How to Make a Custom 18 Inch Doll T-Shirt with Cricut

Your 18" doll deserves the best. And what better way to let your doll express themselves than with a perfectly designed custom t-shirt?!

All you need are these simple instructions, our Basic Tee t-shirt pattern with SVG files (optional but it makes this sooo easy), and an SVG design of your choice to easily create a personalized tee for your doll.

For this tutorial, we're going to make a koala t-shirt for our 18 inch doll with a koala SVG file from Cricut's Design Space library. This one comes with the Cricut Access subscription, but there are lots of free ones available too. If you don't have a Cricut Access subscription, you can see the details here.

Also, there are thousands upon thousands of SVG designs on Etsy selling for next to nothing, so there's no shortage of t-shirts you can make for your doll!

We will cut this with yellow HTV (heat transfer vinyl) to iron on the t-shirt, but you could also use this technique for HTV of images printed with an ink jet printer and cut out with your Cricut to make graphic tees as well (which is a different cut we'll cover in a future post).

So, let's get to exactly how to make your custom doll t-shirt now!

Step 1: Open your Cricut Design Space software and create a new project with the button in the top right corner.
18" doll custom t-shirt step 1
Step 2: Click the Upload button in the left sidebar.
custom 18 inch doll t-shirt step 2
Step 3: Find and upload the Basic Tee SVG files that come included with the sewing pattern. If you don't have the pattern, you can either get it here, or use the rulers in design space to determine the proper size of your image in the next steps. 

The advantage of using the Basic Tee pattern SVGs (besides the fact that your Cricut Maker will cut out your pattern pieces) is you can easily visualize exactly how the design will look on your shirt. You'll see exactly what we mean in step 9 below.
custom 18 inch doll t-shirt step 3
Step 4: After you choose the Basic Tee SVG files, they will be displayed as a preview where you can rename it if you like and add tags. Once you're done, click the Save button in the bottom right corner.
custom 18 inch doll t-shirt step 4
Step 5: Now you'll be taken back to the Upload page. Click to choose the file for your t-shirt SVGs from the Recently Uploaded Images section ( a green border will appear around it), then click the Insert Images button.
custom 18 inch doll t-shirt step 5
Step 6: Now click the Images button again to add the koala design (or whatever design you choose).
custom 18 inch doll t-shirt step 6
Step 7: For this one, we're going to search for "koala" in the Cricut library to find the SVG we're using in this example. But you can also search for anything or upload your own SVG you got from Etsy or wherever in this step.
custom 18 inch doll t-shirt step 7
Step 8: We've found the koala image we want, so now we select it and click the Insert Images button to add it to our project. 
custom 18 inch doll t-shirt step 8
Step 9: Once the image is loaded in the project, click it to bring up the four icons on the corners of the image.
The X in the top left removes the image. The curved arrow on the top right rotates the image. The two arrows on the bottom right let you change the size. And the lock on the bottom left allows you to scale the image keeping proportions (locked) or changing proportions (unlocked).
By adding the SVGs for the t-shirt and then the image, you can scale the image to the perfect size you want it for the t-shirt without measuring and guessing how it will look on the shirt!
custom 18 inch doll t-shirt step 9
Here is how we scaled it for the t-shirt in our example:
custom 18 inch doll t-shirt example
Step 10: Now that we have the image at the perfect size and we're ready to cut it out. But first we need to remove the t-shirt from the project. You can easily do that by clicking the name of the file to select all the parts of the t-shirt and then click the trash can icon to remove them. (Or you can click on any part of the t-shirt in the design space, then click the X in the top left to remove those.)
custom 18 inch doll t-shirt step 10
Step 11: Now we're left only with the design we want to cut out in this project. Just click the Make It button in the top right corner, choose your settings and let your Cricut do the work!
After it's cut, position your HTV on the shirt and iron it on and you're done! A perfectly customizable t-shirt for your 18 inch doll you can make from any SVG design.
Have you made a t-shirt using this process and our Basic Tee pattern? We'd love to see it on our Patron Made page!


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  • Dawn on

    Hi, this is great! A very detailed description….I know nothing about circuit machines so can you tell me what machine you are using in this example please.
    Thank you 😊

  • Carolyn on

    I love this! I would also love to know where you found the shoe sole design for Cricut.

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