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how to apply vinyl to flip flips

Today we're bringing you a fun summer project- HTV on flip flops! Applying HTV on flip flops isn't nearly as difficult as it seems and our guest poster Stephanie is going to show you below. Keep reading to see how we got monograms and pineapples htv to stick to flip flops!

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Hi! I'm Stephanie from SteeCat + Pals on Instagram. Today I will be showing you how to apply heat transfer vinyl to sandals.

You will need:

  • a cutting machine (I will be using a Cricut Explore Air 2)
  • cutting mat
  • HTV
  • weeding tools
  • scissors
  • sandals
  • iron (I will be using a Clover mini iron II, but a home iron works just fine)
  • teflon sheet
  • ruler
  • something to mark the places you will place the HTV (optional, but it makes it easier to line up and space everything nice and neat. I will be using washi tape for this, but any tape, pen, pencil, etc will work too!)

Step 1

Let's get started! First, you will need to upload your images in the software. I will be showing you how I do this process on Cricut Design Space for the iOS. You're going to open a new project. Once you're on the canvas, you're going to want to select the upload button. For iOS, this will be at the bottom of your screen.

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Next select "select from photo library" which will then open your phones gallery.

Select the photo you wish to upload.

Since we are working with two colors, yellow and green, we will be editing the photos to work with one color at a time. First, you must select the "remove" wand button located at the bottom left screen. Once selected, tap on the white background area to erase the white.

Nest we will be removing the green to isolate the yellow part of the pineapple. Click on the green part of the pineapple. You can adjust what the wand removes by sliding the notch either left or right. Be sure when doing this you aren't removing any of the yellow part of the pineapple. If you are unable to remove all of the green by using the wand, simply tap the eraser button next to the wand, adjust the size of the eraser, and continue erasing the green.

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Once you have the yellow part of the pineapple isolated, select the NEXT button located at the top right of the screen. Save and name your image.

Now that we have the solid yellow part, we will be re-editing the same pineapple to remove the lines going through the pineapple to give it some characteristics. We will be alternating both pineapple designs throughout the sandal. Upload the same pineapple image, this time erasing the white background, green leaf part and the design lines on the pineapple. You may need to adjust the notch along with using the eraser to get everything as clean as possible.

Once you feel your pineapple is in good cutting conditions, save it like previously shown.

Next we will be isolating the green part of the pineapple. Upload the image once again this time removing the white background and the entire pineapple body, leaving only the green leaves this time. Now revise and save the image as before.

Now it's time for the ALOHA BEACHES text! Upload the image. Use the wand to remove the white background and the white areas in between some of the letters. Now save.

Monogram time! Upload the image and remove all white. Save as before!

Step 2 

Now that all our images are edited, it's time to add them to the canvas. After uploading and editing images, design space will automatically take you to the screen where you can load the images to the canvas. If it doesn't prompt you to use this screen, you can select the image icon, and then select the filter icon on the top right corner. Choose uploaded images and this will narrow down the images available. Select the images you just edited, there should be a check mark indicating that they have been selected, then press DONE.

Step 3

Now that the images are on the canvas, it's time to edit the color, group and size. For this project, we will be needing a total of 30 solid pineapples, 8 pineapples with the design and 2 monograms. To make this process easier, we will group our pineapples, then set their color. Select the leaf part of the pineapple. Once selected, resize the stem part to be proportional to the bottom. Now select the action button and duplicate the image. Move the new leaf to a new bottom. 

Now we will set the color of our images. In order to set the color, select the layer button. We will start with leaf. Select the leaf in the layer tab & it should prompt you to a color chart. Select green. Repeat the process for one of the pineapple bodies, and the words.

Group the leaf and body of the pineapple by selecting an area just above the leaf & move your cursor (or in my case finger), down the screen until you see both images have been highlighted with the rectangle. Under the actions tab, select the group button.

