Are you ready to create a look that's totally customised to you and can't be bought anywhere else, in just a handful of easy steps? Of course you are!!
Before you dive right in though, let's learn everything we need to know about nailing that perfect finish.
01 The Perfect Base
What can you print on?
Without getting super technical on you, let's just say that you need to stick to fabrics that are 100% cotton, 100% polyester or a cotton/poly blend.
Pressing heat transfer vinyl (HTV), as the name suggests, requires a fair amount of heat to 'melt' it into the fabric and bond it there permanently. There's a lot of synthetic fabrics that can't hold up to this process. Best to be on the safe side!
Is it just for tees?
No way! If you have something smooth made out of the fabrics mentioned above and you are able to iron it flat - you can slap a design on it.
Sure, tees tend to be our first thought, but don't be afraid to get creative with jackets, denim, scarves, tote bags, pillowcases, wall hangings...you get the idea.
02 The Perfect Design
Most of the designs will be available in 3 different sizes; Full 🌕, Half 🌗 and Quarter 🌘 - those that don't are designs that have sections that are just too teeny tiny to cut accurately at a smaller size.
🌕 Full: Design cut from an A4 sheet
Perfect for just about any use - adult sized apparel, tote bags, pillowcases etc.
🌗 Half: Design cut from an A5 sheet
Perfect for kids apparel; including your furry ones! Matching outfits, anyone?
🌘 Quarter: Design cut from an A6 sheet
Perfect for your bub, or as a pocket-sized print for anyone that prefers a more subtle design on their tees.
My best advice when it comes to colours is simple. Find the one you love and choose that!
There's always an array of colours to choose from when you're selecting a design, and these can change regularly. When I place an order for new stock, I try to grab new and exciting colours and finishes, while sticking with what you guys love the most - it all depends what's on offer to me at the time.
Updates for new releases and limited edition colours will be shared on my social media pages, so be sure to join me there to know when the next delivery is coming!
Choosing the right vinyl - stretchy or not?
Be aware that not all vinyls are created equally. While some may sparkle and shine the best, they may not have the greatest stretch qualities.
It's important to first decide on what kind of vinyl you personally require for your chosen base, then take note of the colour swatches marked with an asterisk* as these have zero stretch.
Generally, these are the holographic style vinyls, that require an extra backing layer to create their unique special effects. As such, although they are prettier than most, they are also a little denser (we've all got that friend and we love them anyway, right?) which means they don't have any stretch to them at all.
They are not recommended for stretchy, tight fitting apparel as they will not move to fit with your curves, but rather pull at the fabric and look a bit awkward. They look best on loose, slouch style tops or firm non-stretch fabric like a jacket, traditional denim (not jeggings) or tote bag.
03 The Perfect Print
Let's get started!
You've got your fabric sorted, picked out the perfect design, size and colour for you - We're up to the best bit now; time to get printing!!
First up, you will need:
- A smooth, flat work surface (not an ironing board)
- A flat bed sheet, folded, to protect your work surface and print
- Your iron, completely empty of water, set to DRY and 150℃
- A sheet of baking paper (aka parchment or greaseproof paper)
- Whatever you will be printing on, ironed (remember - only cotton or poly)
- Your Artemiss Design
Check out the video tutorial
Some important points to note:
👕 Ironing boards and towels vs tabletops and sheets: An ironing board may seem like the obvious choice for this kind of project, but the reason we avoid them is that most don't have enough padding on them. Heat transfer vinyl is super sensitive (a bit like me during every sad movie scene ever) and will pick up every little texture and imperfection below it when it's being pressed.
That includes the frame of your ironing board, the texture of your towelling and the creases in your sheets if you don't iron them flat first. Once these marks are in your print - they are there FOREVER.
Keep things smooth and avoid going over stitching/seams where you can (put the layered flat sheet inside of your apparel to help cushion your print from the stitches/buttons on the other side if you need to).
🔥 It's a little burny!!: I feel like this should go without saying, but there's always one...so just to really make sure you're all very aware - once the vinyl has been freshly pressed and you are about to peel off the plastic protector sheet, be aware that It. Is. Hot.
You literally just heated it up to 150℃
Take it easy and wear gloves if you're worried about your fingertips. The plastic does cool pretty quickly though if you wait a few seconds; as long as you're peeling it while the vinyl is still closer to hot than warm, you'll get a great finish 👌
📜 Baking paper saves the day: Just a quick shout out to the hero of the whole process; the humble sheet of baking paper. This little baby is what's keeping your iron and all of that plastic and vinyl from melting together into one big burnt and stinky mess.
NEVER put an iron directly on to vinyl - either when first pressing it, or later down the track when you're just doing the weekly chores. It will stick and both will be ruined 🙈
Be sure to keep that lovely little sheet of paper between the two of them during the whole process, and always flip your tees inside out for ironing after that, avoiding the vinyl areas.