DIY Laundry Room Sign

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

The summer after my husband and I got married, we drove out to Buffalo, NY, where he sold security systems.  Towards the end of the summer, his office got moved to Philadelphia, PA.  Thankfully, there were many wives who were out with their husbands so we became good friends and did some sightseeing here and there.  While in Philadelphia, we decided to drive out to a little amish town and do some exploring.  In one of the little shops we visited, I found a laundry room sign.  This sign has been with us for almost 9 years and when I first bought it, I thought it was the cutest thing, but as I’ve grown into my own personal style of decorating, I found that it just wasn’t working anymore.  So I decided to do a little DIY laundry room sign makeover and share this easy tutorial with you!

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.  Thank you for your support!

So this is what the sign looked like before I painted it.  A little sad, a little dated, but still in great shape.

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

Supplies needed:

First, prep your surface.  Since my board was already cut down to size, all I needed to do was wipe it off to remove dust and dirt.  There was probably a really thin coat of finish on top, but not enough for me to worry about sanding it before painting.  I also removed the wire that was originally holding the board up on the hook.

Next, paint your surface.  I did two coats of paint (in charcoal) to make sure I covered the original color and letters really well and then let it dry completely.

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

While the board is drying, I created my design.  I use my Silhouette Design Studio for my Silhouette Cameo to do this and it made everything SO easy.  I changed the size of my design page to the size of my board (16×6) so I could get a really accurate representation of how everything would fit.  I used the font Magnolia Sky for ‘Laundry Room’ and Bebas for ‘wash dry fold repeat’.  Both fonts are free.  Get Magnolia Sky HERE and Bebas HERE.  (Also, check out my tutorial for installing fonts HERE.)  

Once I had everything the size I wanted, I opened a New Drawing (blank page) and changed the design page back to 12×12 since that is the size of my cutting mat.  I copied the text and pasted it, then put it on the page to minimize the amount of vinyl I’d need to use to cut everything I needed.  Then I sent it to cut.

I removed the vinyl from the machine and then used my weeding tool to pull out the smaller pieces of vinyl.  Then I pulled off the remaining vinyl around the letters, so that when I was done, all I was left with was the words on my backing.

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

Next, I arranged the words on my board so they were close to where I ultimately wanted them.  (You could skip this part if you’re really confident about where everything is going, but I always like to do this first so I can visualize the final product easier.)

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

Then I peeled the backing off of the transfer paper and laid the sticky, clear part on top of the words.  After doing all the words, I used this little vinyl application tool I got a long time ago that has a hard plastic edge to it to rub the vinyl underneath the transfer paper and smooth out bubbles.  I’ve seen people use credit cards for this too.  (This helps it adhere to the transfer paper so when you pull the backing off the vinyl, it sticks to the transfer paper more easily.)

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

Now, I slowly pulled the backing off of my vinyl.  Try to pull in the direction of the curve so you don’t risk stretching or ripping the vinyl.

Next, very carefully place the words on the board.  You don’t want to press down just yet because if you need to move the words you want it to come up easily.  When everything was where I wanted it, I pressed down on the vinyl to keep it in place, then used my hard plastic edged tool to rub on top of all the letters.  Then, I removed the transfer paper slowly in case any part of the word was still sticking to it.

*Tip: You can reuse transfer paper.  Just put the backing from the transfer paper back onto the clear transfer paper and store it away until next time.  This is a huge money saver!

(If you used the color of vinyl you wanted, then you are done and can admire your work!  But if you want to paint over the top of your words like I did, keep following along.)

After pulling the transfer tape off, I inspected the edges of the vinyl to make sure there weren’t any bubbles or anything preventing it from adhering to the surface.  You want a really good seal.  Once this was done, I grabbed my white paint and did two coats. 

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

I let it dry for about 5 minutes, then grabbed my weeding tool and carefully used it to snag the beginning of the word.  Once I had a piece big enough to hold onto, I used my fingers to pull the vinyl off, going slowly and trying to pull in the direction of the curve. 

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

If you happen to wait a little too long before pulling the letters off, you might end up with some edges that aren’t totally smooth (which is what happened to me).  For me, I didn’t worry about this because I knew I wanted to sand the sign and distress it a little and once I did that, you couldn’t tell.

Allow the paint to finish drying completely.  You can either end here and hang up your amazing sign, or you can use some sandpaper and distress the edges and top a bit to let the bottom paint color come through.

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

Paint and vinyl are all it takes to make this cute DIY laundry room sign

And that’s it!  I hope this tutorial gave you a little bit of inspiration to add something cute to your laundry room.

Happy crafting!

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.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for your support!

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 Update Your Garage Door Entrance

Easily update your garage door entrance to instantly improve the look!

One of the things I was most excited about when we moved into our home was the attached garage because up until that point, we’d lived in apartments with no covered parking.  Being in Utah, we have some pretty cold days in the winter and scraping snow off my car or cranking the heat in my car for a quick errand was really annoying.  Being in Utah, we also have some crazy hot summer days so then there is the opposite issue of trying to cool down a hot car or being worried someone is going to burn their hands or legs on the buckles.  So having an attached garage was just like icing on the cake of buying our first home.

