DIY Vinyl Tank Top

DIY Vinyl Tank Top

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This week for “Made it Monday“, I’ll introduce you to something a little different. Besides crochet, I do enjoy doing lots of other crafts. Since trading in my embroidery machine for my Silhouette, I really feel like the sky is the limit when it comes to givfts and decor. Since I’m back in the swing of daily yoga, I thought I’d treat myself to a new tank top. After picking up a plain black tank top from Old Navy for $.97, I decided to give it a go. So let me introduce to you my new DIY vinyl tank top!

For this project, I used gold Siser heat transfer vinyl since I already had some on hand. I got the idea for the graphic from a shirt I saw at Old Navy. So, I laid it out in the Silhouette Studio which is the program that came with my Silhouette. You can download fonts or used the preloaded ones. The whole project took less than 30 minutes and I was incredibly pleased with the final product. Here’s how I did it step-by-step

1.) Design

Using Silhouette design studio, I selected the size of the area I wanted to cut and laid out my fonts. Once the design was the way I liked it, I mirrored the design and deleted the original. This is because the design actually needs to be cut backwards on heat transfer vinyl so it’s the correct way once it gets ironed on.

2.) Cutting

Silhouette Vinyl Cutter

I used a cutting mat that came with the machine and placed my vinyl on the mat according to the instructions and then set the blade depth according to the guide on Silhouette Studio. I loaded the mat straight into the cutter. Then it’s as simple as clicking “send to cutter”. The machine does the rest!

3.) Prepping the Tank

It’s best not to wash the tank before applying the vinyl. But it is good to iron the area with a dry iron to get the moisture out of the fabric. Then, I laid it out on the ironing board straight so I could apply it as straight as possible. I also used a measuring straight edge to determine the center of the tank and where I wanted the vinyl to be applied.

4.) Weeding

Weeding is just a fancy way of explaining the process of removing the unwanted vinyl from the design. All the spaces in between the letters have to be removed as well as the center of any letters that should be empty space. This is the most tedious aspect of the job and you have to make sure you get all the extra vinyl out of the way. Using the hook that comes with the machine is the best way to grab up the vinyl. Siser is also an easy vinyl to weed. I can’t say the same for other brands.

5.) Applying Vinyl

 DIY Vinyl Tank Top

Once the design was weeded thoroughly, I laid the design on the tank in the way I wanted it applied with my straight edge as a guide. I then used a cotton cloth to lay over it so as not to iron directly on the plastic itself. I then placed even heat and pressure on the entire design through the cloth for about 30 seconds at a time. After 2 passes with the iron, I turned the tank and also ironed from the back side. After letting it cool for a couple of minutes, I carefully peeled the plastic back making sure the vinyl adhered to the fabric. Once the entire piece of plastic was removed, the tank top was complete.

DIY Vinyl Tank Top

DIY Vinyl Tank Top

I love it so much and look forward to wearing it while I’m doing yoga. I might have to make myself one for every day of the week. Something like this can also be a motivator for my daily workout. If you would love to make similar projects, I highly recommend the Silhouette Cameo. I’ve not had any complaints so far about how well it works and have made several wonderful gifts and decor items. The options are endless with this machine and I feel it was a good investment for me.

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What about you? Do you have a Silhouette or similar machine? What do you think about it? What kind of projects would you try if you had one?


  • I had no idea you could make things like this at home – genius! Your design looks so cool and so professional, perfect for your yoga classes xx

  • Absolutely loving this! That kind of machine would be perfect for some homemade printed clothing 🙂 loving it! (& I think I’m going to need one…)

  • I love that you upgraded a <$1 tank!! I've never had a Silhouette machine but it seems like there would be endless project capabilities. I'll have to add this to my Christmas list. 😉 (Bonus: Speaking of Christmas, how fun would it be to make a bunch of Christmas presents for peeps using this machine?! So personalized!)

    • I definitely handmade all our Christmas gifts this year! I saved a TON of money and the gifts were so enjoyed because they were personalized and handmade. I’ll definitely be doing this next year as well.

  • Cool! That print is nice and I love how easily you updated that tank to the next level! You should start selling the pieces you make 🙂

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