5 Places To Buy Plain Shirts for Vinyl

When I first started creating customized shirts, it was a little difficult to find plain shirts that would work nicely with my vinyl. As time passed, and I bought more shirts, I have really narrowed down the places where I get those shirts from. I made a list of my favorites to guide you with your next project.

1. Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby is where I buy all of my baby bodysuits and raglan shirts for my Etsy shop. The bodysuits use thicker fabric, which I think is better than the super thin fabric that some others use to make their bodysuits.

Please note: Hobby Lobby is not open Sundays.

2. Old Navy

Old Navy is my go to place when I have an idea for a personal project and I need a certain color. It can be a toss-up whether or not they have what you need in the store, but they will usually have what you need online. However, most of the time when I have an idea for a shirt I want to make it right away and don’t really want to wait for it to come in the mail.

3. Walmart

I usually forget to look at Walmart for shirts but really it’s a great place for both adult and kid shirts. The shirts are more basic colors but most of the time that’s all I need so I can make the design stick out more. Depending on the season I have been able to find long or short sleeve t-shirts.

4. Target

Cat and Jack shirts are also great! My sister loves them because the come down in the back a little further than most shirts so they are her go-to shirt for her kids. They do have a few plain t-shirt options I’ve come across and honestly I’m at Target A LOT so I can just pick up a shirt here and there for different personal projects.

5. JiffyShirts.com

Jiffyshirts.com is kind of my catch-all. There are a lot of shirts to sort through but the benefit is most of the time I can find exactly what I want and the color I want. They have a ton of options so I would use this is a last resort when I need a shirt someone asks me for a specific color or style.

If you don’t have a vinyl cutter like a Cricut or Silhouette don’t fret! I have an option to purchase custom iron-on decals that you can put on your own shirts! If you have a specific shirt that you want me to put a decal on, we can set that up as well! Contact me with your ideas!

Do you have any favorite places where you like to buy shirts?


Why did I buy my machine?

In the middle of wedding prep, we decided to make almost everything… including invitations. We printed them all then we had to cut them out with an X-Acto Knife… well my (then) fiance had to do that 😉 and I glue them all together. They looked how I wanted but it was very tedious.

Once I heard out about a Silhouette Cameo I knew it would be so helpful to make other things for our wedding like the Mr & Mrs signs for the back of our chairs, the favor/seating chart and our guestbook.

Guestbook

I wanted our guestbook to be something usable that I could display. I cut out little hearts and lined them up with a the purple heart says:

L + Z
5.11.13

I made the entire guestbook with my machine. After our wedding I fell in love with all the possibilities!

Then I found I could make shirts by making stencils and using fabric paint. The ‘My 1st Presidents Day’ t-shirt for my nephew was the first project I made this way.

Using stencils was fun (and messy) until I came across iron-on decals. I could cut a design and simply iron it on the shirt instead of making a big mess with the stencil.

Once I discovered the iron-on decals, baby bodysuits became my favorite! At the time all of my friends started having babies and I love to make homemade presents for shower gifts, so it was perfect timing!

I started getting a few requests from people to make things then I decided to open my Etsy shop on the side. And once I had my daughter and became a stay at home mom, I decided to make it more full time!

I’ve learned a lot from those wedding decorating days! Lots of tricks and tips that I will share with you soon! So stay tuned, my friend!

How-To: Make a Moon Pillow

Moon Pillow on bed

My daughter is obsessed with the moon. Once we moved I knew her new big girl room would have a space theme. But before I was able to make all the decals for the room, I told her I would make her a moon pillow. It turned out to be her absolute favorite part of her room. I learned a few lessons while I made the pillow that I will share with you! So let’s get started!


Things you will need:

  • Gray cotton fabric
  • Iron-On Decal
  • Heat Press or Iron
  • Sewing machine
  • Gray Sewing Thread
  • Poly-fil (stuffing for the pillow)

I had some gray cotton fabric left over from a quilting project so I used that for this one! With the fabric folded in half, so I would be cutting two pieces, I used a cake stand to cut a perfect circle.

I thought I would just do one side of the pillow with a decal. But I knew my daughter would be a little disappointed if she could only see the designs on one side. So I changed my mind and did the designs on both pieces of fabric.

Before I did any sewing I put the decals on the fabric, using my heat press (or iron, instructions here).

Placing the decal sides of the fabric together, I pinned around the outside leaving an opening to allow me to flip it inside out later. Then I sewed around the edge.

