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Power Press Heat Press Tutorial: How to Use a Heat Press!

Hi Friends!  One of my new favorite toys is my power press heat press!  I love the one I got so I thought I’d post about how to use it and to show what goes into making a T shirt with a heat press. 

I even have a video of me using it at below. If you are thinking about one, I say just do it!  They work so well and are super easy.  

power press heat press
I love it!  I’ve made so many cool things already.

tooth fairy pillowbible quote bagdiy shirt

I can’t believe I’ve made so many shirts and other things in the past without one. This would have saved the vinyl from peeling off the shirts after a while when I just used an iron.DIY Disney Shirts tutorial

Find out how to design these DIY Disney shirts in Cricut Design Space.

Heat Press Settings

This is the one I got and one that is rated very high on Amazon:  PowerPress Heat Press!

The settings for the power press heat press are on the back and they are simple to use.  The top is the heat setting.  Just press the yellow “set” button and turn your temperature up to the desired number and then press “set” again.  

For T-shirts, I set mine at 310 F.  (Make sure your heat press is in F if that’s what you want to use.  Mine came in Fahrenheit so I didn’t have to change anything).  

The bottom number is the timer.  I usually have it at 15 seconds which just means a buzzer will go off so I know to open the latch.  The machine takes about 25-30 minutes to heat up.  

Power Press Heat Press Tips

Tip:  When you first get it, take it outside and let it burn off the yucky smell.  Just turn it on and leave it out there for a while.

Another tip is to buy some Teflon sheets (I use 3 Pack Teflon Sheet For 16×20 Heat Press Transfer Sheet) then secure them on with magnets. Just grab some off of your fridge and put them on the side to hold the sheet on.  This way I never forget to put a sheet on top of the shirt!!  It’s easy to forget, believe me!

powerpress heat press

How to Use a Heat Press

Ok, now on to the fun part!  This is how I made a shirt for my son’s first day of kindergarten.  

We designed it in Cricut Design Space and then I use my other favorite machine, Cricut Explore One Cutting Machine, to cut out the heat transfer vinyl.  Remember to put it on mirror or tshirt setting so it flips it around.  (Check out my Ultimate Guide of Cricut Ideas here!)

shirt tutorial

This is what my mat looks like before I weed the vinyl and after.  Notice everything is backward which is what you want for iron-on.  For the small details of the car, I figured out a great new way of weeding small pieces – Scotch Tape!!  It was amazing, click here to read about it.

easy weeding

I turn the heat press on while I’m weeding so it will be warm and ready to go when I’m done.  The first thing I do is lay the shirt on the press and do a 10-second press to get the moisture out of the shirt.  Then I fold the shirt in half and do a light press to make the centerline.heat press directions

diy shirt heat press


I like to look at Design Space while I’m laying down the HTV.  If you set a shirt canvas as your background and make it the size you have then it will show you where you’re middle line is on the screen and that lines up with the middle line I just made by folding it.

powerpress heat pressshirt design space

Some of the lines I eyeball and sometimes I pull out a ruler and measure but it makes it easy if the design is open on my computer and I can tell where things line up.  

So after that’s on there, I shut and lock the lever until the timer goes off.  I open it and pull up a corner to make sure it has stuck.  Since I use Siser Easyweed HTV, I can remove the vinyl when it’s hot or cold.  

I peel all the layers off and then I had a second layer so I put that where it goes and close the lid again.  If you have a lot of layers you shouldn’t do as long as you would for one layer.  The first layer can do like 8-10 seconds and then the next layer about the same.

I lift it up and see if the backing pulls away easily then I know it’s done.  Pressure is just something you have to mess with.  When I do canvas bags and pillowcases I turn the pressure up a bit and for T-shirts it’s much lower.

powerpress heat press

heat press tutorial

For this shirt, I put his name on the back too.  Since I didn’t have anything to line it up with I just fold the vinyl in half (non-sticky side together) and make a little crease in it and then line that up with the crease on the shirt.

heat transfer vinyl

I laid that on the backside and pressed it again.  I put another Teflon under the shirt when I do two sided.  

That’s it!!  After I raise the press, I take the shirt out, take off the backing and it’s done!

My 5 year old loved how it turned out – well, he only cared there was a car on it!

power press heat press

Thanks for stopping by!  Have a creative day!

leap of faith crafting


Thursday 30th of August 2018

Hi there! So I have recently purchased this power press 15x15. I feel like i'm following all the instructions to a T (temp, heat, pressure, time, peeling based on cold or hot) and i'm still having trouble with the vinyl peeling after one wash. Any other recommendations? Should I buy a heat gun to see if its a faulty machine?

Leap of Faith Crafting

Monday 3rd of September 2018

HI Stacy.... hmmm, what kind of iron on vinyl are you using? You can press it a few times after all the layers on on. Press for 20 seconds twice (after all the plastic backing has been taken off) and maybe try to move around the tshirt on the press. Try to make the pressure as high as you can and still be able to lock it while it's pressed. Try not to wash it for 48 hours after you've pressed it and wash it inside out. I don't usually have to wash mine inside out but I also you a natural detergent, so maybe that has something to do with it too?? Also, make sure the heat press is in Farenheit. I've heard some are in Celsius when they arrive, mine wasn't, but it's always worth checking. Trying to think what else it could be...


Thursday 12th of July 2018

Something that I didn't realize when I bought a heat press. They come in Fahrenheit and Celcius. Waisted a lot of transfer paper before I called the company of the paper and they informed me about this. Thank you for the tips.

Leap of Faith Crafting

Thursday 19th of July 2018

Hi Suzan, yes, I remember when I turned mine on I was trying to figure out what it was set on and luckily it was on Farenheit as default. Directions are a little lacking on the heat presses! Thanks for stopping by! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to