Updated By TeckWrap Craft On March 27, 2024

How To Transfer Vinyl Without Transfer Paper – A Comprehensive Guide

Which things i can use instead of transfer paper or tape

If you are in the middle of making an exquisite vinyl craft but have run out of transfer paper, don’t fret. You can transfer vinyl using painter’s tape, masking tape, clear contact paper, Press ‘N Seal Food Wrap, and a lint roller.

These are all great alternatives that are readily available at home and provide an excellent temporary solution for transferring vinyl designs. Let’s see how you can use each of these for your adhesive vinyl projects.

Different Ways To Transfer Vinyl Design Without Transfer Paper

Before we delve into the alternatives of transfer tape or paper, it is important to note that these cannot be a permanent option. Transfer tape and vinyl are like two peas in a pod since they are both made to function together.

In fact, transfer papers were developed specifically with the crafter in mind, as they are generally simple to use and are designed with the right amount of tack or stickiness to ensure that the vinyl design will not tear or warp. But if you don’t happen to have one and are in the middle of making a craft, you can use the following:

Different Ways To Transfer Vinyl Design Without Transfer Tape

1. Painter’s Tape

Your toolbox would probably have a roll of painter’s tape. Its material is a far cry from that of transfer tape and it is not as sticky too, but it will still get the job done, albeit not as seamlessly of course.

A downside of using painter’s tape is that it is not wide enough. The maximum width you get in it is 3 inches. If your decal is wider than this, you will have to apply multiple overlapping layers of the tape one after the other. It can easily be used for small-sized decals. Another disadvantage is that it is not transparent so you cannot see your design. Here’s how to use it:

  • Once your decal is ready after weeding, apply painter’s tape to it.
  • If your design is wider than the width of the tape, apply another piece underneath, slightly overlapping the first one so that they stick together. You can cover your whole decal this way.
  • Now burnish it with a squeegee to help the decal stick to it.
  • Very slowly peel back the painter’s tape with the design attached to it and apply it to the substrate. If the design is not properly attached, reapply the tape, rub it again, turn it over, and now try removing the backing of the vinyl very slowly. Your design will be on the painter’s tape ready to be applied.
How To Transfer Vinyl With Painter's Tape

2. Masking Tape

This is another alternative to transfer tape that is commonly available. Masking tape is more sticky than painter's tape so it might leave residue. Its limited width might also be a drawback if you have a big decal. You will have to use multiple pieces overlapping each other to transfer it.

The process is exactly the same as that of painter’s tape, apply it to the decal, burnish it, turn it over, and then slowly remove the backing of the vinyl to attach the design to the masking tape.

Can I use masking tape instead of transfer tape

3. Clear Contact Paper

Contact paper is a transparent sheet that is used for lining drawers and cupboards. It has an adhesive backing with low tack. You will not have the problem of ‘less width’ with it as it comes in the form of a roll just like the transfer tape.

The disadvantage of using contact paper instead of transfer paper or tape is that you can shift intricate designs with small pieces onto the substrate with it. You can only work with bold designs that have medium to large parts. The method of application is the same.

How To Transfer Vinyl With Clear contact paper

4.Press ‘N Seal Food Wrap

The brand used as an alternative to transfer tape is Glad Press ‘N Seal plastic food wrap. This has a sticky underside and works well when it comes to applying adhesive vinyl designs on a substrate. This is again best for simpler designs with fewer parts without any complex details.

Cut it to the size of your vinyl design and lay it over the top. Press it firmly using your fingers as the plastic might trap air bubbles inside otherwise. Rub it with a squeegee. Now turn it over and slowly remove the backing paper from the vinyl at an angle. Do not lift vertically. Keep it close to the surface.

How To Transfer Vinyl With Press N Seal Food Wrap

5.Lint Roller

Now you might think this is a strange alternative to use in place of transfer paper but it does work. It is an adhesive sheet that can pick your design just like it picks lint. It does not leave any residue.

You can work on small-sized decals with it otherwise you will have to layer and overlap multiple sheets to transfer the design. Follow the same steps: Remove a sheet from the lint roller, apply it to your decal, burnish with a squeegee, remove the backing, and transfer the design onto the surface.

How To Transfer Vinyl With Link Roller

Frequently Asked Questions

Final Thoughts

Transfer tape helps make the application of adhesive vinyl decals accurate and easy. But if you run out of it, you do not have to stop making your craft. Just grab the tapes or any other option mentioned above that is easily available and finish your task.

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