Foil and sparkle holiday tees

Make holiday T-shirts with foil, glitter, and sparkle iron-on

December 4, 2017 | Contributor: Gina, Cricut Blog Team
updated October 19, 2020

Can anyone else believe the holidays are right around the corner? Now, are you thinking what I’m thinking? How can I get into that holiday spirit when this year has been unlike any before? That’s easy for me – I’m creating a holiday T-shirt for all my loved ones to stay in the holiday spirit!

Here’s what you’ll need for the project:

You can start creating a T-shirt to celebrate the holidays with any of our Cricut® machines: Cricut Joy™, Cricut Explore Air® 2 or Cricut Maker®. Not sure, what Cricut machine is right for you? No worries, find your perfect match here. I’ll be using our most popular machine, Cricut Explore Air 2.

Cricut Explore Air 2 - Holiday environment

Are you wondering why I chose the StandardGrip Machine Mat for this project? If not, feel free to skip directly to the holiday T-shirt tutorial. The mat is designed to use with various materials such as heavy cardstock, patterned paper, vinyl, iron-on, and more. For our project, we will be using Cricut iron-on materials which works well with this mat.

Cricut Machine Mats - Holiday environment

Cricut EasyPress 2 is your everyday iron-on essential. It gives you fast, effortless results that really last, even after repeated washes. I prefer using the Cricut EasyPress rather than a household iron because I can control the temperature and set a timer for my project. It’s far easier than an iron and provides better results with the even edge-to-edge heating (unlike the hot and cold spots of an iron).

Cricut EasyPress 2 machines - Holiday environment

I plan to use the Everyday Iron-on in red and the Foil Iron-on Sampler, Very Merry because these materials are designed to outlast 50 washes. They will also give my simple holiday design a beautiful shine. I just love the colors in this holiday-ready sampler!

The last product is one of my favorites. I suggest getting the full TrueControl Weeding Kit as it includes 3 specialty weeding tips and 1 razor-sharp nonstick blade with a piercing tip. These will tackle any iron-on, vinyl, paper, or cardstock project. The ergonomic cushioned grip, anti-roll feature, and no-touch tip changing experience help you craft comfortably for hours with peace of mind.

TrueControl Weeding Tool Kit from Cricut

Step-by-step guide for holiday tees with iron-on

1. Create your text design

First, pick a fun holiday saying. Insert your text and choose a font within Cricut Design Space®. Design Space has a great selection of cursive fonts but remember you can also use fonts from your own computer. Learn more about using fonts.

Holly Jolly text for holiday tees using Cricut Design Space

There are two key steps to making your letters connect and achieving the handwritten look.

First, you need to use either the Letter Space tool or Ungroup tool in the Layers panel to bring each letter closer together. I prefer the Ungroup tool as I have more freedom to place each letter exactly where I want it.

The second key step is to use the Weld tool to weld your text together and eliminate overlapping cutlines. The Weld tool is also located in your Layers panel.

2. Insert images

After you have your text design, you can add fun images. The Design Space Library has a lot of Christmas and holiday images available, particularly through Cricut Access™. I searched “holly” and “bells” for my images.

Finding an image in Cricut Design Space

When you are choosing images, keep in mind that you can layer Everyday Iron-on, but Foil Iron-on, Sparkle Iron-on, and Glitter Iron-on should only be pressed as the top-most layer. You can use the Slice tool to slice out parts of your design that you don’t want to layer.

3. Cut out and weed your design

Make sure to place your iron-on on the mat liner shiny side down and mirror your image. In other words, it should be laid upside down so when you cut your design and press it onto your shirt, it will correctly show right-side up. Then let your Cricut machine cut out your design with perfection.

Cutting out a design on Cricut Maker

Don’t forget that there are custom settings for each type of iron-on. Select which type of iron-on you are cutting on the list when you Make It in Design Space and change it for each mat accordingly.

4. Warm up your Cricut EasyPress

Set your temperature and timer to fit your material. The Cricut EasyPress comes with a handy chart to easily choose the correct setting. Each type of Iron-on has a different recommended temperature.

Holly Jolly T-shirt with Cricut EasyPress

Make sure you have a flat, heat-resistance surface to use your EasyPress. Use the EasyPress to remove wrinkles and prepare your shirt.

5. Heat press your design

Position your design on the shirt, place the Cricut EasyPress onto the design according to the Heat Guide and start your timer. Hold the press in place with gentle pressure.

Cricut EasyPress in action

Test a small corner of your design and gently lift the liner. If the liner does not peel easily, reapply heat.

Peeling off the protective backing on Cricut Iron-on material

For Foil Iron-on, it is very important to let it cool completely before attempting to lift the liner, as it can otherwise cause the iron-on material to wrinkle or tear. Be sure to follow the Heat Guide for each material to achieve the best results.

Holly Jolly T-shirt made with Cricut machines and materials

Once you are done pressing the design, you have some great shirts to spread Christmas cheer!

Share your holiday cheer with in the comments below. We would love to see what  holiday shirts and designs you’ve come up with too.

Happy Holidays!

23 thoughts on “Make holiday T-shirts with foil, glitter, and sparkle iron-on

  1. I just purchased the Cricut Explore Air. When setting it up, my husband signed me up for the Trial Cricut Access , which will expire in about a week.
    What exactly does the Trial access (fonts, images etc.) let me do during the trial period even if I don’t signup for it after the Trial. Am I allowed to download any fonts before the trial ends?
    Thanks

    • You will have access to the extra fonts and images in Access during that time. Once it ends, you can sign up or just use the free ones available in Design Space.

  2. When I try to open the design space link it goes to a link to app download and not to the images. This has happened in other Instagram/blog posts. I am using my iPhone. Any ideas?

  3. Hi, having problems removing the cut item and where is the clear sheet that you iron on? Also I can’t find numbers

    • Numbers?
      Did you mirror your image (if needed, i.e. text or anything else that is not symmetrical) and put the iron-on on the mat for cutting with the liner (shinier) side down? Iron-on comes with a clear liner sheet already attached (meaning no separate transfer tape needed). You mirror your image so that when you place the liner side down, it will cut out the vinyl. Weed excess vinyl away, leaving your design on the liner.Then when you go to iron it on, you flip it over (so your image will be the right side up) and place it on the shirt, then follow the iron-on instructions.

    • You would want to do each layer one at a time to make sure they have completely adhered and so you can adjust temperatures as needed.

  4. These directions all call for the EasyPress. I am just getting started with shirts and vinyl. Can I use a regular iron. I’m not sure this is an area I want to invest my money. I currently use my Cricut Air 2 for home decor wood projects.

    • Yes, you could also try to do these with an iron. Instructions are included with each roll and on our site. Our EasyPress has coils throughout the surface, which makes it more even in temperature than a traditional iron.

  5. I would like suggestions on materials and how to make Christmas Window Decals using my Cricut! I just got my Cricut and I’m still a brand new beginner.

    • Hi Shannon,

      My favorite beginner material for tees is Everyday Iron-on. I also like using foil iron-on. If you are looking for other projects, vinyl is a great beginner material to make decals. Hope that helps and have a great time making!

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