WEEKEND CRAFTING ADVENTURES

Glow In The Dark Concert Shirts Idea For Your Family

WCA 7 | Concert Shirts

 

Going to concerts with your family is a great moment you can capture and a great time to spend, especially with some creative concert shirts. In this episode, Kim shares how she made the glow-in-the-dark T-shirts for concerts. She also shares the inspiration behind her craft. Tune in to this and other episodes for more crafting ideas that you can use!

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Glow In The Dark Concert Shirts Idea For Your Family

 

I am going to be talking about my experience making some glow-in-the-dark t-shirts with the Cricut Maker. The inspirations behind this project are two. The first thing is that there is a band called String Cheese Incident that my husband and I had listened to for many years before we even got married. We started out going to their concerts. They would play these concerts in the summer in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. They would be playing at the bottom of one of the ski hills. They would be set up at the bottom. It would be summertime.

You would go and sit on the side of the hill, stand, dance, and listen to String Cheese Incident play. We fell in love with this band. A couple of years ago, before the pandemic, we took our sons to one of the concerts. They were playing at this little amphitheater in Dillon outside. We took our boys because we love live music. We wanted them to have this experience with us. At the time, the boys were 12 and 13. It was a while back. We had one son that fell in love with the band and one son that didn’t. It’s 1 out of 2, which isn’t bad. We have been going to these concerts when they play in Dillon at the amphitheater ever since.

The second inspiration is the Dillon Amphitheater. This venue is amazing. It is a tiny little town. This venue is this outdoor amphitheater that holds probably 5,000 people at the most, but it sits right on the edge of Lake Dillon. It’s breathtaking. As the bands play, the sun goes down. It’s one of the most beautiful places where you could watch live music and enjoy a concert. Those two things were the inspiration behind these glow-in-the-dark heat transfer vinyl t-shirts that I was going to design in my Cricut Design Space.

I started to think about the design of the t-shirt and what I wanted to have on the t-shirt. I knew for sure that I wanted to try glow-in-the-dark vinyl. I have made t-shirts before. The first project I ever did that made me take my Cricut out of the box and use it was a t-shirt. I’ve had some experience making t-shirts with the Cricut, but I wanted to incorporate some glow-in-the-dark vinyl and a couple of different colors because I knew we would be outside. I thought it would be fun as the sun was going down and it got dark that our t-shirts would be glowing.

I knew I wanted to use that, and then I began thinking about the actual design. I knew I wanted to incorporate a couple of things on this t-shirt. I want it to represent the mountains and the venue that is right there on the lake. The sun going down is something that’s cool. You get to watch the sun go down and the sky change to all different colors. Typically, there are some clouds in the sky in the afternoon and evening in Colorado. I was going back and forth about that.

I wanted to use one logo from the band and incorporate that as well. The other thing that I decided to do was to use some jellyfish. It is a big thing with this band. I thought it would be fun somehow to have jellyfish on the t-shirt. I wanted to make sure that I had the year and where it was. I wanted to have Dillon Amphitheater 2022. I started by getting on that Design Space. I put up the actual t-shirt template, which is a cool tool. It puts on your Design Space on the front and back of the t-shirt so that when you’re laying out your design and figuring out how big you want the different elements to be and where you want them placed, the template is right there to help you.

Cricut Design Space: T-shirt design planning and T-shirt template.

That was cool. I used that and I started messing around with different mountain scenes. I found one that I had purchased on Etsy. It’s an SVG file. It was the outline of the mountains with a few different lines to represent some water for the lake and the sun going down. I thought what would be perfect is to put that String Cheese Incident logo inside of the mountains. The outline of the mountain was the outline of the amphitheater. They were right there on stage in the middle. That was the thinking behind the design. Planning the design came pretty quickly.

I checked it out a few times with my son and my husband to see what they thought. They liked it, so I kept on going. I put on some jellyfish on the back of the t-shirt. When I first was planning it, I had put stars in the sky. I had jellyfish on the front with the mountain scene and the logo and jellyfish on the back, but the more we kept looking at it and I checked in with them, it was getting a little bit busy with a lot of stuff. I did end up taking the stars off and leaving the plain mountains and the sun going down. I put a cloud with a lightning bolt coming down towards the mountain scene with the logo of the band. On the back, I ended up putting Dillon Amphitheater 2022 with the jellyfish.

