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Putting Heat Transfer Vinyl on Acrylic Blanks to Avoid Bubbles!

Well, ya learn something new everyday! I actually had no idea putting heat transfer vinyl on acrylic blanks was even possible until Jamie from Craft Chameleon just lit up my crafting world with this amazing anti-bubble vinyl hack!

htv on acrylic crafting blanks silhouette cameo

I know lots of us Silhouette CAMEO and Portrait crafters - myself included - struggle with avoiding bubbles when applying adhesive vinyl.  Well, it turns out skipping the vinyl altogether and using Heat Transfer Vinyl on acrylic instead is the answer!

Jamie is going to share this amazing Silhouette hack while demoing how to make an adorable Guest Book board - perfect for any occasion.

Hi! I'm Jamie Omahen from Craft Chameleon (formerly Punch Place Plus), here to show you how to make quick, easy and gorgeous wood sign guest book! These are all the rage right now for weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, birthday party, bat mitzvah, bar mitzvah, anniversary, memorial service, house warming, grand openings, and family reunions. I love the concept and look of those wood boards, but would rather have a smooth finish for the guests to write on. That's where the acrylic comes in and you can write on it in permanent marker. Alright so grab everything you need to get started:
  • HTV with your design mirrored, cut, & weeded
  • Wood sign or board
  • Acrylic with 4 holes drilled – available from Craft Chameleon
  (Note: Clear acrylic will not remain clear in a heat press however solid color or glitter acrylic works well.

  • Heat press – heat 300 degrees, timer 5 seconds (settings may vary)
  • Parchment Paper
  • Scissors
  • Hammer
  • Decorative tacks or nails - available from Craft Chameleon
  • Old Towel
  • Permanent marker
  • Optional – Power drill or Dremel type tool
You want to start by creating or opening a design in Silhouette Studio.  If you'd like to use the heat shaped design I used, I am offering Silhouette School readers the free cut file for you to download.

Scale the design size based on the size of the acrylic you are using. Don't forget to mirror the design since you will be cutting on Heat Transfer Vinyl.

Load your Heat Transfer Vinyl (glitter or smooth will work) onto your Silhouette cutting mat and cut the design. Weed it. 

Now you want to cut away some of that excess carrier sheet.  The carrier films leaves a slight impression so trim it pretty close to the HTV design.

TIP: Make sure you've removed the clear protective cover on your acrylic blank before adding the heat transfer vinyl!

Working quickly and carefully on your heat press plate, place the HTV design on the acrylic blank. Cover both the top and bottom of the acrylic with parchment paper.  Teflon sheets are not recommended, as they impress a pattern on the hot acrylic.

Press the heat transfer vinyl onto the acrylic for 5 seconds at 300 degrees.  Open the top place of the heat press and carefully remove the carrier sheet.  And ta-da no bubbles in your vinyl!  

Re-cover the acrylic, now with HTV on it, with the parchment paper and press again for another 5 seconds. The second press will finish bonding the vinyl to the acrylic and any lines made by the carrier sheet should disappear.

After the second pressing, you will need to let your acrylic cool under something flat and heavy the so it does not curve from the heat.  I used a heavy box I had on hand! Be sure to leave the parchment paper on both sides of your acrylic during this step.  Let the acrylic cool under the heavy object for about 10 minutes.

The final step is to attach the crafting acrylic with HTV to the board using decorative tacks or nails. Depending on the type of wood used in your sign, pre-drilling pilot holes is a good idea. For the last few taps on the nail head use a folded towel over the area to avoid marring.

Pair the acrylic board with the permanent marker of your choice and the Guest Book Board is ready to go. I had so much fun making the first one, I made a second. In fact I love these so much I am sharing the files, so enjoy! 

Thank you Melissa for letting me share the Acrylic Guest Book Board Joy! <3 i=""> 

<3 i="">Melissa here again - I was just so amazed by this little heat transfer vinyl crafting hack I had to try it for myself...OMG!!! It totally works - and no bubbles in the vinyl! 

bubbles vinyl wet method heat press htv on acrylics

<3 i="">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!

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  1. For those of us who don't have a heat press - - -

    I worked in a sign shop for a while and there is a product called Rapid Tac that we would use to reduce/eliminate bubbles in the vinyl. You spray it on the surface of the blank before you lay the vinyl on. The Rapid Tac keeps the vinyl from grabbing too fast so that you have time to adjust it. Starting in the center you burnish outward to adhere the vinyl and remove any bubbles that might have formed.

    In a pinch, you can also use a very weak mixture of soap and water (mostly water). The other day I used window cleaner and it worked, too - but avoid using one with ammonia.

  2. Jamie and everyone at Craft Chameleon are fabulous! Thank you Melissa for showcasing yet again something amazing!


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