Valentine Robot Shirt with Print and Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl

Okay, by now y’all know I’m totally obsessed with my Silhouette Cameo, and especially using vinyl with it.  Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day (yikes!), I decided to quickly whip out a cute and custom holiday shirt for my little man.  It’s not too Valentiney so he can wear it long after Cupid leaves the building, and thanks to the Cameo’s awesome print-and-cut feature, I was able to print a design right from my home printer using some nifty printable heat transfer vinyl (HTV), and then apply it with my regular iron since I don’t yet have a heat press….ahhh, a girl can dream….

In this post, I’ll give you a step-by-step tutorial on not only how to use printable HTV (it’s super easy!), but also how to use the print and cut feature on a Silhouette….once you learn this function, a whole new crafting world will open up for you!

Oh, and it’s also Silhouette Challenge time again, so there are LOTS more amazing print and cut projects below as well!

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette & Make a Robot Valentine's Shirt

[Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  I truly appreciate any and all support!]


During my son’s first year of life, I went a little crazy with documenting every. little. thing.  I’m sure a lot of moms are like that with their firstborns, though.  Everything is just so new and amazing again!

Every holiday, Rowan had to have a special, cutesy little outfit and/or accessory and I had to snap at least 862 photos of him from all angles.  I mean, I needed stuff to fill that baby book and mini keepsake photo album!

Here are some of the {extremely adorable} holiday photos I documented from his first year:


And here was his Valentine’s outfit last year that I snagged off of Zulily.  So we’re going from zombies to robots….definitely not too cutesy. ;)  And gahhhh, I just love babies in leg warmers!!



However, now that Rowan is almost two (crazy!) and he has a whole year of first holidays under his baby belt, I’ve started to settle down with buying special holiday outfits that he’ll only wear for a short amount of time, sometimes only a single day.  I want to get a little more longevity out of his wardrobe, and not break the bank along the way (and this makes his daddy very happy, too).


Valentine Robot Shirt with Print and Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl

The Robot File

I purchased a cute (but not too cute for a little boy) robot file for a measly .50 cents, and it came with several formats.  The SVG file comes with all the various components separated, that way it can be used with layering different pieces of paper or vinyl if desired.

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette

I chose to use this format as opposed to the JPG or PNG image formats (which are already put together) because I didn’t want to include the little shadow/land piece under the robot.

Last year, I made our Christmas cards in similar print and cut project.  However, with that one, I did use the JPG format and removed the (reindeer) file’s shadow/land piece in Photoshop Elements….so there’s more than one road that leads to Rome.


Tweaking the Robot

It was pretty straight-forward putting the layers together (and the .zip file came with instructions….but who actually reads those?!).

I decided to change up the colors a bit, which is another bonus to using the SVG format, so I made the robot’s eyes a bright blue (to match my son’s baby blues), brightened up the red heart, and also made his little antennas a matching red, just to add some more color.

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette


Creating an Internal (Kiss-Cut) Offset

I grouped all the pieces together and then went to the Offset menu.  Here, I did a super tiny internal offset.

This was just to give me a little wiggle room in case my Silhouette didn’t cut precisely along all the lines (hey, nobody’s perfect).  Now, no unprinted white should show along the edges.

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette

Here’s a close-up of the internal kiss-cut:

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette


Adding Rowan’s Name & Creating a Mock-Up

Now that Mr. Robot was ready, I added my son’s name to the bottom.  The font I chose was called KG Attack of the Robots (how appropriate!), and I colored it in the blue to match the robot’s eyes, then added a small external offset to make it a little thicker and create a white border.  I also stretched his name out a bit to make it fit a little better.

Like my super realistic mock-up?!  Man, I should totally be a graphic designer…. ;)

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette



How to Print & Cut with Silhouette

Next up, I’ll walk you through all the steps and show you how to print and cut with the Silhouette….it’s such an amazing feature!  This procedure can be followed whether you’re using printable HTV or regular vinyl, printer or photo paper, sticker paper, magnet sheets, tattoo paper….basically if you want to print on something and cut it out, this is how you do it!


Adding Registration Marks

Now it was time to print!  I first went to my Page menu and selected Letter since I’d be using an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of printable HTV (more on the brand I’m using below).

Since I would be using the print & cut function, I also needed to add registration marks that would tell my Silhouette where to cut.  I just opened up the Registration Marks menu and checked the ‘Show Reg Marks’ box and kept everything else as the defaults.

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette

***NOTE: When using the print & cut function, you need to make sure ALL of your design is not only within the red box but also not touching any of the gray hashmarks either.  Also, lines will NOT be printed if their thickness is set to 0.0 pt., even if they are colored on your screen.  If you want lines to print, you need to either increase their thickness in the Line Style menu OR check the box that says ‘Print Lines of Selected Shapes’ at the bottom of that menu.


Designating Cut Lines

Next, I went to my Cut Style menu and changed my lines so just the small internal offset of the robot and the white external offset of my son’s name would be cut.  All the other components were set to No Cut.