Next we will make the pineapple monogram. Start by duplicating the solid pineapple. Create your monogram letters and move them so they are directly above the pineapple. Once your image is the size you want it to be, duplicate it and set it to the side. Ensuring both the monogram and the pineapple are highlighted, select the actions button, followed by the split button. Then cut the monogram letters through the body of the pineapple. Since we set a set of the letters to the side, we can discard the ones the were sliced by selecting the image and selecting the red x icon on the top left corner. Now you will need to move the pink set of letters and line them up within the letters on the pineapples body. Make sure the leaf is still aligned and group the image together again. In order to separate the words aloha & beaches, we will be doing a process similar to the once used to make the pineapple monograms. This time you will go into the shape tab, and select a rectangle. Resize the rectangle to fit around the word aloha. Select both the rectangle and the phrase & select slice once again. Discard the cut out rectangle. You are now left with the two words as two separate images instead of the one. 

Now, we will be duplicating each pineapple until we get the amount of pineapples we need. Once all 40 pineapples are on the canvas, we will begin sizing & arranging the order the images will appear on the sandal. 

First we need to measure the size we will need our images. I went and measured the size of the wedge around the entire sandal along with the straps. After measuring what size the pineapples will be, I went around the sandal & placed a piece of washi tape to mark where each image will go.  

Each pineapple will be about 3 finger spaces apart around the sandal. On the straps, I kind of just winged the spacing between each pineapple to be evenly spaced. We will be needing 11 pineapples for the straps measuring at .4”. For the rest of the sandals the length of the pineapples will be 2.5”, 1.8” & 1.4”. Aloha will be 3.5” x 1.6” & beaches will be 4.5” x 1.6”. The monogrammed pineapple will be 2.5” as well. 

Back on design space, we will layout the images as they will be ironed on the sandals. We will start with the left sandal. This one will say aloha on the outer part of the sandal & will be followed by a solid pineapple on the back center of the wedge sized at 2.5”. Working our way towards the inner part of the sandal, the pineapples will alter between designed pineapple (DP) and solid pineapple (SP). After the first solid pineapple there will be a designed one at 2.5”. Next comes a solid one at 1.8”, DP 1.4”, SP 1.4”, DP 1.4”, SP 1.4”, & lastly DP 1.4”. The last pineapple should then meet with the word aloha. 

Next we will move the the right sandal. Beaches will be on the outer part of the sandal, followed by the same pattern and sized going inward of the sandal. The monograms will be placed on the top part of the sandal where ones foot will be. 

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Now that everything is sized and in place, it’s time to make the cuts. Select the make it button at the bottom right of the screen. Then will prompt you to the mat screen. Once there you will see how all the cuts will be made by the color. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you remember to mirror your image when working with HTV. Mirroring will flip your images so that they are cut in reverse so when they are ironed on, they will be facing the right way. In order to mirror your images, you will need to press the mat icon on the top left corner. This will then display all the mats you will be cutting. On each mat, you will have to select the mirror button. This will then flip the images on the mat before cutting. Once your images have been mirrored, it’s time to load the mats into the machine.  

Start with the first color, this case green. Place the HTV shiny side down. You want the blade to cut on the matte side of the HTV. This shiny side of the carrier sheet that sticks to the HTV until it is ironed into place.

Be sure to set your cricut to the iron on setting. Line up your mat with the machine. The arrow button on your cricut should begin flashing indicating it’s ready for the mat to be loaded. Press the arrow button and gently help feed the mat to the machine. Once the mat is in place, the button with the Cricut symbol will begin to flash indicating it’s ready to cut. Press the button & let the magic begin. Once the cut is complete, the screen will prompt you to unload the mat & the arrow button will begin to flash again. Press the button and the mat will be ejected from the machine. You will need to repeat the process for the next two mats.

Once all the cuts are completed, take a pair of scissors and cut out the area on the HTV with the cut images. This will leave you with HTV that can be used for another project. Set that aside as we no longer need those pieces. Now it is time to weed the images. 

