Guide to Tools for Working with Vinyl

Crafting with vinyl is one of the great hobbies that you can choose. Aside from the fun of trying out crafts, projects, and vinyl styles, it is also a useful hobby. You can create car decals, decorated mugs, and laptop stickers. It can also provide you with years of enjoyment as you get to admire your work’s results.

If you are beginning to discover the world of vinyl crafting, there are many possibilities out there that you can explore. If you have been designing simple projects and using scissors to cut your vinyl out, we are happy to introduce you to the wonderful world of vinyl cutters and other tools that can help your work become easier and more enjoyable. Today, we are giving you a guide to tools for working with vinyl.


1. Vinyl Cutter

The very first tool that we recommend to have when working with vinyl is a vinyl cutter. It is a machine designed to allow users to cut vinyl faster and more efficiently, especially those that have complicated designs. Vinyl cutters are like computer printers. First, you need to create a design in the accompanying software of the cutter. After that, you will send the design to the machine and load it with a sheet of vinyl. Watch as the cutter automatically cuts your design into the vinyl.

The machine does the majority of the cutting work for you, which allows you to focus more on creating the design and applying it to your chosen surface. With a vinyl cutter, you’ll be able to cut more intricate patterns that you can manage with a pair of scissors. With this, you will have more freedom with the designs you choose. Also, other cutting machines are made to handle other materials aside from vinyl, such as fabric, foam, and cardstock, giving you endless possibilities. To know more about vinyl cutters, you can read our post on Guide to Vinyl Cutters.

Where to Buy
Cricut Explore Air 2 Mint
USCutter 14" Craft Vinyl Cutter MH Bundle - Sign Making Kit w/Design & Cut Software, Supplies Tools
Instahibit 28" MH Vinyl Cutter Paper Feed Plotter Cutting Signmaster Cut Basic Software Sign Making Machine with Stand
Silhouette Portrait 3 Electronic Cutting Tool
Graphtec 15" CE7000 Vinyl Cutter Plotter with Bonus Software

Here are some of the best vinyl cutters that you can check out:


2. Weeding Tool
person using a weeding tool on a vinyl sticker

Even though vinyl cutters are great when it comes to cutting intricate patterns into vinyl, some spaces are still too tiny for them to handle. Therefore, you also need to have a weeding tool. It is a small hook that allows you to pull out tiny pieces of vinyl that are not part of your final design. One example is the space at the center of the letterA. It is meticulous work, but it will not be a problem if you have a weeding hook.

Where to Buy
Craft Weeding Tool Set for Adhesive Vinyl HTV 3pcs/Pack
Xinart Weeding Tools Set for Vinyl Craft Knife/Weeder/Scraper/Spatula/Tweezers/Scissors Basic Weed Removal Tool Kit
Cricut Tools, Weeding Kit
Premium Vinyl Weeding Tool Kit - Precision Stainless Steel Weeder - Hook and Pick with Fine Tweezers Crafting Set - by iVyne

Here are some of the best weeding tools that you can check out:


3. Transfer Tape
a white transfer tape

A transfer tape is a must-have tool when working with adhesive vinyl. It is also sometimes called transfer paper. It is something that allows you to hold everything you cut out perfectly in place to move it from the cutting mat to the hard surface you want to apply the design onto. It is essential to stock up on a lot of this because you can use it for many different projects.

There are several kinds of transfer tape out there. Therefore, experimenting a bit to find what you will like best is needed. Each brand also has its own strength of stickiness. Choose one that is strong enough to adhere to your vinyl and pull it up off of the vinyl backing. But make sure that it is not very sticky that it’s difficult to release once you have it on the surface you will be designing.

Where to Buy
YRYM HT Clear Vinyl Transfer Paper Tape Roll-12 x 50 FT w/Alignment Grid Application Tape for Silhouette Cameo, Cricut Adhesive Vinyl for Decals,Signs, Windows, Stickers
Cricut Vinyl Transfer Tape, 12x48-inches, Standard Grip
Vinyl Ease 6 inch x 100 feet roll of Paper Transfer Tape with a Medium to High Tack Layflat Adhesive. Works with a Variety of Vinyl. Great for Decals, Signs, Wall Words and More. American Made V0820
Frisco Craft C-370 Transfer Tape for Vinyl 12" x 50 Feet Clear Lay Flat | Application Tape Perfect for Self Adhesive Vinyl for Signs Stickers Decals Walls Doors Windows
Transfer Tape for Vinyl 20 Pack 12'' x 12'' w/Blue Alignment Grid for Adhesive Vinyl, Medium Tack Vinyl Transfer Tape for Cricut, Silhouette Cameo by JANDJPACKAGING

Here are some of the best transfer tapes you can check out:


4. Scraping Tool
a scraping tool by TeckWrap

A scraping tool is also essential when working with vinyl. After you lay the transfer tape on your cut out design, you will need a scraping tool to burnish it or rub it across all the area. This way, the transfer tape will stick completely to the vinyl. Then, after you apply the vinyl to the surface, you will need the scraping tool again to burnish it, so the vinyl will stick down, allowing you to remove the transfer tape.

Where to Buy
Double Edged Plastic Razor Blade Scrapers Knife with Contoured Grip for Scraping Labels and Decals Sticker From Glass, Windshields and Auto Window Tint Vinyl Tool Application
Lil Chizler Vinyl Label Scraping Tool, 2-Piece
TECKWRAP Craft Mint Squeegee Vinyl Scraper Decal Applicator Tool 2pcs/Pack
Cricut XL Scraper, Mint

Here are some of the best scraping tools you can check out:


5. Iron or Heat Press
a heat press for vinyl crafting by Cricut

If you are doing heat transfer vinyl crafting, you need to have a heat source to activate the adhesive on HTV. If you do not want to buy an expensive heat-press, using the iron you have at home is fine. But to be able to get the very best application, investing in a heat press is the best option.

Where to Buy
Oprol Heat Press, 7" x 3.8" Heat Press Machine for T Shirts Shoes Bags Hats and Small HTV Vinyl Projects, Portable Mini Easy Heat Press Machine for Heating Transfer (Heat Press Mat Included)
Cricut 2007468 Easy Press Mini, Raspberry
Heat Press Machine for T-Shirts, 7’x 3.8’Portable & Lightweight Heat Press Machine for Bags Hats HTV Vinyl Projects, Mini Heat Press Professional Heat Transfer Iron-on with Teflon Sheet

Here are some of the best heat press you can check out:


6. Ironing Pad
an ironing pad for heat transfer vinyl crafting

If you are doing heat transfer vinyl crafting, you also need to have an ironing pad to protect your table or counter. Here are a few ones you can check out:

Where to Buy
Monicut Heat Press Mat 12x12 for Cricut Easypress 2/Easypress, Heat Pressing Mat for Craft Vinyl Ironing Insulation Transfer
Nicapa 12x12 inch Heat Press Mat for Cricut Easypress/Easypress 2 Cricket Craft Heating Transfer Vinyl HTV Ironing Insulation Heating Mats

These are some of the common tools that every vinyl crafter should have on hand. But keep in mind that different projects may require a unique set of tools. With a little creativity, plenty of vinyl, a solid cutting machine, and the essential tools, you will be able to produce an endless list of projects, including stickers, decals, signs, wall decorations, cards, clothing, woodworking, and more.

We hope the information we shared in this post helped you in knowing about the different tools needed for working with vinyl.