You know, I’ve made a few onesies for the Monkey in the past, but today I want to show you a t-shirt that I made for myself. With a quote about motherhood that I love. I love how it turned out, and it was my first time using smooth heat transfer. However, I need to tell you the back story. About two weeks ago, I got a real treat. I went.. wait for it… by myself, to Salt Lake City.  Seriously! For the first time since before the sweet Monkey was born, 3 and a half years ago, I went away. And I did feel guilty, and I did miss my sweet angels. But, I got to see so many cool things, and meet so many amazing and creative women at Snap. While I was there, I got to spend an afternoon at Cricut’s offices and was introduced to all of the coolness that is that product.

I've fallen in love with my new Cricut Explore Air. I made this t-shirt using Smooth Heat-Transfer Vinyl with my favorite saying, "Living on a little bit of Caffeine and a whole lot of Jesus T Shirt." I am sharing a few tips and tricks on what I have learned about the Cricut Explore Air

And let me tell you, I am hooked. Really hooked.  I didn’t think I would be, but I am.  Not only by the machine that I played with, but by the level of customer care and engagement that I was met with. I have a confession y’all. And I haven’t been sure how to share it with y’all. I do hope you’ll forgive me. While I have had more Silhouette Portrait for several years and loved it, I stopped using as much because of some frustrations with the last two rounds of software updates. When I saw what the Cricut Explore Air could do, and I met the people who worked for Cricut there was no looking back.  I am sure that the Silhouette Portrait will continue to get some use, but for right now, I’m reveling in the capabilities of this amazing machine.  It’s been delighting me for weeks now.

I've fallen in love with my new Cricut Explore Air. I made this t-shirt using Smooth Heat-Transfer Vinyl with my favorite saying, "Living on a little bit of Caffeine and a whole lot of Jesus T Shirt." I am sharing a few tips and tricks on what I have learned about the Cricut Explore Air
The t-shirt that I’m showing off is the one I made that Crafternoon at the Cricut office. It was my introduction to Design Space, and I learned a ton from this uber-talented woman named Ana Rose.

“Living on a little bit of Caffeine and a whole lot of Jesus,” is a quote that describes my lifestyle a lot these days. I had been wanting to turn it into a shirt that I could wear, so I decided to make it my first Cricut project.

This was the first time that I had used smooth heat transfer vinyl to make this shirt, and it’s not all that different from using flocked heat transfer material, like I did on the Crabbie Onesie, Mike Holmes Onesie, or the Future Disney Castmember Onesie. Historically I have found Smooth Heat Transfer material much harder to weed than Flocked Heat Transfer Vinyl, but I’ve got some tips for those of you who also have that problem.

I used two fonts and one element from Design Space to make this shirt, but I wasn’t crazy about the initial spacing of the script font, so I used the ungrouping feature to make the letters separate, and then positioned the where I wanted them, and then welded the words together– this made them a single image.  To help make sure that I had sized everything correctly, I used the shirt option in Cricut Design Space.  This is a huge feature of the Cricut, and really helps you make sure that everything will look right when you cut it out.

I've fallen in love with my new Cricut Explore Air. I made this t-shirt using Smooth Heat-Transfer Vinyl with my favorite saying, "Living on a little bit of Caffeine and a whole lot of Jesus T Shirt." I am sharing a few tips and tricks on what I have learned about the Cricut Explore Air

When weeding smooth heat transfer, I learned from Ana Rose and Melissa at Cricut that selecting *.svg files that have been “cleaned” and prepared for your cutting machine will improve the quality of the cutting and the ease of the weeding. Here’s why— those files have rough edges that the naked eye doesn’t see, but the machine will pick up. (To be technical, the edge has too many nodes.) I know that I’ve had the most difficult time weeding images that have been my handmade *.svg files.

Tip #1:
If you are going for intricacy and a small design, try to find one that has been cleaned and put into Cricut’s Design Space. They aren’t just saying that because they want you buy the patterns, but because they have been cleaned and smoothed out specifically for use with the Cricut machine. (This is true for the Silhouette too— these files have been tested and vetted, and all of the glitches in the cut file have been tidied up.)

Tip #2: This one I learned from Ana Rose, and it’s so easy and brilliant— keep your heat transfer material on the sticky mat. This will give it a little more grip and make it easier to weed.  Try it, particularly if you are doing something that requires a steady hand!

Tip #3: Weed out the insides, holes and small areas before moving to the big areas.

I've fallen in love with my new Cricut Explore Air. I made this t-shirt using Smooth Heat-Transfer Vinyl with my favorite saying, "Living on a little bit of Caffeine and a whole lot of Jesus T Shirt." I am sharing a few tips and tricks on what I have learned about the Cricut Explore Air

Tip #4: I have one final trick that I learned that is good for any project that uses multiple colors of material, like Heat Transfer. If you want a specific spacing, cut the pattern out in your single primary color. With the heat transfer, you can then place the secondary color on top of the first color and adhere it (provided that it isn’t a glitter material, as other heat transfer material doesn’t stick well onto glitter heat transfer.)  Now, make sure that you really iron it (with a cloth).  If you forget to use a cloth, the iron could melt the heat transfer vinyl.  You can see the edges of the black a bit on the pink.

I've fallen in love with my new Cricut Explore Air. I made this t-shirt using Smooth Heat-Transfer Vinyl with my favorite saying, "Living on a little bit of Caffeine and a whole lot of Jesus T Shirt." I am sharing a few tips and tricks on what I have learned about the Cricut Explore Air

Here’s the final product, complete with the Caffeine molecule, which is darling, I think.

I've fallen in love with my new Cricut Explore Air. I made this t-shirt using Smooth Heat-Transfer Vinyl with my favorite saying, "Living on a little bit of Caffeine and a whole lot of Jesus T Shirt." I am sharing a few tips and tricks on what I have learned about the Cricut Explore Air

Have you tried the Cricut Explore