T-Shirt Revamp (How To)


Tshirt Revamp How ToI have named this post a T-shirt revamp “how to” and now going through my “how to photos”, I realise there is that much “how to” to talk about.. as the process really is quite easy. I LOVE what we did with my son’s old white and rather dirty Polo Shirts. You see, Red Ted, being 6 and going to a local British school, has to wear white polo shirts to school. Being six, means he usually comes home, uhm, not looking quite so white. I wash, I bleach, I treat, I try different powders and remedies, they just don’t stay white. When about 6 of his shirts got the state, where he really couldn’t wear them any longer, I tried to think of something to do with them… along comes Cricut Explore and some laundry dye!!!! YAY! And I am SO excited by the results!!! Above all, how easy it was to do!

T-shirt Revamp Materials Needed:

  • Old white Polo Shirts that are too stained to wear
  • Fabric Dye (we used maroon)
  • 500g salt
  • Cricut Explore (or similar cutting machine/ or ready made “Iron on Transfers”)
  • Iron On Material
  • Iron & Tea towel

T-shirt Revamp How To:


I started off by dying the shirts using our washing machine, following the instructions on our fabric dye. In our case that was to wash the polo shirts with 500g of dye. Once finished, I put them on an additional short cycle, to wash out excess dye. Result – six new maroon t-shirts. Now, no-one needs SIX maroon t-shirts, so we are giving some to cousins and will decorate some….


I recently got my hands on the Cricut Explore (read all about what I think about it here) and I was itching to have a go to use it. I thought using some of their Iron On Material would be perfect. If you don’t have a Cricut Explore (get one, they are brilliant!!), you can of course use “ready made transfers”, just your choice will be more limited!

1 Select your canvas


1 Select your canvas - colour

1) Going to your Cricut Design Space and select your “canvas”- you can pic Polo Shirts or T-shirts. I picked T-shirts as there were more “sizes” available – i .e. I needed a “child’s sized canvas”. This is a great feature of the Cricut Design Space, as it helps you visualise your project in both colours and size.

2 Start designing add text

2 Start designing add image

2) Add your text – the great thing is, that you can access ALL THE FONTS on you computer.. not just the Cricut fonts. I decided to use the kids’ “ages” as numbers. I had a bit of a “doh” moment and added 5 for Red Ted, when in fact he is 6. But the great thing was, that this was quickly changed (imaging, if I had ordered ready made iron ons… doh). And I picked an American Football helmet for Red Ted and a unicorn for Pip Squeak. Make sure you pick an image that only needs on colour (though of course, you could be brave an overlay a second colour!). A quick search and I found what I liked. If you don’t find an image you like, you can upload your own. And you only pay for any single image you want when you hit print! Love that you can get single images now and don’t have to buy whole cartridges! I turned my chosen images white, as my iron on is white!

3 check size, colours and position

3) Check your design (this is when I noticed that I picked a 5 and not a 6!! At this stage if you WANT you can mirror your images, or you can click on the mirror icon when you go to cut.

4 Mirror and cut

4) Time to cut!! Load your tray (easy) – the shiny plastic bit, which ISN’T the transfer goes face down on the mat. Set your setting to Iron On (easy). Click the mirror box (not show in this image) and then GO. I promise you, this REALLY IS as easy as 1, 2, 3….

Remove your iron and using your Cricut Explore tools, gentle remove the parts of the iron you don’t need. Leaving you with your final image.

Once you have your iron on, it is time to iron!

5) To iron on: Run the iron over your fabric to warm it up. Place your shiny plastic bit face UP. So your iron on is resting on your t-shirt. You can either iron directly over the plastic now or use a t-towel. I like using a t-towel “just in case”, but it isn’t strictly necessary. Make sure you get “all the bits” and really heat it through. Let cool a little and gently peal off the plastic cover. I like the then press the iron again, using a t-towel to protect my iron.


Dying old tshirts


The kids LOVE that their shirts are personalised. Red Ted wants me to do another with a BIG SIX on the back. As I have plenty of shirts left (4 to be exact), I think I will do just that!

Upcycling old tshirts


The kids love their revamped shirts. I think I maybe put the iron on a little too low. But you know – practice makes perfect, and I am here to make mistakes for you guys to learn from!!