DIY Disney Shirt: Dinglehopper Hair, Don’t Care

Make this DIY mermaid shirt for your next trip to Disney or for the Disney lover in your life!

One of my favorite parts of going to any Disney park is wearing Disney themed clothing.  It makes me feel like I am part of Disney in some small way and it’s just a lot of fun.  When I was planning my trip to Orlando and I found out that a friend of mine and her family were going to be able to come down at the same time as us, the wheels in my brain started spinning.  I knew I wanted to make some kind of a t-shirt for the two of us so we could match.  (Yes, we’re those people.)  I started browsing ideas online of cute Disney quotes, made a list and sent it over to her to see what she thought.  We both picked the same two as our favorites and so I got started planning the designs.

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As always, I used my Silhouette Cameo for cutting.  It is amazing and I never hesitate to recommend it to anyone.  The first design was going to be centered around the words: dinglehopper hair, don’t care with a fork in the middle.  (I’ll be sharing the tutorial for the other shirt next week.)  We both love The Little Mermaid so it just seemed natural that we’d do a shirt based on that.  I bought our t-shirts at Target because I love their basic v-necks.  (They are the same ones I used for my mama bear shirt and my pineapple shirt.)  When I got them home, I measured the smaller of the shirts and then used those dimension to decide how big the design should be.  (I used the same size design for both shirts.)

I used my Silhouette Studio to create the design exactly how I wanted it.  I used the same font for all the words, but the sizing is different.  I squished some of the words and stretched others to make it all fit within the space I’d decided on.  I found a fork silhouette on Google, saved it to my computer and used the trace feature to outline the shape.  I manipulated the shape of the fork to extend just barely past the words.

*Note: I used the font Bolton, which is a free font.  You can download it HERE.  If you need help downloading and installing a font onto your computer, click HERE for a tutorial.)

Once I had everything where I wanted it, I colored the words and fork in with the colors of HTV (heat transfer vinyl) I wanted to use so I could see how it would look.  You can see my design below was pretty simple. 

Make this DIY mermaid shirt for your next trip to Disney or for the Disney lover in your life!

I had chosen a purple t-shirt and thought that black lettering and a silver glitter fork would look cute.  I ordered my HTV from Expressions Vinyl because they have great pricing, especially on their specialty vinyl like the glitter, glow-in-the-dark, etc.

When I got the vinyl, I went back into my Silhouette Studio to my design.  Select your entire design and flip the image.  This is an important step because when you cut the vinyl, you are cutting on the BACK, hence the reason why you’d want to make sure your image is flipped.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with backwards text.  You can flip your image by selecting all the pieces that need to be flipped, then clicking ‘Object’ >> ‘Mirror’ >> ‘Flip Horizontal’.

Make this DIY mermaid shirt for your next trip to Disney or for the Disney lover in your life!

Make this DIY mermaid shirt for your next trip to Disney or for the Disney lover in your life!

After everything had been flipped, I moved the fork out of the design and moved the text up so that it was all together and put the fork at the bottom.  Doing it this way allows you to cut all of the text at the same time out of the same color.  Then you can cut a piece of HTV for the fork and put it underneath the black HTV on your cutting mat.

Make this DIY mermaid shirt for your next trip to Disney or for the Disney lover in your life!

*Tip: Turn on your ruler so you can see how to line up your design and use the least amount of HTV possible.  It will also help you know where to put the glitter HTV so it cuts out the fork in the right place.

Cut out your HTV to the appropriate size from your sheet or roll and place it, shiny side down, on the cutting mat and load it into your machine.  Make sure to double check the cut settings, as they are different for smooth versus glitter HTV.  When I did it, I opened the cut menu and selected the fork and marked it as ‘no cut’.  Then I changed the cut settings to smooth HTV and let it cut out the letters.  When it finished cutting the letters, I left it in the machine (meaning I did not unload it). Then went back to the cut menu, selected the fork and changed it to ‘cut’ and selected the text and changed it to ‘no cut’.  I updated the cut settings for glitter HTV and then sent it to cut.

Make this DIY mermaid shirt for your next trip to Disney or for the Disney lover in your life!
An example of how I place different colors on the same cutting mat

*Tip: If you are making more than one shirt with the same design, you can create a new project page that has all the text on it and another that has all the forks on it.  Then cut all the words out of one piece of smooth HTV and all the forks out of glitter HTV.  This way you don’t have to worry about the ‘cut’ and ‘no cut’ settings, only the cut settings for each type of HTV.

After everything had been cut out, I pulled the vinyl off the cutting mat and weeded it all out.  (Weeding is when you remove everything that isn’t a part of the design.)  I love having this weeding tool because it makes getting tiny pieces of vinyl out so much easier.

