Tips For Using Transfer Tape

May 2, 2017 • Contributor: Sarah from Pretty Providence

I'm Sarah from Pretty Providence and I'm excited to be sharing tips for using transfer tape today. I love using vinyl transfer tape, but I am surprised when I find out that lots of Cricut users don't know about it! It's honestly a life-saver!


Transfer tape tips

Transfer tape helps you get cut vinyl from A to B without falling out of place AND allows you to make sure everything is placed in a straight line. This is especially helpful for lettering. Nobody wants crooked letters, am I right?!

Okay, so let's get started. Here is a basic tutorial on how to use transfer tape:

After you've cut vinyl, you know it's time to 'WEED!' Weeding is where you remove the outside pieces from what you cut using a hook from the Cricut Tool Kit.


Stacie Gonzalez - Transfer tape tips

Remove the liner from your transfer tape. Hold transfer tape steady, sticky side down.

Gently place the transfer tape over your cut image. Start in the middle and move outwards.

Burnish (rub) the tape onto the vinyl. A craft stick, butter knife, or the scraper from the Cricut Tool Kit can be used to do this!

Peel the vinyl away from the liner at a 45-degree angle. If the vinyl sticks to the liner, simply burnish the transfer tape onto the vinyl again and then continue to peel the vinyl away.

Carefully place the transfer tape/vinyl cut-outs onto a clean and dry surface (in my case, this bread box) making sure the images are straight.


 transfer tape tips

Burnish again! Start in the center and move outward.

Peel your transfer tape away from the vinyl at a 45-degree angle. If the vinyl sticks to the transfer tape, simply burnish the vinyl again. Peel the transfer tape away slowly and carefully.


transfer tape tips


That's it! See, using transfer tape will make vinyl projects that much more simple. Make sure you hop over to my blog to see how this fun bread box turned out!


transfer tape tips

102 thoughts on “Tips For Using Transfer Tape

  1. Pingback: Retro 'Carbs' Bread Box - Pretty Providence

  2. I purchased a roll of glitter vinyl. The transfer tape will not stick to it. How am I supposed to use this glitter vinyl.

  3. Thank you for this. Any suggestions on using the transfer tape on a coffee mug with the curve? would you still start in the middle and move outward on burnishing?

    • I start at the middle and work one side at a time. I also cut in between the image or font to help avoid air bubbles and placing vinyl flat and not bumping

  4. I still find that after burnishing the vinyl won’t come off the backing even with the heavyweight transfer tape

  5. I am seriously not a fan of the new transfer tape! It was a fight to get it to release my vinyl. Are there different types like the new mats? I had a large project with 30 pieces and luckily found some of the old transfer tape and it saved the day!

  6. I purchased the glitter vinyl and transfer tape (both Cricut products) and was unsuccessful at transferring my image. I tried numerous times but my image would not stick to the transfer tape. Could you please tell me what I’m doing wrong? Frustrated.

    • The glitter vinyl should have come with some Strong Grip transfer tape at the end of the roll. This works best for transferring the glitter vinyls.

  7. I followed the directions to a T! My vinyl would not come off the transfer tape! I tried again being even more gentle. Still my vinyl stuck permanently to the transfer tape. I wasted all my time and my vinyl. I spent $13 on it. I might as well have thrown that $13 out the window. Everything I have used has been Cricut brand. I don’t understand how this happened. The transfer tape stickier than the HTV, Scotch tape, even stickier that foam scrapbooking squares.
    I LOVE my Cricut Explore Air 2! I love my Cuttlebug! I love everything I have created. I just don’t like the transfer tape. Losing my valuable time and money is heartbreaking ?.

    • I am in the same boat!! I have ruined SO MUCH vinyl and transfer paper because the transfer paper does not release the vinyl when i try to put it on whatever I’m making. So frustrated right now!!

      • I am also wasting a lot of money and time on trying to use the transfer tape and the vinyl. I have tried multiple times to transfer vinyl to both glass and chalk boards with no success. I am very frustrated.

