How to Apply Glow in the Dark Heat Transfer Vinyl Bats on a Cotton T-Shirt

How to Apply Glow in the Dark Heat Transfer Vinyl Bats on a Cotton T-Shirt

Hi friends! Elise here from Polka Dotted Blue Jay. The holidays are right around the corner and it is time to start making those craft projects you have been pinning all year long.

In this tutorial I'll show you how to apply glow in the dark heat transfer vinyl to a cotton T-shirt. You're just a few steps away from making a cute little bat shirt that looks great by day and by night!

ESTIMATED TIME: 30 minutes


Creating Your Design

Open Silhouette Studio®. Download your art file from the Craftables library and then open in your Silhouette Design Studio. Click File>Open>Select your downloaded file. I love that Craftables already has these designs formatted for Silhouette Studio®. Gold star, Craftables!

You can use the whole design, but I loved the idea of making a T-shirt exclusively featuring some glowing bats. Luckily, as we learned from the DIY Halloween Kitchen Towel post, it is easy to alter the design! Select the whole design and then Object>Release Compound Path. This will separate each shape. Delete the ghost and pumpkin and then drag the bats and rotate until you like their placement.

Once I had the bats I liked, I selected the bats and copy and pasted to get a couple more. A little more rotating and I had my design!

Size your design to the correct space on your 12x12 template – be sure to move the design as a group to keep all the images lined up and the same size. You can do this by clicking and dragging to cover the whole design and then moving as one piece.

Flip your design horizontally. Select Object>Mirror>Horizontally. You need to cut your design out backwards so that it appears right side up when you iron it on your t-shirt.

Remove the protective yellow “film” from your Glow in the Dark heat Transfer Vinyl. To see what this looks like, check out our How to Use Heat Transfer Vinyl on Glass post. Load your Heat Transfer Vinyl on a cutting mat with the side that had the film facing up. Follow the prompts in the Design Studio toadjust your blade (if using a ratchet blade) for Heat Transfer Vinyl Smooth and double check to make sure your design has been selected to cut. Select “Send” to start cutting.

Preparing Your Design

For a design this simple, you don't really need to use a weeding tool to prepare your decal. Simply pull back the excess heat transfer vinyl. Be sure to leave your design on the clear carrier sheet. This is how you will iron it onto your t-shirt. Take your time with the Glow in the Dark vinyl, it is a little more challenging to weed. Be sure none of your scraps are on the clear carrier sheet or they will end up being ironed onto your t-shirt!

Creating Your Glow in the Dark Bat T-shirt

The Craftables Heat Transfer Vinyl includes awesome instructions on the packaging for making your Heat Transfer project. Be sure to follow those directions for the different types of Heat Transfer Vinyl. Here are the basics:

Heat up your iron or heat press. I use a clothes iron on cotton heat with NO steam.

Place your t-shirt on your ironing board and make sure it is flat.

Use a ruler to find the center of your shirt so you can accurately place your design. Then, pre-heat your t-shirt using your iron.

Place your weeded design face up on top of the t-shirt where you want it to go.

Cover your design with a Teflon sheet and apply firm pressure with your hot iron. Be sure the vinyl is always covered with the carrier sheet when you’re using heat.

Spot test your design to see if it sticks to your t-shirt when you pull up on the clear carrier sheet.

Once your design has completely transferred, remove the clear carrier sheet after 8-12 seconds and discard.

I love how cute this t-shirt looks in both the daylight and in the dark!

We hope you've enjoyed this post! At Craftables we've made it our goal to bring you the best products at the most afordable prices, but we also strive to inspire you to craft and create. Check out our blog for more DIYs and tutorials and try something new!

About the Author

Elise Laney

I am Elise from Polka Dotted Blue Jay – a blog full of crafts, party inspiration, and desserts covered in sprinkles. I live in sunny southern California with my husband, our baby boy, and our two fluffy cats. My Grandmother ignited my creative spark as a little girl and I loved getting to visit her and work on whatever craft project she had dreamt up. I am a legal accounting clerk by day (hilarious because I am terrible at math) and a crafting tornado by night. Sometimes all a woman needs is some craft glue and glitter to find balance in daily life. I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of the Craftables team and can’t wait to get crafty with you!

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