How To Apply Vinyl (the easy way)

How To Apply Vinyl (the easy way)

a woman place a container on a pantry shelf. One container holds oatmeal with a label that reads "oatmeal"


Applying vinyl doesn't have to be nerve-racking. Just follow these simple steps for perfect application every time. You've got this.

Step 1: Prep the surface

The first step before you apply ANY label is to make sure the surface is clean and dry. If you are applying labels to bins or containers that live in the fridge, pull them out and let them reach room temperature - make sure they are free from condensation. I like to use rubbing alcohol to prep the surface, however, do NOT use rubbing alcohol on wood surface like on The Container Store Birch Clips  (I learned that one the hard way).

Step 2: Prep the label

Temperature changes during shipping can have an effect on your vinyl. To set yourself up for success, take a credit card and rub the top of the label while holding down both ends. What we're doing here is making sure the vinyl is sticking to the transfer tape and not the paper backing.

Step 3: My special trick

a pair of blue scissors laying on a marble background with a vinyl label. An edge of the paper backing is trimmed

Don't peel off the label just yet! Lift up an edge of the transfer tape and cut off an edge of the paper backing. You want to expose a part of the transfer tape just enough to hold the label in place on whatever surface you are applying it to.

Click here for a quick demo.

Step 4: Position the label

Position the label on the surface using the exposed edge of the transfer tape to hold the label in place. If you're a little OCD like me you can take a ruler to check that your label is perfectly centered and level.

Step 5: Apply it

a label saying "backstock" is being applied. A hand lifts up a corner of the transfer tape

With your label in it's desired position it's go-time! Lift up the label on the free end and SLOWLY peel off the backing paper. Carefully smooth the label onto the surface with your fingers then using a credit card press down FIRMLY and smooth out any air bubbles.

Step 6: Remove transfer tape

a hand removes clear transfer tape from a vinyl label

Once your label is securely attached, take on corner of the clear transfer tape and SLOWLY pull downwards at a sharp angle (180 degrees). And voilà! You have now applied your label with perfect precision.  

a hand holds a white metal bin clip with a label that reads " back stock"

If you run into any issues along the way, check out the troubleshooting videos on my YouTube channel:

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.