How Do I Know If I Need to Mirror My Design Before I Cut?

Using vinyl can seem overwhelming in the beginning, but with a little practice and knowledge, you’ll be a pro in no time. Here are the basics you need to know before you cut vinyl.

If you’re using sticky vinyl (adhesive), you do NOT mirror your image. You use transfer tape to lift the image and apply it to a clean and solid surface. However, if your adhesive vinyl is going on the inside of a window or similar, you mirror the design before cutting. As a general rule, you do not mirror adhesive vinyl.

If you’re using HTV (heat transfer vinyl), you DO mirror your image before you cut and be sure to place your vinyl glossy side down or dull color side up on the mat.
If you’re using printed HTV, it depends. Some will be just like HTV and others will be more like adhesive vinyl but may not have a backing of any kind. If there’s no backing or cover sheet, be sure NOT to mirror and place upright on your mat. You may need HTV transfer tape to lift it off the mat and press it if it’s more than one piece. As with some printed HTV, if you are using vinyl scraps that do not have the carrier sheet, you’ll place the more colorful side up and cut without mirroring. Then, you may need HTV transfer tape to lift the design from the mat and put it on your item.

Please note that regular transfer tape for adhesive vinyl is not the same as HTV transfer tape. One handles heat and one does not. Make sure you have the right one for your projects. In general though, HTV has a carrier sheet and no transfer tape is needed.

Be sure to leave your comments below. If you found this information helpful, save it and share with friends who would benefit, as well.

Thanks for reading,


21 thoughts on “How Do I Know If I Need to Mirror My Design Before I Cut?

  1. Rhonda Defoor says:

    sorry, but I’m still confused…. I have the football/leather textured ‘pattern’ vinyl…. do I mirror? I’ve used this before, but I am SO drawing a blank…. when I started to cut, I thought…NO…no mirror, but afraid now I’m not thinking clearly….thx!!!


  2. Sharon says:

    I am still confused after reading and watching. I have glitter iron on. Which side do I put down and do I reverse the print when cutting?


    • CutFiles4U says:

      Most HTV has a clear carrier sheet attached to the front. The clear side (shiny glitter side) goes down so you cut it from the back. That means you need to mirror your design so after weeding, you’ll see the glitter side with clear sheet will be right side up so you can heat press it and then remove the clear sheet.


    • CutFiles4U says:

      The only time you mirror 651 is if you are putting it on the backside of something you’ll view from the front such as inside the glass of a photo frame. Otherwise, the good side goes up on your Cameo and no mirroring is needed.


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