Transfer Tape 101

share on social:

Transfer Tape is a necessary supply when working with adhesive or stencil vinyl.  It is used once the design has been fully cut and weeded.  (aren’t sure what I mean when I say weeded?  Check out this post here.) Basically the transfer tape keeps the design 100% in tact when moving it from one place to another.

Cameo 3 Bundles by Expressions Vinyl

Types of Transfer Tape

When it comes to transfer tape, there are a bunch of different types out there that you can use, but really it comes down to the type of project being worked on.  Today I want to share with you the most popular types of transfer tape and when to use what.  Let’s dig in…

 Paper Transfer Tape

This type is by far my favorite and most used.  I absolutely love that it doesn’t have a backing and I don’t need scissors to cut it.  It is thin like paper so it can be easily ripped to the size of the project you need.  The paper style of tape isn’t 100% clear but you can see through it enough to line up a project.  It comes in several different widths and isn’t overly sticky.  The level of tack a transfer tape has impacts the ease of use and the paper tack level is perfect.  I have two types of paper transfer tape that are my go-to brands.  This one and this one.  Paper transfer tape is the kind that I used with oramask stencil when creating this growth chart.



Clear Transfer Tape

The next style is clear.  This type of tape is the kind to use when something needs to be lined up 100% perfectly and there is no room for give.  For example, when you are creating a decal with multiple layers like we did here.  Just as a warning the clear option can be a tad bit sticker than the paper but the benefit is you can see exactly what you are doing from both sides.  This is my favorite type of clear transfer tape.

Grid-lined Transfer Tape

The last type of transfer tape that I use on the regular is clear with grid lines.  I recommend using this style when you are creating or even selling decals that will need to be lined up on something else evenly.  For example on the back of a car or on a wall.  The grid helps to ensure that you or your client is able to have the final product lined up exactly even.  The grid lines are subtle and the rest is clear therefore making it easy to work with and align.  Unlike the paper you will need scissors to trim to the correct size.

Opaque transfer tape is also available but I find that I use this style the least since it is harder to see through and you need scissors to trim it.

When to Use What

Here is a quick little chart that helps to determine which type of transfer tape is best for the project you will be completing.

Hopefully this clarifies for you exactly what transfer tape is and when you should use what type.  So now it is your turn… which type do you find you use the most?  Also don’t forget to pin the above chart for future reference and share this post with a friend who is just learning about all the types of tape.

Happy crafting, cutting, and chaos friends!


Disclosure:  We do get paid a small percentage when you shop through our links, but all opinions are 100% our own.


  1. […] Move parchment paper to mat to use as a stencil.  Don’t forget the insides of your letters too! (it is also possible to use oramask or adhesive vinyl but i had a hard time making it stick while peeling up the transfer tape)  Check out all our favorite transfer tapes here. […]

  2. Gretchen WITKOWSKI on April 10, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    I was looking for paper transfer tape. I wish you would have listed the brands you prefer because neither link works. 🙁

    • Jes - Team Chaos on April 11, 2021 at 10:50 pm

      Expressions Vinyl has great transfer tape. Both the transparent and the paper.

  3. Michelle on November 20, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    I currently use the cricut lined transfer tape and I find it will not work for glitter vinyl, cant figure out what Im doing wrong.

    • MyDesigns on November 22, 2021 at 7:27 am

      Depending on the kind of vinyl it is, you might need to use a stronger transfer tape.

  4. Jean on December 10, 2022 at 10:15 am

    Can you post the name or new link for the transfer tapes you recommend please? The links you have don’t work. Thank you!

  5. Robin on February 15, 2024 at 9:28 am

    How do you use heat transfer tape with HTV since when you print it is face down. How do you keep all those little pieces where they should be because if you use the the tape your design will be backwards?

Leave a Comment

Learn to develop, and grow your crafting skills!

My mission is to develop, encourage, and grow your crafting skills, and confidence through freebies, tutorials, our club, and our signature course.


Behind the Chaos...

My name is Michelle and I am the creative director behind the chaos. I'm so are glad you are here and hope you find inspiration and confidence to create something beautiful out of the chaos in your craft room and in life.

free ebook!

Bring your creativity to life quickly and easily.

This guidebook will give you a detailed look into the creative crafting cycle called the Craft Maker Process.