I received free product from Expressions Vinyl to use for this post. All opinions are my own, and any love confessed is true and real.
I’m so excited for this post. It’s been on my mind constantly throughout this insanely busy week.
Before we do anything else, congrats to Cori W. who won the Expressions Vinyl giveaway! If you didn’t win, don’t worry! You can use the code KGDCRAFTERMATH for a 10% discount on your own purchase until Monday, April 7th!
And now… Minion T-shirts!
When I was given the opportunity to work with Expressions Vinyl, I knew I wanted to try out some HTV (heat transfer vinyl). I’ve tried to work with it before, but not had much success. So, right from the get go, that was on my mind.
And now, a bit of story time. When I’m not blogging, I’m a grad student. Part of what I do there is work in a lab doing my own research and supervising and training interns. I affectionately refer to my interns as minions, and on the very first day they requested T-shirts. I don’t know why, but they did. At one point, our lab director decided that one of them would be “Minion 1”. And thus, a Dr. Seuss Minion mash-up was born.
Of course, Expressions Vinyl came through with a wide variety of vinyl colors, so I could get exactly what I needed. So, let’s get to this HTV tutorial!
I used my Silhouette to cut out the pattern and an iron to adhere the vinyl to the shirt. If you dont’ have a Silhouette, you could use the method I describe here to cut the vinyl and then hand place all the pieces instead of using transfer tape. You’ll need to print across several pages and overlay them, as I did for my blind pattern. You may want to use copy paper or a lighter color pencil for the trace on the black vinyl.
Step 1: Customize your pattern.
To create the pattern, I just used a series of circles and rectangles for the “pocket” in the front and the “goggle” in the back. If you want to use the same font for the front pocket, you’ll need to install the Doctor Soos font. For the “1” and “2”, I used the images provided by Megan at the Lauren Conrad blog and traced them with both “high pass” and “low pass” unchecked and the threshold bumped up a bit. For the “Minion” text in the back, I fiddled around in Photoshop a bit and used the Doctor Soos font on a curved path.
You can download the cut file below. The Silhouette Studio file is customizable, but the .pdf is not. You may notice that there is a big “K” in the center of the pocket. Grue has a G, so I figured I needed a K (for Kristy of course). The font for the K is Dragonslayer.
Download your free cut file here!
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Step 2: Cut and Weed
Don’t forget to mirror your image! When working with HTV, the side that is “up” when you cut will be pressed onto the fabric. In Silhouette Studio, to mirror your image first group everything together that you want to mirror (so it keeps it’s proper position). Then, with your design selected, go to Object – Modify – Flip Horizontal.
When you load your vinyl into the Silhouette, make sure the shiny side is down. If you’re having a hard time figuring out which side is the shiny side, try using a light to see the reflective properties. You can also just do a test cut to see if it’s cutting harder plastic or the soft vinyl.
I’ll be honest here, I usually use a mat with my vinyl. I know I don’t need to, but I find it’s easier to load in straight.
Trim your design a bit where necessary (the big holes in the center, for instance, can be cut out and used for smaller cuts later). Then weed the material you don’t want to iron on away from the plastic. You’ll notice it’s a wee bit sticky, this will help you adhere it a bit. Here are all the pieces for one of the shirts.
Step 3: Iron on your layers.
Now it’s just a matter of placing and ironing on your layers. You’ll want to have your iron set to the cotton setting. Do one layer at a time. Once you’ve placed it, put a piece of cotton fabric on top and press down for 20-30 seconds. If it’s properly adhered, the plastic backing will peel right off when you’re done. Before you put a single piece down, make sure you’re ironing onto the correct side of the shirt! I accidentally added the back to the front of one of the shirts. It made me sad.
Then just place the next layer and go! Here’s my progression for the back:
I really had a ton of fun with this project. And the best part was presenting my interns with their new “uniforms”. They loved them. Here they are!
Want to make your own HTV Tshirts? Head over to Expressions Vinyl and use the code KGDCRAFTERMATH for a 10% discount through April 7th!
And just in case you’re wondering, I had a much better experience using HTV this time around. I’ve got a few other ideas floating around in my head on where to go next with the material. Stay tuned for more fun vinyl projects!
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All opinions expressed on this blog are always my own.