How to apply vinyl on t-shirts

I borrowed my mom’s older version Silhouette machine.


It hooks up to your computer.  They have an online design store that you can link to your software for buying and creating designs.  There are many more features on the newer ones, but this one still does what I need it to do, cut vinyl.  Mother’s Day is right around the corner, maybe my boys will surprise me with the new one.  Ever since I started, I want to put vinyl on everything!

You can use this with multiple machines that have the flip/mirror image feature.  Most of the newer Silhouette, Cricut etc machines will work.

Create your design in the studio.  It took me a minute to figure out the design studio, but I am liking it more and more.  There are so many YouTube videos to help you navigate.  Plus, I have emailed the support team at Silhouette for a question and they got back to me right away.  When you are done with your image make sure you flip the image.  It needs to be backwards when you cut it to come out right on your fabric.


Today I made another t-shirt for Alex.  I bought a plain cotton shirt from Wal-Mart.  I had a roll of white HTV (heat transfer vinyl) already to use.


I cut out a piece to fit the mat.  You want to make sure the transfer side is down, shiny side.  Load the mat into your machine.  Change your print settings.  The program has a setting for heat transfer vinyl already programmed.


*I always do a test print on regular paper first to make sure it will print correctly and fit my item how I want.  Scratch paper is a lot cheaper than vinyl.  Also, for the first time cutting with vinyl: do a test cut as well.  You want the machine to cut the vinyl but not the transfer film.

Once it is cut, peel away the vinyl that will not be used.  I have a weeding tool that helps this process.  Especially if you have several small pieces that you are trying to get off.


Here is the transfer ready to go.


Iron your fabric first to warm up.


Place the transfer vinyl down.  I use a flour towel between the transfer and iron.  Iron for about 15-30 seconds.  You can test to see if it is done by pulling up a little on the transfer.  If it comes off without any pull from the vinyl it is good to go.  If there is a spot that sticks, put the transfer back down and put more heat on it till it is set.


Once it is done, I flip the fabric over and iron the back for a quick 15 seconds or so.

And you are done!


Read your instructions on the vinyl.  Do your test runs.  I have wasted plenty of vinyl in the beginning, but once you get it down it goes pretty quick.

If you remember, wash the t-shirt inside out and air dry.  I tend to throw Alex’s shirts in the dryer and they stay intact.

Make it a great day,





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