This summer, my husband has been working on our garage.  When we moved in, it was finished only up until the mudding and taping was done, so there was no texture and it wasn’t painted.  We left it like this for five years.  In the spring of this year, my husband and dad built some floor to ceiling shelving along one wall (yay!) so that we could move some of the stuff we have in our basement storage room outside.  With that done, my husband then started on mudding, re-taping and texturing the walls before painting them.  It’s been a process but he is just about done and the garage is looking so good!

Because we have an attached garage, this is the main way we enter our home, rather than a front or side or even back door.  This got me thinking that since we were going to all the work to make the walls look nice, then maybe we should spend a few extra dollars and make the entrance from the garage to our house look equally as nice.

Easily update your garage door entrance to instantly improve the look!

First, my husband took care of the plywood steps we have leading up to our door (which are open underneath) by cutting another piece of plywood for each side to close it off.  Then he primed and painted them with the same paint we’ve been using on the walls.  Using some dark grey paint I’d found at ReStore (a local donation center run by Habitat for Humanity) at the same time I found my cabinet door, he painted the steps with a few good coats.

Easily update your garage door entrance to instantly improve the look!

Next, we went to Walmart and I chose a blue-green color that I have scattered throughout my house (most recently on my hallway table makeover).  My husband used a small roller and painted the door, letting it dry between coats.  (The color we used is called Echo Lake Aqua by Better Homes and Gardens.)

A couple of days later I pulled out my Silhouette software and cut the word “hello” out of white adhesive vinyl and placed it in the middle of the door between the two panels.

Easily update your garage door entrance to instantly improve the look!

And BAM!  Check out the entrance to our home from the garage!  I LOVE it.  It makes me so happy to pull into my garage and see the bright door with the happy greeting on it.

Easily update your garage door entrance to instantly improve the look!

Seriously, check out this before and after!
Easily update your garage door entrance to instantly improve the look!

What do you think about sprucing up the entrance to your home from the garage?

Cabinet Door Makeover

Easily transform a cabinet door into a customized sign for your home

A few months ago while I was browsing around a store, I found this awesome serving plate that had all the colors that I wanted to decorate my kitchen in.  The design was fun, the colors were bright and I think it cost me about $6.  Done and done.  Since buying that plate and putting it above my kitchen cabinets, I’ve slowly started filling in the space.  However, I’ve run into a few snags because of the way our ceiling slopes above the cabinets so the height varies a lot.

When we were building our house about 5 1/2 years ago, we chose a few upgrades at the time, such as marble counter tops in the kitchen, better carpet and padding, 2-panel doors and a bigger garage, just to name a few.  Looking back, one thing I wish we’d upgraded to were the staggered cabinets.  You know, the kind that  have varying heights instead of being the same all the way across.  It’s totally an aesthetic thing and doesn’t give any advantages besides maybe a little more space between the counter and the bottom of the cabinets.  But after trying to decorate above my cabinets for the last 5 years since we moved in, it’s something I’d really like to do in the next house we move into.

One day a couple of weeks ago, we were at a discount home store called ReStore which is run by the Habitat for Humanity.  They have a huge warehouse full of anything you might need for your home in terms of fixing it up.  We were actually there to buy paint for our garage (one of the many home projects we’ve been working on this summer) and I wandered over to the cabinet door section.  I’ve been searching for the right size of door so I could turn it into a sign to put above the cabinets and that day I was lucky!  I found the perfect shape and size for a whopping $4.  I couldn’t wait to get started.

Easily transform a cabinet door into a customized sign for your home

This last weekend while my husband was organizing all his tools and whatnot in the garage (with the help of our 4 year old who loves to sort) and my son was napping, I knew it was the perfect time to pull it out.  The only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to use the word “gather”.  I thought it was a fitting word since that is usually what happens in the kitchen.

To paint the cabinet door, I used some sample paint we got when we were trying to decide what color to paint our basement.  We didn’t end up using the same color as the sample, but it was a good color for the sign.  It is good quality Behr paint with the primer and paint in one.  I didn’t worry about sanding it down at all, but I did give it a good wipe down before starting.  I used two coats of paint, getting it as even as possible.  (If you use a different type of paint, such as acrylic or chalk/milk paint, the number of coats you need may vary.)

Easily transform a cabinet door into a customized sign for your home

While the paint was drying, I pulled up my Silhouette software and started working on a design for the sign.  The cabinet door itself measures 23″ x 8 3/4″, but the space in the middle where I wanted to put the words and only measures 17 1/4″ x 2 3/4″.  I typed the word “gather” and then went through the different fonts until I found some I liked.  Then I compared them to each other and finally decided on the font Magnolia Sky which you can get for free HERE (the same font I used for my mama bear shirt).  I stretched the word out to fit the space but made sure it was still readable.

