As a novice crafter, you’ve probably heard about transfer tapes here and there. They’re used in a wide range of crafts, including those involving vinyl designs. But what are they exactly? How are they used? Can you use regular transfer tape for vinyl or do you need something specialized?

All of these questions are completely valid if you’ve never worked with vinyl prints and designs before.

In this article, we’ll answer them all to help you get your project started without too much trouble, so don’t stop reading just yet!

What is transfer tape?


You may have heard of it before, but what is transfer tape exactly? Well, as the name suggests, it’s a type of tape that’s used to place and position different types of decals. It’s adhesive on one side, and it’s extremely easy to apply. It also comes in a wide range of sizes and dimensions – you can get it in rolls or sheets.

As a crafter that works with vinyl, this is an item you absolutely must have. It’s not just that you can use regular transfer tape for vinyl, it’s what we recommend doing.

Of course, depending on your needs, there are other alternatives you may want to consider. Make sure you do your research to ensure your project is done properly.

How do you use transfer tape with vinyl?

The process of using transfer tape for vinyl-based crafts is quite straightforward, although it can seem a bit complicated for novice crafters. To be fair, the easiest way to learn how to do it is by watching a visual guide, but we’ll nonetheless explain the process here.

First, you’ll have to cut your design carefully. Your machine’s blade shouldn’t cut through the backing to get a clean cut that’s the easiest to work with later on.

After you’ve made a cut of your design, it’s time to apply a section of transfer tape to it. It should be roughly the same shape and size as your cutout. Be very careful during this step, you don’t want to end up with sticky tape all over your hands!

The last thing you’ll need to do is to peel the tape up, which will get your design off the backing. At this point, your decal is now ready to be transferred to your desired surface.

Again, we suggest you watch a video guide to understand the hand motions used to smooth out and peel up the tape a bit better. Once you see it, you’ll be able to replicate it in no time whatsoever!

Paper backing vs clear plastic: how to choose?


As we’ve mentioned before, transfer tape comes in various sizes, types, and grip levels. The most important distinction is between paper backing and clear plastic tape. As the name suggests, paper backing means that the top layer is made out of paper as opposed to plastic film found in other type.

For beginners, clear plastic might be the better option, and there are a couple of reasons why. With paper backing, you won’t be able to see through it, which can make certain applications a bit difficult. Besides, clear plastic tapes are usually more flexible and easier to work with.

Of course, we don’t have anything against paper backing if that’s what you prefer and have access to at the moment. It can be trickier, but if the tape is of high quality, we’re certain it will all work fine.

Where to buy quality transfer tape?

You can get quality tape in your local supply stores (mainly where you get your vinyl) or online – just make sure you choose your supplier wisely. Poor-quality tape can ruin your entire project, so do your research when choosing the brand you’ll use for your vinyl crafts. Get advice from experienced crafters or look for more information online if you’re not sure how to choose.

Some websites will let you filter out your search according to your machine, product size, and color family. If you are looking for additional information about transfer tape for vinyl we would recommend checking

Transfer tape can be reused


Many novice crafters make the mistake of disposing of their tape as soon as they use it. Once you get serious about your projects, this would become such a big waste of money and resources! A piece of quality tape can be used up to four times before it’s time to discard it. Don’t believe us? Well, try it out!

You’ll be able to save money and time by simply reusing your tape for a couple of projects instead of throwing it away after every use. Every experienced crafter will tell you to do this as soon as you start working with vinyl!

What about a strong grip?

Apart from the regular transfer tape, you can also use the Strong Grip one for certain types of projects. In most cases, as we’ve mentioned before, the standard version is the way to go. However, if your design involves something like glitter and other „heavier“ vinyl decals, then you’re better off using the strong grip alternative.

Either way, for beginner crafters, the regular tape is the simplest solution, provided you don’t immediately jump off to layered designs and materials, as they tend to be a bit complex.

We advise you to do your research according to your design, machine, and other factors that may be affected by your choice of transfer for the best possible results.

The bottom line

In conclusion, you can use regular transfer tape for the majority of your vinyl decal needs. It comes in various shapes and sizes, can be reused, and it’s fairly simple to apply.

Of course, as we’ve mentioned a couple of times throughout this article, quality should be your primary concern. So, do your research and try out different things until you find a technique (and type of tape) that works for you the best.

We’re certain you’ll quickly get the gist of it either way!