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette



I then went up to File –> Print and changed my printer‘s settings.  I chose Photo Matte Paper as my media since it was the closest option I had available from the menu, and also changed the Quality to Best.

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette

Horray for a printed vinyl design!

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette

Now that my design was printed, it was time to get my cut on!  I placed my printed sheet onto my cutting mat and then loaded it into my Silhouette.

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette


Printable HTV Cut Settings

I wasn’t really sure what cut settings to use at first, so I scrolled through the default options.  I noticed there were two different Fabric choices, so I decided to give the first one for “Thick fabric like canvas” a try….that seemed like a good starting point.

I changed my blade to a #5 per the suggestion, and a test cut revealed these settings worked like a charm!  I just love it when that happens….

Silhouette Cut Settings for Printable Heat Transfer Vinyl


Detecting Registration Marks

Now that my design was printed and loaded and the cut settings were determined, I needed to have my Silhouette detect the registration marks so it would know where to cut.  So, I went up to File –> Send to Silhouette (or you can click on the little icon to the right of the Send to Printer icon in the toolbar).

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette

This then had me go through several additional menus on the righthand side:

The first one asked if I needed to print the image, but since I always do it separately beforehand (just a personal preference), I just clicked the option to skip printing.

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette

Next up were some instructions for loading the sheet of vinyl into the Silhouette, which I had also already done….man, I’m ahead of the game!

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette

Now it was officially time for registration mark detection.  I always have them detected automatically, and once I clicked this option, the Silhouette spent several seconds moving and scanning the marks.

[NOTE: My machine has never had any issues with detecting registration marks, but I have heard of others having difficulties.  Some people need to shine a flash light or place a desk lamp directly above their Silhouette in order for it to detect their marks, or they need to do a manual detection.  Just a friendly trouble-shooting FYI.]

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette

The next menu let me know that my registration marks were successfully detected (wahoo!), so I then hit Cut and let the crafting magic happen!

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette


A Perfect Print & Cut!

A few moments later, I unloaded my cutting mat….and I had a perfectly printed love robot and a coordinating Rowan cut out!

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette



Applying Printable Heat Transfer Vinyl (without a Heat Press)

About this Printable Heat Transfer Vinyl

I bought a pack of this printable heat transfer vinyl last fall in order to make Rowan’s Sons of Anarchy Halloween costume.  This vinyl can be printed on any inkjet printer, becomes water-proof after application with a regular household iron, and it works great!  However, customer service from this company leaves much to be desired.  I’ll spare you all the details, but I would not recommend using this company despite having a very solid product (and based on their Facebook page, lots of other people agree)….just keepin’ it real, folks.


Placing the Heat Transfer Vinyl Design on the Shirt

Now it was almost time to iron this little guy and Rowan’s name on the shirt!  First I needed to transfer it over to my ironing board.  Yes, it’s just a few pieces, but I chose the easy way and used a couple strips of painter’s tape to transfer everything at once and keep it all aligned.  Feel free to eye-ball your creations though!

Once I had it centered on the pre-washed shirt, I tore off pieces of the tape so I had just enough to keep it all in place but not enough to interfere with the iron….I didn’t want any melted painter’s tape!

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette


Ironing the Heat Transfer Vinyl

I set my iron to the Cotton setting and made sure to use NO steam.  Once it was warmed up, I ran it over my little robot man and Rowan’s name a little bit at a time, applying even pressure.  The directions for this brand of printable HTV say to apply even pressure for 20 seconds, and that seemed to be accurate.

How to Use the Print and Cut Function with a Silhouette


Rowan’s Final Valentine Robot Shirt!

And here it is!  A cute, custom, and cool Valentine’s Day shirt that can still be worn long after the holiday has passed….perfect for a growing toddler boy.  Best of all, it only took less than 30 minutes to complete!  You can’t beat an easy, cheap, and quick project!

Valentine Robot Shirt with Print and Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl

Valentine Robot Shirt with Print and Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl

Rowan sometimes likes to play with his BFF, Frankie the Monster Blankie, draped across his head. Today in his nursery was one of those days. ;)

Valentine Robot Shirt with Print and Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl

Valentine Robot Shirt with Print and Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl

Washing the Shirt: I’ve only washed this shirt once since applying the HTV.  The directions state that hand washing is recommended, but ain’t nobody got time for that!  So, I just turned it inside out and ran it through my washing machine’s delicate cycle then let it air dry.  So far, so good!


The Silhouette Challenge

Like I mentioned, it’s Silhouette Challenge time again!  That means you’re in for an extra special treat, because I have 26 MORE amazing PRINT & CUT projects to share with you thanks to my fellow Challenge bloggy buddies.

