Please note: This tutorial includes affiliate links. See my policy HERE. This tutorial will also work with other e-cutter machines like Cameo and Scan n Cut (plus more), but it is written for the Cricut machine.
Make your doll a graphic tee shirt to fit your mood and your style.
I found this baseball graphic in the Cricut Design catalog. When I choose a design for a graphic tee for a doll, I look for bold designs with simple details. Fewer colors is a plus as well. If the letters are thin, they may be too hard to read or get messed up in weeding because it is such a small size.
Tutorial: Set up your graphics on Design Space & Prepare Your Materials to Cut
- Using Design Space, set up your design. For an 18″ doll, I try to keep my designs within a 3 x 2 inch rectangle as the shirts are not very big. Use a smaller area for smaller dolls to keep the graphics in proportion to their size.
- Once your design is set up, you need to either reverse it so it’s now backwards, or use the “Mirror” button before cutting. Heat transfer vinyl comes on a “carrier sheet” and this carrier sheet holds your pieces of your design in place and together as you to put the HTV against the fabric. It will be sticky enough to hold your design in place while you press and will peel off after pressing.
- Check your cut settings (heat transfer vinyl or iron on setting on your machine), cut your design, and weed off (pull off) the HTV that surrounds the design, so all that is left on the clear carrier sheet is the design pieces you actually want on your shirt. Be sure to get the little bits inside your round letters if you have any words in your design. If the design is multiple colors, cut each one and weed it individually. When you lay it on the shirt, sticky side down, it should now read correctly.
- You will press your design from the bottom layer to the top layer, pressing each one individually. The bottom layer is often the biggest, and it will be closest to the shirt. Figure out your pressing order and line up your layers so you don’t make a mistake. For example, for the Captain America logo, I pressed the layers in this order: large red circle, large white circle, small red circle, navy blue circle, white star. Because these shirts are small, it’s easy to eyeball the placement, and I just used my regular iron. If you have a very intricate design, consider using registration marks to line everything up correctly. There are lots of videos on YouTube® on how to do this.
- Fold your tee shirt in half to mark the center and press it with your finger. Do the same for the bottom layer of your design. Place the design, carrier sheet sticky side down, onto the shirt, cover with a teflon sheet, and press quickly. Remove the carrier sheet. The type of shirt and type of HTV will determine the temperature and timing for pressing. If you have a lot of layers, you may not want to press each layer for the full time as the layers will be pressed again with each layer. Give the last layer a good 10 seconds of press.
- Working from the bottom layer to the top, continue to add each layer and press it in place. You can add multiple colors at one time, but only if the carrier sheets do not overlap. Use a teflon sheet over your design as you work. If you are using any kind of metallic, hologram, or glitter HTV, that layer must be the very top layer or it will not stay pressed in the long run.
Let your dolls speak for themselves with graphic tees made with HTV on a Cricut or Cameo machine.
This Captain America logo was created with simple shapes in Design Space. I just layered circles together with a star on top.
Use your Cricut Machine to make your own doll sized graphic tee shirts and outfits.
This snowflake was cut from glitter vinyl and is much more sparkly than the photo shows. I found the design in the Cricut catalog. I have a subscription to Cricut’s Access– so I can use any designs marked with the “a” whenever I want, instead of having to purchase designs individually. So far, I’ve always been able to find something that I could use for any project I have worked on. Once it was pressed, I added to it with blue crystals for even more of an effect. (Find them in the craft store scrapbook aisle.) Each one you create will be unique and special!
Heat Transfer Vinyl comes in a large selection of colors and finishes. Try a few in doll scale to add your own personal touch to doll fashions you make or you buy.
In addition to my cricut machines, I also own two Cameo machines. The results will be the same, no matter which machine you own or use. The Silhouette software works very much the same, and you need to mirror your HTV designs as well. Have fun creating a new doll wardrobe with your choice of fun graphics!