DIY Tshirt Alignment Tool

This is a tutorial on how to iron on t-shirts and jerseys.

A baseball player costume was popular this year amongst my son’s first grade classmates. I, unfortunately, started shopping for a jersey for him too late. He wanted to be Buster Posey and I couldn’t get one in his size in time.

So, what’s the next best thing? A DIY Buster jersey.

So here’s the deal, I actually didn’t even have enough HTV to do a double layer number and letters set for the jersey so I hacked my way through by ironing on a white number and letter base and then just using permanent vinyl on top. He won’t really be able to wash this all that well but who really washes costumes anyways.

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Materials for Jersey Iron On Numbers

HTV – I just grabbed colors from an assorted set of HTV I got from Amazon. A standard black and white matte works for jerseys.

Iron – I used my heat press but since we are dealing with polyester here, meaning lower temperatures, you can get away with an iron if you don’t have a heat press.

Teflon Sheet – This usually comes with the HTV set but if you don’t have anything, you can try parchment or wax paper instead.

Cricut – I use a cutting machine to do some of the cutting for this project. This of course is optional but it sure makes things go faster. Check out my reviews for Best Cricut machines for beginners if you’re new to the Cricut.

Templates – This set of iron on numbers for jerseys along with the t-shirt alignment guide printable are available for free in my resource library.

How to iron on Tshirts and Jerseys

Step 1: Prepare all of your iron on materials and equipment

You need a shirt obviously. Depending on the material of your shirt, you may or may not need a dedicated heat press to iron on the vinyl letters. Cotton shirts will need higher temperatures. If you are doing sublimation, you will also need something higher than what an iron can do.

Since jerseys are polyester, you can probably get away with the cotton setting on the iron.

Step 2 – Cut out the letters and numbers for the jersey

diy t shirt alignment tool

I use an alignment ruler to get a rough estimate of what size I cut my numbers and letters. I also use a Cricut cutting machine to do the cutting. However, if you are just doing numbers on a jersey or t-shirt, you can probably cut that by hand.

Step 3 – Iron on the numbers to the jersey

diy t shirt alignment tool

I first use the alignment too again to position and center the HTV.

Since I was only doing one layer of HTV, I opted for the default setting on the heat press which is 340 degrees F for 30 seconds. If you are doing 2 layers of HTV, I would recommend only doing the first layer for 20 seconds so as to not completely melt the HTV into the shirt.

Be sure to apply some pressure as you are ironing. You can do a warm peel off the back liner on the HTV but just give it a few seconds to let it cool off ever so slightly.

diy t shirt alignment tool

A couple of quick notes. This “jersey” sports font is actually a free Google Font called Graduate. If you use Google products, you can just type it out and make your cutouts. The name on the jerseys is typically a san serif font and not the boxy Graduate font.

I’ve also made an SVG and printable jersey iron on number set that is free in my resource library.

diy t shirt alignment tool

So it wasn’t exactly the most accurate of Halloween costumes but I thought it was good enough. More importantly, my son was pretty happy with the end result.

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diy t shirt alignment tool
diy t shirt alignment tool

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