"Blessed are the children of scrapbookers, for they shall inherit the scrapbooks." ~Author Unknown

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Vinyl Application with Painter's Tape

No transfer tape for your vinyl??  No problem!!  All you need is painter's tape and your vinyl art.

Here are some step by step instructions for applying vinyl to a surface using painter's tape instead of the more traditional transfer tape.  Painter's tape is cheaper, yes, but mostly noticably it's easier to find.  Aside from ordering from my supplier, my only other source of transfer tape comes from Walmart or Michael's and they are usually out of stock or priced too high.  Painter's tape is readily available at Walmart or Zellers or any hardware or big box store and is my solution for around the house vinyl projects.  I've even seen it at the local dollar store in the hardware section.

I have already "weeded" the vinyl, which means getting rid of all the pieces of vinyl that are not part of your image.  It is also sometimes referred to as the "negative", and depending on your image and what you've intended it for, the negative can also be used.  The vinyl image in this photo has been weeded and is ready to be placed on the wall, or in this case, a bathroom cabinet.

Cover the image with painter's tape.  As you can see, you are still able to see the image through the tape.  White images are sometimes a bit tricky to see through the tape, depending on whether the manufacturer uses a blue background or white, but all other colours show through just fine.

Be sure to cover the entire image with your painter's tape, then burnish it really well.  Some people use a scraper, putty knife, etc.  I've been known to use a wallpaper seam roller, which works great, however, I recently discovered that a credit card or gift card works great as well, and fits easier in my little tool kit.  Be sure to rub it well and make sure there are no bubbles and that the vinyl is good and stuck to that tape.

Carefully peel the tape off the vinyl backing.  I find I have better success peeling the tape back on itself instead of up.  Go slow just in case the image doesn't quite stick to the tape.  If it doesn't...no biggie, just lay the tape back down and burnish it a little harder, and peel up again and continue on your way.

After you have the image on the tape and off the backing, you are ready to mount it on the wall, or in this case, on the cabinet.  The sticky side of the vinyl is now face-up in this photo.

Mount your image wherever you want.  You will be able to see the image through the tape, which makes placement much easier.  After you've stuck the image, burnish it again with your roller or card or whatever, making sure it's good and stuck and any air bubbles are smoothed out.

Peel the painter's tape off slowly.  Again, I find it better to peel it back onto itself instead of straight up.  And if there is some vinyl still stuck to the tape, just stick it back down, burnish some more and peel the tape again and carry on.

After the tape is off, I rub it again to make sure everything is stuck down well, and voila!

Incidentally, the process for applying vinyl using transfer tape is exactly the same. 

The heart-flourish image used in this project is from the Straight From the Nest Cricut cartridge.

Happy buggin'!


  1. I may actually get around to cutting some vinyl now! BRILLIANT!