Learn how to make an easy T-shirt with a Cricut! This is a great project for beginners and I show you how to do it step by step.
One of the reasons many people buy a Cricut is to be able to make T-shirts! And it’s easy to see why — the Cricut is perfect for T-shirt making, as it cuts out iron-in vinyl design like a champ. My Print Then Cut Iron on Transfer T-Shirt tutorial is a big hit, but print then cut can be a little challenging for beginners. So I want to dial it back a bit and do a very easy tutorial on how to make a T shirt with a Cricut for you!
A couple of months ago I did a full-color Print Then Cut Iron on Transfer T-Shirt tutorial which was a big hit, but print then cut can be a little challenging for beginners. So I want to dial it back a bit and do a very easy tutorial on how to make a T shirt with a Cricut with you!
For this project, we’ll be working with iron on vinyl, also known as heat transfer vinyl, or HTV. Iron on vinyl is a special type of vinyl that has a heat sensitive adhesive that will stick to fabric and other surfaces when pressed down with a heat source like an iron or an EasyPress. I will show you how to use BOTH in this video.
Now the cool thing about the Cricut is that you can cut out a design or name from iron-on vinyl of various colors, patterns, and textures to create a uniquely personalized design. And if you do it right, your shirt can be machine washed up to 50 times before you start to have issues. I will show you the RIGHT way to do it in this video so you get great results the first time!
Because the thing is, there’s a bunch of things that can go wrong the first time you make a shirt. You need to remember to mirror, or FLIP, the design, put the vinyl on your cutting mat with the right side up, weed the right part of the design, preheat your shirt first, set your temperature right, press long enough, and remove the carrier sheet at the right time. The good news is I’ll be right here with you while you make your shirt to make sure you do it right!
Here is a full step-by-step video tutorial on how to Make an Iron-On T Shirt with a Cricut:
Let’s start with the supplies you need and then I’ll show you how to prepare an iron-on vinyl T-shirt design! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
Materials Needed to Make an Iron-On T-Shirt with a Cricut
- A cotton T-shirt — I used
- Iron-on vinyl
- Weeding tool or something similar
- StandardGrip cutting mat
- Craft knife
- A way to press your vinyl onto your shirt, such as an EasyPress, household iron, or heat press
- A way to cut your vinyl (such as a Cricut)
- My free craft heart SVG cut file (available in my free resource library—get the password at the bottom of this post)
How to Make an Iron-On HTV Design for a T-Shirt with a Cricut
Step 1: Find or Make Your T-Shirt Design
Go to Cricut Design Space, click on New Project, then click on Templates in the upper left corner. Choose “Classic T-Shirt” and pick a style, size and color. The template will help you size your design so it looks good on your T-shirt.
You’ll find many designs for iron-on T-shirts right in Cricut Design Space. Click on Images and browse the Image library for ideas. If you’re a beginner, I recommend you stick with simple, one-color designs that do not have lots of small detail.
If you want to use my free Craft Heart design I used in this tutorial, you can download the free SVG cut files from my free resource library. It’s available as both a PDF (for hand cutting) and an SVG/DXF (for machine cutting). If you’re going to cut it out on your cutting machine, upload the file to your design software. If you’re not sure how to upload an SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’re not sure how to upload an SVG file to Cricut Design Space, or you’re having issues (such as getting a message that says “unsupported file”), please watch my free training series, SVGs Made Simple. It will help you SO much!
Here’s what my “Craft” design file looks like uploaded to Cricut Design Space:
You can resize the image to fit the T-shirt by using the resize handle in the lower right corner — just click and drag.
When you are ready, click the green Make It button in the upper right corner. You must then toggle the MIRROR to on (green) — all iron-on designs must be mirrored before cutting!
Step 2: Cut Out Your Design in Iron-On Vinyl (HTV) on Your Cricut
It’s super important you put your iron-on vinyl SHINY SIDE DOWN on your cutting mat. Learn how to tell which side to cut iron-on vinyl in my tutorial here!
Step 3: Weed Your Iron-On T-Shirt Design
It’s now time to weed our iron-on design. So weeding means to remove all of the vinyl that we don’t want transferred to our project when we iron it on or use a heat press. So that means we remove all the extra little bits.
To get started, you want to begin peeling the vinyl away from the edge. Alas, the vinyl never really wants to come free very easily. So what I do is make a small knick in the corner with my craft knife. You don’t want to cut all the way through. Just cut through the iron on vinyl layer on the matte side (the cut side). And then it’s easier to peel off once you’ve made that cut, I find. So I have just knicked the corner right here:
And now I can get my fingernail under the edge of the vinyl easier because of that little knick. If you have any problems, you can use your weeding tool to kind of pull it away like this. Once you have it started, you just continue to pull it away from the carrier sheet. And your design will stay on the carrier sheet and the part that you do not want will pull away, just like this.
Now if you look at it your iron-on design, you’ll see that not all of it has been removed, right? So we’ve got the parts inside the heart and the wings, and the letters as well.
Tip: Always keep your little scraps off to the side, away from your work area so that they don’t get mixed in with other things.
You just be patient and if you need to, you could use your tweezers to get the little bits off without hurting the letters. Here we have weeded our whole design.
Step 4: Transfer Your Design to Your T-Shirt
Step 5: Take Care of Your New T-Shirt
Get my free “Craft” SVG cut files for your T-shirt
If you make a shirt with your Cricut, please share a photo in my helpful Cricut Facebook group or tag me on social media with #jennifermaker.