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DIY Project: Valentine’s Day Gift Inspiration

In this DIY project we’ll show you how we turned this blank hoodie into a wearable memory, ideal for a dog lover’s Valentine’s Day Gift. Sublimation + Siser Metal HTV + Siser EasyWeed = Wearable Memories.


    Looking for the perfect homemade Valentine’s Day Gift for a special someone? In this DIY project tutorial, we’ll show you how to use heat transfer vinyl (HTV) and sublimation together to frame your favorite pic on a blank hoodie.

    Yes, our “special someone” is a cute little Pomeranian pup… There’s no shame in having a fluffy BFF over here. This is one reason we love sublimation. It gives you the power to print whatever multicolor image you want! No tedious layering or weeding required. Just click “Print”.

    The only caveat with sublimation, is that it can be difficult to find a sublimation-friendly blank. What makes a good sublimation blank? High synthetic fiber (like polyester) and they have to be white or a super light color.

    Luckily, our team of in-house makers and support team are here to help you find the right blanks for sublimation. Call us at (855) 919-2467 or email us at

    Ultimately, this DIY project shows you how to create wearable memories. How cute is that?! Afterall, everyone loves a handmade gift for Valentine’s Day and this project idea

    At Press Hall, we love sharing our expertise on all types of apparel decoration. Check out our Education Studio for free tutorials on everything from sublimation to screen-printing, HTV, and more!

    For this DIY project, you’ll need:

    The Prepping

    Step 1: Wash and dry your sublimation blank.

    Washing and drying your sublimation-friendly blank will remove any manufacturer’s finishing or excess fibers that could negatively impact the success of this DIY project.

    Choosing a sublimation blank?

    Typically, you should stick to white 100% polyester blanks for sublimation, however, due to the high synthetic fiber (polyester), there is a chance your blank could burn. To be safe, order an extra blank for testing and always use parchment paper during application.

    Sublimation Tip

    Step 2: Import the sublimation design using your vinyl cutting machine’s design software.

    Every vinyl cutting machine comes with its own design software. Since we'll be using a Cricut machine, our sublimation design has been prepared within the Cricut Design Space.

    Import the photo of your choice into Cricut Design Space so that you can edit the size of the image relative to the layers of HTV. This image is the sublimation design that goes within the heart frame. Set this layer to “Print then cut”. However, since we’re only adding the image to Cricut Design Space for printing and sizing purposes only, you will not use the full “Print then cut” feature.

    Step 3: Add a heart-shaped frame to be cut from heat transfer vinyl.

    Add a heart-shaped frame to the design space. We made our own frame from two layers; a thick gold border to surround the heart-shaped sublimation design and a thin black line drawing for more detail. Set these layers to “Basic cut”.

    If you don’t want to make your own heart-shaped frame, try searching .SVG files from crafters on Etsy, use the free shapes on Cricut, or look through their library if you have a subscription.

    Step 4: Make sure the size of your design fits your blank.

    Lay the blank on a flat surface and measure the area you would like to add the design to. Take these dimensions back to your digital design space and adjust your design as needed.

    Step 5: Fine-tune the order of your design’s layers.

    Double-check and zoom in along the edges of the black and gold HTV layers to ensure your sublimation design is fully covered by the HTV layers.

    All layers you plan to cut from black and gold HTV should be set to “Basic cut”, while the image (sublimation design) should be set to “Print then cut”.

    Step 6: Prepare your heat press settings for sublimation.

    Set your heat press temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and time to 15 seconds.

    The Making

    Step 1: Print the sublimation design.

    Within Cricut Design Space, click the “Make it” button to proceed to the printing and cutting of each layer. Starting with the “Print then cut” layer, export the file to print. Once exported, connect to your sublimation printer and print the design on sublimation paper. If your sublimation printer automatically mirrors the design for you, you don’t need to do so within Cricut Design Space prior to exporting.

    Step 2: Use scissors to cut at least ⅛” around the sublimation design.

