With Halloween steadily approaching we could all use a cute and fun shirt to wear around for the occasion, right? 🙂 It would only be fitting to release one of my own original Day of the Dead inspired illustrations along with a complimenting heat transfer t-shirt vinyl tutorial! I will go over the basic instructions for how to put together this unique and adorable skeleton girl & skeleton dog shirt in no time at all. This project is more suited for non-beginner SVG crafters but it is still fairly easy to get the hang of!
What you will need:
- Cutting machine and software
- (Optional) My FREE SVG cutting file
- Heat Transfer Vinyl (I use Siser Easyweed)
- Scrap fabric (Large enough to cover the design area)
Heat Transfer T-Shirt Vinyl Tutorial
- Load your cutting file into your software and adjust/resize to fit your needs. You will want to make sure your design will fit your t-shirt appropriately once cut! **IMPORTANT** Before any cutting begins, FLIP your design in the software so that it is backwards (unless design is the same on all sides). When you go to place your vinyl onto your shirt, the design will be correctly oriented once again.
- Place your vinyl onto your cutting mat with the glossed side facing down & make sure it is placed according to the design placement on your screen before you load the mat. Adjust your cut settings for vinyl and begin cutting. As a side note: with my Silhouette Cameo, the software puts the blade setting at only a two but that never cuts the vinyl fully. I always put my blade setting at a six and it cuts beautifully! You may want to do a quick test cut with a basic design to be sure on your blade setting needs. The vinyl should be able to lift off very easily!
- Once the cutting is finished you will need to remove all of the excess vinyl, leaving behind only the pieces you wish to transfer. This can be tricky if you have a lot of smaller pieces and cutout areas such as my skeleton SVG has! I use a sewing pin to gently pluck away the unwanted excess vinyl cut areas but you may use any tool you find helpful here.
- Place and press the design down onto your shirt where you would like for it to be. Make sure it is lined up evenly and exactly where you want it – once we get started with the heat it will be very difficult to move the design around anymore! Lay the scrap fabric flat over your design, making sure to cover all of the vinyl entirely.
- With your iron pre-heated on one of its highest heat settings, begin ironing over the scrap fabric and vinyl design. Be sure to add a good amount of pressure in 10-15 second increments. Do this 3 or 4 times first before checking the design to see how it is adhering. I check the status of the design by carefully lifting the clear top piece to see if the vinyl is staying on the shirt or not. If the top portion can be lifted without any of the vinyl coming off with it, I remove this piece and return the scrap fabric over the design and iron again until the transfer is finished. When the vinyl is completely set onto the shirt, you will be able to see the fabric lines and texture of the shirt through the vinyl pieces.
And you’re done! Now it’s time to wear your new t-shirt creation around and show off those crafting skills! 😉 As a quick tip, be sure to consider carefully between using the stretch and non-stretch vinyl. The stretch vinyl is great on shirts that are more tight fitting. The non-stretch will have a crinkled effect on a tight shirt and will not look as pleasing so keep that in mind before you begin!