Home ยป How to Apply Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) on Leather

How to Apply Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) on Leather


We often have readers who ask us whether vinyl will stick to faux leather – or genuine leather for that matter. It is actually really easy to use HTV vinyl on leather. You can either create your own leather product from scratch or buy a leather product from the store – such as a leather diary, a leather pencil case, leather vase wrappers etc.

I truly feel that gorgeous leather decals can just simply elevate any boring leather product to something luxurious, special and unique. So I wanted to show you how you can easily create some beautiful products with this simple technique.


Heat Transfer Vinyl to Leather Supply List

Find below the supply list and the steps to follow in order to add your own vinyl decal to leather.

Supply List:


How to Apply HTV on Leather

Find below our steps on how to transfer a vinyl design to leather:

Step 1: Design your Decal

Applying HTV on Leather Products

lThe first thing you want to do is to either upload a pre-made leather decal or to create one yourself. As I'm using a Cricut cutting machine, I will show you guys how some steps from the Cricut Design Space Software. The steps will be similar if you are using Silhouette Studio Designer or similar.

I purchase the valentine fox here and grabbed the vine leaves from here.

Measure out the area on your leather product that you want your design to fill. (I created an easy foldable leather wallet – instructions here). 

Step 2: Mirro-Flip and Prepare to Cut

How to apply heat transfer vinyl to leather

Next click on “Make It”. Remember to mirror-flip your image seeing as we are working with iron-on vinyl. Select your iron-on vinyl from the material list and ensure that your standard blade is installed and ready to go.

Step 3: Cut Decal

Place your HTV FACE DOWN (shiny side down) on the cutting mat because we want to cut the backing sheet. Load it up in your cutting machine.

You can find out what the best heat transfer vinyl is in our guide here. I typically prefer to use Siser heat transfer vinyl, but for this project, I really loved the elegant feel of the Cricut Foil HTV range. 

Step 4: Weed your Design

How to add vinyl to leather

Next, is the weeding. So carefully peel back the excess vinyl. And then use your weeding tool to pick out all the finer details in the design. Here is our tutorial on weeding vinyl if this process is new to you.

Step 5: Prepare to Press Vinyl to Leather Product

HTV on Leather

Carefully place your HTV leather decal on your leather product. I wanted to add my face and vine leaves on the flap of the wallet. Place your item on a heat mat (not as essential if you are working with a sturdy product such as a book).

I was really worried about the effects of heat pressing my leather. So to protect that beautiful bright red leather, I ended up placing some baking paper over the design. You can also use more official heat transfer protective paper for this, but I find that good old cheap baking paper works equally well.

Step 6: Heat Press Leather Design

heat transfer vinyl on leather

Heat up your Cricut EasyPress or Heat Pressing Machine. Check the temperature and time settings for your specific type of HTV Vinyl. You can usually find this on the info sheet that comes with the vinyl, or simply do a quick Google search to find the optimal settings.

Next heat press your design onto the vinyl. Please make sure to check out whether the design has properly melded with the fibres of the leather.

Cricut Iron on Vinyl on Leather

If you are happy, peel your HTV carrier sheet away. Check to see whether you should cold or hot peel as it will depend on your type of heat transfer vinyl.

And there you have it – a new beautiful iron-on vinyl decal on your leather product.

Custom Foldable Genuine Leather Wallet

Have fun and do let us know if you have any questions for us. Click here to grab even more inspiration on Cricut leather DIY projects.

Till next time,

Samantha xxx

We have plenty of Cricut tips and resources here, as well as loads of Homemade craft tutorials on our blog here.

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