Combining HTV and Paint for Hard to Match Colors

February 13, 2019Allison Murray
Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.


Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you’re going for when you just can’t find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can’t find skin tone HTV!

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

Absolutely anybody who knows me knows that my family is very important to me. I’ve never understood families that only see each other once a year, even if that one visit is for like 2 weeks when they have the means and the time to visit more often. How can you go so long without seeing the people you love and have known most of if not all of your life? Moving very far away from my family was really rough on me, but at the time I was convinced it was for the greater good. Though it can be difficult to travel with my health, I still managed to visit my Oklahoma family at least 3 times a year and my parents, who were much closer distance-wise, 5-6 times a year. And I don’t know how I would cope if I wasn’t lucky enough to get to borrow the kids and spend 3 weeks of summer with them. And all of us coming together for Christmas, even if it had been ridiculously cold outside, was one of my favorite things I got to do every year since I had moved away. Two weeks year? I need more than that.

During our most recent visit, on the night before my sister and her family and I were all set to return home at the end of our very eventful Christmas break, my nephew decided he felt well enough to try indoor skydiving. It was something we were planning to do as a family but I felt poorly from stress and my nephew was so weak right out of the hospital after a scary poisoning… but knowing that this would be his last shot until at least Spring Break to give it a go, he decided that he was strong enough to go into the tube for just one minute. We all sat around waiting for the time he and his dad would suit up while most of us tried to soothe his nerves. All was well until the flight instructor pops up to take our guys back and my dad, who didn’t quite read the room, called out “It was nice knowing ya!” Oh my ever-lovin’ word, Y’all :)

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

As my sister and I hopped around the tube following my nephew while photographing and videoing his first “flight” I had such a rush of happiness. This is my family. And due to a change in my circumstances, I get to move back to be nearer to them. And I’ve missed them. And though the reason for returning to my family is sad, it is definitely for the best. As my nephew’s minute came to an end, he signaled to his instructor he wasn’t ready to leave. He spent another minute in the tube and my sister and I got an awful lot of cardio freaking out just outside of that tube! Don’t believe me? Check all of us out in action :)

Pumped up on adrenaline, we drove home all crammed into my dad’s pickup. At almost midnight instead of packing up my suitcase, I decided to quell grumbling bellies and fried up 2 packages of turkey bacon and scrambled almost 2 dozen eggs. As we chatted about how awesome the evening was, we all had breakfast at 12:30 in the morning as a pre-bed snack. And we all ate and relived the moments that had happened just hours ago together just as a family should be. All of us are so proud of my nephew and he’s super keen on a return flight. And some of us other family members are super keen to join him… In order to properly celebrate his new passion as one of our family’s founding flyers, I decided to make him a tee shirt with his very own face on it. And guess what? Kiddo loves it! Within like 2 minutes of texting him the design he was calling me to say how awesome it was and gush some hearty thanks :) That kid… I’d do anything in the world for him!

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

And now, after all of that gabbing, I’m going to get to the meat of a little problem that I have encountered and just how I have managed to overcome it… You know when you just can’t find the right color of heat transfer vinyl and you wind up using something else but it never matches up to the vision for the project you had in your head? Special colors are one thing that you might be able to fudge, but skin tones? Forget about it. And since I didn’t want to leave my nephew’s face pale white like the tee, I used HTV and paint together, a little thing I’ve been doing with amazing results for a while now. But not until recently have I been able to get nice, even coverage of the paint. That’s because I didn’t have my Cricut Brightpad before then.

I went into a lot of detail as to what a Cricut  Brightpad is and what it can do last week, but today we’re just focusing on this one, perhaps surprising use for it…

How to combine HTV and paint for the most perfect color combinations you cannot possibly achieve with vinyl alone with a Cricut Brightpad.

And we’re going to achieve this while also learning the step by step for how to make your own caricature tee shirt with the mugs of your loved ones!

For this project you will need:

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

First of all, you’re going to need a caricature, obviously. I have tried and tried and tried but I simply cannot do this because I’m not nearly a good enough of an artist. But never fear… With a quick online search, you can find reasonably priced caricature artists that will turn your photograph into a drawing just like ours.

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

I ordered my caricature from Fiverr and this is my second order with the same artist and I’m just as impressed as I was with the first because though a simplified version of a person, these drawings look distinctly like that person, no two ways about it.

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

When ordering your caricature be sure to ask for an SVG (vector) file for the easiest conversion in Cricut Design Space. Upload your file and use the magic wand tool to erase everything but the black outline of the drawing.

