Heat Transfer Vinyl on Leather Step By Step Guide

Heat transfer vinyl on leather shoes? YES, IT’S DOABLE! With TecKWrap Craft’s heat transfer vinyl and Mini Heat Press Machine, you can custom-print on any leather shoes or surface you want! Some shoe companies use heat transfer vinyl to print on their products. So why not do it?

This is the perfect gift-giving idea for family and loved ones, to make your gift extra special. It’s not everyday that you’ll see custom leather shoes, so why not make one on your own? In this craft guide, you’ll learn the step-by-step guide on how to print heat transfer vinyl on leather shoes, the supplies needed and several useful tips on how to pull-off this project successfully. Let’s get right into it!

vinyl on leather and canvas shoes

Photo by EVG Kowalievska from Pexels

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Print Heat Transfer Vinyl on Leather Shoes

These instructions are applicable on both leather shoes and canvas sneakers as well. The time and temperature settings differ. You can apply heat transfer vinyl on shoes with a smooth surface, not rigid ones.

Heat transfer vinyl adheres well to leather shoes with smooth surfaces as compared to rough or rigid ones. When you apply heat transfer vinyl to shoes, that’s the first thing you need to take note of.

Supplies Needed

  • TeckWrap Craft’s Heat Transfer Vinyl
  • TeckWrap Craft’s Heat Press machine
  • Leather shoes
  • Cutting machine (Silhouette or Cricut)
  • Cutting mat
  • Weeding tool
  • Parchment paper or Teflon sheet
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Thermal tape
  • Rolled up cloth

Step 1: Prepare Your Design

During this first step, there are several questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What kind of design do you want to place on the shoes?
  • Which part of the shoe do you want to place it on?
  • What size should the HTV be?
  • What kind of heat transfer vinyl design will you use?

As soon as you made up your mind and answered the questions above. Prepare your design! Whether it be a cute little star, or a printed name, come up with your design and upload it in your cutting machine’s software editor.

You can always download Free SVGs or use the available designs on your cutting machine’s library of designs. Cricut and Silhouette studio has plenty of vectors available, so make sure to check them out. So here’s what you need to do:

  1. Upload the design on the cutting machine’s software
  2. Make sure to adjust the size of the HTV
  3. Place the HTV on the cutting mat
  4. Send the design for cutting
  5. After cutting, weed the excess vinyl. Set the excess heat transfer vinyl aside, perhaps you can use it on your future projects. There are plenty of vinyl projects and fun designs you can do with scrap vinyl.
teckwrapcraft's minipress machine

TeckWrap Craft’s Mini Heat Press Machine

Step 2: Iron the HTV on the Shoes

Prepare your mini iron, carrier sheet of Parchment paper, rolled up cloth, thermal tape, and of course the shoes you want to print on. Set the mini iron machine on these temperatures:

  • For leather shoes:
Heat: Low
Time: 10 to 15 seconds
  • Canvas shoes:
Heat: Medium
Time: 10 to 15 seconds
  1. Place the HTV nowhere you want it printed on the shoe
  2. Place a rolled up cloth inside the shoe so while printing later, the shoe’s print surface is as flat as possible (much like you need a flatbed for your heat press
  3. Secure it with a thermal tape so it won’t keep moving during the pressing process
  4. Set the heat press machine on its recommended temperature
  5. Place a Teflon sheet or parchment paper over the HTV
  6. Printing time! Press the mini iron over the HTV. Remember to press, not to glide
  7. Apply firm pressure while printing and avoid hitting areas of the shoes without a cover sheet to avoid it from getting scorched
  8. Add a few extra seconds of printing time, around 5 seconds, if you think it needs extra pressing time
  9. Remove the HTV on warm peel
  10. There you have it! You can now make as many personalized sneakers as you want

Optional Step: If You Want to Customize the Whole Shoe

Perhaps personalizing certain parts of the shoe is not enough and you want to customize the whole shoe, then you can! If you have an almost worn out shoe and want to savage your old shoe, then you can print over it. But not all of it.

