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How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

Tis’ the season and in the hustle and bustle this time of year, I always have the urge to make all the things.  Raise your hand if you’re with me!  I know I’m not the only one.  Today I want to show you a super easy DIY Holiday shirt.  Whether you are looking for a cozy gift idea, want matching shirts for your Christmas picture, or you just have the Christmas crafting bug too, I think you will love this idea!

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

Who hasn’t made iron-on shirts before?  Ok, confession not required.  The trend these days goes along the route of using a Cricut or Silhouette machine.  I have the Cricut Explore Air 2 and used this machine in creating my project.  However, not everyone has a Cricut or Silhouette machine and I will provide you an option at the bottom of this post to easily adapt this project for use with an inkjet printer, transfer paper, scissors, and an iron.  Easy peasy!

A few key things to note ahead of time before getting started….

  • Determine if you are using a dark colored fabric or a light-colored fabric. This is important if you are using transfer paper because some transfer paper is labeled for “dark” fabric or “light” fabric. So, when purchasing your transfer paper, make sure you choose the correct type for the color of shirt applicable for you.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

  • There are SO many images from among Sahin Designs digital Element Packs that will blend well with the color of your shirt.
  • Please keep in mind if you are choosing a script or intricate image that will be cut on your Silhouette or Cricut machine or even if you choose to “fussy cut” out the image with scissors. Typically, the less intricate images provide better iron-on results upon transfer to your fabric.
  • Make a few tests on scrap fabric or so before you commit to a full sheet of transfer paper and your fabric material.
  • I’m quite sure there are MANY options or other tutorials out there for iron-on transfers. However, the process below is the method that worked best for me. My idea was to print an image in color and have this direct image transfer to my shirt.  So, I chose the route of a “print-and-cut” transfer image in the use of transfer paper instead of Cricut brand iron-on paper in one solid color.

Let’s get started!

Gather Your Supplies

  • Inkjet printer
  • Scissors
  • Preferred item (i.e. sweatshirt, t-shirt, jersey/baseball style shirt, canvas bag, pillow, dinner cloth napkins, etc.):  Use 100% cotton or cotton/poly blend for best results.
  • Transfer Paper:  Preference for HeatnBond® Inkjet Transfer Paper or Avery® Fabric Transfer Paper. I chose to use the HeatnBond® brand that I found at my local craft and hobby store.
  • Household Iron
  • Waist-high (or lower) hard, smooth, heat-resistant surface:  DO NOT use an ironing board. I chose a small wooden folding table.
  • Scrap cloth/pillowcase
  • Pressing sheet:  The package of HeatnBond® Inkjet Transfer Paper™ included a pressing sheet to place on top of the image when transferring to the fabric.
  • Cricut or Silhouette machine:  In this project, I will use the Cricut Explore Air 2.  Cricut Design Space software for re-sizing my image and the “print-and-cut” feature.

“Print & Cut” Your Image

  • Choose your image among the amazing collection of Element Packs from Sahin Designs. You can browse the shop to find a choice that works for your preference.  I chose to use an image from the Merry Everything Elements Pack.
  • Re-size your image as preferred in the Cricut Design Space software. See tutorial below for the Cricut “Print-and-Cut” option.
  • For an iron-on transfer project, it’s important that the colors are consistent, crisp and clear. For best printing results, select Best or High Quality based on your printer brand of options.

Note:  Typically, there is an instruction sheet included in the package of transfer paper.  For my type of transfer paper used, I did not need to reverse or choose mirror image before printing.  Again, check your instruction sheet included with the type of transfer paper you are using.

