Vevor Heat Press Guide

heat press machine with a yellow handle on a table with a blurry background. title reads "vevor heat press guide"

The best tips and tricks for using a Vevor heat press. Learn what you can make with it, how to use it, and its differentiating features.

Table of Contents

Note: Some links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I may earn a commission.

If you’re a crafter, then you know that having the right tools can make all the difference. A heat press is an incredibly versatile tool that can be used for a variety of projects, from personalizing clothing, accessories, mugs, and tumblers, to setting dyed fabrics.

I recently got a Vevor heat press (this one) and have been absolutely loving it and thinking through all of the crafting possibilities. I figured I’d share my learnings and show you the basics on how to use a Vevor heat press, what kind of paper to use, and some of the things you can make with it. Whether you’re looking to make t-shirts for your next family reunion or mugs for your friends, this guide will help you get started.

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What is a Vevor Heat Press?

The Vevor heat press machine is a device that uses heat and pressure to transfer designs from paper to fabric or other materials. With it, you can customize clothing, accessories, mugs, tumblers, and all sorts of items. It helps you create professional looking designs with vinyl or dye that will last, even after washing!

You can even use it for other types of projects that require heat, such as setting dyes that require heat.

This is the one I have, but there are other models as well with different features (e.g. the size, controls, and accessories) so in case mine is out of stock, you can select a similar one.

Don’t forget to pin it so you can easily come back to it later!

top image is pealing the sublimation design away from the drawstring bag to show the disney snack design on the bag and bottom image is the heat press. the title reads "step by step tutorial, vevor heat press guide, abcrafty.com"

Materials to Use a Vevor Heat Press

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How to Use a Vevor Heat Press

Set the Temperature and Time on Your Vevor Heat Press

Start by placing the heat press on a sturdy table (this is similar to the one I have). Then you’ll want to turn it on and set the temperature and time. The way you’ll determine these settings is based on the material you’re using for your design. On the packaging, it will tell you the correct temperature and pressing time to use for the material you’re pressing.

For my project, since I was doing sublimation (using this black paper) on a shirt, I set the temperature to 365 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer to 40 seconds.

setting the temperature on the vevor heat press

This is what the controls look like on my machine, but most will work similarly. Therefore to set the temperature, start by pressing the MODE button. The top number (TEMP) will start to flash. This will set the starting temperature.

You can then use the + and – buttons to adjust the temperature.

Once you have the starting temperature, press the MODE button again. Now you can set the ending temperature. (For the record, I have yet to do a project where the starting and ending temperature are different).

Press the MODE button again and the numbers next to TIME will flash. This is where you can set your timer (in seconds). When you’re finished, press MODE to save your settings.

closeup of the vevor heat press settings with labels

Set the Pressure on Your Vevor Heat Press

While the temperature starts heating up, you can make sure your pressure is how you want it.

Locate the pressure control (in my case it’s a knob at the top) and turn it to the right to increase the pressure or to the left to decrease the pressure. What it’s ultimately doing is raising and lowering the top plate. You can then lift and lower the handle to test out the pressure until it feels correct for your project.

Since I was doing sublimation, I wanted the pressure to be on the higher side so I tightened the knob to the right.

Tip: it’s always a good idea to have a test piece handy to make sure all the settings are correct before pressing onto your final item.

pointing to the knob that controls the pressure on the heat press

Create Your Design

You can do this prior to setting everything up and have it ready or depending on your design, you can get it ready while the heat presses warms up.

Cut out your design from the vinyl or sublimation paper (whichever you’re using) with scissors or a cutting machine such as a Cricut. I went with this fun Disney snacks design that I got on Etsy. Be sure to cut it as a mirrored image! 

Then weed your design – which means removing any pieces that aren’t part of your design. To make it easy you can get tools for this (this is the set I have).

Tip: If you’re using an image from the internet, make sure that it is high resolution so that it doesn’t come out blurry when you transfer it. 

disney snacks design in black sublimation paper already weeded

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Press the Design with the Vevor Heat Press

When the Vevor heat press is at the temperature, it’ll give a few beeps a few times. Then you’re ready to press!