        • Seems like your transfer tape might be too sticky – a common complaint. Try sticking it to your jeans or t- shirt a couple of times to get some of the ‘stick’ off. Remember to remove it by pulling it almost back onto itself. Hope this suggestion helps.

          • So, why is it that I even have to “unstick” my transfer paper before I can use it so that it isn’t too sticky? Grrrrrr. The only way I can get this stuff to work is to get some of the sticky off by sticking it to my jeans (like Yvonne said) about 10 times. I didn’t see that in the cricut instructions! So I forgot to do that this time with a brand new roll of tape and I am determined NOT to waste any of my vinyl… an hour later and I’ve released one word from the transfer tape! Yay me!

      • I read that clear contact paper work well and I an going to try it. I have also wasited money on vinyl to he it not come off circut transfer tape.

        • The transfer tape ruined 2 of my tumbler projects, which pulled the glitter completely off. Such a waste of money..

  8. Has anyone seen this new Cricut BrightPad. Joann’s in Manchester CT has the tag on display but no one knows about it. What is the price on this?

  9. I’ve tried using both glitter vinyl and foil however when it’s time to use the transfer tape neither will transfer. What can I do to help with that?

  10. Pingback: Make Your Own Light Box Insert With Cricut - Mahle's Market

  11. What is the best transfer tap to use on glitter vinyl? I have a hard time with the glitter to stick so it can be transferred

    • Are you using the Strong Grip transfer tape that came with the roll? That should help you transfer the glitter vinyl successfully.

  12. Every time I start in the middle to apply my transfer tape it ends up messing up. Is there a secret I don’t know?

  13. I just want to say how disappointed I am in cricuts transfer tape. I bought 3 rolls and completely waisted my money, time, supplies, and ruined TWO projects! The transfer tape doesn’t stick to anything! I also noticed there is a new texture to the material. And yes, I did buy the same kind I have always bought. I am highly upset with the quality of cricuts transfer tape and I will be looking for another brand!

    Tori Houp

    • I am left with two projects cut in foil stuck to the backing. The transfer tape just sent lifting it off! It’s not even budging the little pieces

  14. What do you do when the vinyl won’t come off the transfer tape? Every single time I use this transfer tape, I have the same issue and it ends up being thrown out. And then I have to cut it again and use a different transfer tape.

    • Try burnishing it again if the vinyl is not coming off. This will help make sure that it adheres to your project and the tape should lift off.

  15. I try to use the tape all the time. My problem is separating the transfer tape from its own backing. Any suggestions?

  16. The last roll of Cricut transfer tape that I purchased (from Hobby Lobby) has ruined everything. I use the sticky vinyl on wood projects that have been sealed. It pulled the paint and sealer off. Ruined the project, which I sell on Etsy. Used the heat vinyl and ruined the shirt and design. Has this happened to any one else? Not a very happy customer. Darlene

  17. How do I use the transfer tape on painted projects without it peeling spots of the paint off too? I painted some glass jars and tried to put labels on them only to have patches of the paint peeled off with the transfer tape. Help?

  18. I have wasted so much time and vinyl using the transfer tape. Burnish all you want-it is too sticky! This product needs reworked.

  19. I have used the transfer tape on a board game I made. The purple writing on it did not come off when I put it on my game. Could you please tell me what I should have done to get the writing off.
    Thank you.

  20. Why aren’t the transfer tape questions answered? Why does this Cricut transfer Tape not work??? Projects ruined and money wasted and still no answers in this forum???

  21. Brand new to cricut and the transfer tape is such an issue. I was trying to adhere glitter vinyl to glass and the regular transfer tape won’t work to adhere to the glitter vinyl at all but the strong grip transfer tape won’t let the design adhere to the glass. Super frustrating.

  22. So glad I found this group. I am also so frustrated. I have been trying to use the transfer tape to transfer vinyl to glass and to chalk board without success. I thought I was doing something wrong. Has anyone on here with the same problems found a solution yet? If so please share !

