Usefull infos for do it yourself textile printing

  • 3 Simple DIY Fancy Dress Costumes

    Any excuse to dress up, am I right?

    Whether it’s for freshers week at university, Halloween or just a bit of fun, I’ve created three simple costumes: teletubby, army camo and a classic lifeguard t-shirt using Happy Fabric iron-on vinyl. 

    3 simple fancy dress costumes

    Costume 1: Teletubby.

    You will need: 

    T-shirt (in red, green, purple or yellow) 

    Iron or heat press

    Greaseproof paper 

    A4 sheet of HappyFashion Spectrum* vinyl 

    Optional: headband and pipecleaners (in same colour as shirt) 

    Step one: Pre-press the t-shirt by running the iron over (or using heat press) to remove all creases.

    prepressing teletubby t-shirt with iron

    Step two: Place vinyl sheet onto t-shirt (shiny side facing up) and cover with greaseproof paper. 

    placing happyfashion spectrum iron on heat transfer vinyl on teletubby t-shirt
    placing greaseproof paper on teletubby t-shirt

    Step three: Press down with iron (or heat press) for ten seconds. 

    ironing spectrum iron on heat transfer vinyl on teletubby t-shirt

    Step four: Wait to cool, then remove plastic carrier from vinyl. 

    peeling off carrier from happyfashion spectrum iron on heat transfer vinyl on teletubby t-shirt


    Wrap the pipe cleaners around the headband and twist to create aerial shape according to which teletubby you are making. 

    wrapping pipe cleaners for teletubby costume
    diy teletubby costume t-shirt

    *Please note Spectrum has a repeating pattern, some sheets may have a small line, this is not a defect.

    Costume 2: Army camo 

    You will need:

    you will need to make your own army como costume

    Green t-shirt

    2- 4 A4 sheets of HappyFlex vinyl 

    (I used Olive Green, Green, Brown and Cream

    Greaseproof paper


    Iron or heat press 

    Step one: (Optional) Cut t-shirt into a cropped version 

    cutting army camo t-shirt to make diy army camo t-shirt

    Step two: Draw cloud-like shapes onto the back (matte side) of the coloured vinyl sheets and then cut out.

    cutting olive green happyflex vinyl to make diy army camo t-shirt

    Step three: Prepress the t-shirt using an iron on the two-dot setting or a heat press

    prepressing t-shirt to make diy army camo t-shirt

    Step 4: Arrange a selection of vinyl shapes onto the t-shirt (do not layer them yet!) and cover with greaseproof paper. 

    placing happyflex iron on heat transfer vinyl to make diy army camo t-shirt
    placing greaseproof paper to make diy army camo t-shirt

    Step 5: Press for 10 seconds, then wait until the vinyl is cooled. Peel off the plastic carrier from the vinyl. 

    peeling carrier on happyflex iron on heat transfer vinyl to make diy army camo t-shirt

    Step 6: Place on the next layer of shapes, overlapping the first layer in areas. 

    placing happyflex iron on heat transfer vinyl to make diy army camo t-shirt

    Step 7: Add greaseproof paper, press again for 10 seconds, and repeat cooling and peeling process. Keep repetition of the layering and pressing process until the desired effect is achieved. 

    Tip: take care to layer slowly, and always peel off all carriers before overlapping. 

    diy camo army t-shirt using heat transfer iron on vinyl

    Costume three: Lifeguard

    You will need:

    you will need to make diy lifeguard t-shirt costume

    Yellow T-shirt 

    A4 sheet of HappyFlex Red 

    Scissors, pen and stencil (optional: use of cutting machine or draw freehand) 

    Iron or heat press

    Step one: Use a stencil to write ‘LIFEGUARD’ onto the back of the vinyl sheet. You could also use a cutting machine or draw them freehand- just remember to flip the writing so the lettering is the right way around when you turn the vinyl shiny side up. 

    drawing letters on back of happyflex red heat transfer iron on vinyl to make diy lifeguard t-shirt

    Step two: Cut the lettering out. 

    cutting out letters on back of happyflex red heat transfer iron on vinyl to make diy lifeguard t-shirt

    Step three: Pre press the t-shirt with an iron (on the two dot setting)  or using a heat press. 

    pre-pressing t-shirt to make diy lifeguard costume

    Step four: Place the lettering onto the t-shirt and then cover with greaseproof paper. 

    placing letters of happyflex red heat transfer iron on t-shirt to make diy lifeguard t-shirt
    placing greaseproof paper on t-shirt to make diy lifeguard t-shirt

