How to Size and Place Heat Transfer Vinyl Designs

HTV Design Size and Placement Chart

So you’ve purchased your amazing ImPRESSED Vinyl™ bundle, and you have some fun shirt designs up your sleeve (get it?!)…but maybe you’re not sure what size you should make your shirt design, or where to place heat transfer vinyl on a t-shirt. No worries, because we’ve got you covered! Follow this step-by-step guide, and you’ll be an HTV pro in no time!

Supplies Needed:

ImPRESSED Vinyl™ heat transfer vinyl
-Cutting Machine
-Iron or Heat Press
-Teflon Sheet
-Blank Shirt

STEP ONE: Determine Design Sizing

When making custom shirts, choosing the right size design is crucial. If the design is too small, the shirt will look unprofessional. If the design is too big, your shirt will look like you bought the wrong size. In order to take the guesswork out sizing, we created a chart that will help you size your design perfectly every time.

HTV Design Size and Placement Chart

Of course, this is not a hard rule on sizing, but this chart is a general guideline on where to begin.

STEP TWO: Create Your Design 

Whether you use a Silhouette machine, Cricut, or a different cutting machine, the process is still the same. This project uses Silhouette Studio, but the steps remain the same, regardless of which software is used. Import your HTV design into your software. Select the design and drag the corner square to size it accordingly. This design can be found in the Silhouette Design Store.

How to Size and Place Heat Transfer Vinyl Designs Silhouette Studio Now we need to mirror our image since the heat transfer vinyl is cut on the backside. In Silhouette Studio, right-click and select flip horizontally.

How to Size and Place Heat Transfer Vinyl Designs Silhouette Studio Flip Design

Our design is now mirrored and ready to cut! How to Size and Place Heat Transfer Vinyl Designs Silhouette Studio Ready to Cut

STEP THREE: Cut Your Design

Go to your cut settings and select heat transfer material, smooth. Then adjust your blade. How to Size and Place Heat Transfer Vinyl cut design

Place the HTV onto your cutting mat, shiny side down. The shiny side is a clear carrier sheet, and we don’t want to cut that!

Load your mat into your machine and send to cut! How to Size and Place Heat Transfer Vinyl cutting

STEP FOUR: Weed Your Design

After the design is cut, peel off the extra heat transfer vinyl that is not part of the design. Weeding should be easy if you have a clean cut. How to Size and Place Heat Transfer Vinyl weeding
Pro Tip: If you are struggling with your HTV design not weeding well, check your blade. It may be dull or have material stuck. Use a weeding hook or a pair of crafting tweezers and weed out the insides of the small letters.

Now our design is ready to be ironed on!

STEP FIVE: Place Your Design

Before we iron our HTV design onto the shirt, we need to figure out the correct placement. Here is a trick to make it perfect every time! Take your shirt and fold it in half lengthwise. Iron the crease to make a line.

How to Size and Place Heat Transfer Vinyl Designs Ironing

Now we know where the center of the shirt is. Next, fold the top of the shirt down and create a crease right underneath the armpit. Iron to create a crease.

As you can see, we now have perfect gridlines to work with!

Now take your HTV design and fold it in half lengthwise, then again widthwise.

Here comes the easy part! No need to worry about crooked designs anymore. Line up your design with the creases on your shirt, and we are ready to iron!

STEP SIX: Apply Your Design 

After your design is placed perfectly on your shirt, grab your Teflon sheet and place it over the design. Using your heat press or home iron, press the design firmly for 20-25 seconds for each area.

How to Size and Place Heat Transfer Vinyl Teflon

Lift your iron and remove the Teflon sheet. Allow the design to cool for 45 seconds. ImPRESSED Vinyl is a COLD peel. After the design has cooled, peel off the clear carrier sheet. If part of the heat transfer vinyl design starts to lift up, place the carrier sheet and Teflon sheet back down and repeat with more heat and pressure.

Now we have a perfectly aligned and sized design ready for wear!


We hope you found this post super helpful. Click here to download a .pdf version of our sizing chart.  Print a copy and keep it by your machine for quick reference.


Happy Crafting!!!


5 thoughts on “How to Size and Place Heat Transfer Vinyl Designs

  1. Nia Fulton says:

    Thanks for the information! Based on the size chart and the size of the example design, this design was pressed onto a toddler 4T-5T shirt?

Comments are closed.

Add address

United States (US)