Once my design had been weeded, I cut the words apart between ‘hair’ and ‘don’t’ so that I could place the fork in the middle.  (I’ve noticed that the HTV from Expressions Vinyl is actually a little bit sticky so you can put it on your shirt (or whatever you’re making) and it will stay in place.  This is nice because when it comes time to iron the HTV on, you know it’s not going to shift if it gets bumped.)

I centered the words below the point on the v-neck shiny side up and adjusted them until they looked right.  Then I turned on my iron to the hottest setting.  While it was heating up, I grabbed my ironing board and piece of cotton fabric to lay over the design while I was ironing.  You do not want to place a hot iron directly onto the backing of the HTV.  It will melt and ruin your iron.  When the iron was hot, I centered the shirt long ways on the ironing board so the entire design fit on the board.  Then I laid the cotton fabric, doubled up, on top of the design.  (You can use any color fabric you have, but I chose white so I could see through it a little easier and know that I was on top of the design.)

Make this DIY mermaid shirt for your next trip to Disney or for the Disney lover in your life!

To iron the HTV to the shirt, I placed the iron on top of the shirt (again, with the cotton in between the shirt and the iron) and press firmly for about 45-60 seconds.  I used the stopwatch setting on my phone and just moved the iron each time it hit the 45 second increment. 

*Tip: Glitter HTV will require a little more time under the iron because it is a little bit thicker.

Once you feel like you’ve gotten everywhere, remove the cotton fabric barrier.  Gently pull on the plastic backing to see how easily the vinyl comes away from it.  There will be a little bit of resistance, but the edges of your design should stay on the surface you’ve ironed it to if you’ve done it correctly.  If not, just replace the cotton and press the iron in the spot(s) that need a little more heat.

Let the shirt cool after you’ve removed the plastic backing from your vinyl and then try it on!

I am SO happy with the way this shirt came out!  It is exactly like I pictured in my head and it was so fun to wear it to Hollywood Studios with my friend.  Twinning at its best. *wink*

Make this DIY mermaid shirt for your next trip to Disney or for the Disney lover in your life!

Make this DIY mermaid shirt for your next trip to Disney or for the Disney lover in your life!

What would you put on your Disney shirt?

How To Use Smooth Heat Transfer Vinyl

Creating your own custom t-shirts is made easy with this tutorial on how to use smooth heat transfer vinyl.

Earlier this month I posted a tutorial about how to use flocked heat transfer vinyl and showed you how to make a cute ‘mama bear’ shirt.  About a week after making the first shirt, I decided to make another one using smooth heat transfer vinyl.  I learned some important differences between the two types of heat transfer vinyl (also referred to as HTV) and I am sharing them with you today along with a tutorial for how to make a t-shirt using the cute pineapple pictured above.

Smooth Heat Transfer Vinyl
What is smooth heat transfer vinyl?
Smooth refers to the texture (or lack thereof).  It feels like soft paper and with the backing is about the thickness of a sheet of printer paper.  You can do more intricate designs using smooth vs flocked.

When I was buying my favorite v-neck t-shirts from Target to make the mama bear t-shirt, I knew that I wanted to make at least one other t-shirt using the smooth HTV.  I was mentally scrolling through my Silhouette library and remembered a fun geometric pineapple that I knew would be perfect.  Pineapples are kind of a trendy thing right now when it comes to clothes and accessories, but honestly, I think it’s a trend that will stay around for a while.

To begin the process, I pulled up my Silhouette studio software and grabbed the pineapple file from my library.  Then, I pulled out my shirt and laid it out flat on the ground and used a ruler to get a basic estimate of the available space.  (The sheets of HTV were only 9×12 so any one image couldn’t be bigger than that.)  I decided on a size I thought would look good on the shirt and resized the pineapple in my software by making it a little taller and wider than the original.

*TIP*  If you are making a design with text, you will need to make sure that you flip the entire image (either horizontally or vertically depending on your design).  This is an important step because when you cut the vinyl, you are cutting on the BACK, hence the reason why you’d want to make sure your image is flipped.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with backwards text.  You can flip your image by selecting all the pieces that need to be flipped, clicking ‘Object’ in the tool bar, scrolling down to ‘Mirror’ and then choosing either ‘Flip Horizontal’ or ‘Flip Vertical’.

Creating your own custom t-shirts is made easy with this tutorial on how to use smooth heat transfer vinyl.

Although I could have left the pineapple exactly how it was, I decided to flip it because I liked it a little better.  Totally a personal preference.

Next, I placed the HTV shiny side down on my cutting mat and loaded it into the machine.

*TIP*  Some of the tutorials I saw said you could load the vinyl directly into the machine, but I didn’t do this because I didn’t want to run the risk that it would slip while being cut, so I place my HTV on a cutting mat before loading it into the machine.

Before I cut anything on my Silhouette, I always check the cut settings to see what I need to set my blade to.

