I’m very new to this whole iron-on heat transfer vinyl thing, but can totally see what all the fuss is about now that I have given it a go.
A couple of weeks ago I attended The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in London. I was actually quite restrained in terms of what I bought that day I think, but something that I did treat myself to was a special show pack kit of vinyls from Happy Fabric
The kit contains 6 sheets of different vinyls (including one sheet of pre-cut shapes), and I thought that this would be a great way to test out a new craft.
Before I started this project I had a little ‘try out’ of one of the pre-cut designs on my work apron which you can see here. As this turned out so well, I was buzzing to try something else and when Happy Fabric reached 5K followers on Instagram and launched a little Halloween/Autumn giveaway to celebrate, this seemed like the perfect opportunity (excuse -ha!) to get creative.
Whilst there is no getting away from the fact that wonderful cutting machines (such as a Cricut) will certainly make using the vinyls a great deal quicker and much more accurate, there’s no reason why you can’t go right ahead without it.
For my sweatshirt project I needed
- A plain sweatshirt
- Happy Fabric vinyls
- Free Halloween style font, downloaded and printed out in different sizes
- craft scissors
- bat shaped paper punch
- craft knife and cutting mat
- iron and baking parchment
Firstly I searched for free Halloween themed fonts. When I found a style I liked, I downloaded it and printed out the wording that I wanted in a couple of different sizes.
After cutting out the letters, I placed them in different places on the sweatshirt to see where I liked them, and what size I wanted. I also cut out some paper bat shapes with the paper punch to see what the additional bat shapes would look like with the lettering sizes too.
When I had decided which size lettering to go with, I cut the letters out. For this I used regular paper scissors around the edge and used a nice sharp craft knife and cutting mat to cut out the fiddly bits inside the letters. I was then left with a ‘stencil’ for each letter that I needed.
Next I flipped the letter stencils over and traced them on the underside (the surface that will adhere to the fabric) of the vinyl. I used the HappyFlock yellow vinyl for this, as I was interested to see how this flock texture would look.
Carefully cutting out the shapes didn’t take too long actually, and using the craft knife and cutting mat for the fiddly inside bits certainly helped too. When cutting out, make sure that you cut inside the pen lines.
Once cut out, flip the lettering over the right way around again and you are almost ready to get started. First things first though, you need to iron your sweatshirt. Pop the letters on and have a bit of a play around with their placement to make sure they’re exactly where you want them.
Once you are sure you have them where you want them, carefully place some baking parchment/greaseproof paper over the top and place the iron (with the heat setting on two dots) over the top for about 15 seconds. Keep the iron still as moving it around might disturb your letters.
Remove the baking parchment and wait for your design to go cold. Once cold you can peel away the shiny carrier sheet. So satisfying..
I tried to get a close-up of the flock finish, but it was quite subtle and not sure if you can see this very well, but it’s pretty cute!
I was bursting to try the next part, which was cutting out bat shapes using a regular paper punch, using the most FABULOUS HappyFashion vinyl in ‘multi’. It’s a sheet of rainbow striped holographic vinyl and is completely glorious. After cutting out a row of these, which gives you lots of different colours, they are applied in the same way to wherever you want them, and once again covered with the baking parchment and this time under the iron for about 10 seconds. ‘Peel to reveal’ again when cold.
Et voila! How easy was that!
Turns out that I have more holographic bats than I needed so in order not to waste them (any excuse), I made a little bow tie collar attachment for the cat! I quickly cut out a small rectange of scrap felt from my stash and applied the bats to it in exactly the same way as above. I pinched it in the middle and wrapped a thin strip of felt around and stitched in place. A little bit of velcro attached to the back and there you have it – a little Happy Fabric collar attachment. Pretty cute. Don’t worry I didn’t leave it on for very long.
Take care, and I’ll be back soon,