How to Weed Small Letters on Vinyl - Like a Pro!

how to weed small letters like a pro

Reverse Weeding of small letters
Screenshot image from TeckWrap Craft YouTube Channel

Aside from design creation and the actual application of vinyl, most crafters find weeding fun and a good stress reliever. Somehow, some crafters find weeding a stressful part of crafting probably because they don’t know how to do it properly.

When you are dealing with large texts and designs, weeding is a breeze. Weeding becomes a challenge when you have to work with small letters and tiny details. The good news is there is a less stressful way to weed vinyl – reverse weeding. Read more about it in this article.

Regular Weeding Video by @craftsbymarissa
Screenshot Image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram Page

Weeding Vinyl

Weeding is an important step in crafting. It is a process where you remove excess or unnecessary vinyl from your decal. Weeding is easy when the design is large and bold. However, it can be stressful if the design is intricate or the letters are small.

weeding pen and tweezers come in handy during this process. You begin weeding by starting from the outside and going in. This way, you get to see the design clearly and if you have missed out on removing some parts.

TeckWrap Craft Weeding Pen in Pink scales

Reverse Weeding Defined

First, weeding is defined as the method of removing excess vinyl so your design can pop out. The excess parts are not needed and can be disposed of leaving only the vinyl decal. A transfer tape is used to move the vinyl decal from the backing sheet to the surface for application.

So, the reverse weeding technique is simply doing the method indicated above, but in a reverse manner. You need to apply transfer tape to the vinyl decal first. When the vinyl sticks to the transfer tape, you can begin removing the excess vinyl.

TeckWrap Craft Tweezers

When is reverse weeding done?

Reverse weeding is recommended when you are working on designs that are small or thin, fancy, or intricate. Reverse weeding saves you time and frees you from frustrations. When you do reverse weeding vinyl you weed not from the vinyl backing but from the sticky transfer tape.

Reverse Weeding Tips

Use Good Quality Adhesive Vinyl

Quality adhesive vinyl is easy to cut, weed, and transfer as compared to poor quality vinyl. You will feel less frustrated if you use quality adhesive vinyl by TeckWrap Craft! Aside from quality vinyl, you also need quality crafting accessories.

Applying Transfer Tape Over the Vinyl
Screenshot image from TeckWrap Craft

The Right Type of Transfer Tape Is Necessary

Just like with vinyl, quality is the key. Also, you need to choose the appropriate transfer tape for the vinyl you will use. There are certain transfer tapes designed for particular types of vinyl. If you choose an inappropriate transfer tape, you will end up feeling frustrated.

TeckWrap Craft High Tack transfer tape

Cutting and Weeding Capabilities of Different Vinyl Types

 There are different types of vinyl and TeckWrap Craft has all of these. You don’t have to look elsewhere for you will get what you are looking for in just one shop. Generally, there are three main types of vinyl: removable vinylpermanent vinyl, and heat transfer vinyl.

Removable vinyl cuts and weeds cleanly. High-quality tack transfer tape works great for removable vinyl. For permanent vinyl, they can be cut and weed reliably. A medium tack transfer tape is recommended to be used for permanent vinyl. Heat transfer vinyl is easy to cut and weed.

Steps on Reverse Weed Adhesive Vinyl Procedure

Before trying the reverse weeding method, you must first prepare the materials and tools needed. Here is the supply list of materials and tools you need for weeding:

  • Adhesive vinyl of your choice
  • Transfer tape
  • Cutting mat
  • Weeding tool

Learning how to reverse weed can be a big advantage to you. This will make your crafting experience more enjoyable and efficient. Here are the steps that you need to follow to do reverse weeding:

1.  Prepare your design using design software and cut using a cutting machine

2.  Cut the edges of the vinyl as close as possible to the exact size of the design.

3.  Then, cut a transfer tape of the same size as your design. Stick the transfer tape over your vinyl.

TeckWrap Craft Squeegee

4.    Using a squeegee or any scraper that you may have, rub both the front and back parts of the vinyl decal. When rubbing, remember that you want the small details to stick to the transfer tape.

5.    If you think you have rubbed enough and the vinyl has completely transferred to the transfer tape, you may peel off the vinyl backing. You will be left with your vinyl decal on the transfer tape.

Rubbing both front and back sides
Screenshot image from TeckWrap Craft 

7.    Next, it is time to remove all excess vinyl. When you are peeling off vinyl from texts, you should be careful because you may end up tearing your decal. If the vinyl doesn’t stick to the transfer tape, continue rubbing it onto the transfer tape on the front and back sides.

8. When your decal is securely positioned on the transfer tape, you can now apply it to the surface of your choice. To secure the vinyl on the surface, use a squeegee.

9. Carefully peel off the transfer tape from the surface. You are now done!

Peeling off Of Transfer tape
Screenshot image from TeckWrap Craft Instagram page

Check Your Cutting Machine

Weeding large decals is easy and relatively a no-brainer. However, there will come a time when you would find yourself weeding small letters and designs with intricate details. These are hard to work with for you may end up tearing a big part of your vinyl and waste it all together. 

Aside from using quality vinyl and appropriate transfer tape, you also need to check whether the blade of your cutting machine is clean and if you used the appropriate cut setting. These two problems should be looked into if you want to have an effortless weeding process.

Cricut Cutting Machine
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Cleaning the Blade

If you are using a Cricut cutting machine, here are the steps on how you can clean the blade:

  1. You can depress the plunger to check on the blade. There may be pieces of vinyl or glitter that got stuck on it.
  2. To clean your blade, you need a ball of foil. You need to stick the blade to the foil and do this several times until the blade is clean.
  3. If the blade pops out while you are sticking it to the foil, you can easily put it back in.
  4. When the blade is completely clean, you can put it back onto the cutting machine.

Washi Sheet Setting

If you are using Cricut Explorer, use the “custom” settings. On the Cricut Maker, check out the “browse all materials” in the “set material” tab. For both machine types, you can search for “washi” or “washing setting”. The washi settings provide your vinyl with smoother and flawless cuts.

Reverse Weeding
Screenshot image from TeckWrap Craft YouTube Channel


How do people get small letters from vinyl weed?

You will need a transfer tape to weed small vinyl letters. Reverse weeding is easier once the vinyl has stuck to the tape. This makes weeding small letters easier.

How do you weed small texts?

To weed small texts, first, you need a piece of transfer tape which you need to place on top of the vinyl decal. Burnish the transfer tape to make the vinyl stick to it. Gently remove the vinyl from the transfer tape; you will then see the letters sticking to the transfer tape. Then, you can start weeding.

Why is it so hard to weed my vinyl?

Weeding can be hard if you are not doing it correctly. If you are working on tiny letters and intricate designs, you should do reverse weeding.  To make weeding easier and faster, make sure your cutting machine’s blade is clean and set to the proper cut setting. The cut shouldn’t be so deep that the paper backing gets ripped off when you remove the excess vinyl.

Successful Reverse weeding
from TeckWrap Craft YouTube Channel


Reverse weeding is as simple as counting 1, 2, 3. When you master this technique, you can weed almost anything effortlessly. When doing reverse weeding, be patient because this technique lasts longer than regular weeding. Nonetheless, it does the job!

Also, it is advisable to regularly maintain your cutting machine so it can give you crisp weeding lines. For more details about reverse weeding, you can check out this instructional YouTube video  above from TeckWrap Craft.

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