How to Use Vinyl Like a Pro- A Step by Step Guide

I'm a crafty gal, but sometimes I need to give myself a little refresher course on the basics. This happened to me just recently when I was trying to use vinyl {regular vinyl, not my go to heat transfer vinyl} on a project. Things weren't working the way I thought they should and it's because I was doing it all wrong! I spent some time reading the manual and going on the suppliers page and I finally figured out what mistakes I was making. 

I actually personally reference my blog quite a bit. So even if they rest of you don't read this post, I know that I will go back to it next time I need to use vinyl. So here you go, how to use vinyl like a pro, a step by step guide just for you {or maybe, just for me}.
silhouette cameo, expressions vinyl

I picked up some plain wood blocks at a garage sale for next to nothing. They were already cut, they just needed to be painted and I knew that they would look great with some vinyl. My go to medium when I use my Silhouette is almost always heat transfer vinyl. I'm a sorority girl, what can I say, I like a t-shirt for everything!

This is how they turned out, but this isn't how they started. And it took me a few attempts to remember just how to use regular vinyl, which is why we are all where we are now, following this step by step guide. 

Are you ready? I know you want to learn how to use adhesive vinyl like a pro!


silhouette cameo

How to Use Adhesive Vinyl Like a Pro

Step 1: start with your work surface

paint or prepare if needed

Step 2: design and cut out the vinyl

using your Silhouette software, design and cut out your image. I simply used text. There is no need to reverse your image if you use adhesive vinyl {heat transfer vinyl is another story}. Peel off your cut area. 

Step 3: you will now have a negative space and positive space area

Sometimes you can be creative and use your positive space area as a stencil.

Step 4: use transfer paper

Use a piece of transfer paper just a little bit bigger than your image and place it on top. You can use a spatula to rub down the transfer paper to make sure the vinyl sticks.

Step 5: peel off the transfer paper

You should have transferred your image on to the transfer paper and it's ready to go on your prepped work surface

Step 6: center and line up your transfer

Line up the transfer paper and the image where you want it and use a spatula to transfer the vinyl on to the final surface. Slowly peel back the transfer paper and your adhesive vinyl should be stuck on your work area.


silhouette cameo full tutorial


I just love how these small signs turned out. They were so easy once I figured out how to use my adhesive vinyl properly. You can't go wrong if you follow this step by step guide.

silhouette cameo, tutorial how to use vinyl

I've also made these other projects with adhesive vinyl.

expressions vinyl, silhouette cameo

You & Me gold foiled sign
Restoration Hardware Knock Off Sign
I Like You Sign
Travel Wet Bags
Vinyl Bible Song Sign
Driftwood Beach Sign
Let me know if you have any helpful tips to add. I would love to have them included to reference.
I've partnered together with some other fantastic bloggers as part of the June Silhouette Creators challenge. Go check out all of the great projects from them this month!
1. Crochet Hook Box - Dwell Beautiful
2. How to Repurpose a Table into Wall Art - DIY Passion
3. Silhouette Etching Vinyl and a DIY Farmhouse Breadbox - Creatively Southern
4.Silhouette Challenge Wood Slab Plaque - My Life From Home
5.Watercolor Patriotic Napkins & a Simple 4th of July Tablescape - Pocketful of Posies
6. How to Use Vinyl Like A Pro Step by Step - Holy Craft
7. DIY Team Banner - Morena's Corner
8. DIY Wooden Slice Dishwasher Clean-Dirty Magnet - Simply {Darr}ling
9. Custom Wall Plates Using Your Silhouette Machine
dislaimer: this post may have affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing through them, I may receive a small commission. These small purchases help me to continue to keep writing content and creating at Holy Craft. Thank you!

2 comments

Giselle said...

Thanks for the step by step! I love all your project!

Amy Dowling said...

Thank you for the tutorial! I'll have to bookmark this to return to again!

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