    Use a pair of sharp scissors to carefully cut out the heart-shaped sublimation design.

    You can disregard the black box that Cricut Design Space added around the sublimation design. This is a registration mark generated by Cricut Design Space to be able to cut with the vinyl cutting machine.

    Step 3: Cut the Siser Metal HTV in gold.

    In Cricut Design Space, proceed to cut the gold HTV layer. Be sure to change the pressure cut settings to “Heat Transfer (non-cricut)” and mirror the design when using Siser Metal HTV.

    Place the gold HTV with the gold side faced toward your cutting mat and then proceed with cutting.

    Step 4: Cut the Siser EasyWeed HTV in black.

    In Cricut Design Space, proceed to cut the black HTV layer. Be sure to change the pressure cut settings to “Heat Transfer (non-cricut)” and mirror the design when using Siser EasyWeed HTV.

    Place the black HTV with the shiny side faced up and then proceed with cutting.

    Got a fresh blade?

    After selecting your cut setting in Cricut Design Space, there is a drop-down menu with the option to cut “less”, “default”, or “more”. If you have recently replaced your blade, you may want to choose “less”. Alternatively, if you suspect your blade is dull, choose “more”.

    Pressure Settings Tip

    Step 5: Weed both the black and the gold HTV layers.

    Pierce the corner of the non-shiny side of the black Siser EasyWeed HTV and pull, removing the excess vinyl from the clear plastic carrier.

    Do the same with the gold Siser Metal HTV, leaving the gold heart-shaped frame stuck to the clear plastic carrier sheet.

    Once both layers are weeded, set them aside.

    Step 6: Pre-press your blank for 3-5 seconds.

    This ensures that the surface is completely flat, and that all moisture is removed from the fabric.

    Keep the blank on the heat press.

    Step 7: Place and tape your sublimation design onto the blank.

    Using an acrylic t-shirt ruler or other heat-safe tool, map out where you’d like to place your design. Then with the ink side faced down, place your printed sublimation design on the blank. We suggest using heat-resistant tape to hold the design in place.

    Step 8: Place a piece of clean parchment paper over the entire heat application site.

    Before pressing, be sure to place a clean piece of parchment paper over the design and all parts of the blank that will be exposed to heat. Since this blank hoodie is high in synthetic fiber (100% polyester), the parchment paper will act as a protector against high heat. However, this isn’t always the perfect solution with sublimation. For this reason, we suggest buying an extra test blank to test your specific process.

    Step 9: Press your sublimation design for 15 to 20 seconds.

    With your heat press set to 400 degrees fahrenheit, press the design onto the blank for 15 to 20 seconds. Then peel away the sublimation paper and heat-safe tape to reveal your design! Yay! Now it’s time to apply the black and gold HTV layers.

    Step 10: Lower your heat press temperature setting to 305 degrees fahrenheit.

    The suggested heat press temperature for Siser EasyWeed HTV is 305 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Step 11: Press the black Siser EasyWeed HTV over the sublimation design.

    Line up the black HTV with the sublimation design. Then place it with the sticky side facing down and press it for 15 seconds to adhere the vinyl to the blank. Siser EasyWeed HTV is both a cool and hot peel, so peel away the clear plastic carrier sheet slowly from one corner, being sure the vinyl stays stuck to the blank. If the vinyl has not adhered, hit it with another 5ish seconds and try again.

    Step 12: Press the gold Siser Metal HTV.

    Line up the gold HTV with the black HTV. Then place it with the sticky side facing down. Press the gold HTV for 15 seconds to adhere the vinyl to the blank. Siser Metal HTV is a cool peel, so wait until the blank has fully cooled before peeling away the clear plastic carrier. All done!

    We hope you found this DIY project inspiring! We love mixing more than one decoration technique to make something super unique like this DIY Valentine’s Day Gift.

    Need help finding the perfect blank for your next HTV or sublimation project? Our team of in-house makers are here to help. Call us at (855) 919-2467 or email us at

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