UV Light–Sensitive Fabric Ink Tee
First Cut

UV Light–Sensitive Fabric Ink Tee

Cari here with you, and today I’m sharing a fun project using UV light–sensitive fabric ink. This type of a project is fun for a kid of any age to wear—that’s why I made one for myself! 🙂


8uvinkshirt copy

You Will Need:

  • Silhouette CAMEO®
  • Design ID #117563
  • Silhouette Stencil Vinyl
  • Silhouette Hook & Scraper Tools
  • Silhouette Transfer Paper
  • T-shirt
  • Silhouette UV Light Sensitive Fabric Ink (3 colors of your choice)
  • Sponges or Foam Brushes




Open file Design ID #117563 in Silhouette Studio®. Resize the design if needed, depending on the size of your T-shirt. (I made mine slightly smaller to approximately 9.8 inches x 7.9 inches.)

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In the Design Page settings, change the width and height to match the size of vinyl that you’re using for your template. (I had cut a piece of stencil vinyl which was 9 in. x 11 in.) Adhere the vinyl to the CAMEO 12 in. x 12 in. mat. Then select this mat size in the mat settings.

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Then head into the Cut Settings window and select the following: Cut Edge, Silhouette Vinyl, and blade depth 1. Then send your design to your Silhouette CAMEO®.

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Once the design is cut, weed (peel away) the design so that you are left with a stencil. Normally when you apply vinyl, you remove the outside parts and insides of the letters o, a, and e, etc. But when making a stencil, you remove the actual design.

TIP: I left the vinyl on my mat when I did the weeding because that way the vinyl laid flat at all times and didn’t curl up at the ends.

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When you finish weeding, apply some transfer tape over the vinyl stencil. It’s easiest to start at one end and work your way across the design to avoid bubbles and creases in the transfer tape. Use the scraper tool to smooth out any bumps and to adhere the transfer tape to the vinyl stencil.

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Then carefully peel off the transfer tape from the mat—the vinyl stencil will come off along with the transfer tape.

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Adhere your vinyl design to the center of your material—I used a light grey T-shirt.

Use the scraper tool to gently rub the stencil to the fabric.

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Then carefully remove the transfer tape, and you’re left with just the stencil on your T-shirt.

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You are now ready to paint!

I used a foam brush to paint on the 3 colors.

TIP: I placed a piece of cardboard on the inside of the shirt so that the paint didn’t seep through to the backside of the shirt. This also gave a bit more stability when painting.

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When you’re finished painting you won’t notice any color, especially once it dries. Here’s a look at just after I finished painting the entire piece. It looks blue, but it doesn’t stay that way when you’re outside.



After the paint has dried completely, lightly iron your design to set the ink.

Now the fun part! Once you go outside, the sunlight will immediately bring those painted colors to life!

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I took pictures of 3 stages.

  1. Just put outside . . .

shirt1 copy


2. After a few seconds . . .

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3. After approximately ten seconds—it happens fast!

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We’ve had such rainy weather the past few weeks that I haven’t had a chance to snap a picture of it. So today when the sun began to poke through the clouds, I asked my daughter to put on the shirt so that I could quickly snap a few pictures. I’m thrilled with how it turned out!

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I hope that you try out these fun fabric inks and have as much fun wearing your new garment as you will have creating it! In what other ways do you want to try out UV light–sensitive fabric ink?

Cari Locken

HI there! I’m Cari Locken from Langley, BC, Canada. I’m a wife and mother of 3 amazing kids! I have been crafting since I was a child and love the creative outlet that this hobby brings to me. My formal training is in the area of music as I have a Masters degree in Music and I am currently teaching Band (to Grades 5, 6 & &) as well as private piano lessons. However I always find time to dig out my scrappy supplies and work on a few projects here & there. I love creating scrapbook layouts, preserving the everyday moments and special memories of our family life as well as creating cards & home decor items . Other than scrapbooking I enjoy spending time watching my children play sports, reading, knitting, photography and cooking. I’m thrilled to be a part of the Silhouette Team!

Designs Used:

Products Used:



stencil vinyl

UV Light-Sensitive Fabric Ink


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  1. So cute! I just made another color-change shirt last week, so my girls have been wearing their matching shirts. It’s so fun to watch how fast it changes, especially in bright sunlight. You have the right idea in making one for yourself!

  2. Oh my gosh I love this! I can’t wait to try it out next weekend. 🙂

    1. Wonderful! I hope you’ll share it with us on social media! I’d love to see what you create!

  3. Sorry, this may be a dumb question but do the colors stay vivid only when in the sun? Or is it permanent? Thanks!

    1. That is not a dumb question at all! This type of fabric ink is UV Light Sensitive. So it will only be vivid in the sun. The inks wash well and feel soft to the touch. We also sell regular fabric ink that will appear the same inside and outside. Hope this helps!

  4. I think I lost my first comment.

    Do these inks wash well? And stay vivid? I might want to use this technique for my online tshirt shop. Love the vivid colors, yet soft look.

    I have had a heat press for a few years but am completely new to the Cameo. Mine arrives tomorrow and I am super excited! Can’t wait to make some heat transfer vinyls!

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