I used three functions on the Cricut Design Space quite a bit during this project. I used the Contour function, which takes an image and allows you to get rid of a piece of the image.

Crafting Keeper: Contour Function

I had the mountains and the little lines for the water with the sun behind it or the moon. It could be either one. When I was having Cricut cut out the vinyl, I wanted a different color for the sun than I wanted for the mountains. To do that, I used my Contour function and pulled up the image.

When I used that Contour function, I could hide either the mountains and the water or the moon. I ended up, instead of just one image, I had two separate. I could make that cut for the sun or the moon a different color cut of vinyl than I was doing for the mountains. I used that Contour function quite a bit. It worked out well. I also use the Weld. I used the Weld function when I wanted the machine to cut out the words Dillon Amphitheater. I wanted not only the letters to be connected but I wanted those words to be curved on the back of the shirt.

I wanted the machine to cut that out as one image. If I hadn’t welded those letters and words together, Cricut would have cut out each individual letter separately, which would have been fine but it would have meant that I would have had to line them up on the t-shirt in a curve free-hand. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to make sure that the letter spacing and the words were exactly how I planned them out in the template. By using that Weld function, I was able to do that.

This was not my first time making t-shirts. I had figured that planning out the design and then getting everything heated and placed on the t-shirts was going to be what took the most time in this project. I was wrong. What took the most time in this project was weeding out one of the brands of glow-in-the-dark heat transfer vinyl that I bought. I got two different kinds. I bought one set that was a variety pack of a bunch of different colors of glow in the dark. The sheets were 12×12.

The other one I got was a roll of white glow-in-the-dark vinyl that, when it glowed, would be blue. That was very purposeful. I wanted it to look like that. That was the vinyl that was going to be used on the front of the t-shirt for the mountain scene and the water lines, and then the back of the t-shirt for the Dillon Amphitheater and the year. That vinyl ended up being extremely challenging for me to use. The amount of time that it took to weed out the words Dillon Amphitheater 2022 and then the mountain scene on the front was, at times, unbearable. It did not cut well. It was a weeding process that got frustrating at times.

 

 

During the project, I didn’t think about going back and weeding out on that vinyl. After finishing the project, I did and I learned a few things that I’ll share with you later. That weeding time was so frustrating. That probably added at least an hour or two to this project, which I was not anticipating. I was learning as I went with that particular vinyl. There were specific ways that if I were to take the weeding tool and drag them down right on the scene where the cut was, it made the process go a little bit faster but I kept ending up with little pieces that I had to work on to pull apart.

You can use glow-in-the-dark heat transfer vinyl for many different things you're making. Share on X

The one set of vinyl that I bought, the variety pack, weeded without any problem. It was fine, just like a normal vinyl that you would be weeding. The roll that was 5-foot-long was the one that slowed the project down. The other thing that I used in this project that helped me once I did end up getting everything weeded and ready to go on the t-shirt was one of the t-shirt alignment guides. These are a great little tool too. You put them right up at the neck of the t-shirt, depending on what size of t-shirt you have.

It helps to make sure that you’re keeping your design in the middle and exactly how far down from the top of the t-shirt you want it to be because I was making three t-shirts. I wanted to make sure that where the designs started was going to be the same, whether it was a small, medium or large t-shirt size. That tool helped me out. Overall, the t-shirts came out great. I was wondering about the glow. I did test out the glow-in-the-dark vinyl a couple of times before putting it on the t-shirts to make sure. I thought it was bright enough and I liked it. Both of these vinyls that I used did a great job.

Once they were in either sunlight or regular inside light for only about 5 to 10 minutes, they would glow right up in the dark. I took them into the closet a couple of times and closed the doors to make that I knew exactly what color it was going to turn. I knew that it was going to be a bright glow, which is exactly what I wanted. One of the other little tips that I did in this project was the variety pack. It had four sheets that were white. When they were not glowing and not in the dark, they were white but two of them were going to turn green when they were in the dark, and two of them were going to turn blue.

I went ahead and made sure I labeled them with sticky notes. I got them in the sunlight for about ten minutes, took them back into the closet, and made sure I knew which ones were turning blue and which ones were turning green. I put little sticky notes on there in blue and green. That way, when I was creating and having Cricut cut that vinyl, I knew which one I was using. That way, I can save some time and I wouldn’t have to go back and check it again right before I was putting it on the t-shirt. That was helpful as well.