Because smooth HTV is thinner than flocked HTV, you will probably only need to set your blade to a 2 or 3 depending on how new/old your blade is.

Then, press the cut button and watch the magic happen.  Maybe I’m weird but, I always find it so fascinating to watch the whole cutting process!  After it was finished, I unloaded the cutting mat and removed the HTV.  Then I cut around around the pineapple design and set the rest of the HTV aside to use on another project.

Now, here comes the next step: weeding.  Weeding is where you remove all the pieces of HTV that aren’t part of the design.  With the mama bear design, all I had to weed out was the word ‘mama’.  With the pineapple design, I was weeding out a million little pieces due to the geometric nature of the design.  I think all together it took me about 45 minutes.  Thank goodness I had the little weeding tool that came with my Silhouette heat transfer vinyl starter kit.  Otherwise, I seriously don’t know how long it would have taken me.

Creating your own custom t-shirts is made easy with this tutorial on how to use smooth heat transfer vinyl.

*Note: Neither the vinyl nor the backing is sticky, so it differs from regular adhesive vinyl in this way.  Be careful when you are weeding so that you don’t pull or stretch the vinyl.

Once the weeding was done, I turned on my iron to the hottest setting and laid my t-shirt on top of the ironing board.  Then I positioned the pineapple where I wanted it, making sure it was shiny side up.

*TIP*  Do not iron directly onto the plastic backing.  It will melt onto your iron.  Use some cotton fabric doubled-up or one of these heat transfer cover sheets.

When my iron was hot, I double-checked the placement on my shirt and placed the cotton fabric and then the iron over the top of the design.  Press firmly for 45-60 seconds.  I just counted in my head and checked it after 45 seconds, then moved my iron over to cover more of the design, counted another 45 seconds and so on, until I felt I had ironed everywhere.

Creating your own custom t-shirts is made easy with this tutorial on how to use smooth heat transfer vinyl.

I removed the cotton fabric I’d used and gently pulled on the plastic to see how well the vinyl would come away from it.

*TIP*  There will be a little bit of resistance, but the edges of your design should stay on the surface you’ve ironed it to if you’ve done it correctly.  If not, just replace the cotton or cover sheet and press the iron in the spots(s) that need a little more heat.

Since the pineapple design I’d chosen had a lot of edges and points, I made sure that it was ironed on really well before attempting to pull the plastic backing off.

As soon as the shirt had cooled off, I tried it on and then went out to model it for my husband who said he liked it.

All in all, I really liked how my shirt came out!  I haven’t had any problems with the vinyl lifting although I am going to be sure to wash it inside out to give it a little more protection.

Creating your own custom t-shirts is made easy with this tutorial on how to use smooth heat transfer vinyl.

Creating your own custom t-shirts is made easy with this tutorial on how to use smooth heat transfer vinyl.

I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful!  If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment or email me at sunshineandmunchkins@gmail.com.

This post may contain affiliate links which if you click on them and make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

How To Use Flocked Heat Transfer Vinyl {Tips from a Beginner}

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

I was browsing a favorite blog of mine, called A Girl And A Glue Gun, and I saw an entire post about using something called HTV (not to be confused with HGTV, which I also love).  There were pictures of clothes and pillows and aprons and hand towels using this stuff.  I clicked on the post and read a little further where I discovered that HTV stands for heat transfer vinyl which is basically vinyl you can cut out and iron onto anything that is smooth, like t-shirts.

So when I found an unused Amazon gift card, I knew what I wanted to purchased: a Silhouette heat transfer vinyl starter kit.  I bought it and waited excitedly for it to come in the mail.  In anticipation of the soon-to-be delivered vinyl, I stopped by Target and picked up a few basic v-neck t-shirts (you can never have too many of those!).

As far as what I wanted to put on the t-shirts, I had a few ideas based on shirts I’d seen in stores or online.  I pulled up my Silhouette studio software and started designing.  The design I settled on was a bear silhouette with the word ‘mama’ on the inside.  Pretty simple.

When I got the kit, I opened it up and found 2 sheets of flocked heat transfer vinyl (white and yellow), 3 sheets of smooth heat transfer vinyl (black, hot pink and turquoise), a weeding tool, a small instruction book, a instructional DVD and a card with a code to download 10 free designs from the Silhouette store.

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

Before starting, I looked up a couple of YouTube videos to make sure I understood what I needed to do, since the print instructions that came with the kit weren’t too detailed.  (I’ll be honest, I haven’t looked at the DVD but I decided it would be faster to just look up a few videos online.)

For the rest of this tutorial, I’ll show you what I did and tell you what I learned so you will feel more confident and hopefully avoid any of the mistakes or set-backs I had.

Flocked Heat Transfer Vinyl

What is flocked heat transfer vinyl?
Flocked refers to the texture, which is a little bit fuzzy and soft.  It is thicker than regular heat transfer vinyl.

