Have you ever bought some really boring flip flops from the local dollar store and thought that they could use a bit of extra pizzazz? Maybe you just don’t want to spend a fortune on flip flops that already have a design on them.
Maybe you want to start your own custom flip flop business. Whatever the case may be, you will obviously need some tools to get this job done, the right tools, and as far as we are concerned, a good heat press is the first step here. Let’s talk about the various tools you will need to make your own custom flips flops, and how to get the job done with as little hassle as possible.
Tools You Will Need to Decorate Your Flips Flops
Ok, so the actual process of decorating your flip flops with a heat press is not all that hard as long as you have the right machinery and tools on hand. So, what tools and items do you need to decorate your own flip flops with a heat press?
First and foremost, you are going to need a decent pair of flip flops, and yes, you will probably want to buy a few pairs. If this is your first time heat pressing designs onto flip flops, chances are it won’t go to plan on the very first attempt. We would recommend not going with the cheapest possible option, because you don’t want them to disintegrate during the pressing process or shortly after. Moreover, some flip flop materials cannot withstand heat well, so rubber or PVC straps are definitely not recommended.
Of course, to get a design, you will need to buy some kind of tool to make that design, or buy pre-made designs. There are plenty of places out there where you can buy pre-made vinyl designs for flip flops and shoes, so just choose the one which you like the most, or however many you want. If you want to make your own designs and patterns, you will need to download some artistic software for your computer, and you will need to get a vinyl cutter so you can create and cut out the vinyl designs for heat transfer with relative ease.
You will require the necessary transfer materials, the stuff that goes in between the heat plate from the heat press and the vinyl design you are looking to press onto the flip flops. This will depend on the type of materials you are using.
Finally, you will need the heat press itself. Now, we would not recommend going with a clamshell heat press for making flip flops, because the rear tends to close before the front, and they are not designed for really thick materials such as flip flops. The better option to go with here is the swing-away heat press, as these can apply heat and pressure much more evenly than clamshell heat presses.
How to Decorate Flip Flops With a Heat Press
Decorating flip flops with a heat press is really not all that difficult, but it does need to be done right. It’s an easy process with only a few steps involved, so let’s get to it.
First off, choose and purchase the basic flip flops you want to use for this project, keeping in mind that rubber and PVC straps will probably melt, so fabric is best.
Keep in mind that the soles of flip flops are never super high quality, so you will want to protect them and stop them from coming in direct contact with the heat plate. There are special shoe and flip flop platens that you can use in order to create a layer between the bottom of the sole and the heat plate.
Purchase or print out the design which you wish to apply to the flip flops using your trusty vinyl cutter. Now, place the design on the flip flop, wherever you see fit, and cover it with a non-stick heat transfer material. You can buy professional materials for this, although some people choose to go with something as simple as parchment paper.
You definitely want to read the instructions on the heat transfer materials in terms of how hot to heat up the press and how long to press for. Too little and too low, or too long and too hot will not result in a good look or an even transfer. At any rate, now it is time to press, and that is about it.
There you have it guys and gals, a really easy and straightforward way to decorate flip flops with a heat press. Just remember not to melt your flip flops!