Learn how to make DIY Shirts with Iron On HTV even if you don’t have a cutting machine! We share how to make a hand lettered iron on applique as well as a geometric heart design cutting by hand!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.
Something that I hear all the time from friends and readers is that they are saving up to buy a Cricut cutting machine/ hoping to get it for their birthday/ have it on their Christmas wish list/ dreaming they’ll wake up to it on Mother’s Day morning, etc. and that they feel like they are missing out on so much crafting goodness while they wait for the big day that their Cricut arrives. To those fabulous people I would like to say this:
Yes, your craft life will be TRANSFORMED when your Cricut arrives BUT there isn’t any reason why with a little bit of elbow grease, some patience and the right tools you can’t create amazing crafts that look like they were cut using a cutting machine but in reality were cut by hand!
Today I’m going to share with you how to take simple shapes with straight lines that you can cut with a Cricut Rotary Cutter and combine them to create a more complicated design– A geometric heart! We’ll also be taking a hand lettered word and I’ll show you how the Cricut TrueControl Knife can help you cut it with such precision that it will look like it came straight off a Cricut Maker cutting mat!
Last week I shared with you my 5 Favorite Cricut Hand Tools, Why I Love Them and How I Use Them, but today I thought I’d start with a little recap about these awesome hand tools.
- Cricut Self Healing Mats– This is a must if you are going to be doing hand cutting. The pretty designs look great in a craft room, but more importantly this self healing mat protects your surfaces and lets you cut safely.
- Cricut Rotary Cutter– If you sew you definitely need a Cricut Rotary Cutter but it’s great for other materials as well. This tool helps you cut straight lines with precision and speed. I used the Cricut Rotary Cutter for cutting all of the triangles in the geometric heart for this post.
- Cricut Acrylic Ruler– With it’s clear design and measurement marks every 1/8 of an inch this ruler makes the perfect partner to the Cricut Rotary Cutter.
- Cricut TrueControl Knife– If you want to cut iron-on by hand that looks like it’s been cut by a machine then this incredible knife is the answer. With it’s hand free blade changing system, anti-roll design and cushioned grip it’s clear that a lot of thought was put into the design of this knife. It’s the key for cutting the hand lettered word for this shirt.
- Cricut Cutting Ruler– With it’s no slip grip on the bottom and it’s protective shield, this ruler is best friends with the Cricut TrueControl Knife. Plus it’s so pretty in it’s different metallic hues! I love the way the lilac looks in metallic!
Ready to learn How To Make DIY Shirts With Iron On When You Don’t Have A Cutting Machine? Read on!
How To Make DIY Shirts With Iron On When You Don’t Have A Cutting Machine
Useful Tools and Materials:
–Cricut Rotary Cutter (very handy for designs with lots of straight lines, like the triangles we are going to cut for our geometric heart)
–Cricut Acrylic Ruler and/or Cricut Cutting Ruler (You could probably get away with just having one of these tools. If you sew you will definitely want to pick the Acrylic Ruler because it’s great for fabric. If you see yourself cutting other materials more then the Cricut Cutting Ruler might be the ruler for you.)
–Cricut TrueControl Knife (You’ll want this if you plan on cutting any shapes that aren’t straight lines, like our hand lettered word)
–Cricut EasyPress or Iron
-Print out of your hand lettered word printed as a mirror image
Directions for Geometric Heart:
What you need to know to create your design: To create a geometric heart you will need 20 squares. The heart is comprised of 4 rows of triangles. Determine how big you want your design to be and divide that number by 4. For example, the design on my shirt is 8 inches tall. 8 divided by 4 is 2, so I need to cut my triangles from squares that are 2 inches by 2 inches. If you want your design to be 4 inches you would want to cut your squares 1 inch by 1 inch. If you wanted your design to be 12 inches tall you’d want to cut your squares so that they are 3 inches by 3 inches… you get the idea.
Step 1:Pick the different colors of iron on that you would like to use for your shirt and cut them into strips. I cut my strips to be 2 inches wide.
Step 2: Cut your strip into squares that are the same width as they are all tall (in this case 2 inches by 2 inches), then cut the squares in half, corner to corner.
Step 3: Lay out your design the way you would like it, alternating the different colors/patterns of iron on.
Step 4: Set your EasyPress or iron to the temperature recommended for the type of iron-on you are using (find the EasyPress temperature guide here). Apply your heart to your shirt a few triangles at a time, pressing for 5 seconds, lifting your press, positioning the next triangles, pressing for 5 seconds, lifting your press, repeating until all the triangles are applied.
Once each of the triangles has been applied and pressed for 5 seconds, use your EasyPress or iron to press the entire design using the instructions found in the temperature guide heating from first the front and then the back. Note: I covered my design with a Cricut Iron-On Protective Sheet.
Step 5: Carefully remove the clear plastic protective cover from each of your triangles. Voila! You have a beautiful geometric heart shirt! Want to add a hand lettered word to it? Read on!
Directions for Hand Lettered Maker Design:
Step 1: Choose your font, type out your word and then mirror your image. Print using your printer. If you would like to use my Maker image find it below.
Step 2: Using a Cricut BrightPad or a window, trace the design onto your iron-on (you want to trace on the back of the iron-on, so position it with the shiny side facing down.)
Step 3: Using your TrueControl Knife cut around the words that you have traced (cut with the shiny side of your iron-on facing down). You want to cut through the iron-on but you don’t need to cut through the shiny plastic protective covering.
Step 4: Weed your vinyl leaving the word behind on the clear plastic sheet and removing the iron-on that surrounds the word. Position your design on your shirt, set your EasyPress or iron to the temperature recommended for the type of iron-on you are using.
Remove the clear plastic and voila! You have a beautiful shirt!
This process definitely takes more time than if you were to cut the design using a Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore Air, but it was so much fun to put my hand cutting skills to the test! It’s also the perfect crafty project to keep you busy while you wait for your Cricut Maker to arrive! I hope that this inspires you to get to work hand cutting some DIY Shirts of your own!
Disclosure: Thank you to Cricut for working with us on this post. As with every article on Hello Creative Family all thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. We only share things we love and we definitely love our Cricut supplies!
Tell me… Do you have a Cricut cutting machine? Have you ever made DIY shirts? What do you think of this technique?
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