Many people love making shirts. However, it can be difficult to ensure your design is lined up and straight. I have made some t-shirt rulers to help with this. Simply place the correct ruler (depending on the size shirt you are using) on your shirt. Make sure the rounded area is lined up with the curve of the shirt. The measurements along the sides of the ruler indicate how far down your image will be from the collar. Also make sure the center of your image is lined up with the arrow on the ruler, which also indicates the center.
The Cricut Explorer 2 and the Maker should both have no issues with making these t-shirt rulers. I used a thin plastic cutting mat from Dollar Tree, but feel free to use other materials if you wish. For the Cricut Explorer 2 I have heard others select heavy cardstock as their cutting material option. You may need the deep cut blade if you are using an Explorer 2, and run a second pass to insure everything cut. I only have a Cricut Maker, and used kraft board setting, with more pressure. You may need to run it through twice, so check your material before you unload your mat. I used the fine point blade on the green mat. I placed the smooth side of the cutting mat down.
There are several different ways to make these, and I will show you how each method looks. So, you can decide which method you prefer.
If you do not have a Cricut or other cutting machine, then you could print my templates out and hand cut them. You will then need to place the template under your cut out piece and write in the measurements.
If you are interested in purchasing these templates from me, then please click here to head to my shop. The file contains adult, child, toddler, and infant sizes. My template has the outline and lines and numbers separate so you can choose different ways to make them. There is also a simple design of these files, that has everything combined for a simple and easier just cut of the file.
I will also have a template available that will have the estimate sizes to make your designs based on the shirt size you are making as well as a table with all the information you will need to know for different types of iron on vinyl and infusible ink. This can be found here.
Sometimes Cricut will change the sizes of files when they are uploaded. Here are the sizes I made each of my templates: adult 10×5 youth 10×4.37 toddler 10×3.42 infant 10×2.384. Just make sure the measurement lock is on, and change your width to the 10inch. It should also change your height accordingly. These measurements are all in inches.
When you open the file in Design Space you will need to do a few simple things. Design Space will make it look a little weird, but do not worry I will walk you through step by step. The first thing you will need to do is hit ungroup (upper right hand side). Now you will need to select each piece and hit ungroup again. Then select arrange, (top ,middle) then send to back from the drop down menu.
You can then change the color of the ruler if you wish by selecting the small red box in the upper left side, next to operations. Then select the color you want. I selected white.
You will also want to size the rulers. To do so make sure you select both the ruler and the numbers and lines. Also make sure the lock is closed. This means when you change the width of your ruler the height will change along with it. If the lock is not close, then only the width will change, and your ruler will not be correct. For my design you will want the width to be 10 inches. So, type in 10 and then hit enter in the W (width) section under size (top middle).
Cut Out Everything
If you want to cut out the lines and numbers out of the ruler material, then you will need to select the ruler and the numbers (either drag your mouse around both or just click on both on the right bar while holding down the ctrl button on your keyboard.) Then select attach on the bottom right. I found this to be the best method in my opinion. The engraving of the numbers and lines was also a good option, but just slightly less pronounced. If you are interested in my post about using the engraving tool and different materials I engraved on, then click here.
I have my infant ruler set to cut the ruler and the lines and numbers (attached).
I have the adult ruler set to cut the ruler and the lines and numbers (attached).
Use Vinyl For The Numbers And Lines
If you want to make the numbers and lines out of vinyl and transfer it to the ruler, then just leave it as it is. I found this method frustrating. Since there are so many small pieces it was difficult to weed everything out nicely and I had a few pieces move on me. I needed to use a measuring device to insure the lines that moved were put back in the correct spot. I am still missing a few lines and letters that I never found where they went, and a few lines are crooked. If you like this look, it does work well especially for someone with bad eye sight, but you will need to be very carful when doing the transferring.
I have the toddler ruler set to cut the ruler and cut the lines and numbers, but it will be cut out of vinyl. Since I will be cutting them on separate materials they are NOT attached.
Use A Marker For The Numbers And Lines
If you want to make the numbers and lines with a marker, then select the numbers and lines. Then click the drop down box called operations, and select drawl, pen. Then you will want to select both the ruler and the numbers and lines, and click attach (bottom right). I would not recommend this method on the material I am using for my rulers, because the marker lines will just wipe off. I tried the marker on both sides of the plastic mat, but they both wiped off. I even allowed a bit of time for them to dry. You could do this method if you use a different material that is not as slick.
Engrave The Numbers And Lines
If you want to make the numbers and lines engraved into the ruler, then select the numbers and lines. Then click the drop down box called operations, and select drawl, engraved. Then you will want to select both the ruler and the numbers and lines, and click attach (bottom right). If you are interested in my post about using the engraving tool and other materials I engraved on, then click here.
I have the youth ruler set to cut the ruler and engrave the lines and numbers (attached).
Deboss The Number And Lines
If you want to make the numbers and lines debossed, then select the numbers and lines. Then click the drop down box called operations, and select drawl, deboss. Then you will want to select both the ruler and the numbers and lines, and click attach (bottom right). This method was very faint, and thus not recommended. You may be able to get the lines to show put more if you run it several times, but the cut and engraving methods work much better and only need one pass. This method could possibly be used on another material. You can read this post on different materials the debossing tip works well on. Just click here.
The attach button tells your Cricut machine you want these two things to be done on the same mat in the same location. If you do not click attach, then it will send them to different mats, and they will not line up perfectly.
I tried doing two passes with the toddler ruler, but it did not make much of a difference. I do not think doing multiple passes would ever cut through this material completely. I still needed to cut out the design with scissors. It was not too difficult to cut out, and the scissors glided nicely along the lines. So, unfortunately this material cannot be cut with the fine point blade on the Cricut machines. Design space did not offer the option of using the deep point blade or the knife blade. I am not sure if selecting another material and using one of these other blades would be able to cut all the way through this material. The other issue would be cutting out the outline, but then switching back to the fine point blade for the numbers and lines. I have not seen anyone else that was able to completely cut out this design without using scissors and cutting the rest out by hand. I found it made cutting out the ruler a little easier if you fold the piece first. I have cut this material all the way through with my Glowforge laser printer.
I will be using these ruler templates in my upcoming posts about how to use different types of vinyl and infusible ink on shirts. So, make sure you check out those posts.