How to Put Vinyl on a Curved Surface: Know the Basics

Vinyl on  a Curved Surface

Vinyl on  a Curved Surface Image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page

Vinyl is a versatile craft material that can be used to decorate any surface. Curved surfaces are no exception. You surely have a lot of items at home that have curved surfaces that you want to physically enhance by placing vinyl decals.

You may be wondering how to put vinyl on a curved surface effortlessly. Most surfaces that you will be putting vinyl on are mugs or cups, water bottles, tumblers, glasses, vases, decorations, and a lot more.

Applying vinyl on a curved surface is different from flat surfaces. If you find yourself struggling to apply vinyl on curved pieces because of wrinkles and crease formation, then this guide is made for you.

Application of Vinyl to Curved Surfaces: Basic Steps

Image Credit from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page


If you have been crafting for quite some time now, you most probably know the basic steps when working with vinyl. You need to design, cut, weed, and transfer. If you want a refresher or know more details on how to apply vinyl on a project surface, you may want to read this blog post.

Here are the basic steps on how to put vinyl on a curved surface:

Step 1: Vinyl Designs

To make designing easier for you, the Cricut Design Space can be very helpful. You can use the Cricut Design Space to turn your dream design into reality. If you are running dry on design ideas, it has design suggestions that you can conveniently use. You can read this article about color attachment using Cricut Design Space.

vinyl on More curved surfaces

More curved surfaces: Image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page

Step 2: Cut, Weed, and Transfer

Once you are done with your vinyl design, you need to cut it using a cutting machine and weed excess material leaving you with just the entire vinyl decal. Also, do keep a utility knife around for you may need this to cut the vinyl. Once you have accomplished this, it is time to use your transfer tape.

The transfer tape is the material you need to transfer your vinyl decal to the curved surface. Working with rounded surfaces can be a bit challenging. Thus, you can start on one side. Slowly, slide off the transfer paper backing as you move across the vinyl design.

When your vinyl and transfer tape are bound together, you can use a scraper tool like a squeegee to burnish the transfer tape and vinyl. Burnishing helps the vinyl to stick better onto the transfer tape and for the easy removal of the backing sheet.


vinyl on curved surfaces

Image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page

Step 3: Remove the Vinyl Backing Paper

Snip the bottom and top portions of your backing paper. Then peel off the backing paper. You are then ready to transfer the vinyl to your curved surface.

Step 4: Stabilize the Surface

A major challenge that you may experience working with a curved surface is how to make it stable while you are applying vinyl. The project can roll away while you are applying vinyl and you wouldn't want that to happen.

To stabilize your curved surface you can sandwich it using rice bags or bean bags. If you have more time on your hands, you can try making a similar setup like the image below to make the transfer process smooth and effortless.

Image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page

Step 5: Apply Vinyl

As soon as the surface is stable and ready, you can begin to easily apply vinyl. You can begin to carefully fold the entire vinyl decal and remove the backing paper one side at a time. While you remove the paper backing, firmly press the transfer tape to the curved surface. Once one side is done you can repeat the technique on the other side.

curved surface vinyl projects

Image by @jch.creations from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page

Step 6: Burnishing and Sealing the Vinyl Decal

Your goal is for the vinyl design to adhere to the surface completely and that is possible with the help of burnishing. Peel the transfer paper backward and press down to ensure that the pieces stick to the curved surface.

If you don't want to seal vinyl after you apply vinyl, then that is alright. However, if you want to be on the safe side, sealing the vinyl on the curved surface using Mod Podge is to your advantage. You need to patiently wait for 72 hours for the vinyl to completely cure. Then, that’s it!

adhesive vinyl on curved surface

Image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page

Tips and Tricks on How to Easily Apply Vinyl on a Curved Surface

If you hate wrinkled vinyl and stubborn air bubbles, you can remedy this by lightly heating the vinyl with a heat gun or hairdryer. Peel off the vinyl slowly to remove the bubbles and wrinkles. If you have managed to remove all these, you can press back the vinyl in place.

Using the Self-Hinge Method

The hinge method begins when you have applied transfer paper over your decal and you are removing the vinyl backing. Do not discard the vinyl backing for you will need this to hinge your design. To make the hinge, you need to cut the backing in half all the way to the center.

You will re-apply the backing to the design while leaving a small gap in the middle. Position your design with the transfer tape on the curved surface. Slowly trim or fold back one section of the backing and press the decal to the curved surface avoiding bubbles and wrinkles. Do the same to the other side.

This method may require an extra step but it can ensure a faster and more efficient transfer on rounded surfaces. It is best to use the technique that you find comfortable to do. What’s important is to achieve the goal of transferring the decal to the surface.

vinyl on curved surfaces

Image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page


How do you get the vinyl to stick to a curved surface?

The easiest way to stick vinyl to a curved surface is by using the hinge method. With the hinge method, you fold or cut the paper backing one at a time until you get to stick the whole decal on the surface.

How do you put a round sticker on a curved surface?

You can put a round sticker on a curved surface by first cleaning it with rubbing alcohol. Remove the sticker backing and apply the sticker in a left to right fashion on the surface. Do this with enough stability without air bubbles and wrinkles formation. Then, burnish the design on the curved surface.


adhesive vinyl on glass

Image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page

It’s Easy!

You now know how to put vinyl on a curved surface. When you are doing it for the first time you can expect some hurdles but you can learn from experience and be a better crafter for your next project. You may find these two blog articles helpful when working on curved surfaces - applying vinyl on mugs and wine glasses.


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