And Get It Straight Every Time!
Do you struggle with applying your vinyl straight and even?
I know I do. And you’ve only got one shot to get it straight. It’s not like you can lift it up and try again…you have to start all over with a new piece, which means waster vinyl. BUT there is an easy way to get it on straight and even…the “hinge” method. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Read my full disclosure policy here for more details. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
What You Need
Start with a well-prepared board.
After staining the board, use Polycrylic to seal the wood. This will GREATLY help the vinyl to stick to the wood. You can read more about how to prepare your wood in this post.
Next, cut your vinyl.
Weed out the excess, and apply the transfer paper to the face of the pattern. Thoroughly burnish the vinyl so that it sticks to the transfer tape. Do not yet remove the vinyl paper backing!
Place the vinyl (with the transfer tape apply AND the paper backing still attached) on the prepared wood board.
Mine stuck to the board very well, but you could use masking tape or painter’s tape to hold it in place, too. Especially if you’ve trimmed the paper backing very closely to the design. Just one strip of tape right down the middle will do. You just need enough transfer tape or masking tape to hold the design in place while you work on the design one half at a time. The tape is repositionable, so you have a chance to move it if you don’t like your first attempt.
Here is mine. Can you see the excess transfer tape around the edges that is holding the vinyl in place?
So now you’ll treat the vinyl/transfer tape/backing paper as if there was a “hinge” in the middle of it. Lift up half of the vinyl design, separating it from the backing.
Use scissors to cut away half of the paper backing. Do NOT simply tear it. That would leave bits of non-glossy paper that will adhere to your vinyl and basically result in a big mess. I know this because I did this. It was ugly. Don’t be me.
With the paper backing removed from this half, you can now apply that part of the vinyl to the wood. Burnish the letters though the transfer tape to be sure they’re firmly stuck to the board.
The transfer tape is still holding the design in place so you can now simply remove the other half of the paper backing and apply the remainder of the vinyl to the wood. If you used masking tape to help you, you can now remove it as the transfer tape will hold the design in place now.
Now wasn’t that easy?! Placed perfectly with no wasted vinyl. The hinge method for perfectly applying vinyl straight and centered on the first try is a great way for you to create beautiful signs and gifts!