I love finding different ways to upcycle old t-shirts, tank tops, bags, and even pants! One of my favorite ways to upcycle old shorts is to add a fun graphic to them. I follow a minimalist wardrobe so I end up with a lot of plain t-shirts and tank tops at the end of each season and usually buy new ones for the new season for one reason or another (either they’re stained, the color has faded, or there are other minor defects). Instead of donating these clothes, I think of other ways I can upcycle them. In this post, I will show you How to Use Cricut Explore to Make Fun Summer Apparel (T-Shirts, Bags, & More!) with Free SVG Files!
How to Use Cricut Explore to Make Fun Summer Apparel (T-Shirts, Bags, & More!) with Free SVG Files
In this post, I’m going to show you how to use Cricut Vinyl and fabric paint to make these DIY T-shirts. I don’t use Cricut Iron-On for my apparel projects because I have a TON of vinyl that I never use and I want to purchase all the different colors in Iron-On when I can find another way to make fun apparel graphics. So I use vinyl to create a stencil and fabric paint on the apparel.
The free SVG file includes one of each:
- Jeep Hair Don’t Care (I have a Jeep so this is a must-have for me!)
- Resting Beach Face
- Less Monday More Summer
Grab the Free SVG files in my library (access instructions below) to make these simple Summer projects using your Cricut Explore!
- Old Shirts, Pants or Bags
- Cricut Explore Machine
- Cricut Vinyl (or Cricut Iron-On)
- Fabric Paint (these are my favorites!)
- Cricut Transfer Tape
- Cricut Weeding Tool
- Sponge Brushes
- Free SVG Files below (or use your own)
- Upload the SVG files to Cricut Design Space using the upload feature (or create your own image in design space).
- When uploading the SVG, use the erase or crop tool to remove the corner images and save as a cut file (not print file).
- Load any color vinyl on a Cricut standard grip cutting mat in your Cricut Explore machine and set the dial to vinyl.
- Cut the image file using your Cricut Explore.
- Use a weeding tool to remove the inner images (leave the outer image because you will be using this as the “stencil”).
- Use transfer tape over the vinyl and place over the t-shirt or your apparel item.
- Carefully remove the transfer tape.
- Use a sponge brush to lightly dab fabric paint on the stencil.
- Immediately after covering the stencil with paint, carefully remove the vinyl. I use a weeding tool to remove the small pieces. You may get some paint on your fingers and the tool but I just wash them immediately after removing.
- Let dry for 24 hours and do not wash the apparel item for at least 48-72 hours.
The apparel projects I did using the free SVG files turned out super cute and didn’t cost me anything to create because I repurposed the apparel and Cricut supplies. I save my stencils for later use just in case my kids or friends want me to make them a similar item! Just carefully peel the vinyl from your project and place back on the white paper it was originally on. I use the same piece of transfer tape a few times before discarding it as well. I’ve also created stencils using 12 x 12 chipboard.
If you don’t own a Cricut Explore…
You can also recreate these projects without a Cricut Explore. All you need are some store-bought stencils, painters tape, and an imagination! Here are some fun Summer stencils I found online!
And here is the finished project using the “Less Monday More Summer” and sun SVG file. I used this paint, colors Chamomile and Pond. The t-shirt is from here. I also outlined the text and the sun with a sharpie marker in similar color since the stripes made it hard to see the image.
I made a second shirt using the “Less Monday More Summer” SVG but increased the size (around 8 x8 inches). I used black fabric paint.
I also used the “Resting Beach Face” and the sun SVG file to make this fun beach tote!
Grab the Free Summer SVG Files!
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