Hello everyone! Today’s the last day of Dia de los Muertos so I’ve put together a step-by-step guide to make your own sugar skull shirt!

ThermoFlex Plus, LuminousFlex, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skull

ThermoFlex Plus, LuminousFlex, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skull

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To create our glow-in-the-dark sugar skull, we’ll need a few things.

  • Shirt (I’ve used a crimson shirt to cut down on needed materials- any color will work depending on your color scheme!)
  • ThermoFlex Plus– Here I’ve used Athletic Yellow, Royal Blue, and Black.
  • LuminousFlex– for that glow-in-the-dark look! Another layer of ThermoFlex Plus or other material could be substituted here. Please remember this layer will be reheated a few times, so keep that in mind. Some materials, like our DecoFilm Supers will start to get a brushed metal look after multiple represses. Anything clear would also not do very well with a lot of represses.
  • Cut file is available for download here! I created the file using a base from Pixabay user OpenClipart-Vectors. You can find the original here!

With our materials in hand, let’s get started!

ThermoFlex Plus, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skullLuminousFlex, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skullThermoFlex Plus, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skull  ThermoFlex Plus, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skull

We have four different layers. The black ThermoFlex Plus will go on as a base.

heat press, diy

Make sure your press is up to the correct temperature and pressure!

  • ThermoFlex Plus is a medium pressure press at 330 degrees. I pressed for only 8 seconds instead of the usual 17-20- this is because I wanted to ensure the carrier didn’t leave any creases on the lower layers.
  • LuminousFlex is a medium pressure press at 320 degrees. I pressed this one for 8 seconds for the same reason above.

ThermoFlex Plus, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skull

Black is pressed on first as a base. The dropouts ensure we have a 3rd color in the skull without needing extra material. I think he looks kinda cute here!

ThermoFlex Plus, LuminousFlex, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skull ThermoFlex Plus, LuminousFlex, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skull

Next is our LuminousFlex. Make sure to turn your press down to 320! By placing the skull as our next layer, it helps to ensure a guideline of where the next two layers should lay. I’m a perfectionist, so I’ve cut my carrier where the skull separates- this allows me a more precise placement.

Sometimes in removing the carrier from the layers, it can shift the base a little. You can help fight that by placing a still sticky carrier inside the shirt to help pull it from the back. However, seeing as this design has more than a few layers and lots of little bits and pieces, I personally prefer to cut things out. Play it by ear and see what works best for you!

ThermoFlex Plus, LuminousFlex, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skull ThermoFlex Plus, LuminousFlex, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skull

After the LumionusFlex, crank it back up to 330 for the last two layers. I pressed the blue first, then the yellow. As you can see, no layers touch anything but the black ThermoFlex Plus- LuminousFlex should not be layered so it can still glow. This workaround gives you an intricate looking shirt while still keeping that super awesome glow! After your last layer, I pressed with a Teflon sheet for an additional 8-9 seconds so the last layer can fully adhere and work out any carrier lines if there are any.

ThermoFlex Plus, LuminousFlex, heat transfer vinyl, DIY, sugar skull

And there you have it, our sugar skull! I hope you’ve enjoyed this DIY post and that it’s helpful to you. If you use this file, please tag us using #lovewhatupress so we can see it- we always love to see customer work!

Have a great day and have fun pressing!