Cricut Beginner Project - Father's Day T-Shirt

Cricut Beginner Project - Father's Day T-Shirt

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Do you make homemade gifts for Father's Day? Here is an idea for a T-shirt for Dad. I found a project on Pinterest that showed all of Dad's roles and his progeny listed and put into a photo frame. I loved the idea but decided to put it on a T-shirt instead using my Cricut Maker and Cricut Iron-On.

The original design used 'Dad', 'Granddad' and 'Great Grandad'. I liked how they all went together with 'Dad' at the end of each one, but my Dad is always called 'Grandpa', so I used that term instead.

This will be my first year making gifts for Father's Day, but I made some for Mother's Day, so it seemed appropriate. I may give my Dad more than just the T-shirt, but at least he will have one thing created especially for him. 

Materials Needed:

Cricut Maker or Explore
Cricut Cutting Mat
Cricut Iron-On Vinyl, White
Cricut Iron-On Vinyl, Red
Cricut Easy Press 2
Cricut Brayer
Cricut Weeder

I first washed and dried the T-shirt to prevent any shrinkage after the design was applied. Then I went into Design Space and created my design. It took a while because I started a new text box for every name. I wanted to be able to space them evenly and put a heart between them, and that seemed like the best way to do it. For the hearts, I just selected the heart from 'Shapes' on the side panel, sized it how I wanted it, and duplicated it as many times as needed.

This shows the final design and not all the steps it took to get it this way. (To create text, just click on the 'Text' box on the left side panel and type your words in the box that pops up. Then click outside the box and size the text as desired.) Next, I looked for a font I liked for the text and selected 'ITC Bauhaus Pro Medium'. I also changed the color of the hearts to red.

I proceeded to group together each name or set of names with the hearts to be able to center them in the design. I moved each word and heart off to the right so I could group them more easily. When I had them spaced properly, I selected 'Group' from the top of the side panel.

I did this for each line. As you can imagine, this took a lot of time. There may be an easier way to do it, but I haven't figured it out yet.

Once I had all the lines grouped, I put them into position, but they were not centered completely. I decided to add a score line from the 'Shapes' menu on the side panel to help with that. 

I lengthened the score line and placed it vertically onto one of the grid lines.

Then I did my best to get everything centered by counting squares on either side of the line to place the text evenly on both sides. I used to pay almost no attention to the grid lines on the Design Space Canvas, but now I greatly appreciate them.

Once I had everything placed where I wanted it, I removed the score line by clicking on it then clicking on the 'X' in the upper left corner of the line. 

Then I grouped the whole design together and sized it to the dimensions I wanted on the T-shirt. I unlocked the dimensions at the top of the Canvas, being careful not to veer too far from the original dimensions so the text would remain proportional.

After that, I ungrouped not only the entire design, but the lines of text with the hearts, as well. I wanted to move the hearts to the side because I would cut them separately, and I didn't want to waste any of my Iron-On Vinyl.

I moved the hearts together and grouped them in preparation for cutting. I also grouped all the text as one design again for cutting. Then I clicked on 'Attach' from the bottom right panel, so everything would stay exactly as arranged on the Canvas when cutting.

Now it was time to start cutting the design out on my Cricut Maker

I clicked on 'Make It', browsed materials and selected Cricut Everyday Iron-On. I made sure to mirror my image, so it would be right side up once adhered onto the shirt. I placed my white Iron-On onto my Standard Grip Mat and used my brayer to smooth it out. Then I loaded the mat into my  machine.

I followed the prompts in Design Space to pull the mat in and begin cutting out the design. Once the white Iron-On was cut, I placed a small piece of the red Iron-On onto my mat and repeated the process.

Once everything was cut out, I started to weed my design to remove all the additional material that was not needed. I kept the Iron-On adhered to the mat while I weeded, begin careful not to push down into the mat with my weeder tool.

Here it is with more of it weeded.

Once this was done, I weeded the extra material off of the hearts in the same way.

Now I wasn't sure how to incorporate the red hearts into the text design. I knew I didn't want to try to iron on the hearts individually after ironing on the text. I decided to try an experiment. I knew if it didn't work, it would not ruin my project.

I cut each heart out individually by cutting the carrier sheet into a small square around each one. Then I placed them sticky side up right onto the carrier sheet within the text, which meant that the Easy Press would have to heat the hearts through two carrier sheets. If you look carefully, you may be able to see the little squares around the hearts.

The trickiest part of this was trying to space the hearts evenly between the text. I just eyeballed them and tried not to be too particular. I did reposition some of them several times.

Next, it was time to attach my design to the T-shirt. I preheated my Easy Press to 315 degrees per the directions in the Cricut Heat Guide, which I always use. It makes the process so easy because there is no guessing the temperature or amount of time required.

Now I needed to prepare my shirt. I started by finding the center of the shirt and placing pins there. The shirt actually looks a lot brighter in person than in the photos.

Then I used my T-shirt templates and a ruler to figure out the proper placement and used pins again to mark the shirt, starting with where I wanted the design on the bottom. After I purchased the templates, I learned that I could have made some of my own my with Cricut. I wish I had done that instead.

Then I measured and pinned the side placement.

Maybe I took more time on this than you would, but I like to make sure everything is even. Once I apply the Iron-On, it's too late to make any changes.

I was now ready to place the Iron-On design on the shirt for heating. Once it was in place, I removed the pins. I didn't want them to melt.

By this time, my Easy Press was preheated and ready to go. I placed it right on top of the carrier sheet with no barrier between them.

I realized I forgot to preheat the shirt for 5 seconds as suggested. I usually do that, but I totally spaced it this time. However, I was not willing to remove my design and start over positioning it, so I just went ahead and adhered the Iron-On to the shirt, and there was no problem with it adhering.

I held the Easy Press down for 30 seconds per the Cricut Heat Guide instructions. Then I turned over the shirt and heated that side for 15 seconds.

I am happy to report that everything ironed on just fine with the Easy Press. It did not seem to make a difference with two layers of carrier sheets, maybe because the hearts were so small. Here is the design all attached.

And here is a view of the shirt. I am really happy with how it turned out. I hope Dad likes it!

Every time I make a shirt with Iron-On, I am reminded of how fun it is. I hope you enjoy making shirts as much as I do. Or, if you haven't tried it yet, I encourage you to do so. You might get hooked on it!



Well, I'm off to organize my craft room. See you next time.


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