Use the handles to swing the upper plate to the side (it rotates 360 degrees!).

Note: The plates are extremely hot so be careful not to touch them – only the handles.

pushing the top of a swing heat press away, revealing the bottom plate

If you’re doing sublimation, put a piece of parchment paper on top of the bottom plate to protect it. Then place your item on top (if there are layers, put parchment paper inside the item between the layers to protect those underneath). If you’re using vinyl, you can simply place your item on the bottom plate.

Then place your design on top of the item – make sure it’s centered and that there aren’t any air bubbles under the image. If needed, use heat tape to secure it (this is the one I have).

If you are using heat transfer vinyl (HTV), place the vinyl shiny side down on the item.

taping down a disney snacks design from sublimation paper onto a blue drawstring bag using heat tape

Place parchment paper on top to protect the heat press and the rest of the item.

covering the drawstring bag and design with parchment paper on the heat press

Then pull all the way down on the handle and press the start button to start the timer.

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pulling down on the lever of the heat press and pressing the button for the timer

Note: I sometimes needed to use two hands when pulling the handle, especially at the higher pressures. Be careful that it also doesn’t tip over as you do so! There are screw holes to be able to secure it to the table so I definitely recommend doing so if you can.

using both hands to pull down the lever on the heat press

Once the time is up, the machine will beep…loudly. I’m personally not a fan of loud beeping so I actually end up pressing the start/pause button right before the time is up so that I don’t have to hear it.

You can then lift the lever of the press and swing it away.

pushing the top of a swing heat press away, revealing the bottom plate with the pressed item, design, and parchment paper

Depending on the type of material you’re using, you’ll want to peel off your design while it’s still warm or wait until it cools.

For sublimation, you want to wait until it cools as that is what sets the dyes.

Now your customized item is ready to use!

You can continue to use the Vevor heat press for additional projects or if you’re done, be sure to turn it off and unplug it.

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pealing the sublimation design away from the drawstring bag to show the disney snack design on the bag

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I make with a Vevor Heat Press?

The possibilities are virtually endless with a Vevor heat press. You can make custom t-shirts, hats, mugs, tumblers, jewelry, aprons, bags, totes, labels, notebook covers and more. Pretty much anything that you’d want to personalize or add a design to that won’t melt when heated, chances are you’ll be able to with a heat press.

How is the Vevor Heat Press different than using an iron?

The Vevor heat press machine provides way more benefits than using an iron when working with   iron-on vinyl or sublimation. Here are some of the key reasons why using a heat press is often recommended over an iron: 

  • Consistent and Continuous Pressure: A heat press provides consistent pressure, which is important for getting a good result. With an iron, it can be easy to apply too much or too little pressure, which can distort the image, not have it show up as vibrantly (in the case of sublimation), or cause it to peel off over time (in the case of transfer paper or vinyl). 
  • Set the Pressure: You can select the exact pressure on a heat press, making sure you’re using the correct amount of pressure for your materials. Additionally, it applies the pressure evenly.
  • Surface Area: A heat press has a wider area than an iron, making it faster and easier to press larger surfaces such as t-shirts.
  • Timer: A heat press has a built in timer so you can control how long you want to press your items.
  • Built in Surface: You don’t need an ironing board when using a Vevor heat press – another space saver!

What kind of paper do you use on a Vevor Heat Press?

Ultimately, the type of paper you need to use with the heat press depends on the project you’re making. This includes the material of the item you’re pressing and the material of the design itself.

There are a few different types that you can use, each with its own set of benefits. Here are some of the options:

  • Heat Transfer Paper or Iron-On Transfer Paper: Allows you to print a design right from your computer and have that design transferred onto your item. If you’re using a dark fabric, you want to use dark fabric paper such as this one. For light fabrics you can either use the dark paper or light fabric paper such as these.
  • Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) or Iron-On Vinyl: You can use a cutting machine such as a Cricut to cut your design or cut them out yourself. They come in all sorts of colors and patterns, including glitter, holographic, reflective, and more!
  • Sublimation Paper: This is also known as infusible ink and sublimation transfer sheets. They actually dye the item with the design (vs adhering an image on top like with the transfer paper or vinyl). You can print your own designs on blank sublimation paper (this is the kind I have) or you can buy paper with colors and designs (this is one of my favorites). 

