Can You Use HTV on Canvas?

Can You Use HTV on Canvas?

Finding answer and Learning the Basics

Here we are again, expanding our knowledge of the HTV universe and amidst the galaxies of a well-known medium, there’s one in particular that recently catches our attention -CANVAS!

Like a blazing shooting star, this ultra-fun material has been a stellar partner of HTV in unleashing a supernova of artistic creations.

So if you’re on a mission to fill your collection with canvas artworks, then you are precisely at the right place! We are more than happy to begin this adventure with you.

So what are you waiting for? Let the learning begin…

What kind of vinyl should I use on canvas?

If you are still torn between using adhesive vinyl over heat transfer vinyl for your first canvas home project, then let me help you save your time and money with what I’m about to reveal to you.

Adhesive vinyl is a big NO-NO for plain canvas materials. Canvas has a rough surface. Making vinyl stick to the surface is really a tough challenge, only to find out you’ll lose in the end. You might make it work with transfer tape at first, but sooner or later, it will just peel off, leaving you with nothing but a wasted effort.

Needless to say, Heat Transfer Vinyl is the perfect choice between the two. Since this type of vinyl is being transferred through the application of heat and pressure, it adheres better and longer.

So, how do you use HTV on Canvas?

         What I like about HTV is the universality of the process regardless of the material you intend to use. Although there’s a slight degree of variation per project, still, the direction is pretty much the same. Once you learn the core procedures, familiarizing yourself with specific techniques will be a piece of cake!

As part of the usual preparations, you need to create your design, ensure that it fits the canvas, mirror it, cut and weed out the excess vinyl. After completing these steps, you have your design ready for pressing.

Just like what I’ve said, there’s a secret to adhere HTV on each material easily. In this case, several hacks can save you time and energy. So before pressing your designs, let’s get to know these tips that will help you use HTV on Canvas like a pro:

Mastering the Trifecta of Perfect Transfer: Heat, Pressure and Time Guide

         The result of the transfer largely depends on temperature, time and pressure. Finding the right mix of the three will undoubtedly propel your work to a remarkable outcome. So here’s a quick guide from Cricut on some Heat Transfer Vinyl that you can use on canvas.


Heat Transfer Vinyl Temperature Time Pressure
Everyday Iron-On/Lite/Metallic 340°F/170°C 30secs Light
Everyday Iron-On Mesh 340°F/170°C 30secs Light
Express Iron-On 300°F/150°C 15secs Firm
Glitter Iron-On 285°F/140°C 30secs Light
Glitter Mesh Iron-on 285°F/140°C 30secs Light
Foil Iron-On 305°F/150°C 30secs Light
Fusible Fabric 330°F/165°C 30secs Light
Holographic Iron-On 285°F/140°C 30secs Light
Holographic Sparkle Iron-On 295°F/145°C 30secs Light
Mosaic Iron-On 295°F/145°C 30secs Firm
Iron-On Designs 340°F/170°C 50 secs Firm
Patterned Iron-On 340°F/170°C 50 secs Firm
Smart Iron-On 340°F/170°C 30 secs Light
Smart Iron-On Holographic 295°F/145°C 30 secs Light
Smart Iron-On Patterned 340°F/170°C 50 secs Firm
Smart Iron-On Glitter 285°F/140°C 30secs Light

Finding the Right Fit!

Whether using a heat press or an easy press, laying down the canvas is not a problem. It’s as easy as placing a shirt. However, it’s a different story when using a stretched or framed canvas.

This particular kind of canvas can be quite a challenge. First, if you are using a small canvas on a heat press, then the wooden frame would hinder the plates from fully closing, which could affect the transfer. Remember: if you can’t close it, then you can’t get the needed pressure.

You can actually take the frame and just attached it again after, but it would be laborious and we are not here for that. We are here to find ways on how to make it easy.

So the pro tip here is to find a canvas whose frame can fit just right around the base of the heat press. In this way, you won’t need to put on a pressing pillow or any hard object to support the pressure. If you are using a 15×15 Heat Press, then a 24×18 stretched canvas is perfect. If you have the 9×12 Heat Press, then an 11×14 canvas will do the job.

So now that your canvas lays perfectly on the heat press, you can proceed to heat pressing.

How is it done with Heat Press?

  1.  After putting the canvas on the bottom platen, carefully position the Heat Transfer Vinyl design wherever you intend it to be pressed.
  2. Add a layer of Teflon sheet.
  3. Preheat the machine to 360 degrees, then start pressing for about 30-35 seconds. Note that this is a generic heat and time setting; you may want to check the guide that comes along with your heat press or the instructions for your HTV of choice for better results.
  4. Carefully peel off the carrier sheet only when the vinyl is already warm.
  5. Redo the pressing if the design is not fully adhered to yet.

Using heat press for your canvas projects is not that difficult, especially if you’re applying those tips. However, we can’t fixate your canvas projects to these sizes alone FOREVER; we should not let our fear of taking more steps take the thrill of crafting different artworks in all forms and sizes.

For such a situation, an easy press is a preferred solution.


How is it done with an Easy Press?            

If you’re using an Easy Press, what will save you from a terrible fail is putting a pressing pillow or finding solid support to fill the inside of the canvass, such as books, a pad of paper, or anything that is of the same height as the canvas that can withstand the pressure.

Here are a couple of things that you will need:

  • Solid support (textbooks, stacks of paper)
  • Pressing Pillow/Towel- will be used to protect from heat whatever support you are going to use
  • Teflon Sheet-will be placed on top of the canvas
  • Easy Press

So here’s what you need to do:

  1. The first step is to add solid support underneath the framed canvas. A sturdy material that can go against the pressure from the pressing. Then add a pressing pillow or a towel for added heat protection.
  2. Add the design to the position you wanted it to be pressed. Put over a Teflon sheet or a towel to avoid accidental burn.
  3. Next, preheat your Easy Press depending on the recommended setting needed. You can check the table above for a complete guide on the required heat and press time.
  4. Once everything is in place, proceed with the actual pressing. Manually checked if there’s a portion that needs more pressing. If you miss a spot, just return the sheet slowly and press again until the vinyl sticks on the canvas.

Do you need to seal vinyl on canvas?

Both Heat Press and Easy Press create a durable art piece that can withstand the test of time. However, if you wonder if sealing is applicable for canvas projects, here’s the answer to your question.

First, we need to know the purpose of sealing vinyl. The ultimate reason why crafters seal their works is that they want them to last long. It also depends on how you are going to use it. Will it be displayed outdoor, or will it be regularly washed? There are certain factors to consider here.

Since HTV already adheres well with canvas and is usually displayed indoor, you might find sealing an unnecessary process, but the choice is still yours. If you feel the need to seal your artwork, make sure that your choice of sealant is good for the canvass and the Heat Transfer Vinyl itself.

What’s the best Heat Transfer Vinyl to use on Canvas?

There is no single best HTV to use on canvas, and I think it’s one of the main reasons folks fell in love with it. The fact that you can experiment using different Heat Transfer Vinyl up the level of craftsmanship here. Knowing that there’s more than just one way of pouring your creative juices makes it an exciting art enterprise.

For your preference, you may check glitter HTV, patterned HTV, metallic HTV. There really is a wide selection of products to choose from. Just make sure that it is the heat transfer type so you won’t encounter a problem.


HTV on canvas is a magical creation that keeps on bringing wonders into our lives. Just imagine the many beautiful things that you can create with what you’ve learned today. Applying Heat Transfer vinyl on canvas is another superb way to create personalized wall decors, displays and gifts that will indeed cast smiles and inspiration. I can’t wait to see your canvas masterpieces!

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