Create an Ombre Mickey Mouse Tee with My Vinyl Direct {Tutorial}

For Christmas, my absolutely wonderful husband Darren got me something that’s been on the wishlist for quite a while– a Silhouette Cameo! 

Oh my, how my world of crafting has changed.  I’ve used a rival personal electronic cutting tool in the past, but it does not hold a candle to all of the things that a Silhouette can do.  Almost daily, I am using this machine to explore all of the different projects I can create.  It’s rather exciting!

Recently, I had the opportunity to test out a new craft medium– heat transfer vinyl from My Vinyl Direct!  This specialty iron on vinyl is made to be applied to shirts, totes, and a variety of other fabrics.  It is designed to be adhered with your home iron!

The really great thing about this iron on vinyl is that is can be cut into any shape your heart desires with your Silhouette or other electronic cutting tool.  Pair that with 32 colors of heat transfer vinyl that My Vinyl Direct currently offers, and the projects are virtually limitless!

I had this one idea that had been floating around in my head for a while and I knew that the vinyl from My Vinyl Direct would be the perfect way to finally bring this project to life.  I was sent heat transfer vinyl in three fun colors- light pink, fluorescent pink, and fluorescent raspberry.

I used the vinyl to create this:

Ombre Mickey Mouse Tee

This shirt is fairly easy to make and it can be done in any variety of colors you like, making it ideal for either a girl or a boy!

Ready to make one of your own?


  • Silhouette machine {or other personal electronic cutter}
  • Heat transfer vinyl from My Vinyl Direct in three graduating colors {ideas: sky blue, royal blue, and navy OR silver, gray, and black OR fluorescent green, green apple, and green}
  • iron
  • T-shirt or the fabric and pattern to make your own {I upcycled some old shirts and used the Sienna Dress pattern by Lil Blue Boo}
  • Waltograph free font {if you have a Cricut, a Mickey Mouse head image can be found on the Mickey and Friends cartridge}
  • Old Pillowcase or large scrap of thin cotton fabric


1.  If you’re using a pre-made shirt, skip this step.  If not, cut out all the pieces you’ll need to make your shirt.  Don’t assemble them yet– just cut them out.

2.  Now, let’s prepare our design.  I opened the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition and create a new, blank .studio document to work with.  I was using 12″ wide vinyl.  If your vinyl is not that wide, don’t forget to adjust the page width under “Page Settings”.  Then, I clicked on the “A” icon on the left, which is text and clicked back on my work space to create a text box.  The Mickey Mouse head is part of the free Waltograph font.  It requires FIVE ridiculous keystrokes to get it to appear.  An easier way to get it is to find the character map on your computer and cut and paste it from there.

3.  I made an entire line of these little icons, all the way across my document at a font size of 22.7.  This will be the smallest Mickey heads that I will be using.  Repeat this step 5 times, using the following font sizes:  45.2, 67.7, 90.1, 112.5, and 134.9.

4.  The two smallest lines {22.7 and 45.2} will be cut from light pink.  The next two sizes {67.7 and 90.1} will be cut from fluorescent pink.  The last two {112.5 and 134.9} will be cut from fluorescent raspberry.  I cut three lines of each size.  Now, this is approximate and will vary based on the size shirt you’re making and how much space you leave between each line.  So, you may want to start by cutting only two of each line.  After all, we don’t want to waste the vinyl!

TIP– when placing the vinyl on the cutting mat, put the bright shiny side {we’ll call this the front side} face down onto the mat.  This is important and it will not work if you place the front side facing up.  Trust me.

5. Once your Mickey Mouse heads have been cut, let’s remove the negative space.  Start at a corner, and just peel away the vinyl that is left around the Mickey Mouse heads.  You’ll be left with cute little Mickey Mouse heads on a clear, slightly sticky carrier sheet.  Do this for each of the lines that you cut.

6.  Now for the fun part– arrange the lines on your shirt {or fabric, if you’re making a shirt}.  You can draw lines beforehand using vanishing ink, but I chose just to eyeball it.  I started at the top and worked by way down, gently pressing each line onto the t-shirt.

7.  Pre-heat your iron to a hot setting with no steam.  You may have to play around with your iron to see what works best for you.  With both of my irons, I turned the heat up as high as it would go and turned the steam off.

 8.  Place your pillowcase or scrap of thin fabric on top of a small area of the design you are transferring.  I would do a couple of rows at a time.  Gently iron across this area for approximately 45-60 seconds.

9.  Move your pressing cloth and gently peel away the plastic carrier sheets.  The vinyl should be adhered perfectly to your shirt!  Repeat with all lines until all vinyl has been adhered.

TIP– If the vinyl seems to be peeling up, put the plastic carrier sheet back down and iron for a bit longer.

10.  Turn the shirt inside out {or the fabric over} and press.

If you used a pre-made shirt, you are done!  If not, sew your shirt together and then you’ll be finished. 

I know the steps look long but I promise you that this is an easy process.  I just tried to explain everything really well just in case you haven’t worked with heat transfer vinyl before.

The end results are definitely worth it as well!  Raileigh is quite smitten with her new shirt, and it just may be Darren’s favorite thing that I have ever made her!

I tried to make it a bit bigger and longer so that it will hopefully still fit when we return to Disney World this October.  If not, My Vinyl Direct has a fantastic assortment of iron on vinyl and I can always make another one.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

Disclosure:  I received no compensation for this post.  My Vinyl Direct sent me an assortment of vinyl to create my project with.  However, all ideas and opinions are my own.


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