Can You Use HTV on Glass? Yes, You Can!
Yes, you can definitely use HTV on glass. Glass is an excellent conductor of heat and HTV will adhere to any kind of heat-conducting material. However, you would need enough knowledge on how to apply heat transfer vinyl on glass if you decide to start crafting with this type of material.
HTV on glass projects can be a bit challenging but definitely fun and the result is spectacular. You would find yourself making more glass projects after your first attempt. This guide will help you with how to apply heat transfer vinyl on glass and be aware of the precautionary measures.
What is Heat Transfer Vinyl?
Heat Transfer Vinyl is a heat-activated vinyl that can be applied to surfaces using an iron or heat press. It is also called HTV or iron-on vinyl. HTV can be applied to fabrics, glass, wood, or any material that can withstand heat.
TeckWrap Craft offers a wide selection of heat transfer vinyl that you can use for your glass projects. Normally, glass projects don’t require huge decals. Given that, you can initially purchase a beginner HTV sheets pack. You get all the designs in just one set.
To make your glasses interesting and inviting, you can use glitter HTV, color-changing HTV, or glow-in-the-dark HTV. You can check out the links for the different color options for color-changing HTV, and glow-in-the-dark HTV.
TeckWrap Craft HTV Starter Sheet Pack
Glitter HTV in Colorful black
Applying Heat Transfer Vinyl on Glass
Before working on your glass project, there are some words of caution to remember. First, you know that glass is a good conductor of heat. Therefore, glass can get very hot once the heat is applied to it. So be extra cautious.
The second word of caution is the possibility of the glass breaking due to the intense heat. The heat may even stay on the glass for a while. To remedy both situations, it is best if you use an oven mitt when working on this type of project.
Also, after heating the vinyl on the glass, don’t place the glass on the cutting mat. The heat will cause the mat to warp.
Here are the steps in applying HTV on glass:
Step 1: Design
You will need design software to create your vinyl decal. Do consider the size of your decal. The decal should have an almost round shape to emphasize the shape of the glass. Also, before cutting your design, it is important to mirror the image.
Step 2: Cut Your Vinyl
Position the vinyl on the cutting mat where the shiny side is facing downward. A cutting machine will be very useful in cutting out the design.
Step 3: Weed and Position the Vinyl on a Glass
After the cutting process, you have to weed the excess vinyl. Cut the edges of the vinyl close enough so they can be positioned close together on the glass. This makes it easier for the vinyl to follow the shape of the glass surface.
Step 4: Three Ways How to Apply HTV
There are three ways you can apply vinyl on glass. You can use a heat gun, a mini iron or a heat press. The rundown of how each application technique differs from the other is described below. You can stick with the method that is convenient and comfortable for you.
A heat gun is especially useful for curved surfaces but keep in mind that heat guns can get very hot. Use the low setting, usually the temperature is 275-315 F.
Also, remember to use a piece of cloth to rest the glass on to help absorb some of the heat - this helps protect the glass. You need to wear protective work gloves as it can get too hot to the touch!
Work on small sections at a time, carefully doing so as not to melt the plastic backing of the htv. Press the htv onto the glass surface using a cloth fabric as it is still hot.Press on it section by section.
Let it cool before peeling off the carrier sheet, and cool completely before using. Now it is ready!
You need to prepare your working space covered with a towel. The towel helps with stability and is a cushion when the glass gets hot. You can use a regular iron or a mini iron. If you are using a regular iron, you may use the cotton setting which is often the highest setting.
Using regular iron, you may apply medium pressure on the vinyl. A regular iron can be a bit awkward to use. So, it is best if you can invest in a mini iron for these types of projects. A heat gun can be an alternative.
You first need to wipe clean the glass by wiping it with alcohol to remove grease. As soon as you have the decision on the final position of the decal, you can begin tapping the decal on the glass.
You have to allow the low heat to pass all over the vinyl and press it lightly multiple times. Unlike fabric, you don’t have to press long and hard on the glass for the vinyl to stick.
Just like with the mini iron setup, you need to place a towel at the bottom of the heat press pad. This too serves as protection to your glass. You may also use a Teflon sheet or any thin barrier to avoid melting or burning anything.
