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How To Use Puff Iron On Vinyl – Family Shirts


  1. Puffy HTV
  2. Normal HTV or Iron on vinyl
  3. Shirt with at least 50% cotton. I bought my shirts from Michaels. They were the brand Gildan.
  4. Heat source. You could even use a household iron. A heat press or easy press may give better results.
  5. A wood board, like a cutting board.
  6. Lint brush
  7. Cricut machine or similar machine to cut vinyl design.
  8. Optional: shirt guide
  9. Optional: My design which can be found in my library
  10. Optional: weeding tools


  1. You can place puff vinyl directly on a shirt that is at least 50% cotton, or you can place it on top of normal HTV that has been pressed into a shirt. See my green shirt as an example of this.
  2. Wash your shirts before applying any HTV on them. The puffy vinyl seems to work better after the shirt has been washed.
  3. Create and cut your design or upload my design into Cricut Design Space (or program of your choosing depending on the cutting machine you have).
    • Make sure to attach all of the words so you do not have to piece them together later.
    • Cut out design.
    • Make sure to mirror your design.
    • Normal HTV should typically be placed shinny side down. Usually puffy vinyl is placed shiny side up, however the puffy vinyl I used needed to be placed shiny side down. Just identify which side has the carrier sheet (clear protective sheet) and place that side down on your mat.
    • I used iron on vinyl as my setting to cut both my normal HTV as well as my puffy HTV. I also selected more pressure.
    • Before unloading your mat/material make sure the cuts have gone all the way through the vinyl, but not the carrier sheet. If not, then hit the go button again to run the cuts another time.
  4. Weed out the unwanted areas of your design.
  5. Use a lint brush to remove any extra lint and hairs on the shirt.
  6. Preheat your shirt at 305 Fahrenheit for 30 seconds. For the best result with the puffy HTV you need to insure all the moister is out of the shirt, that is why it is good to preheat the shirt longer than usual.

7. Apply all of the normal HTV first as you normally would. Heat set to 315 Fahrenheit for 30 seconds. The carrier sheet should be facing up.

8. Place your puffy HTV then place the HTV carrier sheets back over the normal HTV to insure it is protected from the heat source.

9. For the puffy HTV place the wood board under your shirt. A solid and hard surface like a wood cutting board works best for this type of vinyl.

10. Puffy HTV should only be pressed one time otherwise it will lose some of it’s puff. So, try to press all of your puff HTV in one go or ensure it will not get pressed a second time when pressing another area.

11. Puff HTV should be pressed at 305 Fahrenheit for 10 seconds, with lots of pressure. The key to getting puff HTV to puff up is to apply a lot of pressure to it. The wood cutting board also helps with this.

12. Remove the carrier sheet while it is still warm. Your puffy vinyl should look puffy right away.

13. Wait at least 24 hours before washing your shirt. To wash the shirt, turn it inside out and hang dry it.

I was so amazed at how well this vinyl puffed. It was a lot of fun to work with. These shirts will be given to my brother and his wife who are both chemical engineers expecting their first child later this year. For my brother’s shirt, the green one I pressed it for 15 seconds and it was a 50% cotton and 50% polyester blend. I actually liked the texture I got along with the puff. For the blue shirt it was 100% cotton and only pressed for 10 seconds and had a nice smooth puff. The baby onesie was also 100% cotton and pressed for 10 seconds, but it also had the fun texture with the puff. I think this happened because it was a lot thinner than the shirts and thus got too much pressure. I personally liked the texture for certain looks, but depending on the look you want to go for this is something to think about and may help you trouble shoot if you have any trouble. Also remember your puffy HTV might be slightly different than the one I used. Also on the baby onesie the buttons got in the way a little for the back, so I repressed it with a hand iron, which worked well, but since I pressed it a second time I lost most of the puff here. The texture strayed though.

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