Did you know you can apply heat transfer vinyl to leather? It’s true! This simple technique is a fun way to customize leather gifts like this DIY monogramed leather notebook. Thank you to Expressions Vinyl for sponsoring this post! This post contains affiliate links, which help to support this site. Thanks!
Today I am joining some of the other Expressions Vinyl ambassadors in a little Heat Transfer Vinyl Challenge! The rules are pretty simple. Basically, we could make anything we wanted as long as we used heat transfer vinyl, and here’s what I came up with.
Did you know that you can apply heat transfer vinyl to leather??? It’s true! I remembered this little fact when I was brainstorming HTV project ideas, and thought monogrammed leather notebooks would be a lot of fun and also make kind of an awesome gift. So, I pulled out my ipad pro and apple pencil and got to sketching. I came up with these pretty floral monograms, and I kind of love ’em.
If you want to make your own little DIY monogrammed notebook, I’ve got you covered. I will walk you through everything you need to know to apply heat transfer vinyl to leather AND I have free monogram cut files for every letter of the alphabet! Ready to get making?
DIY Monogrammed Notebook Supplies:
- Leather Notebooks (I found mine at HomeGoods, but Amazon has some great options too – like this one or this one.)
- Easyweed Heat Transfer Vinyl (I used Light Pink and Pink for my notebooks)
- Weeding Tool
- Silhouette or other electronic cutting machine
- Cover Sheet (I like Expressions Vinyl’s Multi-Use Paper)
- My Floral Monogram Designs (Cut files are free for personal use ONLY. You can purchase a commercial use license HERE. The link in the supply list will allow you to download a ZIP file containing SVG, DXF, and PNG files.)
How to Apply Heat Transfer Vinyl to Leather
Applying heat transfer vinyl to leather is simple and honestly very similar to applying heat transfer material to any other surface. Here are the basic steps:
1. Mirror Image and Cut
The first step is to mirror your design in your cutting software. Heat transfer vinyl is cut on the back side of the material, so your design has to be flipped in order to read properly when applied. If you are using Silhouette Studio like me, select the design, the go to Object > Mirror > Flip Horizontally. Next, select the correct material from the Send tab, make any necessary changes to the cut settings, and send it to the machine.
After your design has cut, you will need to remove the excess heat transfer vinyl from the carrier sheet. This process is called weeding. I really love and recommend this weeding tool. It has a nice sharp point, which makes it perfect for picking up all those little pieces.
Once you have all the excess vinyl removed, you are ready to apply your design to the leather.
Flip your weeded design over so the sticky side of the carrier sheet faces down and your image is flipped back the right way. Position it on your notebook (or whatever surface you are applying it to). Use your iron on the cotton setting with the steam turned off. (No steam is important, especially when working with leather! It’s best not to have any water in your iron at all. Water can stain and damage your leather surface.)
Place a cover sheet over the decal to protect the leather surface (a thin piece of cotton, piece of parchment paper, or multi-use paper all work). Place the iron on top of your design and press down with firm pressure for 10-15 seconds. Peel off the carrier sheet slowly making sure the vinyl has adhered. If you cab see the texture of the leather through the vinyl, then you have a good application. If you need to give the vinyl more heat, be sure to use a cover sheet. Never apply a hot iron directly on to HTV – it will melt and you will be sad. 😉
And that’s it! Your awesome custom leather notebooks are all ready for your deepest thoughts or for gifting to your dearest friends.
I really like the way these notebooks came out, but I’ve got about a thousand other ideas of places to put these floral monograms! Aren’t they fun? I’ve done every single letter of the alphabet, so get get your free floral monogram svg cut files (in the supply list above), and start monogramming all the things.
So what do you think? Have any great ideas for leather & HTV projects? Tell me all about ’em in the comments.
Check out more of my free SVG cut files here:
[the_grid name=”Free Cut Files Footer”]
Comments + Project Love
What if I have a heat press? Should I still use an iron? Also, can I just use my Teflon sheet between the iron and the leather? Or do I need to use cotton,?
Good question, and what about temperature settings of the heat press?
I’m sorry! I don’t have much experience with the heat press, so I’m not much help. I would do an experiment on a scrap piece of leather you don’t care about. Good luck!
Lorraine Leslie says
every think is great can’t wait to start
Sam Baker says
love your pattern and idea, looks beautiful on the leather note books! I so need one of these!!
Jeni Charron says
Was this smooth leather or suede? I was thinking of putting something on a leather tote. Thank you!
Did you remove the transfer tape prior to ironing? I’ve never used HTV before so I’m sorry if that’s a stupid question.
Valerie Hudson says
How has this project held up? I’m a paper crafter and getting into leather work. I’m curious if this project has stood the test of time. 😀 It’s really great by the way! Thanks for the inspiration!
Is the vinyl that you used good for leather? I’ve been told certain vinyl is not good for leather. Also, how long did the vinyl take to ship and deliver?
Can you take heat transfer vinyl off of leather once it is applied?
Is the vinyl on leather a really permanent application? I need something that will not fall off after a lot of hard use?
Can this be printed on with an inkjet printer and then transferred to a leather trainer tongue?