    Thank you

  23. I love my Cricut Air 2. I’ve had it for about 6 weeks. I’ve mainly used it for vinyl. I have studied and watch tutorials on the transfer tape. I only buy cricut brand vinyl and transfer tape. The transfer tape is so sticky that I cannot get the vinyl to separate from it. I’ve done everything as suggested, cleaned the surface where I’m applying the vinyl, it’s indoors at 70 degrees F. What more do I need to do???
    And why isn’t this being addressed??
    I’m SO FRUSTRATED with this!! I’ve wasted time and money on this.
    I wish I had known how terrible the cricut transfer tape was going to be.
    Do the people at cricut even try their own product???
    It’s horrible. I will not ever buy cricut brand transfer tape again.

  24. So I learned a new trick to get through the rest of my seemingly industrial strength Cricut brand transfer tape. It’s very professional too.
    After I cut the vinyl with my Cricut Air 2, measure and cut the transfer tape to fit my vinyl, I peel the backing off the transfer tape and stick it down onto my shag carpet.
    I had to be careful not to remove the carpet from the floor with the super strength adhesive on the transfer tape.
    This added a bunch of fibers to the adhesive and made it less sticky but it’s still sticky enough to pick up the vinyl.
    Maybe this step should be added to the transfer tape instructions. Seriously helped. Wish I tried this 2 weeks ago!!

  25. I just bought the cricket maker just for the vinyl project’s. Never have had any of these machines. I also bought all cricket products and they cricket transfer tape will not release the vinyl! I’m so frustrated that I was so excited to thos machine and spent over 800 and it will not do what it’s suppose to. I’ve watched tons of videos on you tube everyone makes it look so easy. Well it’s Not! What a waste!

    • Read my fix about sticking the tape to the carpet. This will help you get through the open rolls of transfer tape you bought. Return any unopened ones. It’ll help. I’m going to try good old contact paper next. I heard it works great.

      • Please keep us posted on how Contact Paper works! I’m currently ruining the second project by trying to use Cricut transfer tape with Cricut glitter vinyl. Very frustrating!

  26. I am new and have been told by numerous people, after wasting a LOT of vinyl, that many many people use contact paper instead of the Transfer Paper. But I do like the tip of sticking to jeans to lessen the stickiness! 🙂

  27. Ok….so i just spent over 500.00 on the New Cricut Maker machine and the Package deal!
    I created a vinyl lettering no prob…up until I used the cricut transfer paper and now I can not remove the vinyl letters off the transfer paper. I have tried everthing to remove it and it wont come off.

    there goes tons of money. are there other transfer papers besides this one from cricut to use to transfer the vinyl?

  28. Yep, good old contact paper does the trick. I had to press down firmly/burnish to even get the contact paper to pick up the vinyl. Which is exactly what I wanted. The vinyl needs to be more sticky than the transfer tape to stick down and release from the transfer tape/contact paper. The contact paper isn’t gridded, the backing paper is though. You could always trace a reference line on it from the backing paper if you really needed it.

  29. Transfer tape is a waste for me. I am unable to remove the vinyl from the transfer tape no matter how much I burnish onto my item. Bummed!

  30. Sorry to see that so many others are having struggles (but happy to know that it wasn’t just me and maybe something I was doing incorrectly). Wanted to make vinyl wording for my daughter’s graduation cap. Have the sentiment ready and on the transfer tape. (Cricut brand). Guess where the letters still are…..yep wont come off the transfer product. We tried it to the cap, to canvas and to paper. Wasted vinyl and transfer product (although I am beginning to question rather the transfer product wasn’t a wasted dollar spent overall).

  31. I’ve been having same problem with vinyl not coming off transfer tape… I’m going to try contact paper and let you know how it works….

  32. I’m having a problem with the cricut transfer tape not picking up my vinyl letters. I have read every one of these questions and want to know what cricut is going to do about this……..I love the explore air 2, but your other products are a waste of my time and my money. And yes I have done the de-sticky technique.