    Step five: Press for ten seconds using an iron or heat press. This can be done in sections, going over edges to ensure all of the lettering receives enough heat. 

    pressing letters of happyflex red heat transfer iron on t-shirt to make diy lifeguard t-shirt

    Step six: Let cool slightly and then peel off the plastic carrier from each letter. 

    peeling off carrier of happyflex red heat transfer iron on t-shirt to make diy lifeguard t-shirt

    Step seven (optional): Use the remaining vinyl to personalise the back of the t-shirt! 

     happyflex red heat transfer iron on t-shirt to make diy lifeguard t-shirt
     happyflex red heat transfer iron on t-shirt to make diy lifeguard t-shirt

    Check out more of our projects on our InstagramPinterest, and YouTube.

  • What Happened at The Handmade Festival?

    Last weekend we packed our things and headed to Hampton Court for the Handmade festival. We brought the weather with us, and had a brilliant time meeting and catching up with other lovely stallholders and customers! 

    Our stand this year was as bright as ever, bringing the colourful pegboards from our Happy Fabric office, and displaying our magical selection of coloured heat transfer vinyl. One side of our stand housed our brand new Happy Press 2.1 and a Silhouette cutter. The other had a demonstration area, with a Happy Press 3 and our show exclusive packs designed by our Happy Fabric crafters Marnie, Hayley and Beth. Manning the stall was our newest team member Jaymie along with Beth, Hayley, Andy and Martin- the dream team!

    Of course, we couldn’t go to The Handmade Festival without tracking down Kirstie Alsopp and Liz Earle! We created handmade gifts for each lovely lady (pictured below) including an adorable sloth cushion for Kirstie and a stunning cosmetics bag for Liz. Here you can see Kirstie with her cushion and Hayley giving Liz a quick demo of how our vinyl works and the many ways to use it in your masterpieces.

    The final thing to mention is our brilliant evening event to launch the Happy Press 2.1. This took place at a venue called Henry’s kitchen just minutes walk away from the festival. Some of our favourite crafty friends joined us for an evening of food, drinks and crafting- the perfect trio! They made some incredible napkins and tote bags, some of which we saw them wearing the next day. 

    Here are some of the great makes from our evening and the festival: 
    Find us next at the Knitting & Stitching Show in October or on our social channels.

  • Craft Take-Over with Sewinthegarden

    Warning may contain party rings…

    We had the wonderful Georgina also known as Sewinthegarden visit us for a crafty take-over at Happy Fabric with our iron-on vinyl.

    Georgina walked into the Happy Fabric room in her handmade outfit, which instantly caught our eye! Her dungarees with red top stitching… were just sew amazing!

    Find out more about Georgina here

    A sweet treat was our first stop while we discussed all our crafty ideas, which may have contained a few cakes and party rings. A great surprise was that Georgina had made three tops in a beautiful blue fabric ready to add some vinyl designs to! Her idea was to have three sewing slogans in different font styles. Looking through our vinyl colours, pastel was a favourite and we all knew it would work perfectly onto Georgina’s tops. We chose a curly, block and rounded font for each slogan and cut these out on our silhouette cutter. The chosen slogans were ‘Sew Happy, Seamstress and Sewing Club’ and we even layered HappyFlex with HappyFlock on top to create a shadowing effect.

    Check out our action shots…

    Look how cute they are? There’s nothing like a handmade outfit and these tops are totally unique and personalised.

    Our last project was up-cycling a pair of canvas trainers, which had a completely different theme to sewing. We had so much fun creating these ‘Crime scene’ graphics.

    Our first step was to create the yellow tape to fit the shoes. We used greaseproof paper to wrap around the shoe and then outlined the shoe. This became our template to draw our tape inside. After cutting our templates out we were able to draw around these onto the back of the vinyl to hand cut. This was definitely a great way to get the right size for the shoe.

    We then measured the yellow tapes widest part and created our crime scene writing on silhouette studio to fit inside. Once this was cut we had all the components to craft! We cushioned out the shoes with a Happy pillow and placed the yellow Flex shape into place. Greaseproof paper was then added and we placed the iron on carefully pressing for 10-15 seconds making sure each part of the vinyl had even heat and pressure. Once cooled a little, we peeled off the carrier and added the next text layer in black HappyFlex. Repeating the process we continued this on the other shoe.

    Adding HappyGlitter blood splatters to the opposite sides added a little fun sparkle. Designing your own footwear can add the ultimate personal touch! We would just love these for Halloween too!

    Finished with cake and fun question games it was great having Georgina in to find out more about what inspires her within all her projects. Check out our YouTube video where you can see more behind the scenes.