You should preheat the heat press. You can use a clam-shell heat press design where the top heating plate goes down at an angle. With t-shirts, using a heat press is easier. However, this can be a challenge if you are working on a drinking glass that is not a flat surface.
When working with a non-flat glass surface, you can use the turn method when using the heat press. Do use a protective glove or use an oven mitt when doing the turn method. Here is how the turn method is done:
- Choose which side of the vinyl you want to press on first. Press for 10-15 seconds.
- After which, rotate the glass at a 90-degree angle. It doesn’t matter whether it is turned clockwise or counterclockwise. Just remember the direction you turned so you can apply heat on all parts of the vinyl. Again, press for 10-15 seconds.
Keep repeating this process until you have completely pressed all parts of the vinyl on the glass. For small projects, you can use a mini heat press. Be careful when using a heat press. Don’t apply too much pressure when pressing because you may break the glass.
Step 5: Peeling of Clear Film
Once the vinyl has completely adhered to the glass, you can now safely remove the clear film covering the front of the HTV. The glass is still hot at this time, so be very careful when removing the film. For added security, you can place a freezer paper on top of the vinyl and you can iron the decal a little more.
HTV Application on Painted Glass
Applying HTV on painted glass follows the same procedure as indicated above. A painted glass does look good especially if you add a vinyl decal to it. To make the application process easy and fun, here are some tips to consider when applying vinyl on painted glass:
- Before painting the glass it must be very clean. In cleaning the glass, you can use rubbing alcohol. Allow the glass to air dry and avoid touching it for you may re-apply the grease onto the glass. The dirt prevents the paint from sticking to the glass.
- Paint your glass with quality paint that is ideal for glass surfaces. Baking the glass surface may be needed after you paint it and before you apply vinyl.
- The waiting period for the paint to dry and the time for it to completely cure are two different things. Maybe after a few hours or even minutes, your paint is already dry. This, however, doesn’t mean that the paint is cured. It is best to wait for at least 24 hours for the paint to cure and begin your vinyl application.
Reasons Why Vinyl May Peel off From Glass
No one wants to see a vinyl peeling off especially when you have worked hard to place it there in the first place. However, some things are beyond your control and your vinyl peeling off is one of them.
Despite this, you can still prevent this scenario from happening. Here are the three main reasons why vinyl may peel off from glass:
- The glass is not thoroughly clean. Vinyl will not stick to a glass surface when it has dirt, dust, and oil. You can clean your glass by wiping it with rubbing alcohol.
- Wrinkled and warped vinyl. When applying vinyl on your surface, make sure to position the decal properly to avoid the formation of wrinkles, bubbles, and warping.
- Poor vinyl quality. Use high-quality vinyl because it provides you with strong adhesive properties that will not peel off easily.
Maintenance of HTV on Glass
Image by @dazzlemecups from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page
You have worked so hard on your project. The least you want to happen is to repeat the whole process because you failed to care for your glass with vinyl. To avoid this, here are some tips on how you can maintain your HTV on glass:
- Wash your hands after the last step
- Don’t immerse the glass in water
- Never put the glass inside the microwave
- Glass with HTV is not dishwasher safe; hand wash it
How do you get HTV to stick to glass?
To ensure that the HTV sticks to the glass, you have to make certain that you have very clean glasses. Before working on your project, it is best to clean the glass with rubbing alcohol to remove the oils or grease caused by your fingers.
What temperature is HTV on glass?
The ideal heat setting to adhere HTV to glass is 315°F. Though, different kinds of HTV may require different heat settings. You can refer to this guide for reference.
What kind of vinyl can you use on glass?
For glass surfaces, there are two kinds of vinyl that you can use to decorate them. Both regular permanent vinyl and heat transfer vinyl work great on glass. However, you can also use removable adhesive vinyl on glass if you are planning on temporary design projects.
Working with vinyl on glass is fun to do and you won’t regret how your project will turn out. Though, working with glass should be approached with a lot of caution and presence of mind. You will not regret using TeckWrap Craft’s high-quality HTV for your next glass crafting project.