  33. I too am experiencing problems with this stupid transfer tape not releasing the darn vinyl. So frustrated as we all know this stuff is pricey. I am in the middle of making things for my daughters July wedding and yep you guessed it I ruined a ton of vinyl as well as this garbage transfer tape.
    I truly wish I would of done my homework and seen these reviews before I waisted so much time and money on cricut!
    I have watched tons of instructional videos both from cricut as well as the ones on Utube and they all make it look like a piece of cake huh its not!
    What I would really like to know is I see all these complaints on here about the junk and yet I do not see any comments from Cricut ( that should probably be a RED flag right there

  34. Wasted a lot of time and money today with the Cricut vinyl glitter. Used the strong transfer tape that came with it, but when I adhered it to foil paper, it took the paper up with it, ruining the whole project. Left the vinyl glitter on it, but ruined the background paper. Should come with info on what you can adhere it safely to. Very disappointed.

  35. Hello whenever I transfer my rose gold foil the image transfer but some of the gold foil stays on the tape and I’m left with patchy silver gold any tips and reason why this would happen?

  36. I also am having same problem. Opened new roll Cricut transfer tape, stuck my vinyl to it and it will not release vinyl to anything, thought it was a faulty roll and opened my second new roll. second roll same problem, tried the carpet, jean ideas and still will not release from Cricut transfer tape.
    Very disappointed 🙁

  37. Will add my voice here. Have used the transfer tape successfully before (Nov 2017) Whatever is in this new formula is ridiculously sticky. Refuses to release the vinyl stencil no matter what I do. Clearly something has gone awry in the manufacturing as I have previously SUCCESFULLY used this product. For the exact same project I am trying to complete now. Cricut’s silence on this matter is disturbing. People are wasting tons of money on a subpar product your company is selling. Are you not concerned? Your product needs to work with no hacks. Fix it and fix it now and offer people the opportunity to exchange their current tape for the fix. This is ridiculous.

  38. Contact paper works awesome with stencil vinyl but not so well with cricut glitter vinyl. Contact paper is also way less expensive than cricut transfer tape. Glitter vinyl is a challenge to work with. The strong hold transfer tape ruined my stencil vinyl project- I didn’t even take the chance on the regular hold transfer tape.

  39. New to the Cricut. I’ve been wanting one for over 5 years. Imagine my disappointment when I start making stickers for my family and nothing will release from this horrid transfer tape. I have wasted SO MUCH vinyl (not to mention time and money) just because my design won’t come off where it’s supposed to. Guess I’ll try contact paper. Very disappointed.
    Not to mention the fact that someone is addressing unrelated questions on this thread but NOT the transfer tape issues… highly unprofessional.

  40. I am so sorry that people are having problems with our transfer tape. I will send these comments over to the development department so that they can see the user experience for some customers. There is a special stronger one that comes with the glitter vinyl, so make sure to use that for this type (just in case people didn’t see it).

  41. I can not get my vinyl to stick to my project due to it not coming off the transfer tape. Will applying heat with a blow dryer help it to come off or will it make it worse?

  42. I used Cricut printable vinyl, my laser printer, and printed names. The colors looked great! I let it dry for 10 minutes, used Cricut transfer paper. I had no problem transferring the words to the objects—but some of the color remains on the transfer paper so the vinyl words appear a paler color than they should be. Help! Does a laser printer not work with transfer paper?

    • Hi. With printable vinyl, you would want to use inkjet and you do not use transfer paper as it can take off some of the color.

  43. I just made decals with the glitter vinyl and transfer tape that came with the roll. I have always used contact paper but used the Cricut brand this time since it came with the roll. I didn’t have any trouble getting the decal off of the transfer tape and onto the surface. Those that are having troubles, did you burnish the decal to what you were putting it on? If you peeled it and helped get it started would it then work? I agree it was much stickier than contact paper but the glitter vinyl was having a hard time sticking to the contact paper. I have used other brands of glitter vinyl before that didn’t have the same texture that the Cricut vinyl has and it worked great on the contact paper.