TIP: Put a piece of masking tape on your sewing machine at about a quarter inch from the needle then you can have the fabric touch that line and help keep your sewing line straight.

Once it was sewn all the way around, I opened the gap and flip the fabric inside out so the decals will now be on the outside.

I pulled and fluffed the poly-fill to make it smooth and puffy. Then I used the opening to fill the pillow.

I pinned the opening and carefully sewed it shut. Then shook the pillow a little to even distribute the stuffing.

Moon Pillow on bed

This project was pretty fast and easy to make and it makes my daughter so happy! So I say it’s a win-win!

What I learned…

I didn’t realize how much my daughter was going to love the pillow, since it is just a quick thing I made I wish I made it a pillow case so I could wash it. She uses it every night to sleep on so I think I’ll make another one soon.

If you want to use this strictly for decoration then making it this way would be perfect! Share pictures of your project with #LaciesDesigns I’d love to see how yours turned out!


Dear Customer,

First of all, thank you so much for all of support. It really means the world that you trust me with your vision & designs, gifts to friends and things for you and your family.

So, can I start from the beginning? Why I started my business in the first place, honestly was to help with the mountain of school loans my husband and I have accrued over 5 years of college. We can look back in regret of what school we went to and wishing we went to community college for the first two years to save money but here we are… learning from what we didn’t know back then. At that time it sounded great to make some extra money on the side to help.

But trying to make some extra money started to turn into the joy of helping people… you, my customer. I find so much joy in making what you want. When you send me a request to make something I get giddy. I’m so excited to help put a smile on your face. When I hear back from you saying, “oh, my friends love their new shirts!” or “my kids love the decals in the room!”, it really makes my day!

Then the joy of helping you turned into helping me feel better. After I had both of my kids, my anxiety sky rocketed. Being responsible for the lives of two humans, completely in my hands as a stay-at-home mom, can really be daunting task. But I have found when I work on my business you give me something to focus on other than that anxiety. Which I can’t thank you enough for.

Speaking of being a stay at home mom, you allow me to do that. It is hard and demanding job but it means a lot to me to be with them while they are young. I will forever be grateful for you because I get to watch my kids grow every day.

While some may think this is just me trying to make money, I’d be lying if it wasn’t part of it but it’s so much bigger than that. You allow me to stretch my creative muscles and truly make me excited to work on new projects. I’m not sure I can really thank you for what you’ve done for me but I’m sure gonna try!


Your new BFF,

Lacie


What is Vinyl?

When you hear the word ‘vinyl’ what do you think of? A phonograph record you listen to music on? Frankly, that way of listening to music is a little before my time, although I know a lot of people still enjoy listening this way.

The vinyl I work with is basically a very sticky sticker. These vinyl decals make it so easy to apply even the most intricate designs to any surface!

When I first saw a picture of a vinyl decal, I thought someone had painted on the wall. I was amazed at how detailed and precise it was! Then I found out there is a machine with a little blade that cuts sheets of vinyl to make the design! You can get a sheet of vinyl in a specific color, if you want multiple colors you’ll layer them on top of one another (like in this project) to get the look you want.

Once I cut my very first design to place on my cutting machine I was hooked! I love all of the possibilities and it’s a huge bonus it can be applied to pretty much any hard surface!

Are you interested in a vinyl decal for your wall or surface? Head over to my Etsy Shop and check out my designs or you can create one of your own!


Finding Your Creative Side

Paint and paint brushes

Do you remember when you were little and creativity flowed from your brain without any restriction? You could think up the coolest thing and it never seemed like it was completely crazy. Man, I miss those days! As we grow our creative muscles seem to disappear and rational thoughts come in stronger. I love the creativity and imagination we have as children. It’s so fun to see my daughter coming into that season.

Have you ever heard of Odyssey of the Mind? It’s a creative competition for students, from kindergarten to college, where a team of 5-7 kids make a play (including script, backdrops, props & costumes) to solve a number of problems. It’s a great way for kids to think out of the box.

Well, I competed in Odyssey of the Mind almost my entire elementary, middle and high school life. It was so much fun for me and it really made me appreciate creativity. I’m so thankful for my parents who were involved the whole time my sisters and I competed. They encouraged us to think out of the box constantly especially when we came across something that stumped us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used my problem solving skills that I’ve obtained while I was involved in Odyssey of the Mind. I can’t wait for my kids to give it a try and I would love to be a coach like my parents were.

