Custom T-Shirt Painting





Introduction: Custom T-Shirt Painting

About: I love making things and simple electronics!

I am going on the Disney Cruise this summer with my 6 person family, so my mom thought it would be neat if we made our own T-shirts for "pirate night." Pirate Night is one night on the cruise when everybody dresses as a pirate, so we thought we would make our own costumes. Because it is the Disney Cruise, we tried to find a design that incorporated Mickey and as you can see in the picture, we found the perfect design. Painting on T-shirts by this method is easy and it requires no special skill. 

By using this painting method, you can make custom uniforms, shirts for a party, shirts for a 5k, and even shirts that are machine washable! Plus, it is much more fun to paint your own shirts with your friends than pay much more money and wait for them to come in the mail.  I hope you enjoy making your own T-shirts!

Created by the Think, Plan Create Clan as a part of our instructables sponsorship guide.

Step 1: Materials

You will need...

* Any color fabric paint
* Any color plain T-Shirt
* Reynold's wrap freezer paper


* Hair Dryer
* Iron
* Xacto knife
* A paintbrush

Step 2: Print the Design

First, cut the freezer paper so it is 81/2 " by 11" to make it fit in most printers.  You can print pretty much any design you would like, as long as it can fit on your freezer paper.  When you print out your design, cut out the areas of the picture that you want to show up on the shirt with the Xacto knife. 

Step 3: Ironing

Now, iron the Freezer paper plastic side down exactly where you want the design to be on your shirt, and get out your fabric paint.  The reason we use freezer paper is because when it is ironed, it sticks until you peel it off, and therefore, you are making a stencil.  Make sure you iron adequately so that the paper really sticks to the shirt.

Step 4: Painting

Paint a layer of fabric paint on the stencil, and be as messy as you'd like because only the cut out parts will show up! Typically, one layer of fabric paint is not enough, so you can add a second or third layer as I did.  Make sure you paint the whole image evenly so its not darker or lighter on one part of the design.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Now you can be as stylish as you'd like for a fraction of the cost it would take to commercially design your own T-Shirts!  Don't wear boring old T-shirts, customize them with this painting method!  Questions and Comments are appreciated so please them below!  Enjoy!




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    15 Discussions

    Does the paint go thru to the inside of the t-shirt and make it rough on the skin? Thanks for the post, I am going to try this , looking forward to a new project!! :)

    Thank's for the lesson!

    wow, I just joined and this was my first article. Very simple. thank you.

    Really it was nice one,but i am confused about the painting whether it's painting will start loosing after the wash or not.

    <a href="">custom shirts</a>

    I love it! I'm going to be making plenty of these...thank you for the easy tutorial

    never knew it was that easy..thanks..

    never knew it was that easy..thanks..

    This Is Perfect for when I Make My "Vote For Christian" (Vote For Pedro) SHirt! For Class Elections!

    The design is on there pretty good, better than an iron on. Ours seem to be doing fine with the wash. Good Luck!


    Its a great idea. I need to make a couple of company shirts and screen printing seems too messy and time consuming for the limited number of items I need. Thanks for sharing.

    When I do this I use regular printingpaper and spray mounting glue on the back to get it to stick.

    Love that. I am a serial tee shirt painter, and your method is a whole lot quicker than mine. Thank you and I am officially stealing your method for my next tee shirt painting session.

    Nice t-shirt! I could have used this tip on the t-shirt I made. You did a great job, thanks for sharing.