How to Make a Festive Fall T-Shirt with EasyWeed® HTV
Guest Blog by Corinne Blackstone
Hello everyone, I am Corinne Blackstone, DIY teacher and lover of all crafts!
I can’t believe fall is upon us! It’s already time to update that wardrobe and add in some of those fall colors.
As a DIYer, I love to make unique clothing pieces for the seasons, and with the new line of Siser® Easyweed® colors I am so inspired to bring fall to life! Siser has launched 12 new colors:
Periwinkle, Sage, Hazelnut, Light Apricot, Latte, Cashew, Green Olive, Retro Mint, Mocha, Pale Peach, Flamingo and, last but not least, Mustard.
I’m excited to show you some fun tips and tricks to design and press your shirt. I’ll be using Cricut Design Space for this tutorial, but you can use your favorite die cutting machine and software to create this festive fall frock!
Cricut Design Space offers templates to help you size and visualize your design. We will be using the Classic T-shirt template. I am using a men’s large shirt. You can change the style and size of your shirt in the upper right corner of Design Space. The drop down menu offers a lot of options.
The Images category gives you many options for designing. Today we will be using a maple leaf shape. When searching in Cricut Design Space, the fewer words you use to search the more images you will get. I searched “leaf” first, but didn’t quite find the outline of the maple leaf I was looking for, so I narrowed my search down to “maple leaf” and was able to find just what I wanted.
The maple leaf I am using is just an outline. I need it to be solid so the first thing I will do after inserting it into my canvas is to use the Contour feature to fill it in. You can find this feature in the lower right hand corner, under the Layers tab. Simply select your leaf and choose Contour. This will bring up a new window featuring your leaf design. All you need to do now is click on the center of the leaf to fill this area in and make a solid shape.
Our next step is to decide the size of the leaf on the shirt. This will vary depending on shirt size and how large you want the leaves to be. For this adult large I went with about 2.6 inches wide. You can do any size you want or even vary sizes if you choose. That’s what I love about crafting and DIY. You can let your creativity shine! If you’re not sure how big you want the leaves to be, it can help to hold a ruler up to yourself or even cut a few sizes out of cardstock to see how big they look against the shirt.
Now it’s time to do a layout on the shirt template. The first thing I do is to duplicate the leaf multiple times. You don’t need to do a ton at once. Just a few to get started. Using the round arrow in the lower left of the image, you can rotate the leaves so that they’re not all facing the same way. Once you get to the bottom of the shirt, you can duplicate leaves and make a pile so it looks like the leaves have been blown off a tree. The template can be changed to reflect the color shirt you are using. Just select the template in the layers tab, then choose whatever color your shirt is. Every color under the rainbow is available to you! This is a great way to truly envision the design of your garment.
I change all the leaves to a bright color to help see them against the black. Now we can change the color to reflect the 7 colors of the HTV that we are using. I find that having the HTV next to the computer is very helpful for this step. Choose a leaf, then at the top of Design Space, toward the left, you will see the option to change your color. Click on the color block and you will see a drop-down menu with more color options. Under those options, choose the advanced option to bring up a color slider with a color box. Move the slider and the circle in the box around to find a color that will be the closest match to your HTV.
This is super helpful when you are using a lot of colors and you want to get an idea of how they will all look together. Make sure to do all the colors you are using by selecting a different leaf each time.
Now that you have your 7 custom colors in Cricut Design Space, you can start changing the colors of your leaves one at a time. I like to do this to help me see how many of each colored leaf I need, as well as to help me see if I want to take away or add any colors. You can use as many or as few colors as you want when making your designs.
Once all leaves are colored, you can simply hide the shirt template by clicking the eye next to it in the layers panel. You don’t have to hide the template if you do not want to.
I like to cut extra leaves of each color to be sure I have enough if I want to put a few extra on the shirt for any reason. If you don’t use the extras, simply store them for later. I use a 12×12 scrapbook to keep anything I have cut but have not used yet. We are going to cut 8 of each leaf color so just be sure you have 8 leaves of each color and click Make It.
You will see now that the leaves are separated into 7 different color mats to be cut. The fact that we did not attach them will save materials. Since we are going to lay these out by hand on the shirt, we can simply allow the Cricut to cut them in straight lines.
Another thing to note: Because our design does not have words, it doesn’t matter which way it faces, so mirroring is not needed. But when you have words or need something to face a specific way, mirroring is a must. You can do this by clicking on the mat on the left side. Under the mat image is a gray button that says Mirror. Click the gray button to turn it green. You will need to do this to every mat on the screen.
Once you have mirrored your mats (if necessary) you can click continue and choose your cut setting. Using the Maker or the Joy, Siser EasyWeed cuts on the Everyday Iron On setting. Using the Explore series machines, use the Iron On setting on the dial.
You will notice some HTV colors have a white backing. This white backing is in place to allow any light colors like the Retro Mint, Pale Peach and Flamingo Pink to stay bright and true to color on dark colored fabrics. The darker colors like Green Olive, Mustard, Mocha, and Hazelnut all have the same color on the front and the back. These darker shades will hold their color easier on a dark fabric.
When loading the HTV on the mat, make sure to put the carrier sheet side down. If you are not sure which side is the carrier sheet side, simply peel a corner back and you will see one side is clear and sticky and the other side is colored. The clear sticky side goes on the mat. I find that what helps me load my mat more evenly is to take the HTV and lay it over the machine, place the mat part way under the door and just use the first inch of the mat to start sticking the HTV to. Once you have the beginning of the HTV stuck, you can move the mat out from under the machine and press the HTV on the mat as you go.
Load the machine and let it cut out all your designs. Then you will weed away the excess HTV and cut around the leaves. I recommend cutting as much of the carrier sheet off as you can in this step so you can lay the leaves closer together. This allows for less pressing when you heat press.
Because you have cut off a lot of the sticky carrier sheet, I recommend having some Siser Heat Tape on hand. As you lay the leaves down on the shirt, you will place a small piece of Siser Heat Tape on the edges to hold them down. You can lay out the leaves in any way you want. Once you get to the bottom of the shirt, it is important to pay attention to which leaves will need to be layered on top and should not be taped down. If the leaves are overlapping any HTV or carrier sheets, you will need to remove them and layer them.
You can press your HTV with a home iron, a Cricut EasyPress (add 30°), or (my choice) a heat press. I set my heat press to 305° F degrees for 15 seconds with a medium to firm pressure. It is very important to follow the directions for pressing your Siser Easyweed to ensure you get a design that is going to last. Overheating, over pressing, under heating or under pressing can affect the longevity of your HTV. When pressing something this large, we move in sections, starting at the top and doing a full press since we won’t be layering. This HTV is hot or cold peel, meaning you remove the carrier sheet while the HTV is still warm from pressing it or you can allow it to cool if you prefer. We then move down to the middle section to heat that.
Now on the bottom of the shirt I like to turn the shirt on the press. I will press the first layer for just about 3-5 seconds, just to tack down the leaves. You will then add your next set of leaves, being sure there is no overlapping of HTV or carrier sheets, again pressing for about 3-5 seconds to tack them down. Continue this method until you have all your leaves down. On your final layer of leaves you will do a full 15 second press.
It is now time to enjoy the fruits, or in this case cute shirt, of your labor! You can truly do so much with these new Siser Easyweed colors. They have brought us more neutral tones and bright tones as well. Mixing and matching the neutrals and brights is a great way to make your designs pop!
In fact, if you want to see each step of this project in action, you can do just that when you watch the video below!
Thank you so much for joining me in the making of this really fun falling leaves shirt! Have a wonderful day and as always HAPPY CRAFTING!