When I found out that we'd be taking a last-minute trip to Universal Studios Orlando, I knew I had to find a Despicable Me Minion shirt to wear. But purchasing character shirts at theme parks can be expensive (especially when you're buying for five), and I couldn't find a cheaper version at Target or Walmart that I liked. I wanted an evil minion shirt, but I couldn't find any, even on the Universal Orlando merchandise shop.
A few days ago a friend of mine posted photos of a Minion birthday party she hosted for her son. She made minion t-shirts for all of their guests, and it inspired me to try and do the same. Now why didn't I think of that sooner? Here's how I did it:
1) Find an image. The are lots of minion images floating around the internet, but most of them do not have a high enough resolution to print out at a size large enough to put on a shirt, so my friend bought a set of minion templates on Etsy. They cost between $5 and $10, and purchasing one saves you the trouble of searching for images and cleaning up the images you find. My friend let me download her set of files for the regular minions, I purchased another set for the purple minions, and I found my own images of various mouths. I transferred them all to a single 8x10 image so it would all print out on a single sheet of transfer paper.
2) Purchase iron-on transfer paper from your local craft store. It costs about $10 for 5 sheets so don't waste it! Make sure you buy transfer paper for DARK fabrics. Load one sheet of transfer paper onto your printer so that it will print on the NON-GLOSSY, UNLINED side.
At first I had trouble figuring out what the instructions meant by "non-glossy" and "unlined". I couldn't find lines on either side of the paper, and neither side looked glossier than the other, no matter how hard I looked. Eventually I figured out that I had taken out a piece of parchment paper, not the actual transfer paper :) Once I stopped blushing, I took out the actual transfer paper. One side is indeed glossier than the other, and that side also has a faint blue line.
3) Print your design out onto the transfer paper using the highest possible quality setting.
4) Cut your design out with good scissors. Don't leave any whites around the edges because it will show against your dark or colored shirt. Instead of cutting all the way through, I left a little "tab" on one edge of the design to make it easy to peel the transfer paper off the backing.
5) Gently peel the transfer paper off its backing. This is where that "tab" comes in -- you can use your fingernails to pry the transfer paper off its backing without damaging your design. Once you have peeled off your design, cut off the little tab.
6) Position your design on your t-shirt and lay a piece of parchment paper over it.
7) Set you iron to its maximum DRY heat setting. Firmly iron on the design. I like to move the iron around so it doesn't burn, and I make sure to apply continuous heat for about a minute.
8) The fun thing about making minion shirts is that you can play around with different eye(s) and mouth combinations. You can add strands of hair at the top. You can even make an evil mutated purple minion!
I bought yellow and purple t-shirts from Michaels at $3 per shirt, and I used 3 sheets of transfer paper ($2 each), so each shirt cost just $4.50 each! How great is that?!