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Weeding is the process of removing excess vinyl not needed in the the images. It is easiest to begin weeding from a corner of the sheet. Use your tool to lift up the corner of the sheet. Next, gently peel back the HTV from the carrier sheet. You will see that the images we cut will be left on the carrier sheet. Repeat the process for all the sheets. Make sure you weed out the inner design of the pineapples and and the vinyl in between letters that is not needed. Once everything is weeded, we will cut out each individual design so we can group them as we did in design space. 

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Now that all the images are cut and grouped, it is time to organize them in an order that is easiest for you to remember where each image will go. I stacked all the same size and design pineapples in individual stacks in the order they will be ironed on. If it it easier for you, you may separate the pineapples into two separate groups, left sandal and right sandal. 

Now we will turn our iron on and wait for it to heat up. If using a clover mini iron like I am, you will turn it on to the medium heat setting. If you are using a regular iron, it should be placed on the cotton setting and the steam setting should be turned off. 

Once your iron is hot and ready to go, select the image you wish to begin with. I chose to start with monogrammed pineapple first. Since we did the knockout method (slicing the monogram through the pineapple), lining up our monogram will be a breeze.

Remove the washi tape marking. To check the placement, hold all pieces of the pineapple and monogram in place. The easiest way to press this image would be by pressing the body of the pineapple first, followed by either the monogram or the leaf, then the last piece. The order I did mine in was body, monogram, leaf. Once you have the proper placement, we will begin pressing one color at a time.  

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Place the body of the pineapple where the washi tape was. Set aside the other two parts of the image as we will press those soon. Cover your image with a teflon sheet. Place the iron on the image and apply a small amount of pressure for 10 seconds. It is important to know if the HTV you are working with is a hot peel or a cool peel. You can check by doing some research on the vinyl you are using, or checking the instructions if any were provided with the vinyl. In order to check if the HTV adhered properly, remove the teflon sheet, and gently lift a corner of the image.

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If the image is adhered to the sandal, continue peeling back the carrier sheet slowly. If the image did not adhere properly, place the carrier sheet back down, place the teflon sheet back on the image, and reheat for another 5-10 seconds. Once the body of the pineapple is adhered, I lined up the pink letters within the sliced area. 

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Place a teflon sheet on the image. It is very import that the entire pineapple (body and letters) are covered with the teflon sheet before pressing. If any area of the pineapple body is not covered, this could cause the vinyl to melt to your iron. Press the image for another 10 seconds. Check that the image is adhered, remove the carrier sheet, and continue to the next piece. 

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Place the leaves of the pineapple in order and place the teflon sheet on the image, ensuring the entire image is covered, & press for 10 seconds. Check that the image is intact and remove the carrier sheet. Now the first image of your design is complete. Next we will move on to the words on the sandal. 

Line up with words to the washi tape marker. Remember to remove the washi tape markers as you go to ensure your image will be place in the correct spot. Once in place, cover the image with the teflon sheet as before and press for 10 seconds. Since the tip of my iron is much smaller than a regular iron, I went around and adhered the entire image before checking if it had adhered properly. Once it is intact, I move on to the next images.

For the pineapples, you will want to check the placement of the image while both colors are together, as it would appear on the sandal.   Personally I think starting with the body of the pineapple was easiest. Set the green leaf image aside as we will press it once we are finished with the body. To press the body, you will do the same process as before. Once the body of the pineapple is adhered & the carrier sheet has been removed, place the green leaf image in its place.  Press the leaves as we did with the monogrammed pineapple.  

Continue pressing the remaining pineapples and leaves around the sandal, as previously shown. 

Once all images are adhered, we will begin the straps.  

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I started by pressing the body of one of the pineapples on the center of the horizontal strap. Once I did the body, I moved on to the leaf.

After the first pineapple was in place, I started working my way out making sure the space in between each image was even. I did the same process for the V shaped straps next. 

Now that all images have been pressed into place it is time to admire your new beautiful sandals. 

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The beauty of this, is that you can customize these to whatever your liking is. Whether it be pineapples, like me, or even cacti, honeymoon, or even custom bride and bridesmaid sandals. The possibilities are endless. Hope you enjoyed making your new personalized sandals, see you next time.

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