Cricut Shirt Ideas for Boys

Inside: ready for some Cricut shirt ideas for boys? You’ll love these cool t-shirt designs and tutorials to make for your little guys! Read my review on is Cricut Access worth it here and then move on to these super fun ides. This post contains affiliate links. I received product free of charge from Cricut to enable me to create this post.

Cricut Shirt Ideas for boys collage

Ever type in “t-shirts” on a kids’ clothing website? You see 150 results. You hit “filter” and choose “boys” and the results go down to 32….

I’ve had this experience so many times when shopping for my two boys. And searching for craft ideas seems the same.

Again, I’ve seen it a lot in crafting groups on Facebook – loads of girl ideas being shared, and loads of people asking for ideas for their boys.

But really there are loads of ideas for boys out there – you just need to think of them!

There are so many ideas, that while I had intended to share 4-5 with you in this post, we couldn’t stop making shirts, and ended at 14!! No joke…

I had bought four shirts for M, as well as having Cricut generously provide me with an Infusible Ink shirt for both M and Y, but we ended up pulling all our plain tees out of the closet to dress up.

After an exhausting day of making endless tees for the boys, I am so excited to share with you our Cricut shirt ideas for boys.

Of course, these are also fantastic for girls who are tired of seeing everything in Pepto Bismol Pink Unicorns and Princesses. As a matter of fact, there are a couple here I might want to make for me… But I’m writing directly for boys because I’m a boy mom, and because those ideas are harder to dig out.

Update: I am not long only a boy mom 🙂 And on that note, here are some ideas for Cricut shirts for girls too – including loads that aren’t all pink and unicorn-y (but lots of princesses because she IS a REAL princess).

All of these shirts are Access designs (the licensed ones cost a little extra). I included the basic tutorial for you to make all shirts, as well as my Design Space setup. I highly recommend Access, however if you don’t have it, you can at least get some inspiration from these, as well as theme ideas.

I shared a better dedicated outline of how to make a t-shirt with Cricut (as well as some shirt ideas for mom!) but I’ll share more below.

Basic Equipment you’ll want to create these shirt ideas for boys

Machines & Machine tools

I made some of these using each of Cricut’s three machines: the Joy, the Maker, and the Explore Air 2.

You can read my Cricut Explore Air 2 review if you’re still machine hunting.

Otherwise, there isn’t much of a difference practically-speaking between using your Maker or Explore Air 2 for shirt making. The Maker perks plays out more with things like DIY leather earrings or paper crafts.

Cricut Joy: I made the smaller designs using this because it’s simply much easier. Firstly, you can use Smart Iron-on which eliminates so many steps because you don’t need a mat. I used regular iron on with the longer mat because I hadn’t planned for it, so I only had regular iron-on handy.

The biggest drawback: if you don’t have one direction of your design under 4.5 inches, you can’t use the Joy. Most of Y’s shirts (size 4T) could be made on the Joy, most of M’s (size 6 or Youth S) couldn’t.

The biggest perk: it’s portable and easy to set up. We don’t have a good, dedicated workspace so I was able to set up a whole t-shirt making operation on the dining room table for us to work on all Sunday. I use the Joy whenever I can and generally prefer my t-shirt designs scaled small regardless (especially when using iron-on).

Cricut Maker/Explore Air 2: The biggest benefit here is the size. You can larger designs – up to 11.5 inches on the shorter side, and 23.5 (which is much more than you need) long. You’ll need this for many of these Cricut shirt ideas for boys.

  • EasyPress: I used the 9×9 inch EasyPress 2 to apply my designs. It’s dummy-proof in the sense that you can set the exact temperature and time needed so you do things properly.
  • EasyPress mat: You can technically use a towel, but I recommend the mat for convenience. It serves as your “ironing board” underneath your project when you press your design.
  • StandardGrip Mat: or the green mat is the correct one to hold your iron-on materials. The 12×12 is perfect for your full-size machines and the Joy has a longer 12 inch one that you’ll want.
  • Fine Point Blade: This comes with your machine

Craft Tools and Materials

  • Basic Tool Set or Cricut Joy Starter Tool Set – The weeding tool and scraper are must-haves for these Cricut shirt ideas for boys
  • Precision Cutting Kit Bundle – or the self-healing mat, cutting ruler, and TruControl knife – is the perfect trio for cutting your material accurately so you get the most out of it. It’s a worthwhile investment.
  • Iron-on: there are so many different types, but in the ideas below, you’ll see I used Everyday (egular) Iron-on (or HTV – heat transfer vinyl), licensed patterned iron-on from Disney and Star Wars, as well as Foil. -OR-
  • Infusible Ink: This is different from the others as it’s not a vinyl that gets melted onto your shirt. It’s actual ink on a sheet that gets infused into the shirt’s fibers. It’s on a carrier sheet, often in fun patterns. All of the above come with carrier sheets/transfer sheets that hold your design together until you iron it onto your shirt. They work best on Cricut Infusible Ink shirt blanks.
  • Shirts. I used some old ones we had in the closet, but I also bought some of these Gildan shirts for M. I had loads of Bella + Canvas shirts for Y already handy. And we even pulled out a pique polo to dress up! If you’re doing Infusible Ink shirts, get Infusible Ink blanks.
  • Heat-resistant tape: this is a game-changer, especially with Infusible Ink. Moving your design while pressing can have unwanted effects (shadowing with Infusible Ink and wrinkling with iron-on). This tape allows you to secure your design. It also allows you to keep more detailed designs with different colors that don’t overlap in place (more on that later).