  • Remove all paper from your inkjet printer and place one transfer sheet in the paper tray so the inkjet image prints on the unmarked white side.
  • Print your image and allow it to dry for 30 minutes to ensure the ink does not bleed if you iron on the transfer too early.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

  • Adhere the printed transfer sheet to the Cricut sticky mat. I used the Standard Grip mat for the Cricut machine.
  • Select the Cricut symbol on the machine to cut the image from the printed transfer sheet.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

  • Remove the cut printed image from the Cricut sticky mat.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

Preparation

  • Pre-heat your iron for 3 minutes to high (cotton) setting. DO NOT USE STEAM.  It is recommended that the water reservoir of your iron should be completely empty.
  • Place a pillowcase/scrap cloth on a hard, smooth, heat-resistant surface. DO NOT use an ironing board.
  • Place your preferred shirt, canvas bag, apron, etc. on the pillowcase and iron for 1-2 minutes to release moisture and remove any wrinkles. Gently stretch the fabric by tugging on the sides and smooth out with your hands.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

Transferring Your Iron-On Image

Disclaimer:  Ironing should be done by an adult or with adult supervision. Whatever transfer paper you use, be sure to read the instructions as iron-on times and other details can vary slightly.

NOTE:  When ironing, it is important to apply heavy and constant pressure (iron with two hands and ample body pressure).  Pressure is your friend, the more the better.  It is also crucial that all areas of the image receive equal time, heat and pressure when ironing.  Pay special attention while ironing to the corners and edges.  Insufficient time, pressure or heat will produce poor results.

  • For the HeatnBond®transfer paper, there was a paper backing that needed to be peeled off prior to heat transfer.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

  • Place the printed image face up in the desired position onto your project.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

  • Cover the entire transfer sheet with the HeatnBond® pressing sheet.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

  • I used my phone timer according to the chart provided with the HeatnBond® transfer paper instructions.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

  • Iron the pressing sheet on top of the HeatnBond® transfer using a straight continuous motion with heavy pressure forward and back while gliding the iron from side to side. Repeat until designated time per instructions for your type of transfer paper.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

  • Spin your garment or project 180º and continue ironing until designated time per instructions for your type of transfer paper.
  • Peel off the pressing sheet while hot, using a smooth, even motion. If the image begins lifting, it means you have not applied enough pressure and/or heat.  Stop, replace pressing sheet and re-iron the edges and corners.

No Silhouette or Cameo Machine? No worries!

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

  • If you have Photoshop CC, Photoshop Elements, Microsoft Word, or your preferred editing software, drag and drop your image where saved on your computer to a new project layout in your software.
  • For best printing results, select Best or High Quality based on your printer brand of options.
  • Remove all paper from your inkjet printer and place one transfer sheet in the paper tray so the inkjet image prints on the unmarked white side.
  • Print your image and allow it to dry for 30 minutes to ensure the ink does not bleed if you iron on the transfer too early.
  • Once your design is printed and dry, use your scissors to cut out your image(s), leaving a 1/8″ of white border around the design. Using scissors to “fussy cut” can actually be quite therapeutic!
  • Refer to Preparations and Transferring Your Iron-On Image above to complete your project.

Wash and Dry Recommendations

Disclaimer:  Wash and dry recommendations may differ based on the type of transfer paper you use or if you use a different process of the iron-on transfer method.

  • Wait 24 hours before washing
  • Turn the garment or project inside out
  • Machine wash cold, with mild detergent
  • Do not use bleach or bleach alternatives
  • Remove promptly after washing as the color may bleed if left in the washer
  • Tumble dry low or lay flat to dry
  • DO NOT iron directly on the transfer. If necessary, cover with the pressing sheet (included with transfer paper packaging).

You can adapt this iron-on technique to all sorts of gifting and home decor ideas! Dinner napkins, placemats…endless options.

Did you find this article helpful?  If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. Also, share with me your results in the comments after trying out my tips for making your own DIY iron-on project using digital elements.

How to use digital scrapbook elements for DIY iron-on holiday shirts - Sahin Designs

Wendy has a strong passion for the arts, lots of creative spirit, and fearless in working with new products and techniques. During the day, she works full-time as an Audit Manager. Wendy has over 20 years experience in the scrapbooking industry. She has been published several times in print and online scrapbook magazines and designed for several manufacturer creative teams. Wendy is currently designing for Sahin Designs as a Hybrid Artist.

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