How to Use Printable HTV - PoliTape Color Up Review & Tutorial

Created on:

August 11, 2022

Updated on:

January 20, 2024

Written by Kelsey Sergi
how to use htv printable vinyl for cricut crafting

Printable Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) is a game changer if you don't have access to a sublimation printer.

I had the opportunity to try Poli-Tape Color Up printable Heat Transfer Vinyl and here is my honest review and tutorial about using it.

*Some links may help earn me a small commission at no extra charge to you*

If you are interested in trying Color Up - please reach out to Poli-Tape directly on Instagram!

What is Color Up Printable HTV?

Poli-Tape has produced a heat transfer vinyl that can used with both inkjet and laser jet printers, you can color on it, paint on it with standard markers or gel pens. It comes in A3/A4 sized sheets and is hot-wash durable. It also can work on dark or light materials. It is a great option for people who do not have access to a sublimation printer or can't spend the money just yet.

I have not taken the leap to buy a sublimation printer just yet - hopefully in the future I can spring for one but for right now, the Color Up Printable HTV is a great option for me.

How to Use Printable HTV:

Now, according to the Poli-Tape website you can:

  • Print with a laser printer
  • Print with an inkjet printer
  • Use standard ink pens such as felt, fineliners, markers, gel pens and watercolors to draw.

So truly, the options are really broad and you don't need to have any special equipment or inks.

I used my HP Inkjet Printer (which cost me under $100) - I have had this printer for years and I haven't found the need to upgrade just yet. I did use the print and cut option on my Cricut but I think my black ink did not print dark enough. I definitely think this was a user error on my end and I plan on trying again with my laser printer (which only prints in black). You don't have to mirror the image in Cricut Design Space if you are using the print and cut option. It's a true print!

printing on the htv vinyl

Because my print and cut didn't register - I cut the image out by hand. I grabbed this Skull on Creative Fabrica and you can try out their subscription for $1 to start! I wanted to make a fun DIY Home Decor Canvas for Halloween and this image was perfect! Although my print and cut didn't register, I did add the bleed option so it gave me a little bit of leeway with cutting.

hand cutting the printable vinyl

Once I had it cut out, I used the Poli-Tack 850 that was included with my HTV. I cut it down to fit over the image and then I used a good amount of pressure to adhere it to the image. I ended up using my brayer for some added help!

how to use htv printable vinyl for cricut crafting

I flipped over the HTV and peeled away the backing - its a thicker plastic feeling piece. It was easy to remove. Make sure to do this step or you won't be able to iron onto your item!

how to use htv printable vinyl for cricut crafting

Once you have that off, it's time to use your iron or heat press to attach it to your item. I went with a black canvas from the dollar tree (and I didn't make a reverse canvas) so the heating was a little tricky. I made it work though! I put my Mini Easy Press on medium to start and bumped it up to high and I ironed all over my HTV for about 30-60 seconds on both sides.

how to use htv printable vinyl for cricut crafting

I want to stay that the canvas was thicker and I only have the Mini Easy Press so, I had to press for longer and with a good amount of pressure. According to the Color Up Instructions - you should use a press at 265-320 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 seconds. They also suggest a teflon sheet or parchment between the heating element (which I skipped).

Once I knew it was adhered well, I peeled back my Poli-Tack 850 and my skull was on the canvas! It looked great! I was super impressed with how well the color stayed and the image looked beautiful. You can use this to make full color images for shirts, tote bags, bandanas and more. I am especially excited to have my son do some coloring and make a fun personalized gift.

how to use htv printable vinyl for cricut crafting

Overall, my review is an excellent! I definitely ran into some user errors but I will also use what I learned and try it again soon! I love having the option for printable HTV to use on dark color clothes and more without the huge price tag! If you are interested in trying Color Up - please reach out to Poli-Tape directly on Instagram!

Happy Crafting!

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Kelsey Sergi - the owner and crafter at Dinosaur Mama.

Hi crafters! I'm Kelsey and I am here to bring you new original craft projects and free SVG files for your cutting machines every week!

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