Sunday, 19 May 2013

How to make a personalised t-shirt with hot fix crystals

This is a quick and easy way to make a personalised gift for a special little girl. This girl is a friend of ours, and it was her birthday last week. I love giving handmade gifts, but sometimes I run out of time! This is one of those things you can make at the last minute (if you have the crystals handy) and it still looks lovely.

First, get some hot fix crystals. You can buy them in speciality and craft shops but I bought them on eBay. I had ordered a few hundred in various sizes of AB crystals and rainbow crystals for a wedding last year. They were very cheap and they came from China. I love how they look, the only thing is they are not always consistent in size like the Swarovski crystals are. This only became a problem when I was using the Bejeweler to attach them. But this method only uses an iron, so you don't need to worry about the inconsistencies.
Then you need to buy a couple of plain long sleeve t-shirts. I got some from Target for $8 each. You will also need an iron, some baking paper, and a heat resistant chopping board.
Put the chopping board inside the shirt where you want the crystals to go. This creates a hard surface to press against. I had the board under the shirt in these photos so you can't see it here. Sprinkle the crystals out in a design that you like.

This is a style I have seen a lot in the shops for this winter.

Took me a little while to get the "L" how I wanted it. You can move the crystals individually with your fingers or tweezers, but this time I used a cake tester.

Cover lightly with baking paper and press firmly with a hot iron for about 15 seconds at a time. Don't move the iron around or the crystals will move. You just want to get enough heat to transfer through the crystal to melt the glue on the back and fuse to the shirt.
After you have gone over it a couple of times (sometimes crystals fit in the steam holes and they don't get enough heat the first time), leave it on the board to cool. Then run your fingernails over the crystals to make sure they are all fused. If not, put the baking paper back on and heat them for another 15 seconds. And you're done!


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