This part is a little tricky, and it’s only possible to print on the toe vamp or the upper part of the shoe. The sides and heel edges may be a little tricky to print on. So you may want to set your expectations on printing on the upper part.

So here’s what you need to do:

  1. Using a parchment paper and pencil, you need to trace over the shoe to determine how big HTV you can print over the upper part of the shoe
  2. With a scissors or craft knife, cut the traced area
  3. On your cutting machine’s software, download a blank template of a shoe’s upper part, and adjust the size
  4. Choose an HTV you want, and cut it on the cutting machine
  5. With this type of personalization, it is a great idea to use expressions vinyl
  6. Recommended HTVs: Colorful splash, animal print or camouflage HTV
  7. Follow the same steps mentioned above when pressing
  8. Except for the part that you need to press over the whole shoe

The Best Heat Transfer Vinyl Designs for Leather Shoes

So whether you have a worn out Chuck Taylor, a Van’s sneakers, or leather shoes you want to spice up a bit, you can always do so by grabbing your Mini Heat press machine and a special HTV from TeckWrap Craft, you can always do so!

Simply add heat transfer vinyl on the shoe, and you’re good to go. But what kind of iron on vinyl can you use for a leather surface? Here are several choices from TeckWrap Craft’s heat transfer vinyl collection.

  1. TeckWrap Craft’s Ombré Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl

If you’re into shining, shimmering, splendid and a lot of sparkles, then TeckWrap Craft’s Ombré Glitter Heat Transfer Vinyl will definitely add more colors and sparkle to your shoes’ life. Not only will it stand out from afar, but will look good on both light-colored or dark-colored shoes. This variant is available in plenty of color combinations and plain-colored glitter vinyl as well.



ombre glitter heat transfer vinyl
  1. TeckWrap Craft’s Galaxy Heat Transfer Vinyl

Perhaps you’re customizing a shoe for a costume party and going as a Star Wars jedi, then you should definitely pick TeckWrap Craft’s Galaxy Heat Transfer Vinyl. It comes in a galaxy design, which none of your friends may not have seen before. Custom-print your shoes with a star, UFO or alien vector using the galaxy vinyl and you’ll surely have an out of this world project (no pun intended).


Galaxy Heat Transfer Vinyl.


  1. TeckWrap Craft’s PU Marble Heat Transfer Vinyl

If classy and colorful prints are what you aim for in your shoes, then make sure to check out TeckWrap Craft’s PU Marble Heat Transfer Vinyl. Its marble finish and colorful hues look pleasantly wonderful, yet not too much for the eyes to take in. That’s why it’s one of the classiest and most sophisticated-looking heat transfer vinyl.



PU Marble Heat Transfer Vinyl

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you print heat transfer vinyl on sneakers?

Yes, you can print heat transfer vinyl on sneakers using a Mini Heat Press Machine and TeckWrap Craft’s heat transfer vinyl. It’s like printing on any other leather surface like bags and notebooks.

Can you use adhesive vinyl on leather shoes?

No, you cannot use adhesive vinyl on leather shoes. Although adhesive vinyl can initially adhere to a leather shoe, it might not last long due to wear and tear. That’s why if you want a more permanent print on a shoe (including leather and canvas) it’s better to use heat transfer vinyl when custom-printing on a leather shoe.

Can you use regular iron to print shoes?

Yes, you can use a regular flat iron to print on shoes. However, since a flat iron has a wide base as compared to a Mini Heat press machine, chances are, when pressing the HTV, you may hit other parts of the shoe. Also, when using a regular iron to print on a shoe, use the highest heat setting.

Let’s Wrap It Up!

There are plenty of heat transfer vinyl you can choose from at TeckWrap Craft. All you can use to custom-print on whether a leather or canvas shoe. So make sure to check out the whole collection of designs, available colors, and order now online!

You can have them delivered right to your doorstep. Also, in case you don’t have a Mini Heat Press Machine to use for custom shoe printing, you can buy one at TeckWrap Craft as well. Whether it be for leather gifts, custom tumblers or family gathering t-shirts, TeckWrap Craft has got your printing needs! Check out the TeckWrap Craft’s site now!


What are you looking for?

Your cart