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How to Use Puff Vinyl

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Have you tried puff vinyl? This HTV puffs up and gives a gorgeous texture when heat is applied. Learn how to use it, design tips and the right heat settings to use with this material.

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What is puff vinyl?

This puff heat transfer vinyl has a unique quality in which the material puffs up when heat is applied. This gives your garment a raised a textured feel.

black puff vinyl HTV on a sweatshirt

It can also be called 3D vinyl among other names. They all have the same fun textured quality.

Puff HTV can be applied to any material that traditional iron on is used on. I think the finished puffed up look works best on fabric. This material adds dimension to shirts and allows you to use tone on tone for a unique look.

The brand I am using for these projects is TransWonder Puff Vinyl. This pack comes with 8 colors that allow you to try it out on all kinds of projects.

TransWonder puff vinyl HTV

Tips for using puff vinyl

Scroll down for a step by step tutorial and video showing how I created a black sweatshirt with a black graphic.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when working with puff vinyl.

  • Can you layer puff vinyl? When layering or combining with other types of HTV, this must always be your last layer. Heat can only be applied once to get the desired puffy effect. If heat is applied a second time it will flatten.
  • This material will puff up and can obscure small spaces in your design. Choose a design or text with a little extra room in between the elements so the final product shows up correctly.
  • Do you mirror puff vinyl? This is HTV so always mirror your design and cut the material from the back.
  • Use an EasyPress or auto heat press that applies even consistent pressure to the full design. I tried using my EasyPress mini, which I had to move around on the design, and I didn’t get the full puff effect.
colors of puff vinyl HTV

This fabric treat bag is made with 3 different types of HTV; solid black, gold metallic and puff. Watch the quick video on Instagram to see how easily this came together. The texture adds a really fun element to a simple treat bag.

layered puff vinyl fabric bag
rainbow made with puff vinyl

Make a sweatshirt with puff vinyl

Yield: 1
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Learn how to use puff vinyl to make a sweatshirt


  • Cricut machine with mat and tools
  • EasyPress


  1. Create a design using Cricut Design Space or use this project. rainbow in Cricut design space
  2. Mirror the design and set the material settings to Glitter iron on. Puff vinyl requires a slightly deeper cut than regular HTV. Do a few test cuts to make sure the HTV is cut all the way through.
  3. Place the puff vinyl shiny side down on a cutting mat and load it into your Cricut machine.
  4. Cut the design.
  5. Weed out the excess HTV and save your scraps. weeding rainbow
  6. Prep the sweatshirt. Use a t-shirt ruler for the most accurate graphic placement. ruler on sweatshirt
  7. Set the Cricut EasyPress to 300 degrees and 15 seconds. Easypress settings for puff vinyl
  8. Press the shirt to remove wrinkles first.
  9. Place the rainbow on the sweatshirt with the plastic side up, place the EasyPress on top for 15 seconds and apply even firm pressure.
  10. Remove the EasyPress and let the HTV cool for about 1 minute then pull off the carrier sheet. PEELING BACK CARRIER SHEET This is the final shirt. puff vinyl rainbow on a sweatshirt


Do not apply heat to puff vinyl more than once, this will cause the raised texture to deflate.

Firm even pressure is needed to achieve this look, an EasyPress or traditional heat press works much better than a home iron or mini press.

Recommended Products

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Did you make this project?

Share yours and tag @creativeramblings

Now you know how to use puff vinyl. Pick up a bundle from TransWonder and start creating. Take a look at this simple shirt using Cricut Infusible ink, another way to add a design to a shirt.

Keep in mind that different brands may have their own unique application instructions. Be sure to follow the manufacturer guidelines. I have also found that some brands will puff up without a texture, while others lay a little flatter and have this texture shown in the rainbow.

A few other brands to try and test out for yourself:

  • Expressions Vinyl EV puff sheets come in a wide range of colors. Each sheet is 9×12 inches for around $3.
  • Siser Easy Puff sheets measure 12×12 inches available in all kinds of colors for around $3 per sheet. This HTV also comes in rolls.

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How to use puff vinyl on a sweatshirt

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Sunday 24th of March 2024

I have had no luck using the manual heat press. I just can’t get consistent pressure on the vinyl. The result is inconsistent puffing. It seems from videos I’ve watched that the automatic heat press works the best because of the consistent pressure on the vinyl.


Tuesday 2nd of April 2024

I use an auto press for most of my puff vinyl now, I've had the same experience as you, sometimes it's good but it's just not consistent.


Tuesday 28th of November 2023

Just curious - Why do you say to save your scraps?


Thursday 30th of November 2023

They are great to keep on hand for small projects. I keep mine in a drawer organized by type and use them all the time, saves money and reduces waste.


Wednesday 22nd of November 2023

Don’t want to sound like an idiot but I have this bundle with transwonder and my question is placing it on mat you say shiny side down so the color is facing up and the clear carrier sheet is facing the mat and you mirror it?


Sunday 26th of November 2023

Yes that is correct! It feels a little odd at first but you are doing it right. After weeding, you'll flip it over and the design will look right.

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