each additional layer after the first just to make sure that my previous vinyl didn’t melt and stick to my Easy Press.
Peel off the film and add any other layers you want to add. I used the foil vinyl first because I thought it might be difficult to get the foil to stick to the bumpy glitter iron-on. Keep in mind when using different types of HTV that there are different ways to peel off the film. I used Foil Iron-on for my bottom layer. Foil requires a cool peel.
After you’ve ironed the design onto the wood, let it cool completely before you peel off the transfer film. I applied the glitter iron-on layer second. Glitter requires a hot peel. After ironing the design onto the wood, peel the film off immediately while the design is still hot. Because I used two different kinds of iron-on, there was just a slight amount of bubbling in my foil bottom layer. It still looks ok I think!
It might seem like a funny sentiment for me to put on a wood sign if you know that I hate winter. I’ve always joked that “Snow” is the worst of the four-letter words! Even though I hate to be cold, and I think snow is yucky, wet, cold and miserable, I can still appreciate the pure beauty it also brings. Snowflakes are as beautiful as they are miserable to me. I know that’s super weird! I can’t control the weather outside, but it’s an old tradition in our little family to create our own beautiful indoor blizzard every year. Each year we have a little Snowflake party and we cut dozens of our own snowflakes and turn the kitchen into a beautiful blizzard of our own making. The best kind of blizzard! A warm one! I’m sharing some of the fun Snowflake decorations I’ve put together on Wednesday for our snowflake party this year. Pop on over in a couple days to check it out!
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