We can use creativity everywhere in life. Just being a mom, I’m always trying to create fun new games to play or even ways to get them to eat their dinner. I use it in my business too, creating blog posts or posting on social media. But I use creativity the most when I’m making new designs for my Etsy shop. When I think through a lot of different designs, fonts and layouts, it’s so helpful for me to think outside of the box.

Sometimes creativity doesn’t come easy so I wrote a few tips that may help you get creative:

  1. Do some coloring – Just a simple child’s coloring book or even a fun adult coloring book can help!
  2. Go for a walk outside- Clearing out your head and allows you to think of new ideas.
  3. Write down your thoughts – Getting pen to paper and just write anything and everything you can think of can help unload your brain to allow the creative juices flowing.
  4. Unplug your electronics – Turn your phone off, put it in airplane mode or even in another room to allow you to focus.
  5. Do something you love – None of these work for you? Pick something YOU do to relax and clear your head!

The biggest thing with creativity is not to give up, sometimes it takes a while to get going but I can guarantee once you get there you’ll be happy you stuck with it!

How do you use your creative muscles?

Finding Your Creative Side

 

How it all started…

Back in 2012, I was a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of my best friends from college. I was searching Pinterest for a personalized wedding gift and came upon something that was super cute. I thought to myself, “I could totally make that!”. This is my downfall: when I find something I like, I always want to make it myself.

I wanted to try a floating frame with the couple’s last name in one color and then ‘EST’ with the wedding date below it in another color. I thought I could just print it out on a piece of paper and use an X-Acto knife to cut out the letters carefully. BAM! it would be done! Well… that’s not exactly how it worked out.  I printed it out on thin printer paper then tried the first letter of their last name. It was a DISASTER! The paper kept ripping and the parts I was able to cut showed white and it looked so crooked. I couldn’t give this to my friend! I was so sad because I wanted to make her a special gift but I didn’t have the right tools to get it done.

Months later, I saw a Facebook post about a Silhouette Cameo. I decided to look it up and I instantly fell in love! I begged my fiance (now husband) to buy it! We decided it would help our wedding a lot if I could make my own decorations, especially the invitations.

Unfortunatly, the Cameo came at a significant price (especially when you’re not far out of college and planning a wedding) but I could imagine making a bunch of things with it. I waited until Cyber Monday came around and got a great deal!

I was so excited when it arrived in the mail! I opened it up and it was so pretty. But how in the world do I make anything with it? Sure, it looked great and I could make a ton of things, but I was new at it and had no clue how it worked. I tried making a few things and after a while I started to become more confident. I made A LOT of mistakes. At times I would give up and try again in a few days (I’ve learned so much in the six years I’ve had my machine).

I made shirts for my nephew and posted a few pictures on Facebook and got a few people interested in what I was making. I decided to set up an Etsy shop if other people were interested in what I was making.  At this point, I was married and had a full time job. I was doing my business on the side.

When I was pregnant with our first child, my husband and I decided I would quit my full time job once our little girl arrived in 2015. I was excited that I could focus on more on my business. I wanted to go full-on legit. I registered my business and opened a business account; I’ve been working on it full time ever since.

Now with two kids, it can be difficult to find the time but I thoroughly enjoy being creative. I have always been a creative person, but since becoming a mom my priorities have changed. I think I need that time to help with me feel like myself.

I love working with customers who have their own ideas and making it come to life! They can come to me with a small idea or a big idea and we work together to make it the best as we can.

My goal is to help you create projects and gifts without having to buy the expensive vinyl cutter and spending months (and years) learning how to use it. I want you to be creative and allow me to help you make your ideal project. You will be able to take pride in the fact you created it yourself. And when someone asks, “where did you get that?”, you can smile and say, “I made it!”

Can I help you with a project or gift? Check out my Etsy shop or email me. I’d love to help you!

How-to: Apply Multiple Colors of Heat Transfer Vinyl

How-to: Apply Multiple Colors of Heat Transfer

In honor of Father’s Day this past Sunday, I wanted to share this cute project I made for my daughter for Valentine’s Day. I think it’s still fitting for Father’s Day.

What you need:
    • cotton dress/shirt
    • heat transfer vinyl decals
      • this project has two different colors black and red but you can add as many colors as you want!
    • iron & ironing board
    • ruler (optional)

Daddys Valentine 2

First, I lined up where I wanted the heat transfer vinyl (HTV) decal on the dress. I like to fold the HTV decal in half to help find where the middle is and then fold the dress in half to match it up. Then I double-checked it using a ruler so that it’s in the middle.

