DIY Heat Transfer Vinyl – Tutorial & Free File

DIY shirtMy little brother bought me a Silhouette Cameo last year & I’ve finally gotten up the courage to use it on a few different projects: so far I’ve tackled Etching on Glass, creating a stencil for this large pallet art & now I’ve braved something new – Heat Transfer vinyl. I purchased my Vinyl from Michaels – but will definitely be buying online (it’s wayyyyy cheaper) in the future. I mean, the possibilities are endless! You could make matching family shirts for pictures, Holidays – for gifts. I mean, personalized baby onesies? Easy peasy! I saw this quote on pinterest while scrolling through inspirational thoughts & new it had to be a shirt!

First step: Create your image/quote in Silhouette Studio. This is a free application for your computer & Silhouette releases a FREE image every single Tuesday. I download them every week & have built up a big library of images. I typed out the quote & then went through my fonts until I found one that I liked. The one I used was Langdon.
Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 9.27.36 AM
Second step: FLIP YOUR IMAGE. You print on heat transfer backwards, (usually matte side up) and then weed, and flip the image so that is sits correct on your shirt. A good piece of vinyl has been lost forgetting this key step. When I start a Heat Transfer project – I write on a Post It Note “FLIP IMAGE” so that I don’t forget. It’s as simple as a right click, and “flip image horizontally”, but still.
Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 9.27.50 AMThird Step: Measure the space you want the text to fit on your shirt. I do a very good guesstimate & then make sure the text is in those parameters. Each square on the silhouette studio mat equals 1 inch. I grab the entire text box and use the corner arrows to resize as needed.
Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 9.19.52 AMFourth Step: Print on Heat Transfer Vinyl. Double and Triple check you are printing on the right (or technically wrong) side. I ALWAYS keep my brands directions. In most cases, it is matte side up, OR paper up/plastic down. This is the tricky part. (Do a small test piece of you are realllly nervous)

Fifth Step: Pull off excess vinyl so that your image is revealed & then position on pre washed, dried and ironed shirt. Follow the directions included with your vinyl for ironing. I use another shirt, placing that on top of image and iron. Then peel off plastic layer, then iron through the shirt again.

Then, enjoy your shirt. Boo yah for quick nap time projects.
You can download MY .svg file for this quote exactly as you see it through dropbox HERE. Please keep in mind this is for personal use & should not be used for profit.



  1. Lisa H says

    I love Iron on vinyl. That’s how I did Bryan’s UNO onsie. though I have yet to be brave enough to do it myself instead of having my sister do it for me.

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