{The image below is clickable, so just click on the pictures that grab your attention, or you can find links beneath the image as well.  Just check out all this wealth of inspiration!}

Tigger Printable Heat Transfer T-Shirt Love You Valentine’s Jar {tutorial} + Print & Cut Blog Hop Valentine BINGO with {FREE} Printable and Cut File DIY Conversation Hearts Temporary Tattoos {Heart} Dance! Custom Birthday Party Invitations using Silhouette's Print and Cut Milk & Cookies Valentine's Treat Print & Cut Valentine's Day Banner Old wooden box Love Print and Cut Fabric Labels Be Mine Banner Love is all you need - Print & Cut Valentine Journal Cards Free Printable: Snickers Valentine Tag Labor & Delivery Nurse Thank You Bags Valentine Robot Shirt with Print and Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl Print and Cut Fish Valentines 3D Print and Cut Magnets (And Tons More Silhouette Print and Cut Ideas) Baby Month Stickers with a FREE cut file Super Easy Print and Cut Journal Card Valentines Simple Silhouette Valentine Card Valentine Hugs and Kisses Canning Jar Craft Frozen Inspired Tattoos Be My Valentine Mini Album Print and Cut Valentine Pudding Cup Wrappers - February Silhouette Challenge Print & Cut Birthday Invitations

1. Clever Someday // 2. TitiCrafty // 3. // 4. My Paper Craze // 5. Simply Kelly Designs // 6. Little Blue’s Room // 7. Mama Sonshine // 8. Small Stuff Counts // 9. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 10. GiveMeAPaintbrush // 11. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 12. Barb’s Life // 13. GetSilvered // 14. Lil’ Mrs. Tori // 15. Minted Strawberry // 16. unOriginal Mom // 17. Where The Smiles Have Been // 18. Persia Lou // 19. Silhouette School // 20. From Whine to Whine // 21. DailyDwelling // 22. Creative Ramblings // 23. Paper Garden Projects // 24. It Happens in a Blink // 25. Perfectly Fabulous // 26. Adventures in All Things Food // 27. Create & Babble

You can also check out my Project Gallery to view all of my Silhouette creations (as well as LOTS of free cut files!)….I just love this thing!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  If you enjoyed what you saw here today, please share the love and pin it!  And I’d love for us to stay connected!

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Where The Smiles Have Been




About Christine

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a spunky blonde, blue-eyed two-year-old boy and married to the best guy you'll ever meet. We live our lives in the Deep South, and I spend my son's nap times getting my craft on. I blog at Where The Smiles Have Been about my adventures in craftiness, DIY decor, Silhouette projects, and life as a new mommy.


  1. jasa sablon says:

    it such a great example for heat transfer printing .. thank you

  2. Hi Christine – I just got a Silhouette for Christmas and I came across your blog while trying to figure out how to make a custom shirt for my daughter. She wants the logo from her favorite sports team on the shirt. I know in your post you say you don’t recommend the printable heat transfer vinyl you used but I’m having a hard time figuring out what to use. From reviews I’ve read I’ve concluded that the silhouette product is terrible. Any advice??

    • Hey Suzanne! Congrats on your new Silhouette! :)

      Yep, I wouldn’t recommend Silhouette-brand vinyl, and while this particular brand of printable HTV is pretty good, the company has terrible customer service. I’m not sure what specific logo your daughter is after, but if it’s not too intricate, either regular HTV or glitter HTV would probably work well. You’d just cut the color(s) out and then layer them on when applying. I’ve got several tutorials in my Project Gallery dealing with cutting and layering vinyl and HTV. Glitter HTV is by far my absolute favorite thing to cut on my Silhouette, and it looks so pretty! I use the Siser brand for my HTV and it is amazing. Hope this helps! Have fun crafting! :)

  3. Hi Christine, first time to your blog…can I ask where you got that “busy board” that’s in back of your son? My little boy is all about plugging things in and turning things on and off. I think he would love something like this! Thanks in advance!

  4. love this tutorial! just wondering since you’re not too fond of the company where you brought your HTV, if you recommend another site? i’m planning my son’s first birthday and would like to make him a custom tshirt with the cameo my wonderful husband just brought for me for valentine’s day! thanks!

    • Hello Jerr! What a wonderful husband and a great Valentine’s Day gift! I’d take a Cameo over jewelry or chocolate any day. ;)

      This particular brand of printable HTV is the only one that I’ve ever tried personally. It works great, but it was just a pain to actually get shipped and arrive. I know other brands like Silhouette and Avery make printable heat transfer material, but I’m not sure if it’s the same type of texture. This printable HTV is very thick and fabric-like, and *I think* the others are more thin and like paper. If you do a Google search for “printable HTV” there are a lot of different results that pop up and have good reviews, and they seem to be like this thicker-type material….but like I said, I haven’t tried any other brands myself. Hope this helps! Oh, and if you find a good one, please let me know! :)

  5. Totally adorable! Thanks for sharing your tips on working with this material!

  6. You did a wonderful job on the robot – it came out great!

  7. I love how adorable Rowan looks in his shirt. The choice of robot design is perfect! Now the printable HTV that I bought during the last Silhouette sale is calling my name. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Love the T-shirt! Rowan is adorable in it!

    I am bookmarking this page so I can refer to all of the useful information in it. I just received a Cameo from a friend who replaced hers with the new model, and it is just a bit different from the Portrait, so your tutorial is sure to come in handy! Thanks for sharing so much!

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