New Mommy – New Daddy: an Iron-on and Rhinestone Project

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Today I’m posting two shirts decorated by one of our Team KNK designers, Omayra! What a fun gift idea for couple expecting their first baby! The rhinestone additions to the new mommy shirt is also a great way to get your feet wet with rhinestones. I know a lot of KNK owners are hesitant to try rhinestones, so just like with other first time applications, it’s important to start with something easy and then work your way up to more complicated tasks.

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So, on with the details…

Ingredients for this project:

T-Shirts
Iron-on transfer
Rhinestones
Rhinestone Rock-it template material OR Rhinestone Motif Rubber
Rhinestone transfer tape
Shur-line Trim and Touchup Pad
Home iron or Heat Press

Instructions for iron-on application:

(1) Design the lettering in the software of your choice. Omayra used either KNK Studio or Make The Cut. Both will work great.
(2) Mirror the letter!!! This is the number one mistake made by those new to iron-on projects. Because you flip the material over (dull side up) and cut only through the adhesive and iron-on layer, you need to mirror your shapes.
(3) Use a 45 degree (red capped blade) and set your blade length to only cut through the top layer. The bottom shiny layer is the heat protection layer that will be on top when you iron or heat press the material to the shirt.
(4) Use a relatively lower force. Iron-on materials do not cut as easily as regular wall or decal vinyl, however, they do not require the high force needed for most cardstock. The older Maxx and Groove-e need a force of about 60 while the KNK Zing and Maxx Air need a setting of about 30. Remember to do small test cuts first to make sure the cut is clean, weeds easy from the protective backing layer and isn’t cutting into that layer.
(5) Use 1 pass and a speed of about 200 mm/sec.
(6) After cutting, weed out the excess leaving just the shapes you want to press onto the shirt.
(7) Pre-heat your home iron to a cotton setting or about 330F (165C) on a heat press. Press your shirt first for a few seconds to remove any wrinkles and moisture from the material.
(8) Arrange your design carefully. If using a home iron, you may wish to press one part at a time.
(9) Press for about 10 seconds. Allow to cool before removing protective top sheet. You may wish to put a soft cloth over the top and press for another 5 seconds.

Instructions for rhinestone application:
(1) Design the rhinestone pattern in the software of your choice. There are free videos and tutorials teaching how to design and edit rhinestone patterns in both KNK Studio and Make The Cut. Remember that you need to make the circles larger than the actual stone size so that the stones easily brush into the holes. For 10SS (3 mm) stones, the circles should be ~ 3.4 – 3.6 mm in diameter.
(2) For cutting, remove the backing sheet and brayer the material to your sticky mat. This will great aid the weeding of the circles after cutting.
(3) Refer to KNK user manuals for the recommended cut settings for either the Rock-it or the green motif rubber. Remember to use 2 passes and, if cutting from KNK Studio, turn off Overcut so that the blade stays down during the two passes. And don’t forget to do a test cut of a small section of your rhinestone pattern. Then make sure that when you peel up the template material, the circles stay stuck to the mat.
(4) Watch this video on weeding and brushing in the stones, and lifting with the transfer tape: Cutting a rhinestone template on the Maxx. The same basic procedure is used with these recommended template materials listed in the ingredients above. Note that you do not need a backing for the Rock-it material since it has a repositionable adhesive applied.
(5) Follow the same instructions for applying to the shirt as with the iron-on, however press for a full 15 seconds. After cooling, remove the clear transfer sheet.

As always, if you have questions, let me know! And be sure to share your FABULOUS iron-on and rhinestone successes with us at our Klic-N-Kut Yahoo group or KNK USA forum!