I set the iron to “Cotton” and used medium pressure to push the decal on the dress for about 25-30 seconds. I checked to see if the decal was adheared to the dress. If any part of the decal was not on the dress, I put it back down and ironed over it again. Then I peeled back the clear lining revealing the design on the shirt. TIP: You can use a piece of fabric like a tea towel to lay on top of the decal and clear lining to make sure the lining doesn’t stick to the iron.

Daddys Valentine 3

After the black decal was on the shirt, I took the red HTV decal and lined it up where I wanted it. Then I ironed over top of it, just like I did with the black.  TIP: It is helpful to iron over the entire design and not to move the iron around too much to make sure the decal won’t wrinkle. Once I had the design on the shirt, I pressed the iron on top for about 5 seconds to set the design.

Daddys Valentine 4

The top is done!

I decided to add a small decal on the bottom of the dress:  a red heart HTV decal.

Daddys Valentine 5

Using the same process as above, I applied the little heart to the bottom of the dress.

Daddys Valentine 6

I think the small heart on the bottom gives something extra to the dress. For any project like this you can use as many colors of HTV as you want!

Daddys Valentine Final

It’s done! I think it came out so cute and it’s a great outfit for every day. It is really easy to apply more than one color of HTV on a dress or shirt.

If you’re interested in a custom heat transfer vinyl or have any idea for htv, check out my Etsy shop, facebook page or e-mail me directly, I’d love to help you!

How-To: Monogram Luggage with Vinyl

I am super excited to share this project! My daughter absolutely loves her new suitcase that she got as a Christmas gift from her grandparents.  She loved every minute of pulling her suitcase behind her at the airport as we traveled back home. I thought it would be fun to personalize it, but I didn’t want to put her full name. Doing a cute monogram would be the best option!

Luggage and Decals

What you’ll need:

Peeling Decal

First you want to decide where you want to put the decal. Once you know that, you’ll want to peel back the transfer tape (white with red lines) making sure the decal is sticking to it.

Luggage and peeled back decal

TIP: You can fold the decal in half to find the center.  Remember to keep the sticky part on the outside, or you’ll be stuck!

Applying decal to luggage

Finding the center of the decal will make it easier to place on the luggage, you can eyeball where the center is of the luggage or use a ruler to measure to be exact. Place the transfer tape and decal on the luggage and use a hard piece of plastic like a credit card to push the decal on the luggage. You can peel off the transfer tape making sure the decal is still sticking to the luggage.

Luggage applying second vinyl

I did the same thing for the second decal. If you have bubbles under the decal, you can use the piece of plastic to push all the bubbles out. TIP: Start with the bubbles in the center and work your way out.

Luggage Final

And it is all done! I’m so excited for my daughter to use her new monogrammed suitcase on our next trip!

Close Up Bow

Close Up Monogram

If you are interested in monogramming luggage or really anything, check out my Etsy shop, facebook page or e-mail me directly, I’d love to help you!

 

How-To: Customize a Soap Dispenser

Soap Dispenser Title

In our kitchen, we’ve always had those boring and inexpensive soap dispensers. So when our last one broke and we had to get a new one, I decided to make it a little more appealing.

This project is super simple and only took me five minutes at the most!

Soap 1

What you’ll need:

  • Hand soap dispenser (I got mine from Target for $0.79)
  • Custom vinyl decal
  • Goo Gone Spray (Optional)

First I took the front label off of the soap dispenser. It left a sticky residue, so I pulled out my Goo Gone Spray and a paper towel and it took it off easily. Then I washed it with some soap to make sure it was clean and dried it thoroughly.

Soap 2 & 3

I peeled back the transfer tape (sticky paper with red lines) making sure the decal is sticking to the transfer tape.

Soap 4

Once it was completely off of the paper, I put the decal on the soap dispenser where I wanted it to be. I pushed down firmly and peeled the transfer tape up, leaving the decal on the hand soap dispenser. TIP: If the decal is still sticking to the transfer tape, put the transfer tape and decal back down and rub it and try to lift again. 

Soap 5

And there it is! Super easy and it adds a little something extra to my kitchen. If you are interested in making your own custom vinyl decal check out my Etsy shop. You can pick from a lot of different colors to match your kitchen. I picked the first letter of my last name for my design but you could design your own cute or funny decal! These decals would work on more fancy soap dispensers as well!