DIY Modal T-Shirt with Rainbow White Glitter
& New Rainbow Holographic
Rainbows follow rain and smiles follow rainbows! There’s something about those bright beams that make me grin before I even realize it. Same goes for babies! So you can bet I was all smiles while decorating this modal t-shirt with gorgeous Rainbow White Glitter and our latest dazzling Holographic HTV: Rainbow!
Before jumping in to this tutorial, I feel I need to make it clear that this is not an announcement of any kind! I’m very happy with my current Aunt status. This t-shirt design was inspired by the friends and family I know who’ve experienced the loss of a child followed by a new little miracle. A rainbow baby is truly treasured, and this t-shirt would be a wonderful announcement or gift!
Step 1: Design Artwork
I started this project by creating the cut file in Adobe Illustrator. AI files aren’t compatible with Cricut Design space though, so I saved it as an .svg before uploading to the cutter software. Remember that Design Space will sort each color onto a separate cutting mat, so be sure that your design elements are colored accordingly. If your word is welded together like “Rainbow” is then it’s ready to cut, but if you have separated pieces that you want to stay lined up, like “hello” and “little” then you need to select those pieces and Attach them. Otherwise, when you select Make It the pieces will still be on their coordinating color mat, but they’ll be all jumbled up and not in the order you have in the Design Space.
Step 2: Cutting Heat Transfer Vinyl
Now that the design is ready to cut, I can place the heat transfer vinyl on the cutting mat with the carrier side down.
Slide the Cricut mat under the guides on either side and push the arrow button to load the mat. Our recommended settings (located at the bottom of each product page of our website) typically do the trick, but everyone’s blade is different and a test cut should be performed to ensure you’ll have the best cut. This blog post goes into more detail about test cutting.
Step 3: Weeding Heat Transfer Vinyl
After cutting, unload the mat and use scissors to trim the cut pieces away from the rest of the heat transfer vinyl sheet. Grip your Siser Weeder and use the sharp hook to peel up a corner of the vinyl and remove the outside excess. Afterwards you can pick out the inners or “cavities” as we call them.
Notice that Rainbow Holographic’s effect changes depending on how you place it on your cutting mat. You can either have horizontal or vertical color striping. It was a hard decision since I think both are striking, but I settled on the horizontal ombre effect.
Step 4: Heat Apply the Modal T-Shirt
With everything weeded, I’m ready to decorate my modal t-shirt! I did a 10 second test press at 320°F (the suggested temperature for both Glitter and Holographic HTV) to show that this fabric is similar to rayon since it’s also heat sensitive and gets a shiny, discolored mark when exposed to high heat.
To avoid this heat mark there are a few things you can do…
3 Tips for Heat Applying Modal Fabric
1. Lower the heat press temperature to 270°F & increase your pressing time by 5-10 seconds.
2. Use as few presses as possible.
3. In extremely sensitive cases, use parchment paper instead of teflon as a cover sheet.
To achieve #2 I’m cutting the plastic carriers as close to the HTV as possible so I can press the Glitter and Holographic at the same time. If any HTV overlaps a carrier instead of fabric, it will adhere to the plastic instead of the shirt, so be sure to take a close look before pressing!
Lay your t-shirt on the heat press and make sure that all neck and sleeve seams are off the lower platen before arranging the HTV pieces. If it’s impossible to get all the seams off the platen, then you can use a heat transfer pillow to create even pressure. Top the HTV with a heat transfer cover sheet or parchment paper which doesn’t hold as much heat as teflon sheets do.
Lower the heat press handle until the top platen locks into place. You know it’s locked down, because the timer will automatically start for you on the Siser Digital Clam Press. Since I can apply both colors in a single press, I set my timer to 20 seconds. A 10-15 second press is typically recommended for Glitter and Holographic, but since I’m using a lower temperature, a longer press of 20-25 seconds is required. When time’s up, the press will beep and you can lift the handle on the upper platen.
Take the modal shirt off the press and let it rest for a moment before removing the carrier from the Glitter HTV.
Siser Glitter heat transfer vinyl is a warm peel, but Holographic is a cold peel. Peeling the carrier from Holographic too early could results in pieces lifting away from the fabric. I know it’s hard to be patient, but it pays off with Holographic!
Soft modal t-shirt, sparkly HTV – just how I like! It’s hard to capture the rainbow sparkles in the Glitter HTV, but in person you can see how being near the Rainbow Holographic makes the sparkle colors pop.
This shirt was a lot of fun to make, but I think it would be even more fun to give! I love heat transfer vinyl because it allows you create unique and special gifts that make people smile in the present and are often treasured far into the future.
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