Applying Heat Transfers to Hard Substrates

If applying a heat transfer onto a hard substrate, it’s important that the item you are applying to isn’t bulky and has a flat surface. This allows the heat press to close all the way without breaking or damaging the hard substrate or the heat press. Most heat-applied materials can adhere to hard substrates, but it won’t be permanent. For a more permanent application, sign vinyl is recommended.  

Step 1: Place the blank item on the heat press face up. 

Step 2: Pre-press the blank item to eliminate any moisture.

Step 3: Lay the heat-transfer design face-down in the desired location. If using heat-transfer vinyl, place a cover sheet over both the substrate and transfer. 

Step 4: Close the heat press until the set time is up.

Step 5: Open the heat press and peel the transfer back off the design to reveal the decorated substrate.

—Sarah Montreuil, Stahls’