Eight Great Tips for Embroidering on Vinyl


Embroider on vinyl? Yes, you can when you use these tips!

Did you see the adorable vinyl bag that Jess from OklaRoots made? She used one of Bonnie’s Santa Buddies on the front of the Teloujay Crossbody pattern from Country Cow Designs.

Here are some of Jess’ tips for achieving successful embroidery on vinyl:


Picture of Santa Buddies machine embroidery design on a bag demonstrated by Jess from OklaRoots


Cut vinyl larger than what you need.

When embroidering bags, there is not much room for error. By embroidering on a larger piece of vinyl, you can trim it down to the pattern size and it will be perfect in the end.

Choose a slightly larger hoop.

Normally, we use the smallest hoop that we can for the design. When embroidering on vinyl, a slightly larger hoop provides extra space to maneuver and allows plenty of room to secure your extra vinyl outside of the stitching area.

Float vinyl in the hoop.

Don't hoop vinyl, which could stretch and damage it. Instead, hoop two layers of 2.5 ounce cut-away stabilizer and float the vinyl in the hoop.

Clip extra vinyl.

To keep excess vinyl out of the stitching field, roll up the sides and use Wonder Clips to secure the vinyl to stabilizer edges. Make sure the vinyl is laying flat against the stablilzer.

Use the proper heat transfer vinyl for applique.

Bonnie’s GlitterFlex heat transfer vinyl is not a thick, sticky vinyl. It is more of a fabric-type vinyl. Jess recommends using it with bags just because the sticky vinyl can be hard for your machine to stitch.

Use a small iron

For fusing GlitterFlex, the iron must fit inside the hoop. Jess likes the Cricut Easy Press Mini and Bonnie prefers the Hangar 9.

Use a pressing sheet.

Protect vinyl by using a pressing sheet or a scrap of cotton fabric when fusing GlitterFlex. Do not let the iron touch the vinyl.

Don't press too long.

Depending on the type of vinyl you're using, just get it warm enough to get GlitterFlex in place. GlitterFlex sticks really quickly. You may want to test on scraps.

Thank you for the great tutorial, Jess! See the full video here.

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  • Debbie Henry - January 15, 2021

    Pam, she said she used two layers of 2.5 ounce cutaway in the hoop. Vinyl on top of it.

  • Pam Novak - January 11, 2021

    What stabilizer did you use in the hoop and did you put a piece of fabric behind the vinyl before you floated it on the hoop?

  • Jeannette Williams - January 11, 2021

    How can I attach a shoulder strap on the cookie bag. My sister wants to use it as a handbag. Can you show it in your video, I am new to this area of sewing. Thank you

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