  • Shoes to Cherry-ish

    My cherry obsession started with making cherry Pom poms and now I can’t stop. I have seen so many cherry themed gifts, clothes, and jewelry on the highstreet but I wanted to create something myself so it was completely unique. These pinstriped fabric flip-flops caught my eye and of course I had to add some vinyl cherries to them. I think these would be great for a summer holiday as they are bright and cheery. I’ve written the quick and easy steps so you can recreate them at home with iron-on vinyl.  

    For this project you will need:

    -HappyFlex – Green and Signal Red

    -HappyGlitter- White




    -Iron or Heat Press

    -Greaseproof paper


    Step 1:

    Draw your cherry shape onto paper and cut this out ready to use for a stencil.

    Step 2:

    Draw around your shapes onto the back of the vinyl, I drew one cherry one way and then turned the stencil over to draw the cherry the opposite way.

    Step 3:

    Cut your pieces out ready to add to the shoe.

    Step 4:

    Pre-heat your iron on the 2 dot setting and pre-press the fabric on your shoes.

    Step 5:

    Add a happy pillow or fabric into your shoe to create a flat even surface. Place your green stalk (HappyFlex) on the shoe first, then add greaseproof paper on top and press for 10 seconds.

    Step 6:

    Peel off the top layer of plastic while warm.

    Step 7:

    Repeat steps 5-6 with the cherries and then with the glitter vinyl pieces.

    Your shoes now have a pop of colour ready for summer!

    How great would a pair of shoes be for a hen do or a party too? You could add names of slogans to them for that personalized touch.

    Thanks, Hayley x

    Check out more of our projects on YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

  • ...Make Lemonade

    We have another fruity craft project and this time it’s all about the lemons because on a nice summers day, what’s more refreshing? Lemon themed slogans like ‘Main squeeze’ I absolutely love at the moment. I wanted to create my own take on this with a simple lemon top. I found this pink top, which I love and I knew the yellow and green vinyl would contrast really well.

    Here’s a mood board of lemon themed ideas which inspired my ideas.

    This could be recreated by hand cutting our vinyl or using a cutting machine. I’ve written the steps so you can give it a go at home.

    You will need:

    -HappyFlex: Yellow and Green


    -Iron (2 dot setting) or Heat Press (150 degrees)



    -Greaseproof paper

    Step 1:

    Design your lemon drawing on the cutting machine programme such as silhouette studio along with the text you want.

    Step 2:

    Cut the lemon with ‘Make’ written inside in yellow HappyFlex.

    Step 3:

    Weed your design revealing the lemon and then weed out the letters.

    Step 4:

    Type out ‘Lemonade’ and add your leaf designs to your artboard cutting programme and cut these out in green HappyFlex.

    Step 5:

    Pre-press your t-shirt to get rid of the creases and moisture in the fabric.

    Step 6:

    Add your yellow flex to the t-shirt and add greaseproof paper on top. Press this for 10 seconds with your iron or heat press.

    Step 7:

    Peel away the top layer of plastic and then repeat step 6 with your green flex pieces.

    Now you’re ready to Make Lemonade! This t-shirt would be great to tuck into some denim shorts or jeans for a summer outfit!

    Check out more of our projects on our Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.


    This week, I decided to transform a plain white cami dress into a spotty showpiece, following the recent polka dot craze. Part of this trend, or maybe even the cause, is ‘that Zara dress’. 

    If you’ve managed to miss it, the dress is flowing, white and COVERED in dots! Radio 1 discussed it, thousands of people are following it’s Instagram account @hot4thespot (yes, really!), and all kinds of people have been photographed wearing it. Think Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants; this dress seems to suit everyone. So, inspired by this summer wardrobe must-have, I bring you my DIY dotty dress in just five steps with iron-on vinyl:

    You will need the following: 

    Step 1- Creating my dots! I began by hole punching tiny circles into black HappyFlex vinyl. After I’d made around 100, I decided to mix it up a little and hand cut some circles to make it slightly less uniform (closer to the pattern on the original Zara print). I also added a tiny black vinyl butterfly (also hole punched) to add a Where’s-Wally-esque touch to my design. 

    Step 2- Pre-press the dress! I started by pre-pressing the dress to remove any moisture that might be hiding in the material. This was a really important step as I’d stored the dress upstairs for a long time, awaiting the next summer holiday (long overdue!). When pre-pressing (using either a heat press or iron) I used the heat press at 150 degrees for 10 seconds, which would be the two-dot setting on the iron for the same amount of time. 

