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Layering Heat Transfer Vinyl is a simple method to give more volume and color to your final substrate. But sometimes, layering HTV is quite tricky and complicated if you are just a first timer. However, once you get comfortable in layering your Heat Transfer Vinyl, you cannot get away from it! In this article, you will learn the basics and a few tips on how to layer HTV properly! So, let’s get right into it!



Prepare your chosen design and resize them according to your final substrate. If you are a beginner, we suggest you to stick with designs that contains only 4 colors or less. This way you will not be overwhelmed with working with layers. It will also make your work easier as you’re only a beginner. But, if your chosen design has more than 4 layers, don’t worry! Just follow these steps and you will be fine!

Make sure also to mirror it before sending it to cut. Mirroring your design will help you achieve the correct look for your design, this is because we are going to cut at the backside of the HTV. We’ll explain it more in a while.



Layering designs is one of the options for you to achieve a colorful project, but there are some HTVs that you can’t use when layering a design.

There are 2 classifications in HTVs; Regular HTVs and Special HTVs. Regular HTVs are the ones that are plain and smooth at the top, there are no tiny details. While Special HTVs are heat transfer vinyl that contains special effects like glitter, sparkle, shine, and metallic. Glitter HTVs, Flocked HTVs, Metallic HTVs, and others are the examples of a Special HTVs.

The Special HTVs are the HTVs that can’t be used in layering. You will not be able to layer another HTV on top of these special HTVs. However, you can still use it as a top layer. If you really want to use these kinds of HTVs, you will have to make sure that it will be used on the top most layer of the design.



In placing your Heat Transfer Vinyl, it is very important if you put it on the cutting mat with the right side (shiny side) facing down. HTVs have a plastic carrier sheet on top of the vinyl and you don’t want to cut into. That’s why you have to mirror your design!



Line the cutting mat up between the guides and send it to cut.


Once cutting is complete, it’s now time to weed out! Weeding means removing all the excess parts that we don not want on our design. 


Repeat to all layers of your HTV design.

It’s a good idea to put the layers of your design first before proceeding on to the next step. This is to be sure you’ve cut everything out and it fits together the way it would be.


Here’s another trick, you can write numbers on the carrier sheet of the HTVs. Write 1 on your first layer, 2 on the second layer and up to the final layer. This way you’ll not be confused and you’ll know exactly what layer would go next!



First, pre – heat your heat press or household iron to the proper temperature. You can also pre-heat your final substrate by ironing it with your household iron or by pressing it with your heat press, this will also remove the wrinkles in your final substrate.

Now, find the center of your final substrate. The easiest way to do this is to fold your final substrate into half and connect the both ends. Using your heat press or household iron, put a little crease on the fold.  Now, when you open your final substrate you’ll know exactly where the center is because of the crease. Also, use this method on your design. Now, just connect and line up both of the creases in your decal and design. And you now have a perfectly centered design!


The next step is to apply the first layer of your design into your final substrate by using a heat press or a household iron. Press the material into place but with a little less time than you would normally press it. For about 3-5 seconds. Remove the heat press or household iron and let it sit until it’s already warm. Test a small corner to ensure that it remained in place and if it’s already set, remove the plastic carrier sheet of the HTV. It may not be completely set, but as you continuously layer your design, it will go into place.


Then, take the next layer and place it into its right position. Keep doing this process until every layer of your design is in place. Make sure that you’ll only press each layer for only a short amount of time, this will help you avoid burnt marks on your design. When you’re done pressing all of the layers of your design, press it one last time for 3-5 seconds, this will make sure that all of your layers are properly adhered onto the final substrate

Tips: You can also turn your garment inside out and give it a little press just to help the design adhere better on your final substrate. 

And there you have it! We have successfully layered our HTV! Layering HTVs can be quite intimidating when you first think of it, but it’s super easy and so much fun!

We hope this was informative and helpful for you! Don’t forget to share this with your friends and family so they will also know how to layer Heat Transfer Vinyl! Share your future projects to us thru private messages on our social media accounts. Shop for your crafting materials like Heat Transfer Vinyl and Adhesive Vinyl on our shop!


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Thank you, stay safe, and stay crafty, Crafters!