After looking at the word for a couple of minutes, I realized something was missing, so I opened my Silhouette library and grabbed some cute arrows to put on either side of “gather”.  It was the perfect touch!  For the vinyl, I used some from the pack I bought when I made my Summer Pallet Art and Mod Podge Notebook.  I’ve loved having such a great variety of colors to choose from when I need to add a little bit of vinyl to a project.  (You can buy some HERE.)

Easily transform a cabinet door into a customized sign for your home

I organized my design in my software so that I could cut all three colors of vinyl and my shapes at the same time by using the grid feature, then cutting my vinyl down to size and spacing it out on the cutting mat.  Then I loaded it up and let the Silhouette do it’s thing.

Easily transform a cabinet door into a customized sign for your home

Before I transferred the vinyl to the cabinet door, I used some transfer paper to make lining it up easier.  I also moved two of the yellow arrows to be in the middle of each set of grey arrows and cut out some transfer paper for those.  I measured the middle of the sign and the middle of the word “gather” and lined them up before pressing the vinyl to the sign.  I just kind of eyeballed the arrows before pressing the vinyl down.

Easily transform a cabinet door into a customized sign for your home

*Note: One great thing about transfer paper is that you can usually use it a few times before it’s not sticky anymore.  Just save the backing and put the paper back on it after you’re done.  This saves money and who doesn’t want that? *wink*

I found a small easel to set the sign up on and placed it above the cabinets.

Easily transform a cabinet door into a customized sign for your home

Easily transform a cabinet door into a customized sign for your home

I totally love how it turned out!  The size was perfect for the space and the colors coordinated well with the plate I used as my color inspiration.  (You can see the plate in the second picture below.)  Now I just need to decorate the rest of the space. *sigh*  One thing at a time I guess…

Easily transform a cabinet door into a customized sign for your home

Easily transform a cabinet door into a customized sign for your home

What do you have above your cabinets?  Please share so I can get some ideas!

Also, remember to hop over to the guest post for Bellissimo Bebe and enter the giveaway!  (Ends Sept 6, 2016 at 12AM.)

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 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.

Summer Mantle Inspiration

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.

Summer is in full swing here in Utah, complete with 100+ degree days.  So. Hot.  My poor kids, who love being outside, come in by 10am with red cheeks and requests for popsicles to try and beat the heat.  Crazy stuff.

Since summer got here, we’ve been busy enjoying the nice weather and playing as much as possible.  As a result, my spring decorations never really got put away and my only summer decoration was the cute pallet art I made a couple months ago.

I knew this needed to be fixed ASAP so I pulled out some wood crafts I’d purchased about a month ago and worked on them in between play dates and hiking and naps and meals.  It’s amazing how long it takes to get things done when you have kids and a house to run!  BUT I got it done last week, the day before we were set to go out of town for our vacation with extended family.  I snapped some pictures and then rushed to pack myself and my kids to leave early the next morning.
As I mentioned in my post for spring/Easter mantle inspiration, I don’t actually have a mantle, just a credenza, that I decorate for each holiday/season.  But obviously this is just to show you what I’ve done and give you some ideas for your own mantle or table.  For your convenience, I’ve listed where I bought each item or the link to how I made it, below the pictures.

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.
White Fence  |  Hobby Lobby
Green Basket  |  Hobby Lobby
Pink Yarn Ball  |  Hobby Lobby
 Mini Orange Table  |  Hobby Lobby
Boy and Girl Swimming block and Hello Summer block  |  The Wood Connection

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.
Summer Mini Block Trio  |  The Wood Connection
Summer Block  |  The Wood Connection

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.
Yellow Flower Wreath  |  JoAnn’s
Burlap Table Runner  |  made by me (tutorial here)

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.
Lemon Wood Craft  |  The Wood Connection
Lemonade vinyl  |  Silhouette machine

Bright colors are my key to decorating for the summertime.
Summer Pallet Art  |  made by me (tutorial here)
Pink and Gold candle  |  Hobby Lobby
Orange Dreamsicle on Mini Post  |  The Wood Connection

And if you’re looking for more creative summer inspiration, I’m participating in a blog hop with some very talented ladies.  Click on the links below to go to their page and see some great ideas!

9 Creative Summer Ideas to get you excited for the summer!

9 Creative Summer Ideas
{from left to right, top to bottom}
Simple Summer Farmhouse Centerpiece  |  Making Joy and Pretty Things
Summer Matching Game – Free Printable  |  Wellies and Lemonade
Summer Mantle Inspiration  |  Sunshine and Munchkins
DIY Summer Wreath  |  Checking in with Chelsea
Farmhouse Style Summer Tablescape  |  Craftivity Designs
Summer Coffee Table Styling  |  Flourishing at Home
Front Porch Summer Decor  |  Restyle It Wright
Summer Tray Makeover  |  North Country Nest
Summer Entertaining Tablescape  |  W. Collective

This post may contain affiliate links.