I have made diecuts for scrapbooking, fondant cut outs for cakes, cards for Valentines and stickers for gift wrapping with my handy Cricut cutting machine. But I have recently discovered my new favorite use for that little wonder that can sometimes sit for too long and collect dust: graphic t-shirts!
We have had a blast coming up with clever sayings, designs and Pinterest inspirations. We’ve had some trial and error along the way. I started my foray into using vinyl with the Cricut by creating vinyl stencils. I made a t-shirt for my husband when I found out I was pregnant with a third little doll, that indicated he was dad to the third power. I made the stencil, then used fabric paint to letter it. Next I was excited to try iron on vinyl. It took me several tries to realize that the design had to be flipped backward before cutting and the cutting had to be done shiny side down, then finally, “weeded” as they call pulling off all of the vinyl that is not going to end up on the t-shirt. Why do the directions to these things seem like they were written in Chinese then popped into Google Translate before printing on the wrapper? I found Youtube.com very helpful.
I still find the foil vinyl too fragile for my liking, though it is beautiful to look at. The glitter vinyl is sturdy and wears better if you are looking for something shiny. I still recommend turning your shirts inside out to wash and avoiding dryer settings with high heat. I have found some alternative brands of vinyl available on-line and a little better priced than buying the Cricut vinyl at Joann Fabrics or Michaels, even with sales or coupons. I have had success with Firefly brand iron on vinyl. Be sure you purchase “iron on” or “heat transfer” vinyl. Do not confuse it with the vinyl clings for windows or walls available for cutting machines and right next to the iron vinyl in the craft stores.
I am working on bibs, rehabbing old clothes and pillows now. I made show shirts for my daughters commemorating this year’s production of Beauty & the Beast. It’s fun to put initials, dates and other personalization on clothing, that would otherwise cost a fortune to customize. There are lots of possibilities rolling around in my brain. What would you do with a cutting machine and some iron on vinyl?