26 November 2018

How to Create a Custom Kids Christmas Shirt with a Heat Press

If you love crafting, you know how rewarding it can be to create something beautiful, something you can call ‘homemade’, something you made with love!
That is why we love whipping up some heat press custom Christmas tees for our kids. Not only are they unique, fun and they look smashing, but I love that I made something with love for my kids to wear on one of the most special days of the year.

If you have never whipped up a heat transfer vinyl design to apply to a t-shirt, you will really be surprised at how easy it can be to do. And the beauty is that if you don’t have a heat press machine yet, you can always use a normal home iron to apply the design.

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Heat Press a Custom T-Shirt
Find below the step-by-step tutorial on how to create a custom HTV transfer for your t-shirt.

Supply List:
    • White Blank T-Shirt
    • HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl or Iron-On Vinyl)
    • Vinyl Cutting Machine
    • Weeding Tool Kit
    • Heat Press Machine

STEP 1 – Purchase a Blank T-Shirt & Choose a Design
Purchase a good quality blank white t-shirt. White shirts are the easiest to work with and are great for beginners. Your second task is a fun one. Go on a hunt for a fun design or image that you want to apply to your shirt.
If you wish to keep things simple, you can purchase ready-made iron-on images from made stores. However, I love to choose my own image and HTV vinyl colors as I find it more fun.
You can find many free images online, simply try searching for “free Christmas SVG” and it will bring up free images that are ready to download and use.
Next upload your design to your vinyl cutting machine’s software. I own a Cricut Maker, so I simply upload my design to their software: Cricut Design Space.

STEP 2 – Prepping the Design
Once you have your file uploaded, you will need to resize it. So quickly go and measure the area on the shirt that you wish to apply the design to. Resize your digital image to match that size.
Next make sure to mirror-flip your image. 

That way the image will be the right way up once we apply it to the shirt.

STEP 3 – Cutting the Design with a Vinyl Cutter
Next load the heat transfer vinyl into your machine and set the machine to cut out your design.

STEP 4 – Weeding the Design
Once your design is cut, you will need to weed or remove all the bits of vinyl that isn’t needed. Simply grab one corner of the vinyl and simply peel it away from the Cricut mat. This process will leave your design on the mat.
Next pick up your weeding tool and simply remove all the smaller intricate vinyl pieces that is still on your design.
Tip: Good quality heat transfer vinyl will be easy to weed and easy to apply. Here is a guide to help you find the best heat transfer vinyl for both iron or heat press application.

STEP 5 – Pressing your Design on the T-Shirt

Once the design has been weeded, it is time to press it to your t-shirt. You will need to apply heat to the vinyl for it to bind to the fabric of the shirt. Whilst you can use a household iron to do this, we do recommend that you invest in a small quality heat press instead.
A heat press is great as you can set the temperature and time that is required for the pressing process (rather than relying on guesswork when you use an iron). You can start off with the Cricut EasyPress 2 which is small, portable and affordable and when you are ready you can upgrade it to a more decent press. You can compare all the best heat press machines in this guide.
Simply follow the instructions on your HTV packet to set the temperature and time required to press your design onto your shirt. Carefully peel back the carrier sheet to leave your beautiful Christmas design on your shirt.

Can you imagine how awesome these will look for a family Christmas photo?
So now, all that you have left to do, is to design some more custom Christmas tees for the rest of the family. Easy peasy and super effective.

Disclosure:  This is a contributed post.

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