Monday, September 9, 2013

Decorating Mylar Balloons with Vinyl

Welcome to DAY TWO of Vinyl University and the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog Cricut Crawl (blog hop).  Today, here at Jilliene Designing, you are going to learn how to use vinyl on Mylar balloons.  It is a VERY easy process and would make a wonderful submission for our Vinyl Challenge!!!  Remember, if you post a project using vinyl and one Cricut cut and link it to the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog you will have a chance to win a Cricut Expression and loads of other goodies. 

Follow along our Cricut Crawl/Blog Hop and you will have a chance to win 18 more giveaways!  You are currently at stop #2 on the rooster so if you missed Robin's Creative Cottage, be sure to pop back before you move on to Heather at Scrapping Runner Creations.  Here is our entire blog hop line-up:

YOU ARE HERE  -> Jilliene
Amy T
Amy HS

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, last weekend we threw a surprise pirate birthday party for my daughter.  We wanted to get the most bang (kaboom) for our buck so I used my Cricut to "Piratize" many of the decorations.

I printed and cut the skull and crossbones below with my Cricut Imagine using the Imagine Cartridge "Buccaneer." 

Then I ran the skulls through my Xyron machine and attached them to stapled Dollar Tree foam cowboy hats. 

My favorite project was turning a few simple Mylar balloons into a pirate party bouquet! I purchased 9 balloons from Dollar Tree in white, red and black. I used 3, 6x12" vinyl sheets to cut out pirate graphics from the Cricut cartridge "Life's a Party" (vinyl sheets are only $.99 each at Cricket Vinyl Supplies - white, red, brown.)

It was so simple to dress up these balloons - I just couldn't believe it! First I selected the image I wanted to add to the balloon and then I placed the vinyl on my mat.


I squeegeed the vinyl down securely on the mat to prevent air bubbles later on in the process. Next I adjusted the image size so that it would fit appropriately on the balloon and I adjusted my cut settings on my Cricut.

Vinyl cut settings: blade depth-4, speed-4 and pressure-4 

Once cut, I removed the excess vinyl around the image and within the image so that I was left with only the cut I wanted to transfer.  I left this image on the mat. 

Now I needed to cut my transfer tape to a size large enough to cover the entire vinyl image, but not so large that there was extra tape hanging over the edges that might cause creases and other transfer issues when I went to apply the vinyl to the balloon.  To do this I rested the transfer tape above the image so the the edge of the tape sheet sat a little father over than the image edge.  I used my scissors to cut the transfer tape from the larger sheet so that there was just a small overhang on the other side as well. That was my horizontal measurement.  I repeated the process for the side of the image to get the vertical measurement leaving me with a piece of transfer tape just a tiny bit bigger than the actual image.

TIP:  If you do not have transfer tape on hand, you can use Con-Tact Quick Clear Self Adhesive Shelf Liner from the Dollar Tree for $1.00.  It actually works great and is much less expensive than official vinyl transfer tape.

To apply the transfer tape to the vinyl, I peeled a small portion of the transfer tape back so I could position it on top of the vinyl, distributing it evenly, and then I gradually eased the tape over the vinyl smoothing out bubbles and wrinkles with a spatula tool as I laid it down. You should smooth over the transfer tape/ vinyl "sandwich" several times to remove as many bubbles as possible and to make sure that the tape is adhered to the entire vinyl cut.  This will prevent the vinyl from stretching out of shape or grabbing onto the Mylar before you have it positioned correctly.

TIP: If you do not have a official vinyl transfer tool or Cricut spatula tool you can use a grout/ paint spatula tool from Dollar Tree found in the hardware section next to the paint supplies.

There are two strategies for removing the vinyl from the Cricut mat.  The first option is to remove the vinyl from the mat with the backing still on the vinyl.  If you have used the 4, 4, 4 settings, the blade should have gone through the backing and you should have no trouble lifting the entire cut.  This is ideal when you are putting down a vinyl image that is large like the "Arrrgh" (below) because you can "peel and place", meaning you can peel a little of the backing off at a time, place down a portion of the image and smooth, then peel, etc.  This method will allow you to course correct if it starts to lay down wonky and will help prevent distortion and stretching.

The other strategy for lifting the vinyl off your mat is to lift it slowly and carefully so that you leave the backing on the mat (see below).

This method is best when you have delicate images that could easily tear or become distorted.  With these, you might want to lay down the vinyl starting from the center, top of the image and gently smooth the transfer tape moving down and outward.

Once you place the vinyl down, gently use your spatula to secure the adhesion.  Remember, you are working on a delicate, air filled substrate (that could pop), so don't worry too much about minor stretching or bubbles.  Mylar balloons are rounded and have their own creases so most vinyl blemishes will blend in.

Now gently pull off the transfer tape and your balloon is finished!


  1. Omgosh!! What a neat idea, I would have never thought to decorate the balloons! And they turned out so cute! Thanks for sharing.:)

    Lisa C

    1. You are welcome Lisa, thanks for visiting my blog! The balloons were soooooo easy. It was such a pleasant surprise!

  2. AMAZING!!! Always looking for new uses for vinyl - this is AWESOME!! :)

  3. Me too. The home decor projects are super adorable but I don't have room for home dec' because my kid's artwork has taken over our house. I love that vinyl is so versitile

  4. What an awesome way to decorate and personalize the balloons. Now I HAVE to try this.

  5. This is fantastic, and found just in time!! I'm fully entrenched planning my son's 3rd birthday party, I will definitely need to try this tip!! Thank you! New follower from FCCB. :)

  6. What an awesome party! And thanks for the tutorial! A much more cost effective and personalized way to decorate!

  7. OMG I am in awe of how creative you were with your vinyl. Awesome job.

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