I had an inkling of an idea that it might happen this Christmas. And on that inkling, I fired up *the ‘ole Silhouette machine and set to work to make some Bride & Groom gear for my lil’ sis and her beau.
My inspiration? Baseball t-shirts. Because that’s the thing about marriage. Together, you become a team!
(Plus, my father instilled a love of baseball at a young age. My baseball card album sat on the same shelf as my sticker book. Don Mattingly, first-baseman for the New York Yankees, was my favorite player. He and Darryl Strawberry from the Mets, that is, whom I liked solely because of his fruit-tastic last name.)
Well, lo and behold, the inkling of an idea came true. Ransom proposed to Lisbeth on December 23, 2014. And she said…YES!
So, I got to wrap up my gifties and placed them under the fraser fir Christmas tree at my parents’ house. And then, this happened:
Followed by these happy grins. Which means another grand success in meaningful gift-giving.
Well, since this was such a fun gift to make and give, I thought I’d share how I made these Bride & Groom Baseball Shirts so you can start making your own. And as the title of this post suggests, there’s even a FREE cut file tucked in here somewhere. So, let’s get to it, shall we?
I had seen some Bride & Groom Baseball tees floating around the interwebs, and here’s one that helped inspire my design. I went on the hunt for my own baseball jersey typeface–something with a retro vibe. The Streetwear font fit the bill! And guess what? It’s currently free for personal and commercial use, so etsy shop owners, nab it now!
Now, the Streetwear font has some “alternate characters” (such as the fantastic underline beneath the word), and probably the most common way of accessing OpenType font options is through the more heavy-duty design software like Adobe Illustrator.
However, if you’re like me and haven’t yet invested in Illustrator, never fear! There is a workaround.
It’s all thanks to Kay from Clever Someday (who incidentally also introduced me to the Streetwear font). I discovered her video tutorial on Accessing Open-Type Options, which enabled me to get that signature underline on the end of each word. It was done simply through screenshots and welding in Silhouette Studio. Be sure to check that out if you want to learn how to do it yourself. She breaks everything down into really do-able steps and even has written instructions, too. (Thanks, Kay! You are too good to us.)
Free Cut File
While I encourage you to learn how to access Open-Type options if you haven’t already, I’m happy to save you some time by sharing my cut file with you all fo’ free! (Note: this file is for personal use only and not for commercial purposes.)
The file contains the following designs:
- Bride 2015 / Groom 2015
- Bride 2016 / Groom 2016
- Bride 2017 / Groom 2017
- Blank Bride & Groom designs for future years (or years past!) The numbers were created using the same Streetwear font so you can easily do it yourself.
Simply click the image below to nab your free file download for Silhouette Studio!
You’ll find a bevy of different options out there on Amazon in terms of baseball shirts. I opted for black-and-white since I thought the contrast would really help the text pop…but I think it could also be fun to do them in their wedding colors…especially if the couple chose to wear them at their rehearsal or on their honeymoon! Or you might opt for the colors of the couple’s university or favorite sports team.
I was pleased with the thickness of the shirts I bought, and I thought the price was reasonable at $10 each. However, I will say that it was a bit tricky to find the center of the shirt because of wonky seams. These were definitely not symmetrical as you can see in the image below; however, it’s really only apparent when ironing or folding the shirt. I thought they looked great when Ransom & Lisbeth put them on.
That said, if you’re interested in the same ones, *here’s the link to the exact shirts I got for them (size small for her at $9.99, size large for him at $10.13).
I always recommend giving shirts a good wash and dry before applying your design to clean off any residues and also pre-shrink the items.
Cutting & Applying Heat Transfer Vinyl
I have several heat transfer vinyl tutorials which will guide you through the easy step-by-step process of using your Silhouette machine to cut and apply your design to your baseball shirts. I know I was super intimidated for my first H.T.V. project and ran into a few issues along the way such as forgetting to flip the design horizontally…and struggling to get my vinyl to adhere to the fabric. But it’s so worth diving into!
And I share all of my tips and tricks of the trade in this post here: Keep Calm T-Shirt Gift for Teachers.
All, that is, except for one…which is my latest discovery from this very project! Are you ready to hear it?
My Ah-Ha Discovery!
So, this might come as no shocker to veteran H.T.V. users, but it was rather groundbreaking for me.
Here it is: there is such a thing as over-heating your H.T.V. Even with “hot peel” brands like Silhouette America. And if you’re finding that your design just isn’t adhering after lots of pressure with the iron, let everything cool just a bit before peeling away the protective sheet.
How do I know this?
Because this was a larger design than I normally use, I noticed that the edges of my design were adhering strongly to the fibers of the shirt…while the interior sections seemed not to be sticking well. And that clued me in to the fact that the center, which was the most hot just needed to cool down a little in order to behave more like the exterior sections.
And when I did wait maybe 30 seconds or so and allowed that middle to cool, I was able to peel up my protective sheet (using a little more force) and found that the HTV was solidly sticking to the shirt.
As always, I followed it up by a hot pressing of the garment inside-out. That draws the adhesive even further into the fibers of the shirt. At least, that’s what I like to imagine happens!
And I’m happy to report that I haven’t had any issues with the vinyl peeling up over time on any of my creations. Though here’s a fun fact: if it does ever start to peel up, you can always re-cover it with a piece of cotton fabric and press it down again with a hot iron. Done and done!
I enticed Ransom and Lisbeth to snap a few pics in their new shirts proclaiming their Bride-to-be & Groom-to-be statuses!
And the jumping one is my favorite…because you catch a glimpse of how utterly FUN these two lovebirds are together. It brings me great joy to see how they bring out the best in each other. That’s the way a team should be, no? That’s what you call winning.
If You Liked This…
Then, you’ll love my “Together Since” T-Shirt tutorial. This one utilizes freezer paper stenciling…and makes for another great engagement, wedding, or anniversary gift!
Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?
My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today on the subject of typography and word art, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!
(Psst! The collage below is clickable.)
1. My Paper Craze // 2. The Stamp Doc // 3. Peanut Life Adventures // 4. Creative Ramblings // 5. Pitter and Glink // 6. The Thinking Closet // 7. Single Yet Married Mom // 8. unOriginalMom // 9. Sisters, What! // 10. Where The Smiles Have Been // 11. From Whine to Whine // 12. Adventures in All Things Food // 13. Practically Functional // 14. Patina Paradise // 15. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 16. Weekend Craft // 17. Two Purple Couches // 18. Ribbons & Glue // 19. TitiCrafty // 20. Simply Kelly Designs // 21. Confessions of an Overworked Mom // 22. Get Silvered
Rustic Vintage Wedding Series
Curious to see how the wedding went down?! Here are the full collection of rustic vintage wedding tutorials for you to peruse. I hope they spark some creative inspiration for you, dear reader.
- Bride & Groom Baseball Shirts & Free Cut File (you’re here!)
- DIY Burlap Chair Signs for the Bride & Groom
- DIY Clothespin Place Card Holders
- DIY Shabby Chic Fabric Photo Booth Backdrop
- DIY Bookmark Wedding Favors
- DIY Wedding Guest Book with Creative Prompts
And if you’re eager to talk a walk down memory lane and explore the D.I.Y. elements from our Wedding by the Sea six years ago, you can do some time-traveling HERE.
*Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking through, The Thinking Closet may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for helping to support this site!