    Step 3- Adding the vinyl! When the dress was nicely pressed and crease-free, I started to place my dots where I wanted them and then placed grease-proof paper over the top. Tip: be extra patient and careful, as the dots are a little fiddly and may move as you add the paper!

    Step 4- Press the dots! I then pressed for 10 seconds. When removing the greaseproof paper, I realised that some of the circles had been placed the wrong way up and so hadn’t stuck. This is easy to fix- simply peel them off of the paper and turn them the right way (carrier/ shiny side facing upwards), pop the grease-proof paper back on top and press again. 

    Step 5- Peel and reveal! Lastly, I peeled all of the carriers off of the dots. This can be done with HappyFlex vinyl when it is warm, but I waited until I had pressed the whole dress to peel off so that I could sit down and do them all at once. Finally, my dress was ready to wear!

  • Craft takeover with Thestitchedit

    We recently had the pleasure of Alice-May also known as Thestitchedit to visit us for a day of fun-filled crafts. 

    Alice-May is a children’s book editor, which meant she had a great imagination when it came to crafting with our vinyl! Her love of sewing, crafts and lifestyle posts can be seen across her Instagram, YouTube videos and blog, definitely check them out. Alice-May had a number of design ideas, which was great; as we could work out together what to add them to. Having not used our vinyl before meant it was super exciting to show her all the different ways it can be used. We also introduced her to the Happy Press 3 and Silhouette Cameo 3 cutter.

    Alice-May wanted to create a slogan tee that had a play on words and related to her love of sewing. We absolutely love the placement of the slogan ‘Stitch please’ created using HappyFlex first for ‘stitch’ and then HappyFlock vinyl on top for the ‘please’. This meant it was a mix of smooth and velvety writing which looks so, so amazing and has such a professional finish! We taught Alice-May how to layer with vinyl and this was really effective with the block lettering and elegant calligraphy with light and dark coloured vinyl. We cut the lettering using our silhouette-cutting machine however, you could use an alternative machine or hand-cut your shapes.

    Alice-May’s first make was such a success she wore her top all day, it was such a great outfit with her rust coloured skirt.

    For our next make, a pale pink cushion was waiting for us to add some sparkle. A star constellation, Alice-May’s idea, looked good enough for any sofa! We added Leo and Aquarius symbols with glittery stars, which complimented the pink fabric. For this make you could hole punch the HappyGlitter stars and hand-cut the strips of white to join the stars together. Alice-May wants to add this to her lounge along with some beautiful teal and grey colours which sounds so dreamy. Why not add a mustard colour such as yellow flock to create the ultimate colour combo.

    Our final creation was personalising the back of a denim jacket. Rainbow colours just had to be incorporated and what better way to do it than with a cute cloud with colourful rainbow drops. When thinking of quote ideas we thought ‘chasing rainbows’ was the perfect saying to add inside the cloud. This was machine cut and then we used a weeding tool to take away the lettering. This meant the denim showed through the wording and was a great contrast against the white glitter vinyl. We hand cut the drops in a variety of vinyl colours and decided that less is more as we had so many rainbow drops we could have filled the whole jacket. We love how easy it is to transform your clothing and create something exactly how you want it.

    How cool would it be to keep adding to the jacket with even more vinyl mixed with sew on patches? You would have the ultimate personalised jacket, EVER! It was such a great day we could have created even more if we had time! Having Alice-May in was so inspiring and gave a fresh new view on our vinyl creations! We love to see how each creator designs using our vinyl. Make sure you share your makes with us by tagging our Instagram or Facebook page on your creation posts, so we can see your wonderful projects.

    Make sure you have a good read of Alice-Mae's day over on the Stitch Edit Blog.

  • Make Your Own Custom Bridal Sash

    Have you been left in charge of the bridal sashes for the hen party? Are you looking for a custom gift for the bride to be?

    In our latest video, Happy Crafter Beth shows you how to make a bridal sash with our iron-on heat transfer vinyl. So you can have the ultimate hen party accessory in just a few easy steps.

    In this video we used HappyFlex ( and Happy Glitter ( )

    Don’t forget to subscribe to see the latest in craft takeovers and DIY craft projects.

  • Donut Pin Cushion

    Donut worry we have the perfect place to put your pins and decorate your craft room with iron-on vinyl at the same time.

    I have seen so many pattern/ fabric weights in cake and biscuit shapes and I wanted something pastel coloured to add to our craft room. We have some new pins for our craft room and they couldn’t just be sat in a box. So it was time to create our own donut cushion. Check out our steps to see how to make your own with our iron-on vinyl.