I chose to do the bear design on a dark blue heathered shirt with the white flocked heat transfer vinyl (which I will refer to from here on out as HTV).

To create the design, I just searched online for a bear silhouette that I liked the shape of, then saved it to my computer.  Next, I opened up my Silhouette studio software and started a new project.  Then, I dragged the bear silhouette into my software and traced it and deleted the original picture from my page.

Next, I typed the word ‘mama’ all in lowercase, then searched through my fonts for one that I liked.  I knew I wanted to use a cursive or script font and ultimately decided on one called Magnolia Sky (free download HERE).  I pulled the word up inside the bear silhouette and rotated it and sized it until I liked how it looked.  (For a tutorial on how to download and install fonts, click HERE.)

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

Then, I pulled out my shirt and laid it out flat on the ground and used a ruler to get a basic estimate of the available space.  (The sheets of HTV were only 9×12 so any one image couldn’t be bigger than that.)  I decided on a size I thought would look good on the shirt and then selected both the bear and the text and resized it to fit on the shirt.

*TIP*  If you are making a design with text, you will need to make sure that you flip the entire image (either horizontally or vertically depending on your design).  This is an important step because when you cut the vinyl, you are cutting on the BACK, hence the reason why you’d want to make sure your image is flipped.  Otherwise, you’ll end up with backwards text.  You can flip your image by selecting all the pieces that need to be flipped, clicking ‘Object’ in the tool bar, scrolling down to ‘Mirror’ and then choosing either ‘Flip Horizontal’ or ‘Flip Vertical’.

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

I flipped my images horizontally and then adjusted it to be closer to the edge of the cut area so I wasted the least amount of vinyl possible.

Next, I placed the HTV shiny side down on my cutting mat and loaded it into the machine.

*TIP*  Some of the tutorials I saw said you could load the vinyl directly into the machine, but I didn’t do this because I didn’t want to run the risk that it would slip while being cut, so I place my HTV on a cutting mat before loading it into the machine.

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

Before I cut anything on my Silhouette, I always check the cut settings to see what I need to set my blade to. 

*TIP*  For flocked HTV, you have to move your blade to at least a 3, possibly a 4, depending on how new/old your blade is.

I sent it to the Silhouette to be cut and then watched the magic happen. 🙂  I unloaded the cutting mat and then removed the portion of HTV outside the bear and the word ‘mama’.  I used this nifty little weeding tool that I got with my kit to grab onto the lettering and pull it out.  (Something to note is that neither the vinyl nor the backing is sticky, so it differs from regular adhesive vinyl in this way.)

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

I turned on my iron to the hottest setting and let it heat up while I laid my shirt out on top of the ironing board and placed the HTV where I wanted it, making sure the shiny side is up.

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

*TIP*  Do not iron directly onto the plastic backing.  It will melt onto your iron.  Use some cotton fabric doubled-up or one of these heat transfer cover sheets.

When my iron was hot, I double-checked the placement on my shirt and placed the iron over the top of the design.  The instructions I found said to press firmly for 45-60 seconds.  I just counted in my head and checked it after 45 seconds, then moved my iron over to cover more of the design, counted another 45 seconds and so on, until I felt I had ironed everywhere.

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

I removed the cotton fabric I’d used and gently pulled on the plastic to see how well the vinyl would come away from it.

*TIP*  There will be a little bit of resistance, but the edges of your design should stay on the surface you’ve ironed it to if you’ve done it correctly.  If not, just replace the cotton or cover sheet and press the iron in the spots(s) that need a little more heat.

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

When I pulled the plastic backing off, I was a little disappointed to see that my vinyl appeared to have discolored a bit because it was a little bit tan instead of the white that it should have been.  Although I don’t know for sure, I’m guessing I either left my iron on the vinyl for too long, or the heat was on too high of a setting.  When I showed it to my sister, she didn’t even notice the discoloration and said she thought it was just part of the design.  So I guess you and I will be the only ones who know. *wink*

*TIP*  When in doubt, start with less time pressing the iron to the vinyl rather than more.

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

All in all, I’m happy with how my first HTV project came out.  I haven’t had any problems with the vinyl lifting at the edges and it cut really well.  My only two complaints about the flocked HTV are 1) the chance that there could be discoloration if you leave the heat on it for too long and 2) the fuzzies that get stuck to the design.

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

Save time and learn tips from a beginner user of flocked heat transfer vinyl.

p.s. Don’t judge my non-model pose.  I’m not a fashion blogger and my husband is not a photographer. *wink*

p.p.s. You can however tell me how darn cute my kids are.  No wonder I’m a mama bear when it comes to them!

p.p.p.s.  Keep an eye out for my tutorial on using smooth heat transfer vinyl!

I hope you’ve found some helpful hints for using flocked HTV!

This post may contain affiliate links which if you click on them and make a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.