How to Create a 4th of July merica Sunglasses T-Shirt

There’s just something about the 4th of July that makes me want to eat a hotdog while watching the Sandlot as the kids run around with I the only one??

The only thing missing in the scene I just described, is a patriotic t-shirt to complete the ensemble...Cue Pen + Posh and @craftychristiescreations! This month we are bringing you a FREE “Merica” SVG complete with a step-by-step tutorial on how to prep the design in Silhouette studio and then turn it into a super cute shirt.

Grab the free SVG at the bottom of this post, along with SEVEN other free designs from my favorite designers! 

What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Silhouette Studio

Ok, so this design has three different parts, all designated by their colors: red, white and blue (hey what did you expect? It’s America’s birthday!!). Christie suggests changing the ‘white’ part of the design to a different color to make it easier to see while you’re working with it in Silhouette. She chose pink. She also changed her media size to 8.5x11.

Now, she uses heat transfer vinyl to make this adorable shirt so there are a few steps you’ll need to follow with any design of this type:

  • Mirror the design (that way it faces the right way when you put it on the shirt)
  • Grab all the pieces of the original design using CTRL A 
  • Delete the original design

Next up, registration marks! If you haven’t drinken (or is it drunken..?) the Kool Aid on registration marks yet, you really need to. They make your life soooo much easier when it comes to assembling all the layers on the shirt! Here’s how to make them:

  • Draw a rectangle
  • Click on it, and hold ALT or OPTION and drag out a second rectangle
  • Place them at the top of the design above the sunglasses

Now was that so hard? Trust me, it will pay off later.

Go ahead and change the design to the size you want. Grab everything and hit CTRL G to group it together. Lock your ratio aspect, and change your width. Christie chose 8 inches for her width. When you’re done with that you can ungroup.

Another tip Christie likes to use is making a ‘cut box’ around everything she is going to cut out of vinyl. This is a great way to waste as little vinyl as possible. Who knows, if you’re smart with your vinyl, you could make two t-shirts instead of one! Here’s how:

  • Make a box around the entire design
  • Use the selection tool to make it as tight as you can around the design itself

Separating the Layers

We need three separate designs to cut in the vinyl since we have three different colors. In order to achieve this, we need to duplicate our design.

  • Grab the whole design using CTRL A
  • Head to the replicate panel
  • Duplicate one to the left
  • Grab the original design again and duplicate one to the right

When you’re done it should look like this:

For each of these three designs, we only want one color.

Start with middle (original). Delete everything that is blue or red so you are just left with the pink/purple color. Repeat the same idea with duplicates-one just the blue, the other just the red.


Adjust the ‘cut box’ to be as tight as possible around the registration marks and the design like so:

Make sure all the parts are grouped together for each color set--including the registration marks of course.

Send panel

Choose heat transfer vinyl, and make sure all the settings are correct. Here’s a peak at what Christie’s looked like: 


Make sure you cut on the dull side of the vinyl because that will go face down on the shirt. Go ahead and cut each of your designs on the colors you have picked out!

Next up, weeding. The step everyone hates but just can’t avoid. With this design it takes some time because of the cool grunge look, but be diligent and get all those tiny pieces out.

PRO TIP: Iron and lint roll your shirt ahead of time

Layer 1: White

Ok, while your iron is heating up, do the following:

  • Measure from the collar 3 inches-that’s where you want to start the design
  • Put a piece of masking tape over the registration marks so they don’t get ironed on the shirt (Make sure the sticky side of the tape matches the sticky side of the design)

And now, the heat is on! Lay a cloth over everything, and press down with the iron (set for cotton based on directions from the heat transfer vinyl). Press firmly for 30 seconds then lift and repeat with the other areas of the design.

**CHRISTIE’S HINDSIGHT: don’t put the iron on the registration marks/masking tape if at all possible. If you do though, just use some rubbing alcohol to get rid of any sticky residue from the tape.

Layer 2: Red and Blue

Line up the registration marks perfectly on top of each other. You can do the blue and red layers at the same time since they don’t overlap each other. You may need to trim down your pieces to avoid overlapping. Watch the full video to see how Christie goes about doing that.

All that’s left is to pull off the masking tape and admire your work! Oh, and do a final pass by folding the cloth in half and lightly go over everything again with the iron.

Woohoo! Now you have a super cute shirt to wear while you sing “I’m Proud to be an American” and watch the fireworks! Tag us on Facebook and Instagram so we can see your shirts. Bonus points if you wear aviators to match! 

For more from Christie, check out her website, Crafty Christie’s Creations, she specializes in handmade greeting cards, and DIY paper crafts. She is an EXPERT in Silhouette Studio, which has also led her to start producing tutorials to make all this crafting a bit easier. Follow her on Instagram @craftychristiescreations for more fun craft projects and tips!






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    To grab these free designs from some of my other favorite bloggers, click the links below:

    United States Flag – Liz on Call
    United State Sunflower  - Gina C. Creates
    America The Beautiful  – Special Heart Studio
    4th Of July Merica With Sunglasses - Pen + Posh
    USA Firework – Lemony Fizz
    Time To Sparkle And Shine  – Red Earth & Gum Trees
    America  – Maggie Rose Design Co
    Land That I Love -Persia Lou

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