Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas 2014: Heat Transfer Vinyl

  These are gifts I've wanted to make for years.

  I've tried a couple different ways to make humorous shirts for my brothers, and always ended up failing at it. I tried freezer-paper stenciling, but cutting those itty-bitty pieces with an x-acto knife didn't work well for me.... I don't have the steadiest hands, and I kept slashing holes where I didn't mean to. I tried Transfer Artists Paper, but not only did it not work on dark fabrics, but I couldn't get a clean image, and it kept peeling off the shirts. I tried a different brand of printable iron-on vinyl, and basically ended up with the x-acto problem again because the edges were white unless I trimmed right up to the edge. This year, I have a Silhouette Cameo. This year, I used heat transfer vinyl. This year, the shirts turned out beautifully! Also, since I designed most of the sayings myself, I get to share most of them with you! They are all reversed and ready to cut. I'm sharing them as studio files, which I'm pretty sure only works with the Silhouette, but if anyone is interested I can probably manage to upload a jpeg or svg of the same files. =)

  I made this one for my dad, who is a very punny guy. File available here.

  I was originally planning to sew all of the shirts in addition to adding the fun sayings, but I checked the prices first. It would have cost me $200 more to sew the shirts than to buy pre-made ones! So obviously, I just bought some. 
  This one went to my father-in-law, who spends a lot of time training people at his work. File available here. This one is the first I made, and I positioned the vinyl too high, but he still liked it.

  I bought the heat transfer vinyl here, after Tricia linked to their site. I figured I'd be able to get at least 2 designs out of each 12x24 sheet, and at most 4 designs out of each. I managed to fit ALL of the white designs on one sheet, so needless to say I have quite a bit of vinyl left... which is fine by me!
  The vinyl went on pretty easily... a little better on the smaller designs than on the larger ones, but I just re-ironed any spots that seemed to be peeling up. Most of the designs had to be ironed for about 3 times longer than the recommended amount, but luckily there wasn't any burning or other problems. I don't know yet how well the heat transfer vinyl washes, since I haven't washed my husband's shirt, and I haven't heard from anyone else about it.
  Speaking of my husband's shirt, this is his, and the file is available here. He loved it. =)

  The site I bought the vinyl from was out of the smooth red vinyl when I bought mine, and I wanted to consolidate the shipping, so I went with flocked heat transfer vinyl for the red ones. It cut well, but I think I should have set the knife one stop deeper than I did. It was harder to weed, and I accidentally tore a couple of the letters. In addition, it didn't stick well to the backing, which made it harder to place properly. I definitely preferred working with the smooth heat transfer vinyl.
  I made this one for my brother, who is a master of sarcasm, and who has something witty to say in reply to your every statement. File is here.

  If you look closely, you can see where I tried to patch the 'S' back together after it tore apart.

  This one is for my perfectionist brother-in-law. I was sure he'd know what it meant and think it funny, but he actually had to look it up before he started laughing. Apparently the usage of [SIC] isn't as widespread as I'd thought. File is available here.

  My oldest brother, who is generally the life of the (family) party, received this shirt. This one was a favorite with my family. =) File is here.

  I ordered all of the shirts from this site. I have to admit I didn't like the look of the site, but everything arrived as expected. 
  I made this one for my newest brother-in-law, who knows karate. All of the ladies thought this one particularly funny. =) File is available here

  This one was for my pre-teen brother-in-law. He's the only one who put it on immediately, which definitely made me feel that my efforts were appreciated. =) File is here

  My youngest brother, who drinks entire pots of coffee by himself, received this one. File is here

  For my youngest brother-in-law, the humorous helper, I made this one. File is available here.

  My twin nephews received these adorable shirts. I actually missed a couple of tiny pieces when weeding the rocking chair, but hopefully it's not too noticeable. File for both designs is available here.

  And finally, I made this one for my baby niece. The ladybug is designed by Nithin Viswanathan from the Noun Project. I had made a couple of other versions but didn't love them, then came across this one. I had to download it as an svg file, use this site to convert it to dxf, then open it in the Silhouette. It still didn't take all that long! The spots did disappear in the conversion process, but those were easy to add back in. It sure would be nice, though, if the Silhouette Studio could open svg files without buying the designer edition software. Anyway, the results are cute. I don't think it's fair to share the file for this one, but you can make it yourself pretty easily, using the above links. The font I used is AL Hurried Note.

  That's it for tonight!
Thanks for stopping by,


  1. They're all so fun! I think the "sic" one is my favorite. And the ladybug. Please update with how they hold up in the wash!

    1. Thank you! I'll let you know... I'll probably do some laundry this weekend. =)

    2. I'm sorry, I totally forgot to get back to you about this! It washed just fine... a few of the edges peeled up a tiny bit and I had to iron them back down, but overall it was good. I washed on hot/hot, and dried on hot, just to see what it could handle. =)

  2. They're all so witty! You did a phenomenal job making so many handmade gifts this year!

    1. Thank you! I love making handmade gifts.... these were the easy ones, but really the ones I had the most fun with. =)

  3. Wow!, Charity! I am so impressed with how much you accomplish! The shirts are great and I bet all the men get comments about them. Fun! I really love the purple shirt on you! That is a lovely design and fits you so well. I hope 2015 is full of blessings for happiness, good health, and prosperity for you and your lovely family!

    1. Thank you! It's a balance I haven't mastered at all... when many things show up on my blog, my house usually looks terrible.
      Thank you, I love that shirt too! I'm really happy I decided to quit thinking about making it and just make it. =) I hope your year is full of blessings and joy too. =)

  4. Your shirts are adorable! Great Christmas gifts!

    1. Thank you! The effort/returns ratio was very, very good with these. ;-)