All you need to know to chose the perfect decal size for shirts

decal size for shirts guide

How to choose the perfect decal size for shirts – Cricut iron-on crafts


Here we are ready to make our first iron-on shirt, and we have no clue what size a decal should be on a shirt.

When I got my Cricut, I was stuck. Searching for the right answer took me more time than designing my image, cutting it, and heat pressing it on the shirt.

I thought many of you out there are in the same position and overwhelmed by the amount of information and time-consuming researching on the internet.

If you ever wondered how big should a decal be on a shirt, read on.

I will answer all your questions here in 1 tell-all post.


How to determine the correct decal sizes for shirts


I will give you many answers and useful tips, but please remember even though most of the shirts have a “common” size chart, each shirt’s size and shape can be a little different.

Think about it. How many times have you bought a shirt on Amazon, and they say they are true to size?

Once you receive them, they don’t exactly have the same measurements.

My first tip is: 

  • Grab your shirt with a decal and see its size.
  • Measure how big the image or design is.
  • Where the image or letters start below the neckline.


Can I visualize my final design before cutting?


Luckily, your Cricut comes with its own Cricut Design Space software. Here is where you do all the magic before cutting the vinyl.

cricut t shirt decal sizes

  • Click on Templates and browse the style of the shirt.
  • Click on it, and it will insert the template on your Canvas.
  • Resize your design for the desired look.

You can check out the full tutorial on how to make a shirt with Cricut here. 


Download my shirt decal size chart

vinyl decal size chart for shirts

I created this fun and easy-to-read vinyl decal size chart for you.

It can help you to determine how big a design should be on a 2xl shirt and others. For example, a 9” design will look great on a medium shirt but will look off on a 2xl.

Even though you followed my first tips above, this t-shirt template will be handy when you start a new iron-on project.

Keep a digital copy on your computer, or print out the black and white version to keep it close to your cutting machine.

You’ll find the most common shapes and types of shirts for adults, toddlers, and babies.

You can use this template for t-shirt designs, polo shirts with logos or pockets, long sleeve decals, and onesies.


Where do you put a decal on a shirt?


If you have one image or a quote, the best is to place it at the shirt’s center. Logos and monograms can be put on the left, and we will talk about them later in this post.


Do you need cute designs to make the perfect shirt? Check out my designs in the shop.


How do I make sure vinyl is centered on a shirt?

t shirt decal placement

  • Fold the shirt in half at the bottom of the armpit.
  • Press the shirt with an iron to create a crease.
  • Fold the shirt in half vertically, and iron it again.

Now you got the center point of the shirt.

I use the vertical line more often than the other to ensure my design is not far to the left or the right.

To determine how far down you should place the decal, there is an inexpensive but super-useful shirt alignment tool. This set comes with different rules for onesies, toddler, youth, and adult shirts. 


Where to put a logo on a shirt?

decal sizes for shirts

Logos and pocket designs should be put on the left side of the chest area. Many stories are on the internet, but almost all of them agree it has to do something with the fact that most humans are right-handed and the left area of the shirt shows more.

For example, we shake hands with our right hand. In the process of moving your arm and hand across your body, a logo or name tag could become unreadable. The left side stays visible.

How to place the logo correctly:

  • Lay the shirt flat.
  • Draw a visual line from the seam between the neck opening and the shoulder.
  • Draw another visual line from the left armpit.

The center of your logo is where these 2 lines meet. 


What size should a logo be on a shirt?


In my shirt decal size chart, I generally put 4″ X 4″ size for adult logos and pocket sizes since it has been working for me perfectly.

However, if you’ll make branded shirts with logos for different ages, here is a little more information:

  • Smaller adult shirt sizes 3.5″ X 3.5″
  • Youth shirt sizes 3″ X 3″
  • Left chest side pocket 3″ X 3″


How big should a logo be on a polo shirt?


The same measurements apply here than on a regular t-shirt.

I will add that for branding or school logos; it is not recommended that the logo is larger than 4″ by 5″.

You can experiment and see if this larger size of a logo decal makes sense on your project.


What size should a monogram be on a shirt?

A monogram is a great way to personalize a shirt. Usually, you want your monogram to be discreet. Therefore its size is relatively small.

Depends on the font you choose, a typical monogram is around 1/4″ up to 3/8″. I know this is way too small, and probably you’ll have a hard time weeding such small letters.

I found that a monogram decal size for shirts depends on your preference.

Use the shirt template in Cricut Design Space to see how the monogram would look on your shirt.

You can place a monogram to:

  • Back inside of collar on polo shirts
  • Left chest or pocket 
  • Left stomach 
  • Right or left cuff on long sleeves. Placed in the center. 
  • Left shirt tail


How big should a design be on the back of a shirt?

decal size for back of shirt

The decal size for the back of the shirt can depend on the shirt’s size and preference.

You can use the Circut Design Space template to visualize how your image will look on the back of your shirt.

As a guideline, use the following for adults shirt size Small to L:

  • Measure 3″ down from the center of the collar.
  • 10″ X 10″ decal size.


Adult shirt XL:

  • Measure 3″ down from the center of the collar.
  • 11″ X 11″ decal size.


Adult 2X, 3X, 4X

  • Measure 3″ down from the center of the collar.
  • 11″ X 11″ or 12″ X 12″ decal size.


For a kid’s, use this decal size for shirts:

  • Measure 2″ down from the center of the collar.
  • Toddler shirt back dedacl size: 5″ x 5″
  • Youth Small 6″ x 6″
  • Youth Medium and Large 7″ x 7″
  • Youth X-Large back decal size 8″ x 8″


Size of numbers and names on the back of a jersey

The typical number size for adult jersey shirts are:

  • 8″ for the number on the back of jerseys
  • 4″ on the front of jerseys.

The typical number size for youth jersey shirts are:

  • 3″ for the number on the back of jerseys
  • 6″ on the front of jerseys.

The name or letters usually 3″ for adults and 2″ for youth.


How do you put a decal on a shirt?

design size for shirts

If you are here, it means you have or about to buy a Cricut machine. I got the Maker, and I love it.

I made a step-by-step post with a video; you can check it out here.

And here is the short version of how to make an iron-on shirt with Cricut:

  • Upload Design to Cricut Design Space
  • Resize, and “Make it” with “Mirror ON”!
  • Load the mat with iron-on vinyl and fine point blade
  • Remove the cut design from the mat and weed.
  • Transfer the design to the shirt and peel.
  • Wait 24 hours before washing.


Decal size for shirts guide recap


I hope you find this FAQ post about decal measurements on a shirt useful.

You can use this shirt decal size chart paired with Cricut Design Space templates as a guideline.

These tools are very helpful, and you’ll be able to create beautiful iron-on designs for any shirt in no time.

As I mentioned at the beginning, each brand has its own sizing, and each Tee you buy might be slightly different.

End of the day, this decal size for shirts guide will help you to start an iron-on T-shirt project.


If you have more questions, leave them in the comment, and I will update this post.

Don’t forget to PIN it and come back anytime you need help with decal sizes for your new project. Happy crafting!

vinyl decal sizing chart

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