Mermaid DIY Patriotic Shirt (FREE SVG File)

Learn how to make a custom Fourth of July mermaid shirt by layering heat transfer vinyl. Free SVG cut file download!

Fourth of July DIY shirt

I’m making custom shirts for my kids for the Fourth of July. My daughter loves mermaids, so I created this funny patriotic “Mermaid in the USA” shirt just for her and I’m sharing the free SVG file with you so you can make one too!

To make this patriotic shirt, you will need a plain white t-shirt, a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut machine (the file will work on both machines), heat transfer vinyl and a heat press or clothing iron.

heat transfer vinyl from Expressions Vinyl

I used Heat Transfer Vinyl from Expressions Vinyl in these colors:

  • White (swimsuit top)
  • Bright Red (bangs)
  • Sky Blue (fins)
  • Black (eyes and nose)
  • Cream or Tan (body)
  • Navy Blue or Royal Blue (words/tail)
  • Dark Red (hair)
  • Light Pink (lips)

Of course, this is just a guideline. This is a great project to use up small vinyl scraps, so I say use what you got! 

Step 1: Download the cut file from the bottom of this post. The cut file comes grouped by color, so when you open it in Silhouette Studio, adjust it to the size you want then right click on the design and select “Ungroup.” Then you can separate each color since you’ll want to cut them one at a time.

layering vinyl in Silhouette Studio

Step 2: Position one color on the cutting mat, load the vinyl into your machine, then select the correct cut settings for heat transfer vinyl from the menu. Send the design to be cut and DON’T FORGET TO MIRROR THE IMAGE. You always have to mirror when cutting out HTV.

Step 3: Once all of your pieces are cut, remove the excess vinyl from the clear carrier sheet. This is called weeding.

Step 4: Begin adhering the vinyl to your shirt one layer at a time.  This needs to be done from the back of the image to the front. The clear carrier sheet is sticky, so positioning is easy. Put the first layer down, iron it into place, then peel off the carrier sheet while warm. Position the second layer of vinyl and repeat until all of the layers are added.

Layer Order:

  1. Dark Red (Hair)
  2. Tan (Face and Body)
  3. Dark Blue (Words)
  4. All Remaining Pieces

Here’s a little video showing you the layering order.


Layering vinyl isn’t hard… you can do it! Just go slow and make sure things line up and you’ll have no problems. Isn’t the finished shirt fun? I can’t wait for my daughter to wear it on the Fourth of July!


Pin the image below to save the idea for later.

mermaid Fourth of July shirt DIY



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