  44. It’s August and I’m still experiencing the same problems as everyone else. The glitter vinyl is a struggle and yes, I’ve used the strong grip transfer tape. Wasted 3 rolls of glitter vinyl and transfer tape! Money and time, too. Cricut offered to send me a new roll of transfer tape so I’m hoping it works. I’m doubtful but I don’t know what else to do. I’m going to try the tips shared here but if anything else comes to light, please let us know!

  45. I also have ruined a project and a lot of money because my transfer tape would not release from my vinyl. I was trying to make a wood sign with a vinyl stencil 🙁

  46. Ditto,ditto,ditto on the “Strong Gip Tranfer Tape” Luckily I was doing a small project and didn’t waste much but my time.
    This REALLY needs to be fixed!!!

  47. Can anyone answer, please? Do I have to use transfer tape with ALL vinyl ? ? —

    ▪Iron on?

    • Hi. It makes it far easier to make sure your designs stay together when you use transfer tape. The one exception on your list is iron-on. It comes with a carrier sheet on it that will work like transfer tape. You do want to mirror your images to make sure they come out like you want.

  48. I am new to Cricut and very disappointed that I am having the same issues as everyone else…. my vinyl design will not stick to the transfer paper. I have tried different ideas and tools to add pressure to make it stick and still no luck. About other ideas?

  49. If you’re desperate, try a blow dryer. It won’t be easy but it may help you to salvage a vinyl cut you’ve already made.

    I have never posted a review on a product or an establishment, but the Cricut transfer paper has been a nightmare. After needing to use a blow dryer to loosen the transfer paper just enough to get the vinyl onto my wooden project in order to save a very expensive product; I decided to remove the transfer paper from a stencil vinyl cut I made before I even tried to position it on the project so I wouldn’t risk losing something else and more time. It took me an hour to remove the transfer paper from a 12×24 stencil vinyl cut and the stencil is still ruined in quite a few places (even though the stencil is not detailed – large block letters) requiring me to re-cut it. I will be throwing the remainder of this product away and would not recommend that anyone buy this product. I am glad to see other recommendations for alternatives, but sad to see so much time and money wasted. What a shame as I am a huge Cricut supporter and recommend Cricut to everyone!

    Keep crafting, everyone!

  50. Well after reading all the complaints about the transfer paper im the same – Finally got to grips with my Cricut then get let down with the transfer paper!! I’m so upset as spent a fortune and now im stuck!!!

  51. I could not get the vinyl off the transfer tape and onto my cup and was completely frustrated at the thought of starting over. This has happened so many times with this tape. Finally I had an idea to use my blow dryer on the tape while on the product. I left it on for about 5 minutes and then peeled it off and it worked! This needs to be fixed though or I won’t be buying anymore cricut transfer tape!

  52. I too, just recently purchased everything necessary to make so many of the exciting possibilities, in order to make for gifts and possibly even to start a small home craft business,,,, BUT ofcourse ,like so many others I see, am having HUGE issues using the tape,,even after putting in numerous hours to learn and so excited to have finally conquered how to use the Cricut to make these things, every single project has been RUINED!!!!!!! while trying to get the projects on and/or off the stupid ‘transfer tape”,,, I’ve even tried every single other suggestion of other products to use and none of them work either, I have no idea how anyone can get these projects done without the projects getting ruined every time,,,, THIS IS THE MOST FRUSTRATING THING IVE EVER HAD THAT I HONESTLY FEEL LIKE GIVING UP THE ENTIRE THING !!! A complete waste of money, product of vinyl and nothing works at all so complete waste of the brand new machine, all the tools, everything !!!!—- I want this fixed or ALL of my money back !!! im thinking of bringing everything back to Michael’s craft store where I got it all,,,,, very sadly disappointing,,

  53. I have purchased cricut metallic vinyl and transfer tape..I have used it together numerous times and each time the tape is pulling the colour off my vinyl!! How do I avoid this… very expensive vinyl to be just pulling off like that. Very disappointed

  54. I’ve used the transfer tape but it keeps taking the paint and sealer off of the project that I put it on. It has done this 3 or 4 times now. Not sure what to do. It is frustrating. Any help?