 

We attended the concerts. We wore the t-shirts. They were fun and they showed their glow when things got dark, which was super fun. I enjoyed it more than either of my guys and my family but that’s okay. It was a fun project. I will be using glow-in-the-dark heat transfer vinyl again. You can use it for so many different things that you’re making. Halloween would be a fun time to use it for some stuff, but even on some different projects and different ways to add that little fun of having something glow in the dark when it gets dark out was a fun factor for this project.

To my crafting keepers for this project, number one would be that Contour function. As I learn more about how to use Cricut Design Space and what I can do with different images, that Contour function is coming in handy. It’s allowing me to make those images that are in one piece that you can’t ungroup and separate. It allows me to change those into the image that I want by getting rid of certain cutlines and pieces of that image. That Contour function is a keeper.

I also think the Weld function was helpful in this project. This one keeps your letters and your words right exactly where you want them and keeps them all together as one cut image. As I get more comfortable and used to using Cricut Design Space, I find myself using that function a lot. The third crafting keeper for this project is there are tons of different kinds of vinyl out there. I used two different kinds of glow-in-the-dark vinyl. They both glow great. The function of them is exactly what I wanted but my experience in weeding out the two different vinyls was very different. One of them was quite frustrating. It took a long time.

As you go through and use different materials, I’m keeping a little list of which ones worked well and which ones didn’t because both of these got lots of high ratings on Amazon, but they didn’t give me the experience that I was expecting based on the star ratings. That brings me to one of my tips. Read some of the reviews. Just because they’ve got 4 or 5 stars doesn’t necessarily mean that what you’re going to get is a 4 or 5-star product. This product glowed great, which is the purpose of it, but the frustration in doing the project and weeding it out made it not as enjoyable as it could have been.

When I did go back and read after I finished the project, there were quite a few people that, in their ratings, were talking about how it glows great but they had to change their cut setting to the glitter vinyl cut setting to make it an easier weed, which is exactly what I was struggling with. If I had thought to go back and check that in the middle of the project or before I even cut the vinyl, I probably would have had a very different experience and it wouldn’t have taken me as long. A tip is to read a couple of reviews. If there are 3,000 4 or 5 stars, then that’s great, but you might gain more information when you’re reading what people say about their experiences.

The other tip that I thought was helpful that I shared earlier that I’ll share one more time is that when you have materials like this glow-in-the-dark vinyl that is white when it’s daytime, and then it’s going to turn a different color in the dark, use your sticky notes and label them. That will save you time in the middle of the project or when you’re putting it on your t-shirts so that you don’t have to go back and check that it’s going to glow blue, green, pink, or whatever it is. You know, at that moment, “I’m putting this one on. This is blue. That’s what I want it to glow.” Label stuff with sticky notes. I always keep them right next to my little work area on my craft table for things like that.

That brings me to my satisfaction rating for this project. I am going to rate it with a 3. It was a fun project but it was frustrating to weed that one vinyl out. That took it down a couple of notches for me because it took so much longer than it needed to. It got frustrating. That brought it down a little bit. I’ve made t-shirts before. It wasn’t a new project. The glow-in-the-dark factor was super cool. I’m glad that I put that feature on the t-shirt. It made it fun.

The inspiration behind it, which is the band and the venue, it was fun to design something that I felt represented those two things. Going to the concert with my husband and my son in the t-shirts was super fun, but in terms of the actual crafting experience, I will be making more t-shirts. I will use different kinds of vinyl and things like that. The experience wasn’t anything too exciting or new except for adding that different element of glow-in-the-dark vinyl to the t-shirts.

That is it for my glow-in-the-dark t-shirt project. I would be interested to hear if anybody else has had different experiences with weeding out different glow-in-the-dark heat transfer vinyl. Is it the cut? Sometimes you have to run it through twice. I’ve never done that but after reading some reviews, I saw that some people were doing two cuts. Is that something that you do? Do you do two cuts on certain vinyls to make sure that it is an easier weeding process? Let me know. Take care.

 

SatisCRAFTion Rating: 3

 

Materials and websites:

Materials List:

  • Cricut Design Space
  • Fine point blade
  • Easy Press 2
  • Brayer
  • Teflon sheet
  • Sticky mats
  • T-shirt alignment tool
  • Painters tape – for keeping the vinyl on the mat
  • Bella Canvas T-shirts in Dark Gray Tri-blend

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