After creating these free printable Mother’s Day cards a couple years ago I’ve been looking for another reason to repurpose the graphics I created. Well I finally came up with a great use for them—a fun, Mother’s Day t-shirt!
I’ll admit this is one of those projects that I created more for myself but I’m pretty sure your mom (or you) would appreciate a fun shirt like this. The best part about it is you can use whatever colors of heat transfer vinyl you like to create a custom look. And the artwork can also be applied to a pullover sweatshirt, a tote bag or just about any textile. Or use adhesive vinyl and put it on a notebook or gift box!
This project does require a cutting machine. If you’ve been on the fence about investing in one, I cannot recommend it enough. Besides for my computer and maybe paint, it’s the most used tool in my studio. I personally have only used a Silhouette but I have several friends that used Cricut machines. While I can’t speak on those, the main reason I love my Silhouette is that they have software that connects directly with Adobe Illustrator, the design software I used to create all my graphics and wallpapers. But you definitely don’t have to be a graphic designer to use one—they have their own user-friendly design software, Silhouette Studio, that’s included when you buy one.
Heat transfer vinyl, 1 sheet of each color: light pink, dark pink, yellow, mint and coral
Iron or heat press
Scrap piece of cotton cloth
Ironing board or mat
Download the free layered SVG file and the artwork guide
Download the free layered SVG file and the artwork guide. The SVG file contains 6 layers, which will need to be separated by simply dragging and dropping them onto other areas of your mat/art board. Take note that the dark pink vinyl will be cut twice and every other color will be cut once.
After cutting out the heat transfer vinyl, fold the t-shirt in half lengthwise and press. This will create a crease down the center of the shirt which you will use to help center the design on the shirt.
Starting with the light pink “mama” layer, center it onto the shirt and press. Do not iron on the small squares in the top left and right corners. These are registration marks and will help you align each layer going forward but you don’t want them ironed onto the shirt.
Iron on each layer in the following order:
- light pink – mama text
- mint green – leaves
- dark pink – 2 flowers
- coral – 2 flowers
- yellow – 2 flowers and 4 dots
- dark pink – 2 dots
Once I got to the yellow layer, I found it easiest to cut that layer in half and align the 2 left dots separately. While this step isn’t necessary, you might find it helpful too.
Before ironing on the yellow layer, you can use scissors to carefully cut off the registration marks. Press it in place and then remove the clear plastic backing while it’s still warm.
Continue with the last layer, the dark pink dots, to complete the design. The registration marks aren’t really needed for this layer either. Just carefully align the dots in the center of each yellow flower.
Even though I’ve been using my Silhouette for years, this was actually the first time I created a layered image with heat transfer vinyl. And here are a couple tips I learned from creating this project:
- You don’t need to press each layer for the full time. Since you are layering multiple pieces of vinyl, you don’t need to iron/press each layer for the full amount of time that’s recommended because more heat will be applied with each layer.
- Place a couple of cotton cloths on top of the image and press it to set the design.
- After ironing on all the layers, iron/press the shirt from the inside. This will help set the vinyl.
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