Hello everyone! I am SO excited for today’s DIY tutorial! Due to my quarantine from COVID-19 I had some time to get extra crafty, and decided I wanted to try and make my own spirit jersey! I love Disney spirit jerseys, but they are just SO expensive! One day I figured – I have a Cricut machine. I have access to Amazon Prime. Why don’t I MAKE my own jersey instead?
I decided to go with Princess Aurora themed jersey. I used to have one from Disneyland but didn’t really like it, and I bought it a size too big. So I ended up getting rid of it. I still wanted to show my pride for my girl Aurora, so she was a natural choice for this project.
Without further ado, let’s get going!
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This particular project requires a few more materials than I normally use for a project. However, it’s so worth it! There are a few things you are for sure going to need no matter what:
- A Cricut machine. I personally have the Explore Air 2 and it works great for the type of projects I make.
- A green Cricut mat. This one is a step up above the blue mat in terms of thickness, and perfect for the type of vinyl we will be using
- Iron on vinyl. I picked a gold, sparkly vinyl for this project to go with my Princess Aurora theme. However, you can use whatever type of iron on you think will look good. It doesn’t have to be Cricut brand! Many people actually say the iron on vinyl you get from other brands is actually BETTER than Cricut (same goes for the mats!)
- An iron and ironing board
- A spirit jersey in your size. I got this one off of Amazon. The brighter the color the better!
- Bleach gel toilet bowl cleaner. Technically you could use just regular bleach, however the toilet bowl cleaner has the nozzle that allows for more precision while dyeing your fabric, plus it’s nice and cheap!
- Rubber bands to tie up the shirt
- Disposable gloves or gloves used for cleaning (the yellow rubber ones)
- A ruler
- Parchment paper
- Optional – Cricut weeding tools to help remove the vinyl from the backing
NOTE: do not HAVE to do the bleach dyeing process if you don’t want. You can skip right ahead to making the spirit jersey if you want just a plain jersey, however the bleach dyeing part makes it very trendy!
I recommend doing this part the day before you plan on using your Cricut to cut the vinyl and apply it. You’ll need to wash the jersey following the dye and let it air dry, so it’s best to do it on two separate days.
First, roll up your spirit jersey, starting in the middle, to make a pinwheel shape. Just like if you were making a tye-dye shirt! Use rubber bands to keep the jersey in place and help determine what sections you’ll be dyeing. I made mine 6 sections.
Head to the bathroom, glove up (remember, you’re using bleach, so be careful!) and start applying the toilet bowl cleaner to the sections you want to dye. I did every other one, so I had 3 total sections bleached. I then made sure I got the cleaner in ALL the folds, and make sure you do BOTH sides. Bleach is NOT like dye in the sense it will not soak through to the other side. So if you want it to be covered completely you have to make sure each section is saturated completely.
Let it sit for about 30 minutes (or longer, but after about an hour it won’t get any lighter) and ta-da! Dyeing complete! One of my bands also snapped in the process.
Rinse the spirit jersey in the tub to get the majority of the cleaner out of the fabric. Head to the washer and wash the spirit jersey out in cold/cold water (do not throw anything else in there or risk it getting bleached!) to get the remaining cleaner out. Let it air dry to avoid possibly shrinking your spirit jersey if it’s cotton based. Viola! Here is our finished product!
Cricut Design Space
The dyeing of our jersey is complete, so let’s talk about Cricut Design Space!
Before you begin, I’d recommend doing a few tutorial projects with Design Space just so you can get the feel for it. We will be making two separate pieces of vinyl cutouts for our jersey. The first will be Princess Aurora’s crown for the front, and the font “Sleeping Beauty” for the back.
If you’re familiar with Disney spirit jerseys, you’ll know they have a small emblem on the front and large font going along the back and over the arms. That is what we will model our jersey off of!
First, download a SVG or PNG file for your emblem. If you’re also a fan of Princess Aurora, I have made you your own PNG file for Design Space of her crown! (Scroll down for info on how to get it!) This FREE download will serve as our emblem. I made mine about 6 inches across in Design Space.
Set up your Cricut maker with the gold vinyl, make sure it is set to Iron-On on the settings, and cut your crown out! Normally you want your images to be set to “Mirror” mode when cutting out on iron on vinyl, however in this instance, since the crown’s mirror image is the same, it doesn’t really matter.
Next, the font. I downloaded the font “Storybook” from dafont.com (where I get the majority of my fonts) and created a simple text file in my Cricut Design Space using that font. To determine how large I needed the letters to be, I measured the back of my jersey.
I also measured the area from the top of the shoulder down to that line you see in the picture going across the back of the shirt. It was about 6 inches tall, and the shirt was 22 inches across. This is how I determined that each letter should be about 6 inches tall, and each word needed to be about 11 inches long.
Ironing on the Vinyl
While that was cutting, I ironed on the crown on the front of the spirit jersey. Make sure it is aligned straight, plug in your iron, and grab some parchment paper! As I say in my video below, I just used my fingers to weed the crown out of the vinyl. However, you can use the Cricut weeding tools to help if you prefer that way.
Take a piece of parchment paper and place it over the vinyl. This is to protect your iron and your vinyl from direct heat! Hold the iron on for about 10-15 seconds, moving it slowly over the vinyl to assure all corners are being attached. Once it’s cooled, check to make sure the vinyl is completely ironed on. If not, repeat for another 10-15 seconds.
Now for the lettering! Remember to put MIRROR ON for the lettering otherwise it’ll be upside down when you go to place it on the shirt! Once I had them all cut out and placed on the back of my shirt. Sorry, I totally forgot to take pictures because I was too busy filming, see the video below!
You want the letters to be a little spaced out near the end of the text as that will go over the shoulders, which are bigger and floppier on spirit jerseys than normal shirts. See how the S and L in Sleeping are a bit more spaced apart, and then they gradually come together closer? That way when you are wearing the shirt, it’ll be a bit easier to read!
Iron on your letters, and make sure all the corners are sticking in place. Run it over as many times as needed using the parchment paper and you’re ready to wear!
Here’s a few tips to help you while you’re making your shirt!
- While dyeing the shirt, you do not need to do it section by section as I did. You can use a spray bleach to make it less intense of a design, you can squirt the cleaner all over it in a haphazard pattern – there is no RIGHT way to do it!
- Be sure to keep your ruler nearby while putting the letters down so you can make sure they’re straight. Be sure to go letter by letter to assure they are staying aligned.
- After you’re finished and you’re ready to wash it, I recommend washing your shirt in cold water and letting it air dry, just to be safe!
That was a lot to follow! Be sure to watch my YouTube video detailing my entire process as well! Sometimes it’s super helpful to see me acting out each step:
Ready for that free Princess Aurora SVG file I told you about? Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below and you’ll receive it TOTALLY FREE! You’ll also be subscribed to my newsletter, where I send out weekly Disney newsletters to let you know what’s going on in the world of Disney. You’ll also get notifications when I post new Disney content.
What Disney character do YOU want to make a spirit jersey for? Let me know in the comments below!