Introduction: Customized T-Shirts!

Picture of Customized T-Shirts!

You have probably seen one of those methods to create your own patterns etc. on a T-Shirt. But the problem being, that it is time consuming and that you probably don't have all the materials and tools needed.

This method is easy and cheap, yet results a very pleasent result.

Step 1: The Transfers

Picture of The Transfers

First of all you'll need your t-shirt to print on.
Also you will have to buy some 'T-Shirt Transfers' sheets sold in many stores, including your local printer shop. Often the 'T-Shirt Transfers' sheets will only allow you to use them on white T-Shirts, but it is possible to buy them for darker colors.
I found these at 3-4$ per sheet, but I live in a country where everything is expensive, so you might be ble to find them at a much lower cost.

Step 2: Customize!

Picture of Customize!

Think about what you want to be on your T-Shirt, this can be anyehere from kinky text to photos from your vacation. Be creative!
All you need to do at this point is to flip the text or image horizontal in an image editing software. If you don't hve such, the instructions on the T-Shirts Transfers will often guide you to a website where you will be able to download their free software.

In able to save on the number of sheets used per image, you can insert all your desired images/text into a word document or the like.
After this is done, go ahead and print it! Make sure to print on the blank side of the sheet. Of course, if you want colored images, you will need a color printer ;-)

Step 3: Cutting Out

Picture of Cutting Out

Cut around the image, with a distance to the edge of at least 1 mm. Be sure to round the sharp edges off, so they won't lift during cleaning the T-Shirt.

Step 4: Attaching the Image

Picture of Attaching the Image

Now for ironing the image to the T-Shirt. For this, a regular ironing board is too soft to get the image transferred optimal. Instead, use a hard surface, such as a table and lay a piece of thick pasteboard under the T-Shirt, so you won't damage the T-Shirt. Go ahead and iron the T-Shirt to get rid of any wrinkles. Place the image faceside-down where you want it to be. Set your iron to 'max' and iron it. ½ minutes for images smaller than 10x15 cm, 1-½ minutes for sizes around a half A4 and 3 minutes for a whole A4 sheet. Remember to iron every corner!

After this, let it cool and peel off the paper.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

Now you're finished, take a look at your result! Wasn't that easy?


quantumwarrior (author)2010-12-22

Great tutorial! But on step four the amount of time you have to iron for each size didn't show up. It looked like this:
"...�½ minutes for images smaller than 10x15 cm, 1-�½ minutes for sizes around a half A4..."

Tututu (author)2010-07-12

This is a very good instructables, i bought 10 sheets for 6€, and 2 tshirts for 7,50€, very cheap Here's the first tshirt I made! Thanks for this instructable

YoungPyro19 (author)2010-05-31

That's really cool I would like to do that, but aren't their laws on copyright? (author)YoungPyro192010-05-31

As long as you don't make money off somebody else's work, you'll be fine.

YoungPyro19 (author)pudi.dk2010-06-05

Oh okay, I c... How do the shirts hold up in the washer. Does the design fade away quickly? (author)YoungPyro192010-06-28

I made these t-shirts back in November 2007, and the designs are still colorful. Some cracks appear after a few washes which doesn't happen as easily with screenprinting, however compared to screenprinting this method is quicker and allows you to use a wide variety of colors easily. Just flip the t-shirt inside-out and wash at lower temperatures.

YoungPyro19 (author)pudi.dk2010-07-08

Okay, that's super. Thanks <=D

clemens94 (author)2010-02-14

 I make one for my Valentine and one for me with this picture.
They look like real tee !
My girlfriend is very enjoyed ! ;)

liteoner (author)2009-12-03

Did the same, but my t-shirt started to get rid of the design :(

gameven (author)2009-06-16

Hey i have recently seen this video of how to fold your T-shirts fast, just in seconds. I thought that you all would like to watch it.

[ Fold T-shirts Fast]

LemonLily (author)2009-05-30

I think the colour rubs off from beneath. Can you prevent it?

LemonLily (author)2009-05-14

You can take a picture of yourself, and put it on a shirt.

BTrueK (author)2009-05-02

You basically read the directions which came with the paper...

SG1Oniell (author)2009-03-24

I saw the metacafe thing backwards and thought it was cyrilic, my bad lol

ShampooRobot (author)2008-12-15

what happens if you put one of those t-shirt sheets that only work on white shirts on a black one? like does it explode? exaporate? Not stick? (author)ShampooRobot2008-12-15

Normally when you print on white paper, you don't need white ink, because the paper itself is white. The transfer paper is transparent, so white colors can't be seen, and the image will appear darker on black t-shirts. If you do want to make a black t-shirt, the transfer papers are white.

warrockdude (author)2008-12-06

are they permanent?

gatorfan94 (author)2008-11-08

can you transfer to any color tshirt

jeni-jeni (author)2008-11-04


printer man (author)2008-10-08

awsome instructable!! i use it alot

msgrafis (author)2008-07-29

what is the paper you use to print? does the ink stay for long or just temporary?

Read step one..

moe8 (author)2008-09-07

gr8 instructable i did a jackass one:D

moe8 (author)2008-09-06

what option do u put in the printer settings ?

schimmi (author)2008-02-12

it's cooler if you do it yourself, with screenprinting

kellimaier (author)2008-01-14

Washing the T-shirt wrong side out and not drying it in the dryer will help the transfer stay in good condition.

petter633 (author)2007-11-09

good instructable. are you sure you have to print them backwards, or is that just for transfer paper?

kellimaier (author)petter6332008-01-14

You have to print them backwards. You are flipping the image when you iron it on.

happyasianguy (author)2007-11-13

what kind of printer did you use? (author)happyasianguy2007-11-13

I used a Canon iP4300.

PetervG (author)2007-11-11

What ever

Evyllity (author)2007-11-10

If you can find transfer paper that's for "dark colors," it's a lot more durable. I've had one shirt for better than five years with no chipping. Second, there's a feel you develop for ironing them on. i don't know how to explain it, but you know when you've really done it right. If you don't then it chips.

mikedoth (author)2007-11-09

Do you know if they have these for laser printers?

Bran (author)mikedoth2007-11-09

I believe they do, IIRC.

gschoppe (author)Bran2007-11-10

they exist, but they're really hard to find in stores, and they don't even hold up as well as the inkjet ones.... in addition, they have trouble in some lasers.

TheCheese9921 (author)2007-11-09

Yup, thats why I stencil with spray paint, for smaller outlines like the ego one my friend uses t shirt markers to outline the letters and for details.

badrang4 (author)2007-11-09


sleeping_gecko (author)2007-11-09

It may depend on size. I've used iron-ons twice. Once, it was with a small image (round, about 3-4" in diameter), and the second time, with an image that took nearly the entire sheet of paper. They were both transferred onto heavyweight white t-shirts. The smaller image is still on the t-shirt, wherever that shirt may be (in the back of a closet). I wore it very frequently for about 6 months or more. The other, full-page size image did start to deteriorate after a wash or two, and after 1 or 2 additional washes, it was in really bad condition. I don't know if that might be similar to your experiences, but it's what happened with mine. I'd recommend to use smaller images, or, if you're using a large image, try to cut it into sections (e.g. cut between large letters, etc,) if the background is clear/colorless. And, good Instructable. I agree with shooby that it's similar to package instructions, but the photo documentation of the process was well done. Bravo!

shooby (author)2007-11-09

Well written instruct able, however it doesn't really provide any more information than what you'd see on the transfers package you bought.

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm Nicolaj, a Danish chemistry student interested in DIY and projects involving fabrication.
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