How to Fix Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) Mistakes
Mistakes happen, it’s part of life and part of crafting. When you make a mistake with HTV it can be frustrating. I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting supplies, especially heat transfer vinyl!
There are a few ways you can fix a mistake, let’s look at some examples and some ways to fix the mistakes.
Let’s take a look at these cute last day of school autograph doggies I made:
Bring along a few Sharpies and collect friends signatures, it’s like a stuffed yearbook! As I was making these two, I had a slight mishap on the one dog:
Groan! The “kindergarten” layer shifted when I pressed the design and got all kinds of messed up. No worries, we can fix it!
The first step to fix it is to heat the design up again. On a plush stuffed animal like this, it isn’t as easy as heating up your iron and ironing it again (see below for a shirt fix). Instead, I pulled out my trusty embossing heat tool:
Heat tools (aka embossing guns) are used to melt embossing powder (for paper crafting). My embossing gun has been used for that, but I’ve also used it to speed dry paint, adhere vinyl onto surfaces and, you guessed it, remove mistakes in heat transfer vinyl! Embossing guns are like super powered blow dryers, they get VERY hot (use caution). The idea with this technique is to heat up the vinyl in sections and then pick the design off with tweezers. This is actually quite effective:
Keep the embossing gun at least a few inches away from the design and gently heat it up. Keep the heat moving so you don’t burn the stuffie. Pick off the design with a pair of tweezers:
I thought I might run into trouble when I pulled up the part that overlapped the border, but it came off without pulling up the black (yes!). Once the design has been removed, you can try that layering again:
Check out the full tutorial for these autograph dogs (and learn some tips on how to avoid this mistake) here.
Our next mistake is a little different. I made this beautiful photo album for a friends wedding gift:
This album came with the gold polka dots already printed on the album, they are some type of foil (I think). When I personalized the album with our exclusive “Mr. & Mrs.” heat transfer design, I was not expecting what happened when I pulled up the heat transfer carrier sheet:
Agh! When I removed the heat transfer carrier sheet, it pulled up some of the gold! Since this was not something I added to the album, I could not just pull it off and try it again. Instead, I opted to cover it up. This is another trick you can do to fix your heat transfer mistakes.
I measured the circles, they were 1″ so I cut some 1″ silver glitter heat transfer and covered that whoops up:
I stuck the silver glitter right over the damaged circle, covered the entire design with a tea towel and then pressed the album again. I added a few more glitter silver circles on the front and back of the album to make it look intentional. Who says those silver circles weren’t part of the plan (wink):
Check out this tutorial on how to add heat transfer vinyl to a photo album and create custom wedding gifts.
The last fix was a mistake on a shirt. I missed a huge piece when weeding. I thought the design was pretty simple so I didn’t look at the design when I was weeding. Whoops….
The technique to fix this shirt is going to be similar to the dog above. The goal here is to heat up the design again. I wrapped the shirt around my iron and heated the design up from behind (which will loosen the adhesive on the HTV):
Hold the shirt around the iron (careful, it’s hot), and work quickly. I used a metal hook tool and picked at the design until it started to come up:
Once I was able to get a corner of it up enough, I grabbed it quickly and pulled it off:
You can’t even tell which petal I missed!
If you have other types of mistakes, such as forgetting to weed layered HTV, you can cover the HTV with a piece the same color as the background and press it right over the top. When you work with smooth HTV, and press a piece on top, you can barely see the fix.
HTV remover might be helpful with this process as well. It will help you get off any adhesive left behind.
I hope you never have to use these techniques, but if you do, know that I’ve been there before too! We ALL make mistakes from time to time. You can totally fix it with a little know how.