vinyl decal size chart

Vinyl Decal Size Chart: For Shirts, Bags, and Many More

You’ve landed this page for one reason —  you’re trying to figure out the right vinyl decal size for your project. Don’t look elsewhere because you’ll find the answers here. In this crafting guide, you’ll learn the proper vinyl decal sizing and several decal sizing tips that will go a long way.

Remember! T-Shirt Sizes May Differ

T-shirts are the most common heat transfer vinyl project. However, there’s one thing you should know — not all shirt sizes are the same. You may have encountered this issue before, especially with your own wardrobe.

You’re a small size in one brand, yet medium with another. That’s because not all shirt sizes are the same. There are different shirt fits — Asian, Regular, Slim, and American sizes. That’s why for your t-shirt printing project, make sure to check the product sizing.

The sizing might be challenging, but once you’ve learned how to manually determine the proper vinyl sizing, it will come naturally in the long run. With this skill, you can print on any blank canvas you want without asking for help from Google.

vinyl decal size
Image from PxHere

Where Can You Print Heat Transfer Vinyl

Other than t-shirts, there are other projects you can create with a heat transfer vinyl (HTV). With a heat transfer vinyl, cutting machine, and an EasyPress or heat press machine, here are the blank canvases you can print on:

  • Towels
  • Laundry Bags
  • Table cloth linen
  • Handkerchief
  • Face mask
  • Any material made of canvas (tote bags, sneakers, coin purses, pillowcases, etc)


vinyl decal size

Vinyl Decal Size Chart

There are a lot of factors when considering the right vinyl decal size. Here are several questions you can ask yourself:

  • What is the size of your blank canvas?
  • How do you want your design to come out?
  • Where do you want to place the vinyl decal? At the back? A logo on the upper left corner? On the sleeve?
  • Do you want the whole design to occupy most part of the shirt?
  • Will you be using another vinyl color within the design?

As you’ve answered all these questions and know what you want, it’s time to know the recommended decal size. This vinyl decal size chart is for regular-sized shirts, and these recommended sizes are for the front, and center print of a regular shirt.


vinyl decal on shirt

Vinyl decal on different shirt sizes PU Heat Transfer Vinyl

Kid’s Shirts Guide

  • Onesies for newborn babies (below 6 months): 3x3 inches
  • 6 to 9 months: 5x5 inches
  • Older than 18 months: 6x6 inches
  • Toddler at 2 to 3 years old: 5x5 inches
  • 4 to 5 years old: 6x6 inches

For Teen T-Shirt

  • Extra Small: 6.5x6.5 inches
  • Small: 7x7 inches
  • Medium: 7.5x7.5 inches
  • Large: 8x8 inches
  • Extra Large: 8.5x8.5 inches

For Adult Shirt (Regular T-shirt fit)

  • Extra Small: 9×9 inches
  • Small: 9×9 inches
  • Medium: 9×9 inches
  • Large: 11×11 inches
  • Extra Large: 11×11 inches
  • 2XL: 12×12 inches


  • Pockets: 4×4 inches
  • Hoodies or sweatshirts: 12×16 inches
  • Under the sleeve of the t-shirt: 2.5×14 inches or 2×11 inches
  • Hats: 4.75×2.75 inches
  • Full back designs of t-shirt for adults: 11x11 inches
vinyl decal on shirt

TeckWrap Craft’s Galaxy HTV on a sweatshirt

Once again, these recommended sizes in the vinyl decal size chart are for the regular t-shirts for a front and center print. If you have an Asian-fit shirt, you can make the design a bit smaller, at least 0.5 to 1 inch on the vinyl decal size. While for American size shirts, you can add 1 to 2 inches on the vinyl decal size.

General Rule to Remember

One important rule to remember: avoid printing on the whole surface. Make sure the vinyl decal is 3 to 5 inches away from the edges of the blank canvas. You have to remember that edges have stitches, so you can’t print over them.

Also, you can’t print all the way down to the shirt because usually, the bottom part of the shirt is tucked in and the design can’t be appreciated. You will learn more tips on the proper placement and decal sizing in the next section of this crafting guide.

vinyl decal size on tote bag

TeckWrap Craft Snowflakes Pattern Heat Transfer Vinyl

Vinyl Decal Size Tips and Other Useful Pointers

Now that you’re familiar with the recommended decal size, it’s time to learn some tips and powerful pointers on how to determine the correct size and placement of vinyl decals on any type of blank canvas.

Tip #1: Follow the Vinyl Decal Size of the Shirts You Have

If you’re in doubt about what the proper vinyl decal size should be, here’s a safe tip: follow the vinyl decal design size of your existing shirt. If the shirt has a different size from what you have in the closet, go window shopping around your kids, siblings, or spouse’s closet.

Yet another option, which may sound odd, is to go to Target or a clothing store, bring a tape measure, and measure the vinyl decal size of the different shirt sizes available on the rack. Follow what other big clothing brands do, and you’ll do great!

vinyl decals
T-shirt image from Pixabay by nattyjeff 
Payment icons vector from Wikimedia Commons by Rubenmachucagutierrez

Tip #2: Visualize the Design Using Your Cutting Machine’s Software

Another easy way to determine the right decal size is to visualize the design using your cutting machine’s software. Usually, Silhouette or Cricut’s software boasts this feature. You can upload a blank template of a shirt, change the color, and adjust the sizing according to the shirt size.

Then upload the design, place it over the shirt template, and adjust the decal sizing. The top and left part of the screen has measurements in inches, so you’ll be able to visualize properly how the design would look like using the size you’ve chosen.

Tip #3: Visualize the Vinyl Decal Size Using an Old Carrier Sheet

If you want to follow the old school way of determining the right decal size, grab your old carrier sheet (that’s been used), place it over your canvas and determine if you need a larger or smaller dimension.

This trick especially works when you can’t upload a blank canvas design on your cutting machine’s software like tote bags or pillowcases. If you have A4-sized HTV, you can place it on top of the blank canvas, and start from there.

Determine whether you need a decal bigger than A4 (8.3 x 11.7 inches), smaller than that, or if an A4 size decal is enough. Use a ruler or measuring tape to manually measure if you need smaller or bigger sizes for your decal. The old-school way always works best!

vinyl decal on pillowcase

Galaxy Heat Transfer Vinyl on pillowcases

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Vinyl Decals Measured?

Vinyl decals can be measured using your cutting machine’s software through a template visualizer. You can also follow the decal size tips recommended by many crafters or this guide.

What Is a Good Size for a Decal on Shirt?

As a general rule, a good decal size for adult t-shirts should be between 9 to 14 inches. This will depend on how you want your decal to look on the blank canvas.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this vinyl decal size chart will help you and bring you a long way. Along the way, as you print more shirts, make your own vinyl decal size chart or you can print out the HTV size chart above, and pin it on your workstation. Lastly, practice makes perfect when it comes to printing. Happy crafting!


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