If you been with me for a while you already know that one of my favorite crafting tools is my Silhouette Cameo. I love, love, love making shirts for my boys.  I have learned a few things about working with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) over the past year and I can’t keep all this information-y goodness to myself so I am sharing today!   These few tips will have you making a shirt like a pro in no time. 😉


Tip #1 – Utilize Fill Color in the Silhouette Studio

When working with a lot of different colors of vinyl or layering HTV, I like to visualize my design in the studio. I will use a fill color in my shapes close to the color of my HTV to get a sense on how it will look like on the shirt. I can play around with the colors I have to create a fun color palette for the shirt.

Tip #2 – Make a Paper Template

If I am running low on vinyl and I only have one shot to make my shirt work, I will make a paper template. This also helps me with placement. There have been a few times where a paper template saved me like when I forget to mirror an image, need it sized differently, or if I spelled something wrong.


Tip #3 – A Thin Piece of Cloth is your B.F.F.

I always use a piece of thin white fabric when pressing my design with an iron. I press just long enough to get the design/HTV off the plastic transfer sheet. Once the plastic is off, I cover it with my thin cloth and press again. If your design does not come off the plastic, don’t worry! Just place the plastic back down again and iron again.

Tip #4 – Washing Your Shirts

Washing your shirts can be tricky. You worked hard on your shirt and you don’t want it to peel away in the wash.  I have found what works best is to wash it inside out.  If I happen to have a shirt loosen up, I will iron the shirt again. I’ve very rarely had problems after the shirt has been ironed out of the wash.

Tip #5 – Finding Cute *Blank* Shirts

The one question I get all the time is where do I find my shirts.  I am always on the look out for blank shirts when shopping.  I have had the most luck at Target and Old Navy. A shirt with a pocket doesn’t stop me either. I will just use a seam ripper and carefully remove that pocket.


I received my Silhouette CAMEO for Christmas two years ago from my hubby. Looking back, it has truly been one of the best gifts I have received for crafting. It opened up my crafting world! I now make party favors, decor for my house, sewing appliques, and cute shirts for my boys all with this machine.  Although, I have to admit, I was a little intimidated to open up that package and begin. It sat in its box for over a month before I worked up the nerve to try. It helped that my friend, Lauren from The Thinking Closet, started an amazing group called The Silhouette Challenge right around that time. That was just the kick in the pants I needed to start! My very first project was a Anchor Applique Onsie for my nephew. Once my first project was done, I was hooked and I put that CAMEO to work.  Here are just a few of my projects, I have done just this past year!!


 Toddler Art Tote Bag // Ten Apples Up On Top Game // DIY Christmas Cards // Christmas Hoop Art // Geometric Heart Art // Hello Fall Sign // Fox Applique Shirt // Red, White, and Blue Star Lanterns // Joy Wreath // Nautical Applique Pillows // Heart Garland // Christmas Jammies // Craftiness is Happiness Tote // Mustache Shirt and Party Favors // Personalized Storage Bins // Sun Fun Shirt

Pretty crazy right! I even had more projects but couldn’t fit them all on the collage!

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I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! I will be back on Friday sharing a new Holiday shirt for boys!



Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase using my code, TORI, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog.  Please rest assured that as always, I only recommend products that I use and love!