Copyright Silhouette School 2016. Powered by Blogger.

Applying Heat Transfer Vinyl on Glass: Silhouette Tutorial

Did you know it's possible to apply heat transfer vinyl to glass? Totally is! Today Becky and Glenna from My Paper Craze are back to explain exactly how to do this!
I'm constantly stocking up on glitter everything.  Between me, my daughter and my friends, there's always something that needs glittered up.  I love keeping it on hand, but when a project arises, it always seems like I have stocked up on everything EXCEPT what I need. So for this project, I typically would have chosen glitter permanent adhesive vinyl, but I already had the HTV (heat transfer vinyl) on hand and I knew the colors were perfect. The only question was, could I put it on glass?

Silhouette tutorial, HTV, heat transfer vinyl, glass

After doing some research and polling my local vinyl supplier, we determined that (kinda obvious) heat is what activates the glue on HTV for it to adhere to fabric. In theory, the same should apply when applying HTV to other surfaces. We have concluded that HTV can be applied to any material that can withstand the heat. In this case, glass is typically not a concern, it is not vulnerable to heat (or flammable!). Now I do want to issue this warning before we go any further.

Warning: Hot

Silhouette School and its contributors accept no responsibility for misuse or injuries caused by unsafe use. 

I don't mean it's a little hot. I don't mean it will be hot for a minute. Glass is an excellent conductor of heat (think of a glass baking dish). When applying heat to glass, it will get hot and stay hot. Typically, with a decent length fingernail, I don't have a lot of problems handling fairly hot (lightweight) items. This was not the case in the project, so crafter beware! You have been warned. HOT. HOT. HOT. So use an oven mitt when doing this!!

In my project, I decided to create beautiful masterpieces to hang for my daughter. I love shadow boxes and this project was no exception (and I snagged them at 50% off at my local craft store!). So for any frame or shadow box, you'll start by removing the glass from the surrounding wood/plastic frame (be careful of fingerprints, you'll have to clean them off later!).

Silhouette tutorial, HTV, heat transfer vinyl, glass

After you've isolated all your glass pieces, you can proceed to cut the HTV. You'll still need to mirror your image because it will still be flipped before applying. I used my Dritz Cutting Mat to help me center my HTV image. Apply like you would on fabric, leaving the clear backing in tact and pressing it with your fingers onto the glass.

Silhouette tutorial, HTV, heat transfer vinyl, glass

WARNING: once you heat the glass, do not set it back on your cutting mat, it will warp from the heat. Mine did eventually return to normal, but better safe than sorry!

Here's where it gets a little tricky.  I used my PowerPress Heat Press, the same as I would for t-shirts. However, I may consider using a household iron next time. The way my heat press is designed (clam-shell style), the top heating plate comes down at an angle, so keep that in mind as I explain the process below. You can preheat your heat press at the same settings as suggested by the manufacturer.

Start by laying a towel or other similar material on the bottom pad of the heat press. Since glass is breakable, I felt like the towel would provide a little cushion against the pressure of the press. Now, lay your glass (with HTV in place) on the towel.

Silhouette tutorial, HTV, heat transfer vinyl, glassSilhouette tutorial, HTV, heat transfer vinyl, glass

Once your heat press is fully preheated, use the handle to lower the top heating plate onto the glass. DO NOT FORCE THE HANDLE DOWN TO LOCK THE PRESS CLOSED. 

The thing to remember is that these won't be going through the wear-and-tear as a shirt. We need to apply just enough heat that it activates the glue on the reverse side of the HTV. If you apply too much pressure with the heat press, the glass will break, so keep it gentle. 

I gently pressed for 10-15 seconds. If you're using a clam-shell heat press, here comes the tricky part.

The heat press will activate the glue on the HTV that the top plate comes into contact with. †Since the heating plate is lowered at a slight angle, it may not cover the entire HTV design and you can't lock it down without breaking the glass. 

Instead of stressing about the issue, I instituted the turn method (it's very high-tech). After the first press (and using something to protect your fingers!), rotate the glass 90 degrees (either direction is fine). Press again for 10-15 seconds. Turn another 90 degrees. Press again for 10-15 seconds. I think you're getting the drift.
Silhouette tutorial, HTV, heat transfer vinyl, glass

After you've pressed each side, there won't be any reason to doubt that the HTV glue has been activated on all sides.  It is safe to remove the clear film from the front of the HTV (don't forget to protect your fingers, it's still very hot!).

Silhouette tutorial, HTV, heat transfer vinyl, glass

Allow the glass to fully cool before handling and reassembling your shadow box. Here is a sneak peek of the final product, feel free to jump over to the project post on My Paper Craze for the full run-down on assembling these gorgeous Mermaid Shadow Boxes for my daughter's decor.

Silhouette tutorial, HTV, heat transfer vinyl, glass, Silhouette Cameo

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!
Pin It!

 photo 2b820f06-c93b-4b24-929c-96287390140f_zpsf3cd3a23.jpguse twiter photo Twitter_48x48_zps4e06061c.pnguse twiter photo Twitter_48x48_zps4e06061c.pngUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.png photo 2b820f06-c93b-4b24-929c-96287390140f_zpsf3cd3a23.jpgUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.pngUse Feed photo Feed_48x48_zps63f27a4f.png

Get Silhouette School lessons delivered to your email inbox! Select Once Daily or Weekly.