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

Add text to your drawing to turn it into a super awesome tee shirt design. I found that curving the text gave my design that polished, from a real tee shirt shop look. And, luckily, in Design Space, it’s super easy to accomplish. Simply type out your text and then click the “Curve” button in the toolbar at the top. Drag to modify your line of text from something straight to something awesome! Easy, right?

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

Be sure to mirror your design and then cut it using your Cricut Maker. Place your Everyday Iron-on  design onto your Cricut Brightpad and weed your design appropriately.

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

And here is a quick tip for ya… A small wad of painter’s tape placed on the edge of your Cricut Brightpad makes for super quick weeding of tiny pieces. Tap your weeding tool onto the tape and it will take the small bit away from you. When you’re done, remove the tape (it comes away from the surface super easily) and then toss it all.

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

Another quick tip will help you remove all of that excess Everyday Iron-on from around your design… grab a craft knife, like the Cricut TrueControl Craft Knife and very gently drag the blade across the vinyl, but not the clear protector sheet, running the knife around anything you want to keep on the protector to transfer over. What you’ll get are smaller, easier to manage large pieces to remove because taking all of that big piece off at once is just asking for disaster, in my experience!

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

Flip your design over and be sure that you’ve gotten everything you needed to weed away, away. Look good? Let’s move on…

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

Apply the vinyl outline onto your tee shirt. I am in LOVE with my Cricut Easypress and if you use HTV often, I think it’s such a good investment for your craft room and a good use of your crafting budget…

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

Gather the colors of acrylic craft paint you will be using for your design. This is totally the awesome part of this project because you aren’t confined to JUST the colors of HTV that are out there. Take a walk down the paint aisle of your local craft store and you will see that you literally have HUNDREDS of color options open to you once you combine htv and paint for your projects. Now I was going to do a reddish-orange but I wound up changing that to a lime green RIGHT before I was going to start painting it and I’m SUPER happy that I did!

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

In a bowl mix together your craft acrylic paint and textile medium in equal parts, or according to the package directions, if different. Textile medium, also called fabric medium, can be purchased online or in the craft acrylic paint section at your craft store. If you can’t find a textile medium, or if you are working on a deadline and don’t have time to run to the store (because craft emergencies are real, folks! :) feel free to add about half of the amount of regular old water to your paint to thin it out well enough for it to paint evenly onto fabric.

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

In order to protect the backside of your tee shirt, you’ll need to put something in between the front and back of your tee to prevent the paint from bleeding through. Normally I use a piece of sandpaper from the dollar store, gritty side facing the front of the tee.

If you’re wondering why dollar store sandpaper it’s because it is thin and often doesn’t have any print on the backside of the paper that will come through and make it difficult to make out your design from the markings on the paper. I also like using sandpaper because the grit keeps your shirt from slipping and moving around while you work and prevents you from accidentally stretching out the fabric while it’s wet.

Since I didn’t have this kind of sandpaper on hand, I used a piece of freezer paper and self sticking plastic wrap in between the front and back of my tee and it didn’t keep the shirt from moving as I worked, but it did keep me from getting paint on the backside…

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

Place your tee shirt on top of your Cricut Brightpad and adjust the light settings, as necessary, with the plus and minus button on the upper left portion of the pad.

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

Grab a stiff bristled brush and begin painting your shirt within the lines of your design. Or outside of the lines if you’re that kind of person, I guess! Take care to work slowly and gently to prevent flicking dots of paint onto areas of the shirt that you don’t want painted.

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

As you work, clean up any stray paint that makes it onto your vinyl outline. For larger designs, I use a little piece torn from a paper towel and for smaller designs, like this one, I use cotton swabs.

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

The light coming through the design as the paint dries will clue you in as to where you need to add a little more paint for nice and consistent coverage for more professional looking end results. See how there are areas on the face and the shirt that could use a little more paint? When wet it is a bit more difficult to distinguish, but as it dries the light coming through is going to be immensely helpful.

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

Once you’re happy with the coverage, allow your shirt to fully dry and then remove the inner protective sheet. If you need to heat set the paint, per the directions of your textile medium, be sure to place something like a Teflon sheet, a piece of scrap fabric, or even a pillowcase on top the entire design to prevent the HTV from coming away from the design.

And there we have it… from amazing first-time life experience to a tee shirt that perfectly celebrates with the most perfect colors because were able to mix HTV and paint for the perfect finish! And now that you’ve seen just how helpful my Cricut Brightpad was for amazing results on this DIY tee, and perhaps if you also read my post for other ways you can use a Cricut Brightpad, head on over and snag your own!

Combine HTV and paint can to achieve the look you're going for when you just can't find the right color of vinyl. Great when you can't find skin tone HTV!

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