    For this make you will need:

    • HappyFlex: Pink, Yellow, Pastel purple, Pastel blue, Pastel green
    • Something circular to draw around (Large for the donut and small for the inner)
    • A4 felt
    • Pen
    • Iron
    • Greaseproof paper
    • Scissors

    Step 1- Draw around your circles to create your donut shape onto the felt. Make sure you draw two and cut them both out.

    Step 2- Draw around your donut shape onto the back of the pink vinyl, this will act as your outline to draw your icing inside.

    Step 3- Cut this out and place it shiny side up onto your donut.

    Step 4- Press with greaseproof paper on top for 10 seconds making sure the vinyl gets even heat. Tip: A hard surface works best to press the vinyl.

    Step 5- Peel off the top plastic carrier ready to add your sprinkles too.

    Step 6- Cut small strips of the colours to create your sprinkles.

    Step 7- Add your sprinkles on top of the icing shiny side up and add greaseproof paper on top and press each sprinkle for 10 seconds.

    Step 8- Peel off the top plastic layers of each one.

    Step 9- Add some stuffing in-between the donut and sew it together with an overcast or blanket stitch.

    Your donut is now ready to add your pins into to keep them safe and look pretty! There are so many possibilities with shapes for your pin cushion, why not try a flower, rainbow or star.

    You can find all our HappyFlex Colours and Shades here.

  • Tips for first-time users

    Hi Jaymie here, I'm new at Happy Fabric.

    Over the past week, I’ve been playing with Happy Fabric vinyl, trialing different methods to spruce up tote bags, aprons, cushion covers.. you name it. I spent my first day's hand cutting shapes and letters, then tried Silhouette Studio (downloading the software and working through the provided tutorials). The Happy Fabric ‘Do it yourself’ sheet became my bible for setting the iron or heat press at the right temperature and remembering timings.
    The four types of vinyl I experimented with were: Flex, Flock, Glitter and Fashion.

    I found the basic process easy to pick up: pre-press, design/draw, cut out, place grease-proof paper, iron/ heat press, peel off carrier. As a complete beginner, there were small stumbles on the way, but I have listed 5 of my lessons learned below: 

    1.Always pre-press!

    On my second project, the fabric had no creases, so I got straight to playing with the vinyl. When it came to peeling the carrier off, nothing had stuck. After blaming the iron, the vinyl and myself, it dawned on me that I should have pre-pressed the bag itself before starting the project. Oops! Pre-pressing removes any moisture that might be lurking and allows a better base for the vinyl; this can be done by simply ironing the fabric or using a heat press for around 10 seconds. 

    2. Flip it! 

    Especially when using lettering, I had a few mishaps. It usually took drawing a design (either in my neatest possible handwriting or using a pre-cut stencil), cutting meticulously around the letters and digging out the holes in e’s and g’s… to realise that they were all backwards. I think I’d been too excited to get to the finished product or busy chatting away. Even when using Silhouette Studio, with the prompt to check if a design needed mirroring, I overlooked the need to flip. 

    It wasn’t always lettering, either. Some of the animals I created were facing the wrong direction when I placed them onto their new fabric-y home. For me, the key to avoiding this was to work out which parts of my design needed mirroring before even drawing them out, and checking which way up the vinyl would be going before cutting. 

     3. It’s okay to re-press!

    ...No, I don’t mean emotions. Sometimes vinyl needs a little longer; not all irons were created equal and corners can be missed. On my first use of Happy Fabric vinyl, I saw that one corner hadn’t stuck properly, and so peeled it from the other side. This left me with peely corners. Not ideal. When this happens, it’s okay to pop the grease-proof paper back on and give the vinyl an extra bit of time with the iron or heat press. 

       4.  The magic cushion!

    When I used vinyl on a small zip bag, even pre-pressing and re-pressing didn’t seem to help stick down the edge of my vinyl shape. Hayley suggested using a ‘Happy Pillow’ (you could also use a tea towel) underneath to take the attention of the iron away from the seam of the bag and toward the vinyl I was trying to stick down. When creating a design near a seam or uneven area of fabric, a ‘magic cushion’ inside or underneath will make sure it gets the heat it needs. 

    5. Layering up!

    Some vinyl layers better than others, and I’ve been experimenting with this over the past week. A major downfall of mine was forgetting to peel off the carrier of the bottom layer before whacking everything else on top. This lead to the vinyl either not sticking properly, or the carrier of the first layer flapping helplessly under the firmly pressed second layer. You won’t be able to peel this off without ruining your design. Remember to go one step at a time.

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