We don’t have human kids (obviously Cleo is my cat child though), but when my boss asked if I could help make a Pete the Cat shirt for his daughter on Literary Character day at school, I was sold.  E was born 3 days after we launched a product at work and her birthday parties were the first kid ones that Hunter and I ever attended. I even gave her a Pete the Cat book one year and babysat her when she was younger so she’s basically my favorite little kid and I was pretty excited to help.

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DIY Pete the Cat Shirt

What you’ll need:

The goal was to make a shirt to look like Pete the Cat and his 4 groovy buttons (apparently one of his books). When Jake asked, I came up with a plan A and a plan B of how to do this.  Plan A was using printable iron on material so the buttons would actually look like they were hand drawn like the book and plan B was just cutting the buttons on different colored vinyl.  I had materials for both plan A and B on hand, so I decided to go with A and see where it’d go!

First, I needed to get the 4 buttons downloaded to my computer.  Jake sent me a picture of Pete’s buttons, so I isolated each button as a separate image then opened Design Space to start my design.  You’ll need to import each button image so click “Upload image” and select the image from your computer.  Since these are hand drawn images with lots of detail, choose “Complex image.”  Clear out any extra background and save it as a “print then cut image.”

Repeat for each of the 4 buttons.  I measured the t-shirt and decided that the buttons should be 1.5″ tall so set each button height to that.

We also wanted to put Pete’s tail on the back of the shirt so they didn’t have to make a tail as part of the costume too.  Now, you’ll learn from my mistake and put both the buttons and the tail on 1 piece of printable iron on, instead of wasting 2 pieces like I did.

I found a picture of Pete the Cat where his tail was sticking out the side, saved it and uploaded it as a complex image.  Since I only wanted the tail, I used the eraser to remove the rest of the body except the tail. After erasing most of the image, I just had the tail left and also saved it as a “print then cut” image.

Once the tail was on my canvas, I resized it to be as tall as possible and set the height to 9.2″.  Since print then cut will print your design as well as sensor lines (so the Cricut will be able to know where your design is on the mat) your design must be smaller than 9.25″ x 6.75″.When all your images are uploaded and sized appropriately, it’s time to cut! Click ‘Make it’ and it will first prompt you to print your design.  Load a piece of your printable iron on material in your printer (side you want to print on down for my printer) and print!After printing, you’ll put the htv on your mat.  I used a green mat, but the htv still didn’t stick great (possibly because of the felt residue) so I cut 4 small pieces of tape and taped the corners of the htv to the mat to keep it secure. Choose “printable iron on” as your material choice.  I only had the ‘printable iron on – dark’ kind to use instead of the light, so that’s what I worked with.

Then load your mat and htv into your Cricut Maker and cut the printed design out!

Now that everything is cut, we’re ready to apply to the htv to the shirt!  I wanted the buttons to be about the same width apart, so decided where the buttons would start and then ironed them on using my EasyPress, one by one, with the iron on paper on top.  The printable htv recommends using low heat, so I opted for setting my EasyPress to 250 degrees and 30 seconds

When all 4 buttons were done, I flipped it over and repeated for the tail on the back, making sure that the beginning of the tail was as close to the bottom of the t-shirt as possible.  Again, put the iron on paper sheet on top of the htv, and then the EasyPress on top of that – 250 degrees for 30 seconds.  Since this design is larger, you’ll probably need to do it a few times to make sure everything is covered and adhered well.At the end I had my t-shirt ready to go with Pete’s groovy buttons on the front and his tail on the back!

How cute is E in her costume complete with the cat ears, leggings and red shoes?  I want to be as cool as her..

If you need a quick costume, I hope you realize you can quickly make one yourself with what you have around the house instead of needing to buy one!

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