Making Taylor Swift Folklore Merch – for less than half the price!

Today I’ll be creating a DIY version of a new sweatshirt available for Taylor Swift’s album Folklore. This sweatshirt is retailing for $60 (!!!), so I figured I’d rather use a blank sweatshirt and other crafting supplies I had and make a version of this sweatshirt for myself (using lyrics instead of the album title). Using materials I had at home, I ended up spending less than $30 making this (I bought a sweatshirt, three types of dye – even though you only need two, and the Cricut iron on vinyl).

For this tutorial, I use my Cricut machine to cut out the vinyl image. If you do not have a Cricut to cut vinyl, you could always print out the folklore font and trace it onto the sweatshirt, then color it in with fabric marker. Or if you’re super crafty, you could hand embroider the design using embroidery floss!

Supplies:

*none of these are affiliate links, they are just links to the products*

White sweatshirt – Hanes Men’s Ultimate Cotton Sweatshirt (higher cotton content works better for tie dye brand I use)

Tie Dyeing:

  • Light gray tie dye or a mixture (for this tutorial, I used some on hand Rit Dye in colors Tan and Charcoal Gray. Pearl Gray would also probably be a good fit for this project.)
  • If you’re using Rit Dye, you will also want the ColorStay Dye fixative
  • 16 oz. plastic squeeze bottle (Or equivalent. You can take an empty water bottle and poke a hole in the cap if these bottles aren’t available.)
  • Rubber bands (If you don’t have any handy, use dental floss!)
  • Cooling rack (For draining tie dye away from fabric. I’ve balanced my sweatshirt on top of open Amazon boxes before and it worked fine.)
  • Saran plastic wrap

Vinyl Decal:

  • Cricut Machine
  • Cricut Everyday Iron On in color Clay
  • Folklore font (IM Fell DW Pica)
  • Iron or Cricut Easypress
  • Towel or Easypress mat to iron on

Before you start:

Make sure that your sweatshirt is prewashed before tie-dying so that the dye stays better. This makes sure that the fabric is clean and doesn’t have anything leftover from production or the store that can interfere with the dye.

Tie Dying:

I’ve really gotten into using Rit Dye for my tie dye projects because it’s faster than Tulip and there are more neutral color options. Rit has a very helpful YouTube tutorial on how to tie dye using their projects, but just in case you don’t want to watch the whole thing, I’ve written a general summary.

  1. Dampen your sweatshirt in warm water and fold into desired tie dye pattern. To mimic the merch available on the TS website, we are going to do a scrunch pattern. This just means that you scrunch up the front of the sweatshirt tightly, and then rubber band it all together. (You can see this technique at time 3:54 in the tutorial above.)
  2. Measure out two cups of hot water into squeeze bottle and mix in dye. For this project, I mixed 1/4 teaspoon Tan and 1/4 teaspoon Charcoal Gray. (Upon application, it looked darker than it turned out being after coming out of the wash.)
  3. Place sweatshirt on cooling rack and begin to apply tie dye. Keep in mind that the areas located in the scrunched/folded sections will remain white, even if the outer layer is dyed. Because my t-shirt was so tightly bunched, I applied the tie dye relatively heavily because I knew the majority would remain folded and lots of white patches would remain. Flip sweatshirt over and repeat for the other side.
  4. Let the sweatshirt sit with the dye for 30 minutes, then apply the Rit Dye Fixative. Prepare dye fixative by mixing two cups of hot water and two tablespoons of dye fixative in a squeeze bottle, then apply liberally over front and back of sweatshirt. If you don’t have a dye fixative, it’s encouraged to let your t shirt sit in the hot sun to help the dye fix to the shirt. This ensures that the color does not bleed into the white areas, and there is less bleeding out of the fabric over time.
  5. Wrap the sweatshirt completely in plastic wrap. Place it in the microwave (with some paper towels under it) and microwave for 2:00 minutes. This helps to heat fix the dye into the fabric.
  6. Once the shirt has completely cooled, unwrap and rinse in cold water until the water runs clear. This means that most of the loose dye has come out of the fabric.
  7. Wash the sweatshirt separately using a gentle soap (no fabric softener!) with an old towel to catch any extra dye that comes off in the wash, and dry as normal.

Vinyl Decal:

  1. Download font used for folklore album cover/art (you can get it for free – IM Fell DW Pica). Open up Cricut Design Space and type out desired words. Or if you’re lazy, I’ve attached a .png of two different styles of the folklore album name at the bottom of this tutorial that you can import into Design Space. (Note: This text is a bit finicky in Design Space, so there are portions that may need to be “sliced” and moved to be more even. If you’re not sure how to do this, HERE is a quick tutorial.)
  2. Try on your sweatshirt to get an idea of how large you want the text to be, and change the dimensions of your text.
  3. When everything looks good, it’s time to make the project! Fix the iron-on shiny side down to standard grip Cricut mat.
  4. Click “Make” in Cricut Design space. Make sure that Iron On is selected on the material dial located on the Cricut. MAKE SURE THAT THE MIRROR TOGGLE IS SELECTED. This will ensure that the image is cut backwards and will iron on correctly.
  5. Feed the material into the Cricut and let the machine do its thing!
  6. Cut around the image and weed out all of the vinyl material except for the desired words.
  7. When using the Cricut EasyPress, I use the Cricut Heat Guide which tells you what temp and how long to set your press for. For this project, it is 315°F with 5s preheat before laying down your vinyl, and 30s for application. The Heat Guide has full instructions for each step. For iron application this Tutorial was helpful before I got the EasyPress.
  8. Let the vinyl completely cool before peeling the plastic off, and VOILA, (Semi)-Official TS Merch!

I would love to see your finished results if you try this for yourself! If you have any suggestions for updating this post, or any ideas for future tutorials, let me know in the comments!

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