For each of these, you’ll also want to use parchment paper, butcher paper, or a teflon sheet to protect the item you’re pressing.

How do you know which the temperature and time on a Vevor heat press?

The short answer is it depends on the materials you’ll be pressing.

The correct temperature will vary based on the item you’re pressing and the material you’re using, so it’s important to follow the package instructions for the material! For instance, if you’re using standard iron-on vinyl pressing it onto cotton, then you’ll typically use around 280-320 degrees Farenheit. However, if you’re using sublimation paper on polyester, you need a much higher temperature in the 360-400 degree range.

As for time, the general rule of thumb is to press for 10-15 seconds on each side for vinyls and 40-60 seconds on the top for sublimation. However, this again will vary based on the material of the item and design. Therefore always be sure to check the instructions for the specific material you’re using as it even varies by brand!

How do you know how much pressure to use with the Vevor heat press?

The pressure you’ll use for your Vevor heat press is just as important as temperature and time. Typically, the more complex the material you’re pressing, the higher the pressure needs to be.

For more general pressing applications (such as using iron-on vinyl), the typical setting is between medium and high depending on the item and material you’re using. Then for sublimation and more complicated materials such as puff HTV (which is amazing by the way!), you want to use high pressure. 

Again, always read the instructions for your specific material to be sure that you’re getting the best results!

 

What safety measures should I take when using a Vevor heat press?

The main thing to keep in mind is it’s hot – it is a heat press after all! Therefore you’ll want to be aware of potential hazards and know how to properly operate it. Additionally, you should always ensure that the area you’re working in is well ventilated and free from flammable materials. 

It’s also important to note that the Vevor heat press gets extremely hot and can cause burns if you’re not careful. Therefore consider wearing long sleeves and heat protective gloves.

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heat press machine with a yellow handle on a table with a blurry background. title reads "vevor heat press guide"

How to Use a Vevor Heat Press

Easily learn how to use a Vevor heat press and start customizing shirts, mugs, totes, backpacks, and more!
Yield 1 Customized Item
Project Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins

Materials
  

  • Shirt or Item you Want to Customize
  • Design or Image
  • Heat Transfer Vinyl or Sublimation Paper
  • Parchment Paper
  • Heat Tape optional

Equipment

  • 1 Vevor Heat Press
  • 1 Cricut optional
  • 1 Pair of Scissors optional
  • 1 Weeding Tool optional

Instructions
 

  • Set the desired temperature, pressure, and time. Each machine is slightly different, but with my machine, you use the buttons to set the temperature and time and the knob at the top to set the pressure.
    setting the temperature on the vevor heat press
  • Cut out and weed your design from the vinyl or sublimation paper (remember to cut it as a mirrored image). You can use a Cricut or scissors to make your design.
    Heat Transfer Vinyl or Sublimation Paper, Design or Image
    disney snacks design in black sublimation paper already weeded
  • Place parchment paper over the bottom plate and place your item onto the bottom plate. Place your design on top of the item and secure it if needed using heat tape.
    Shirt or Item you Want to Customize, Parchment Paper, Heat Tape
    taping down a disney snacks design from sublimation paper onto a blue drawstring bag using heat tape
  • Place another piece of parchment paper on top to protect your item.
    Parchment Paper
    covering the drawstring bag and design with parchment paper on the heat press
  • Pull down the handle and press start to begin the timer.
    pulling down on the lever of the heat press and pressing the button for the timer
  • When time is up, lift the lever and swing it away from your item. Then let it cool and peel off your design (in some cases you may need to peel it off while it is still warm). before peeling off your design (if necessary).
    pealing the sublimation design away from the drawstring bag to show the disney snack design on the bag
Keyword Accessory, Clothing, Cricut, Heat Press, Heat Transfer Vinyl, HTV, Iron-On Vinyl, Sublimation, Transfer Paper, Vevor

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