DIY “Happy Halloween” T-Shirt

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Halloween is a favorite time of year for kids of all ages. I love coming up with unique decor and costume ideas, while my husband loves to play fun tricks on the neighborhood kids. All this holiday fun requires festive tee shirts. I am always on the lookout for a fun, happy Halloween t-shirt.  This year, with the help of my handy Cricut Maker, I decided to make my own!

DIY Happy Halloween T-Shirt

This is the first time I’ve made my own iron-on t-shirts and I was surprised at how easy it was! This is a great first iron-on project because it’s fairly simple without too much layering. To cut the shapes and letters I used my wonderful Cricut Maker. This thing is a crafting game changer and I can’t say enough good things about it. If you’re not familiar with the Cricut, read my blog post about The Amazing Cricket Maker to learn more.

Don’t worry, if you don’t have a Cricut machine you can use scissors or a craft cutting blade like an X-Acto Knife. I created both an SVG file and a PDF file for the design – SVG for Cricut and PDF for non-Cricut. You can get both templates by clicking below:

Click here to download

Materials Needed to Make the Happy Halloween T-Shirt

  • Iron-In Vinyl – I used black, neon orange, glittery black, glittery orange.
  • A t-shirt upon which to iron the vinyl. I used this one.
  • Cricut machine or scissors
  • Cricut EasyPress 2 or an iron
  • EasyPress Mat or a towel
  • Parchment paper or a clean white piece of cloth or muslin (for ironing)

MAKING THE HAPPY HALLOWEEN T-SHIRT

Making the Happy Halloween T-shirt is not complicated. It involves cutting out the various shapes and lettering, ironing them on layer by layer, and carefully peeling off the backing so that everything adheres to the shirt.

If you are using a Cricut to cut your design, continue on to Step 1. If you are cutting the design using scissors, skip to Step 2.

Step 1: Upload the SVG to Cricut Design Space

Download the SVG file through the links within this post and upload it into Cricut Design Space. The file will look like this:

Cricut Design Maker DIY Happy Halloween t-shirt

STEP 2: Cut the Shapes and Lettering

Next, choose your desired colors of iron-on vinyl you want to use for the designs and lettering and cut per the Cricut machine prompts or with scissors.

NOTE: When cutting Iron-on vinyl, remember to turn on Mirroring when you go to cut your designs. If you don’t turn on Mirroring, your designs and lettering will be backwards when you go to transfer them to the t-shirt. See below to learn more about using mirroring with Cricut Design Space.

Turning On Mirroring for Every Mat Layer in Cricut Design Space

When turning on Mirroring for all mats, you can do it one of two ways. First, you can click on the Mirror option under each mat thumbnail before connecting to your Cricut machine. You can see an example of how to do that in Layer 1 below. The second way is to click on the Edit link under each mat thumbnail as is shown in Layers 2 through 4 below. This option is available after you have connected to your Cricut machine.

For the first layer, turn on Mirroring on the left hand side of the screen underneath the thumbnail of the first layer.

Turning on Mirroring Layer 1

Layer 1: Not Mirrored vs. Mirrored

Below you can see the difference between not mirrored and mirrored for Layer 1:

Layer 1 - Not MirroredLayer 1 - Mirrored

Layer 2: Not Mirrored vs. Mirrored

On the second layer, if you’ve already connected to your Cricut machine and the Mirroring option is no longer visible under the mat thumbnail, click the “Edit” link under the thumbnail in order to turn on mirroring for Layer 2.

Turning on Mirroring Layer 2

When you click on the “Edit” link you will see the Edit Mat 2 of 4 screen. There is a Mirrored option at the bottom left of the window. Click that to turn on Mirroring then click Done.

Layer 2 - Not MirroredLayer 2 - Mirrored

Layer 3: Not Mirrored vs. Mirrored

Repeat the same steps for Layer 3 by clicking on the “Edit” link under the thumbnail for Mat 3.

Turning on Mirroring Layer 3

Turn on Mirroring at the bottom of the Edit window. Click Done.

Layer 3 - Not mirroredLayer 3 - Mirrored

Layer 4: Not Mirrored vs. Mirrored

Finally, repeat the same steps for Layer 4 by clicking on the “Edit” link under the thumbnail for Mat 4.

Turning on Mirroring Layer 4

Turn on Mirroring at the bottom of the Edit window and click Done.

Layer 4 - Not mirroredLayer 4 - Mirrored

PLEASE NOTE: If you don’t have a Cricut machine and want to cut the pieces out by hand, you can use the PDF file as a guide.

STEP 3: Weed the Design Pieces and Lettering

I cut all of the various layers first, then weeded each one at a time. Iron-on vinyl is fairly easy to weed with the use of a Weeding tool and/or tweezers. I use this Weeder and the tweezers in this set (which also includes a Weeder) in all my Cricut crafts. They are a lifesaver!

The most difficult pieces to weed are the lettering given the curliness at the ends and within the letters themselves. Below is the “Halloween” layer being weeded.

Weeding the lettering

And below is the result after pulling off the majority of excess vinyl. Note that the insides of the letters A and O are not yet weeded. This is where the Weeder tool comes in handy. It has a sharp end which reminds me of a dentist’s tool. It allows you to pierce the excess inside the letters and pry those pieces out. Be careful as those pointy ends can be a bit sharp.

After weeding excess heat transfer vinyl

Continue weeding the remaining layers until all layers are ready to go.

cut out designs and lettering

STEP 4: Ironing on the Designs and Lettering

Preheat your EasyPress to the correct temperature and time based on the type of vinyl being used (see screenshot below). You can find that information on the Cricut Heat Guide page here by plugging in the requested information.

Cricut EasyPress Heat Guide webpage

Start with your clean t-shirt laid out flat on top of the EasyPress mat (seen below) or a towel.

Cricut EasyPress Mat

Next, determine where you want to put the base layer. Once you have the spacing determined (I usually lay all the layers out to make sure they all fit before applying the base layer), pre-heat the shirt based on the instructions on the Cricut Heat Guide page (it’s usually about 5 seconds). Once pre-heated. apply the base layer and iron on for about 3-5 seconds.

First layer on t-shirt

NOTE: When I’m doing multiple layers, I iron on each layer for 3-5 seconds and then at the end I’ll iron the entire design as one for the allotted time (usually about 30 seconds).

After you’ve done the initial ironing for the base layer, allow it to cool for a bit. Once it has cooled, slowly peel away the vinyl backing making sure the vinyl is adhering to the material. If not, press the backing back down and re-iron for a few seconds. Peel away the backing slowly and carefully until the backing is completely removed.

First layer ironed on

Place the next layer on the shirt and follow the same steps as above, ironing it on for a few seconds so that it adheres enough to pull away the backing.

Place the “H-A-P-P-Y” letters on the brooms and the witches hat on the end broom. This will be the last layer applied. Tear off a sheet of parchment paper, or you can use a clean cloth or piece of muslin, and cover the design. Place the EasyPress or iron on the entire design. In this case it is for 30 seconds. The design is bigger than my EasyPress so I did it in three sections, 30 seconds each.

Ironing on final layer of DIY Happy Halloween t-shirt

Carefully remove the remaining backing, peeling it away slowly.

DIY Happy Halloween t-shirt

That’s it! Your Happy Halloween t-shirt is finished!

DIY Happy Halloween t-shirt

Where do I Get the SVG and PDF Files?

You can download the SVG and PDF files for this specific project by clicking below:

Click here to download

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DIY Happy Halloween T-Shirt Image