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How to Apply HTV to a Basketball

Ever wonder how to heat press a basketball to customize it with a name or number? 

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The trick is to apply heat transfer vinyl...but skip the heat press! This Silhouette tutorial will take you step by step on how to apply HTV to a basketball (but it also works for other sports balls). 


Choose Your Font

Start by opening Silhouette Studio and using the text tool to type the name or names for your basketball. 

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The font 'Princess' was used in this project - it's part of the massive Crafter's Font Bundle, a collection of 22 fonts and 120 doodles all for 93% off! Plus get an extra 15% off with the code CRFTALOT - code expires March 31st at 11:59 EST.

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Once the font is downloaded and installed on your computer you'll have access to it in Silhouette Studio after a re-start of the software. 

Use the text tool to type out your text. Weld it all together. If there are any letters that aren't welded, you may want to group them. 

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This layer will be cut in Siser Easyweed Glitter HTV, so if you like to get an approximate preview of what that might look like, you can add a glitter Fill Pattern to the text. You can find the Glitter Digital Paper Textures file at So Fontsy. For how to add digital patterns to Silhouette Studio, check out this blog post!

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Add an Offset in Silhouette Studio (optional)

For extra flair, you can add an offset to your design that will act as a shadow/base layer behind the text. Select the text, open the Offset panel, choose Offset, and then set the desired offset distance. Lastly, click Apply.

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If the offset applied internal lines to your text that you don't want to include, you can remove them by right-clicking on the offset >> Release Compound Path. 

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Then, select only the internal pieces you wish to remove and click Delete on your keyboard.

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Mirror and Cut HTV Design


As with all HTV designs, you'll need to mirror your entire design by selecting it then >> right click >> Flip Horizontally. 

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Next, cut your design/designs in HTV. The bottom, shadow layer was cut in Siser Easyweed and the top, text layer was cut in Siser Glitter HTV. 

Weed all the HTV pieces. If you're using glitter HTV, check out this time-saving hack to make weeding SO much easier

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Press Offset Layer

Place the cut and weeded HTV shadow layer to the basketball first and then apply a strip of heat resistant tape over either side of it to keep it in place. It may also be helpful to place a towel underneath the basketball to keep it from rolling around too much.

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The Cricut Mini Press is the trick to this whole project! I used the medium heat setting for the base/shadow layer. Begin pressing the transfer in sections, moving from one side to the other. Hold the press over an area for about 5 seconds and apply medium pressure. Then, move to another section of the transfer. You can put a piece of parchment over the carrier sheet while pressing if you choose.

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Carefully begin to peel up the carrier sheet, but do so slowly to check to see if the HTV has stuck to the basketball. If not, replace the carrier sheet and apply the mini press over that area again.

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After removing the carrier sheet, you can cover the HTV again with a piece of parchment paper and run the mini press over it again very quickly. This is like your "insurance press" to make sure that it's stuck to the basketball. With a thin HTV like Siser Easyweed, you should be able to see the texture of the basketball.

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Press Top Glitter Layer

Next, align the top glitter HTV layer over the shadow layer.

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Again use heat resistant tape (one on either side of the transfer) to help keep it in place.

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Adjust the mini press to the hottest setting, then press the same way as the shadow layer, but this time apply firm pressure.

Remove the carrier sheet carefully, checking that the glitter HTV did adhere. If not, replace the carrier sheet and apply the mini press over that area again. 

Then, remove the carrier sheet, cover the glitter HTV with a piece of parchment paper and run the mini press over it again (as your "insurance press").

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Remove the parchment paper and admire your handiwork!

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While the HTV is indeed adhered firmly to the basketball, we recommend that the basketball be used for display only. It looks pretty cool, huh?!

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Check out more fonts in the Crafter's Font Bundle over at So Fontsy! If you didn't think the perfect font bundle existed, well think again, because this is it!

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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