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  • Stephanie

DIY Graphic T-Shirt with Silhouette Portrait!

Updated: May 24, 2020

Any Unicorn Runners out there? Well, this is the perfect DIY for you! And if you are not a Unicorn Runner, follow along with this DIY and incorporate your own favorite saying!

Today, I'm going to show you a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a fun Graphic T-Shirt design using the Silhouette Portrait® 2 and Iron-On Vinyl! But before we begin, here's a list of supplies you'll need:


  • Cutting Machine: Silhouette Portrait® 2

  • Computer with Silhouette Studio™ (Software Download:

  • Sliver Glitter Iron-On Vinyl

  • Black Iron-On Vinyl

  • Running Tank or T-Shirt

  • Cutting Trimmer and/or Scissors

  • Ruler or Measuring Tape

  • Iron

  • Iron Board or Thick Towel to Iron On

  • Old T-Shirt or Fabric

Alright, let's get to it!

1. First, figure out what your Tee will say. If you're stuck, dive into Pinterest for Graphic Tee Inspo! For my running top, I found two fonts that I wanted to incorporate in my "UNICORN RUNNER" design:

  • UNICORN Font: Bebas (I also added a 10 pt. stroke for thickness)

  • RUNNER Font: Brusher

2. Next, find the right length to use for your design. For this running tank, I measured it out to 8 inches long.

3. I created my design in Adobe Illustrator to visualize the word placement and also cutting out part of the "UNICORN" so the word "RUNNER" could overlap.

FREEBIE ALERT: Since this is an extra step I took in Adobe Illustrator, I'm including the .Studio3 files for you!

4. After downloading the files, open up the "UnicornSmall.studio3" file. You will see that it already has the red cut lines and the word "UNICORN" already mirrored.

Helpful Note! Remember when creating an Iron-On Vinyl with words, make sure that the words read backwards. After you iron on the Vinyl to the fabric, the words or phrases will read correctly.

So let's get our Vinyl ready!

5. Take your Silver Glitter Vinyl and cut a 9" x 2.75" strip (I'm all about saving as much vinyl material as I can!). You can use a Cutting Trimmer or Scissors.

6. Grab you Silhouette Cutting Mat and peel off the blue cover sheet to reveal the sticky side of the mat.

7. With the Silver Glitter side facing DOWN, line up the strip to the top left-hand corner of the Silhouette Cutting Mat.

8. Now we are ready to cut! Make sure that your Silhouette Portrait is On and connected to your computer.

9. Place the Cutting Mat along side the 3rd and 4th lines found on the machine base (see the photo above) and slide the mat until it hits the two white rollers.

10. Hit the "Up Arrow" for the white rollers to grab onto the Cutting Mat.

11. Going back to your computer, click the "SEND" button on the top right-hand corner of the screen.

12. Use the following Cut Settings to create a "Kiss Cut" on the Vinyl. Kiss Cutting lightly cuts the Vinyl and does not cut the plastic backing (similar to a sticker).

Kiss Cut Settings I used for this project:

  • Material: Vinyl, Glossy

  • Action: Cut

  • Tool: AutoBlade

  • Click "Cut" with the Red Rectangle and Circle Icon

  • Click the arrows to choose Blade 5

  • Speed: 5

  • Force: 10

  • Passes: 1

13. After you've clicked on the settings above, hit the blue "SEND" button on the bottom right-hand of the screen, and the Portrait will begin to cut.

14. Once cutting is complete, press the "Down Arrow" on the Silhouette Portrait Machine, and the white rollers will roll out the Cutting Mat.

15. Next, peel off the Vinyl Sheet from the Cutting Mat. Then slowly/carefully peel away the Vinyl from the clear backing.

17. Now we are ready to work on the RUNNER Vinyl! Cut out an 8" x 2.5" strip of Black Vinyl using a Cutting Trimmer or Scissors.

18. Grab your Silhouette Cutting Mat and line up the Black Vinyl on top portion of the Silhouette Cutting Mat. Remember to place the shiny Vinyl side facing DOWN.

19. Now go back to your computer and open up the "RunnerSmall.studio3" file. You will see that it already has the red cut lines and the word "RUNNER" already mirrored.

20. Repeat Steps 8 - 10. To summarize, these Steps show you how to insert your Vinyl and Cutting Mat into the Silhouette Portrait Machine.

21. Then repeat Steps 8 - 14 using the "RunnerSmall.studio3" file. These Steps show you how to use Silhouette Studio and cut out the RUNNER Vinyl.

22. Next, peel off the Vinyl Sheet from the Cutting Mat. Then slowly/carefully peel away the Vinyl from the clear backing.

23. Now we are ready to Iron on these bad boys! First, clear off your craft space and place a thick towel on top of your table. You can also use an ironing board.

24. Place your running top or T-Shirt on the towel and place the Glitter UNICORN Vinyl on the top center of the shirt. I placed it about an 1.5" on this Tank-Top.

24. Next, carefully place an old T-Shirt over the Vinyl.

25. Take your iron and set it to your desired setting. I used the cotton blend setting. Once your iron is ready, begin ironing on top of the old T-Shirt. I pressed down in sections for about 15 seconds each.

26. After you're done ironing, remove the old T-Shirt and peel off the clear backing. The Vinyl should be completely attached to the Running Top or T-Shirt. If you experience that the Vinyl didn't stick all the way, go ahead and iron a little more. Don't forget to place the old T-Shirt on top before ironing!

27. Now we need to iron on the RUNNER Vinyl! Carefully place the RUNNER Vinyl under the UNICORN saying. Repeat the ironing process (Steps 23 - 26).

Whoop whoop! Now your running top is ready to go! I love a good graphic tee, and I have to say! Making my own running tank and shirt has been such a fun experience with the Silhouette Portrait® 2! Let me know if this tutorial was helpful, and I would love to see your creations! Be sure to follow and tag me on Instagram: @SprinkleCreative

Until then, live creatively!

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