How to Use a Silhouette Cutter to Make a Slogan T-shirt
Here are the items you will need:
● A blank t-shirt
● T-shirt vinyl ● Silhouette cutter
● Weeding tool - You can also use sharp tweezers or a pin
● Heat press
*Things to note:
If a t-shirt has been worn and washed the vinyl may not stick to the fabric as nicely as it should. Sometimes it may not attach at all. If you must wash before attaching the vinyl make sure you do not use fabric conditioner.
Be sure to note whether the vinyl is hot or cold peel and find out what the recommended heat settings are in terms of temperature and time length. Majority of the time you can find this information on the supplier’s website. Keep in mind that special types of vinyl like puffy, reflect, or glow in the dark might have specific instructions. Be sure to buy the proper stuff got the application to these fabrics.
You could use an iron but it is difficult to get it to the right temperature for an even application. This may lead to vinyl warping and a wasted t-shirt. You can ask your local Makerspace if you don't have a heat press of your own.
These instructions are under the assumption you have and are familiar with a Silhouette cutter and using the Silhouette Software. If you do not feel free to check out my previous blog posts all for beginners and using the Silhouette machine for the first time!
Step 2: Create the Text in Silhouette Studio.
Once you open the Silhouette studio and select create a new project, you can use the text tool to add whatever kind of text you’d like. To determine the size of the text, you can hold the Silhouette guide sheet up to your shirt and use that grid to help you figure out which would work best. You can then resize it in the software and rotate if necessary to fit it on the page!
Step 3: MIRROR THE TEXT!
This step is so important! Make sure when you are cutting the t-shirt vinyl that you are cutting it from the back then turning it over to apply to the fabric. In other words, you are mirroring the text. Flip it either horizontally if you read it from left to right or vertically if it has been rotated on the screen.
Step 4: Check the Cut Settings.
There might be a chance that the cut depth settings may not suitable for vinyl even if you have used the Silhouette previously. Be sure to click on Cut settings then Vinyl so you can choose the appropriate cut depth. Usually, a cut depth of 8 is fine but you can always do a test to be sure.
Step 5: Load the Vinyl into the Silhouette
Take a look at the sheet of vinyl and notice that it has a glossy side and matte side. The glossy side is a clear sticky plastic sheet that you will end up peeling off. Make sure it stays intact by sticking the glossy side to the guide sheet so the matte side will be the one that gets cut. Look at the sheet of vinyl. It will have a glossy side and a matte side. Doing both this and flipping your design before cutting, are the two most important steps that differ cutting vinyl for fabric and cutting vinyl for murals.
Once you press the load button you will be ready to go!
Step 6: Send to Silhouette!
The easiest step. All you have to do is sit back and wait for the SIlhouette to cut your design!
Step 7: Weed the Vinyl
First, make sure you cut around the designs so you can save the rest of the vinyl for future projects. Then grab your weeding tool and peel away all the excess vinyl until you have just your design. Your design should be backward so just turn it over and position it on your shirt and you will be ready to press it on.
Step 8: Apply Heat.
It’s important that you know the right settings for the vinyl you are using. Depending on which vinyl it needs to be pressed at a certain temperature in order for it to stick correctly.
Step 9: Peel the Vinyl
You can either peel it straight away (hot peel) or wait until it’s cool and then peel (cold peel).
You can do a quick second press by putting a baking sheet over the design and pressing it at the same temperature for 5 seconds.
Now it’s time to wear your designs and show it off with pride!
**Silhouette Cameo: Which Machine Should I Buy?
Silhouette Cameo 4 with Bluetooth, 12x12 Cutting Mat, Autoblade 2, 100 Designs and Silhouette Studio Software - White Edition
Feel free to share your prints in the comments below!