DIY Spaceballs Inspired Running Shirt

Spaceballs Inspired Schwartz DIY Running Shirt + free SVC cutting file

runDisney races are known for the runner outfits. Tutus, tiaras and Disney costumes abound but what do you wear to Star Wars™ Half Marathon – The Dark Side when you are not a Star Wars fan?

Hold on – I assure you it’s not me I am talking about!  It’s my husband (I know, I wonder why I married him too sometimes) that is not a Star Wars fan and refuses to see any of the movies.  I have just accepted everyone is flawed and this is the one of his flaws I am stuck with.

The weirdest part is this is not his first runDisney Star Wars race.  This weekend will be his third!  He even gets selfies with characters he know not who they are. It really is insane!

runDisney StarWars race - Disneyland - selfie with a Storm Trooper

Luckily I had something to work with.  He does like Spaceballs (really, who doesn’t) and there are some great villain lines in that movie just perfect for a Star Wars (Spaceballs) themed running shirt.

***Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Click here for more details.

Choosing the Quotes

Spaceballs Movie Poster with Lord Dark HelmetSo now I had my inspiration and it was time to decide what was going to be on the shirt. If you remember the movie at all the dark side of Spaceballs including two fabulous villains… President Skroob and Lord Dark Helmet.

Some quotes that had me laughing and you may want to consider for additional shirts:

  • Lord Dark Helmet: I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.
  • Lord Dark Helmet: I knew it. I’m surrounded by assholes.
  • President Skroob: I can’t make a decision. I am the President.
  • President Skroob: I don’t know about this beaming stuff? Is it safe?

After much laughter we decided on two quotes from Lord Dark Helmet:

  • Front: I see your Schwartz is as big as mine.
  • Back: Evil will always tribumph because good is dumb.

Both of these perfect for a Star Wars™/Spaceballs Half Marathon – The Dark Side event.  So using Adobe Illustrator I whipped up the graphics making this probably one of the easiest t-shirts to make ever!


This project is more about the tools than the actual supplies. So here is what you are going to need:

  • PowerPress Industrial-Quality Digital 15-by-15-Inch Sublimation T-Shirt Heat Press, BlackCricut or Silhouette personal cutter – There is no way around this for this project.  You just cannot use scissors for this.
  • HTV Vinyl – You will also need about 12 x 20 piece of heat transfer vinyl in color of your choice.  The amount of vinyl you need is dependent upon the size of your t-shirt and cut out.
  • T-shirt – Choose a traditional t-shirt or running fabric t-shirt.  Either will work.
  • Teflon sheet or Parchment Paper – When heat pressing the vinyl onto the shirt this will make sure nothing sticks to anything that it shouldn’t.
  • Heat Press or Iron – A heat press makes thing sooooo much easier but there is no reason you can’t just use your personal iron.  I use a 15×15 inch clam shell that isn’t too expensive and I have to say I love it.  Make sure to get one with a digital pad for setting temperature and timer.

Creating the Elements

Creating a Cutting File

The first thing  you are going to need to create a cutting file for you quote.  If you want to try to make your own you can do so in any application that makes png files.

Even Canva or PicMonkey can do this. You are not limited to just words you can add shapes and lines too. Just remember to set the background to transparent and save as a png file.

making a png file in PicMonkey

making a png file in PicMonkey

Most personal cutters can than convert the png file to a cutting file (svg).  If you need help with converting here are a couple of tutorials: for Cricut Explore CLICK HERE and for Silhouette CLICK HERE.

If you don’t want to bother creating your own I am sharing my files with my newsletter subscribers.

Bonus - cutting files for subscribers

Spaceballs Inspired Schwartz To-Shirt SVG FreebieI have created and included the svg cutting files for both the Spaceballs elements.  A page just for my newsletter subscribers.  This way you can change them up any way you would like.  Have fun.

If you would like to sign up for the newsletter CLICK HERE.

NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE to access the Magical Tutorials Page to download the cutting files.

Cutting Out the Parts

Once you have gotten your quote into your personal cutter’s software it is time to cut!

Using your software determine what amount of heat treansfer vinyl (HTV) you need for each cut out.  For a large men’s running shirt I needed a piece approximately 11.5 x 9.5 inch for the back and 10.5 x 5.5 inch for the front (leaving a bit of extra room for any cutting errors).

determining the size of HTV needed

determining the size of HTV needed

Hint: When you cut out heat transfer vinyl (HTV) remember to always cut in mirror mode.  You will be flipping the cut onto t-shirt and you don’t want to waste HTV by cutting it right side up.
cut as a mirror image

cut as a mirror image

Getting the Parts Ready for Assembly

Now for my favorite part… weeding!!! This part is a bit tedious but at the same time I love that zen feeling of just pulling away all the extra bits of vinyl.

If you have only worked with regular vinyl adhesive then heat treansfer vinyl (HTV) is going to be a treat.  It comes off so much easier!

My biggest tip here is to have the right tools.  A weeder hook and a good set of tweezers is all you need.  Happy weeding!!

Spaceballs Schwartz t-shirt desing - weeding the heat tranfer vinyl

Putting It All Together

Finally we are ready to put the t-shirt together. If you don’t have a heat press, do not worry. A home iron works just fine.

Hint: If using a iron to apply the HTV do a test first.  You want your iron dry and hot (I found cotton setting was my sweet spot) but at the same time too hot will damage the vinyl.  Also you will need to apply A LOT of pressure.  I would place the shirt on a tile floor and then apply my full body weight as pressure.  Took about 30 seconds per area doing it this way.

If you are lucky enough to have a heat press (thanking my Mom again for the awesome Christmas present) this will be all of a 1 minute project.

Just place the heat treansfer vinyl (HTV) on top of the shirt.  Place the teflon sheet or parchment paper on top as protection and heat press away.  The heat press set at 310 degrees should take 12 seconds to complete.

Remove transfer tape (the plastic coating on top of the vinyl) and flip shirt over and repeat.

Spaceballs Schwartz t-shirt desing - Evil will always triumph because good is dump

Spaceballs Schwartz t-shirt desing - I see your Shwartz is as big as mine

Now Run For Evil

That is all that is to it for this shirt.  I think choosing the quote may have taken the most time.  It really is an easy project and perfect for anyone wanting to try their hand at cutting out heat transfer vinyl.

Spaceballs Inspired Schwartz DIY Running Shirt + free SVC cutting file

Spaceballs Inspired Schwartz DIY Running Shirt + free SVC cutting file

So if you know someone that isn’t a Star Wars fan (really – still amazed my husband isn’t one) at least you know have a fall back for them to get into some of the spirit.



Spaceballs Inspired Schwartz DIY Running Shirt + free SVC cutting file