I was on my way into a second hand store when I saw a little girl in a Batman cape. It was a white t-shirt which had been turned into a cape and someone had used a black marker to draw the Batman symbol on the back of the cape. Ideas churned; “I don’t have to use my sewing machine” ideas. I came out of the store with 2 t-shirts, one black and one red, to go with the blue one I had at home. My grandsons were going to have super hero capes to run around in. Yes, and I knew just how to do it. So here we go.
Large size t-shirt ($1 at Thrift Store, look for ones with no printing on the back)
Chalk (not shown)
Personal electronic cutter with mat (not shown)
Sure Cuts A Lot program on computer (not shown)
Yellow matte fabric paint
Transfer tape (not shown)
Hook and loop tape (1½ inch of the adhesive type)
Lay your t-shirt out on a flat surface.
Cut off the sleeves.
Cut up the sides to the sleeve holes.
Lay out what’s left of the t-shirt.
Use the chalk to draw a line from below the bottom of the sleeve opening to beyond the shoulder seam to the side front of the ribbing on the neck.
Fold the shirt in half, meeting up seams and cut edges. Cut along the chalk line.
Cut the middle front of the neck ribbing in half.
Remove the backing on the hook and loop tape and put it on the cut edge of the ribbing, so that it can be opened and closed easily.
The basic cape is done.
I went to my computer and web searched for a Batman symbol. Found one that I copied and pasted to my pictures file. I opened the Sure Cuts A Lot program (you can’t buy this for the Cricut anymore, Provo Craft won the law suit), and opened the Batman symbol into the program.
Next, I loaded a scrap piece of vinyl onto a mat for my Cricut Expression and I cut out the Batman symbol.
I used the craft knife to remove the negative part of the symbol (in the sign making industry this is called weeding). Put the transfer tape over the symbol and rub with something hard, like the scissors handles, to get the vinyl to stick to the tape.
I removed the backing from the vinyl and then placed the vinyl in the center, towards the top of the cape (eye ball it). Again rub the vinyl hard and remove the transfer tape. Place the backing from the vinyl underneath the symbol so that the paint won’t bleed through the fabric.
Now open the yellow matte fabric paint and using the sponge brush, paint over the negative (exposed fabric) part of the symbol. Dab the paint up and down, for if you brush it, you have the possibility of having the paint migrate under the vinyl you won’t have a crisp edge. The matte paint covers dark colors a lot better than shiny or glossy paint. (If you use a glossy or shiny paint, plan on using 3 or more coats of paint.) Put on one good coat and let it dry (+/- 1 hour).
Apply a second coat of paint. Let it dry for another hour.
Remove all the vinyl pieces. Let it dry for a couple of more hours.
Use a hot iron (cotton setting) and the vinyl backing to seal the paint onto the fabric. When the cape needs to be washed the paint will stay and be bright for a long time.