Wednesday, February 8, 2017

DIY Harry Potter Shirts - Uploading your Own Images with a Cricut


One of the first things people ask me when they are thinking about getting a Cricut is, "How easy is it to upload my own images?" The answer? Amazingly easy! I love this machine because you can create a completely customized project from start to finish in just a few minutes. I am going to walk you through just how easy it is to use your own images from start to finish.


Uploading your own images 

First hit the big Upload Images button on the left hand menu in Cricut Design Space. The next image will pop up. Hit the Upload Image button on the left.


After you hit upload image, the browse screen will come up. Hit browse and find the image you want on your computer. This will let you upload any (.jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp, .svg or .dxf). I always search for images that I want to use in future projects and then save them to my computer so I can upload them. Some of the easiest shapes to trace are ones are silhouettes of something (such as a witch hat) or a line drawing.

 After you select the image on your computer, you will be asked to select the image type. There are three different kinds of image types.

Simple Image- a image with high contrast colors with a monotone background.
Moderately Complex Image- a image with simple detail and colors with good contrast between subject and background
Complex Image- images with fine detail, blended colors or low contrast

A image like the Tardis I uploaded is a simple image because it has clean lines and a black shape on a white background.



After you select your image type, it is time to clean up the image. There are a few different tools to help you get the image you want.

Crop- This tool will let you crop out any unwanted portions.
Select & Erase- This took is like a little magic wand that will select entire sections. For instance if you click on one of those little white boxes on the Tardis, it will delete the entire white box leaving a transparent background.
Erase- This is like the erasing tool in paint or other programs where you will physically need to draw over every part you want gone.

In most images, you want to erase the background and make it transparent so the Cricut knows what lines to cut. It is really easy to use the Select & Erase tool with this Tardis image. Select each of the boxes and zoom in to select the white lines as well.


Next name you image and select what kind of image you want Design Space to save it as. Do you want to be able to print the image or do you want to cut all of the details. We want to be able to cut it all out, so we select Save as a Cut Image. This is also a good place to make sure you image looks the way you want it to cut. The Cricut is going to cut everywhere is there is white, so double check in this stage to make sure you have white lines or boxes every where there should be one.

 After you save your image, Design Space will take you back to the first Insert Image screen, but this time the image you uploaded will be in the library ready for you to insert it. Insert it into your project and now you can move it, resize it and add any text that you may want for your project.



Now to make our Harry Potter shirts. For the My Patronus is a Tardis shirt you will need to upload a simple line image of a Tardis. Download the image below, by right clicking and saving it and then upload it into your Design Space. Then you can resize it and put it where you want it.


Type the words My Patronus is a directly into Design Space. I downloaded the Harry P font from Da Font to get my words to look like the Harry Potter font.

Cutting out of different colors of material 

When you have the Tardis and the words looking like you want them, make the words a different color in the program from the Tardis. This will let the machine know that you are going to cut them out of two different colors of heat transfer. Hit the big green GO button at the top of the screen. Make sure to hit Mirror Image (for iron-on) on BOTH of the mats that appear on the left of your screen. So hit the button once on the Tardis mat, then select the mat that holds that words and hit mirror again BEFORE you start cutting. Set the dial on your machine to iron on, load your Cricut mat and hit the flashing go button.





Luna Lovegood Shirt

For the Luna Lovegood shirt you will need a serif font as well as the simple outline image of her Spectre Specs. Download the image below, by right clicking and saving it and then upload it into your Design Space. Then you can resize it and put it where you want it.

The words that I put on the Luna shirt with Spectre Specs were "Don't Worry, You're Just As Sane As I am." 


Making your machine cut the way you laid it out

Your Cricut machine is programmed to save vinyl, which is awesome but can be overwhelming if you are working on your first few projects. If you want the words and the Spectre Specs to cut exactly the way you have laid them out on the screen, select all of the word and images boxes, right click and hit attach. Now when you cut them out they will cut this way exactly. Hit the go button, mirror the image for iron on like we talked about earlier in the post, set your machine dial to vinyl and go. (Find the way to weed and iron your shirts on later in the post)




House Elf Shirt




 For the House Elf shirt you will need the Harry P font from Da Font again and these cute little socks. Upload the socks into design space, following the procedure in the beginning of the post and type your message into to a text box.

Hit the go button, mirror the image for iron on like we talked about earlier in the post, set your machine dial to vinyl and go.


Weeding off heat transfer and ironing it down


When you have one or any of these three shirts cut, weed off the excess heat transfer by pulling a corner of the heat transfer. Take special care around the dots of I's and other small items.

Once your heat transfer is weeded, place it down on the shirt like you want it.  Set your iron to the cotton setting on your iron (or about 305 degrees) Preheat the area of the shirt you want to place your vinyl for about 3 seconds then place the heat transfer on the blanket with the right side facing up. Using medium pressure, iron the entire image for about 30 seconds, directly onto the carrier sheet, without any steam. After you finish, I like to flip my  shirt inside out and iron for another 10 seconds from the back. Peel the carrier sheet off. If any parts of the image pull up when removing the carrier sheet, stop peeling and iron for a few more seconds in that spot.

After the shirts are ironed they are ready to wear immediately! When you wash them, flip them inside out and they will last a long time.

I absolutely love being able to make anything my little girls can dream up and it is so easy too! Which Harry Potter shirt would you make?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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