Basic instructions for making these Cricut Shirt Ideas for Boys


Create a new project in Design Space.

Click “Image” and search for the one that you want or browse.

Resize your image. You can go to “templates” and choose the one that best matches your design. I prefer to use my ruler to measure the placement on the shirt I’m using and resize accordingly.

Go to “Make it” and follow the directions.

Make sure you hit “Mirror” to cut your design backward – as it’ll flip when you’re ironing it on.

Assembly: Regular Iron On and all materials

Prep your material by cutting it to size. There’s nothing quite like Cricut’s cutting ruler – it stays in place and the multiple-angle measurements make it easy to see your sizing.

Place your material shiny side down on the top left corner of your mat. The shiny side is the transfer paper side. Use the scraper to remove any air bubbles.

Follow the directions to cut your design – my boys love watching the machine work!

Use the spatula to help you remove your design from the mat when it’s done cutting.

Remove the negative spaces from your design (the parts you’re not using).

Optional: use heat resistant tape to place your design. If you want, use a ruler to measure exact placement.

Use Cricut’s heat guide to set your materials and follow their directions. Make sure to note temperature, preheat time, heat time, and how long to heat on the back. Also, cool peel (remove the backing when your project has cooled) or warm peel (remove while still warm).

Foil Iron on

Be very careful to follow exact instructions. Metallic Foil is super cool – you get a glossy, foil finish on your shirt (and not just a metallic touch like you do with regular metallic iron-on).

But it’s also very easy to overdo. Follow the instructions exactly and you should be good to go!

When doing layered designs, foil iron-on should only be your top layer, as it can’t handle the extra heat coming from your additional layers. The same goes for any specialty Iron-on – stick to the top layer for those.

Layered designs

There are two types of layered designs: those that just have multiple colors but the colors don’t touch (such as on Y’s back to school shirt), and those that are actually layered (like M’s “humans aren’t real” shirt).

To assemble multi-colored ones that don’t touch: it’s much quicker and easier to assemble it all at once. BUT!! Make sure you don’t overlap the backing on any of them at all. So trim your transfer tape all the way up to the design. Then, tape it in place with heat resistant tape. You can also use the following method for layered designs.

Layered designs that overlap: Most layered designs at least overlap – and possibly even have base layers with smaller ones on top. To assemble these, preheat as you would, but instead of pressing it for the full time, do it for 10-15 seconds or just long enough to be able to pull the transfer tape off.

Wait until it cools if it’s a cool peel, and continue with the next layer. Only heat the top layer for the full time. If the outer layers leave some of your design exposed to your EasyPress, make sure to reuse the transfer tape from the bottom layer over your whole design.

Infusible Ink

Place your EasyPress mat inside your shirt, topped by a sheet of card stock. Clean your shirt with a lint roller and then pre-heat. If you have any dust or lint in the way, it can really disrupt your design.

For Infusible Ink, you’ll use a sheet of Butcher paper between your EasyPress and design. The butcher paper comes with your Infusible Ink sheets. Tape your design down so that it doesn’t shift.

Press according to Heat Guide instructions. Peel when it’s totally cool. How amazing is that result?

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Themes to look out for and specific Cricut shirt ideas for boys

Ready for some actual Cricut shirt ideas for boys? I included my “theme starters” so that you can adapt it to what YOUR boy loves!

Favorite characters

Choose your kids’ favorite characters and mix it up with licensed patterned Iron-on.

1. Darth Vader

2. Mickey

Special occasions

Shirts for special occasions are kind of the perk of Cricut shirt making! We made one for back to school that can be worn year-round. To keep your shirts relevant, stay away from very themed shirts and let the occasion inspire you. For example, you can make a shirt to go with the theme of a birthday party instead of saying “happy birthday”.

3. Pencil Pocket


My boys both love animals, but they have their favorites! We used these as starting points, keeping it basic with some and going all-out with others.

4. Roar

5. Snails

6. Whale hello there

  • Materials used: Everyday iron-on from this package
  • Machine used: Explore Air 2
  • Shirt used: A waffle-texture tee
  • Design Space Setup: the text was added using a Design Space font and the origami whale image is separate


Go for their favorite things to do, or other interests! If I can make a crafting shirt for me, I can make a reading one for M…

7. Bookworm

8. Sh I’m reading

9. Sports hearts

  • Materials used: Everyday Iron-on from this package
  • Machine used: Explore Air 2
  • Shirt used: Waffle texture long-sleeve tee
  • Design Space Setup: These are three separate images lined up

Science & Space

M is obsessed with science, Y with outer space, and there’s so much you can do with each!

10. Blast off

  • Materials used: Everyday Iron On from this pack
  • Machine used: Explore Air 2
  • Shirt used: Long sleeve solid tee
  • Design Space Setup: These are two separate Design Space images

11. A moment of science

This is our absolute favorite! We weren’t sure how the gunmetal foil would come out on a light heather gray but it looks amazing.

12. Humans aren’t real

Important messages

When my boys were really little, I enjoyed cute sayings on their shirts. But then I realized that many of them were quite sassy and sent the wrong messages. So we flipped it. Y, my social kid, is especially into the “Kind” shirts and it’s his favorite.

13. Kind is the new cool

14. Kind

Got any Cricut Shirt Ideas for Boys to add to the list? Comment below!

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  1. Are the SVG’s available to the public? I am a Math/Science teacher and love your moment of Science better than any I’ve seen.

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