    • David – We’ve had the same problem here… with the paint and sealer coming up on the transfer tape… I’ve had to let my paint cure for about three days before I applied any vinyl to it. Then I pull the transfer tape off in the opposite direction of the grain. That is if you painted in the direction of the grain to start off with. This always works for us.

  55. I will never purchase Cricut Vinyl again. It is awful. It cut fine but when it was time to peel off the excess, the cut par stayed with the backing–even though it was cut all around each letter perfectly. I had to take a pin and hold each letter down as I slowly peeled. It is awful!!!!!

  56. I also cannot release my glitter vinyl using the glitter transfer tape. I tried to speak to a representative using the online source and was cut off after a long wait in line to speak. Nothing was resolved and I have waisted precious time and money. I see this thread was started in May of 2018 and now as of my post we are into the end of November and the issue has still not been rectified for so very many users. So that equals many people who have had this same problem without it being address or rectified. Not very good for the company.

  57. I used the print to cut setting I printed a logo on printable cricut vinyl it had multiple colors. I used the cricut transfer tape and could not get the vinyl to peel alway from the tape.
    When I finally got it off the transfer tape it pulled all the color off of the decal.
    Is there something I can do to avoid this ??

  58. I purchased the glitter vinyl and used the transfer tape that came in the roll. This is the absolute worse stuff I have ever seen. The vinyl will not attach to the transfer tape. I wasted almost a whole roll of vinyl trying to get this to work.

  59. I was very frustrated with the transfer tape. Tried to make cups as xmas gifts managed just one successfully – wasted so much time and money. Thought I’d try one more project and was having the same problem – couldn’t get the tape to come off the vinyl. I was about to say forget it, when I came up with an idea – painter’s tape. I’m working with regular vinyl and used the yellow wide painter’s tape and it worked like a dream! Not sure if anyone else has tried this but it’s a fraction of the cost and if you need wider tape you can just add more rows of it. :>)

  60. I have wasted many sheets of vinyl, transfer tape, and contact paper. The vinyl will not stick to the transfer tape/contact paper. I’ve tried both cricut vinyl and Oracal 651with both cricut transfer tape and contact paper. I’ve burnished until my arm is sore and it still won’t stick. I have the explore air and used the vinyl setting and the custom setting. Help!

  61. What a frustrating day trying to work with Cricut products! The vinyl, the transfer tape, etc. I was ready to give up – until I read this thread and see that it’s not me or something I’m doing wrong. My problems are the same as those mentioned above. BTW, I tried Contac paper and it wouldn’t lift the vinyl – apparently not sticky enough. Watched a video and a crafter used blue painters’ tape, which worked well for her – haven’t tried that yet. For a machine that is capable of making so many beautiful and complicated things, learning how to use it has been a challenge. Most of my time is spent watching youtube videos. Not ready to give up yet ….

  62. January of 2019 & still having issues without cricut brand transfer tape… Ridiculous. When are they going to solve this issue?

  63. I am also having a VERY difficult time with the glitter vinyl. I have used the transfer tape that came with the vinyl and I have also purchased separate transfer tape. I’m still unable to get the glitter vinyl to stick onto the transfer tape. What can I do?

  64. I just bought a cricut maker and love the ease of designing and cutting my vinyl projects. After that it was not so good! I am having many issues with transferring my project to wood using the Cricut transfer paper. I hope they get the issue fixed! I will be using another company for transfer paper from now on but wasted time and money ruining vinyl I have cut.

  65. When trying to apply vinyl using transfer tape, the design is left with little white specks in it. Does anyone know what causes this?

  66. I can’t get the vinyl design (words) to stick to the transfer tape. I keep burnishing and it’s not making a difference. What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Ashley,

      What type of vinyl might you be using? For specialty vinyl, Strong Grip Transfer Tape may help depending on the exact material. As you burnish the tape onto the material, try pulling the backing of the material away (rather than the transfer tape) at an almost parallel angle. This sometimes helps get the process started.

Got something to say?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *