Introduction: Diy Custom T Shirt

Picture of Diy Custom T Shirt

I'll show you how you can create, (or steal) any design and transfer to a shirt (even black shirts) all that is needed is
- a inkjet printer
-transfers (found at walmart)
-parchment paper
-x-acto or razor
-blank shirt

Step 1: 2 Ways to Do It

Picture of 2 Ways to Do It

guess at school I'm condsidered to dress as a punk. maybe its because
A.) I've heard of a belt and I don't have my pants down to my ankles like a "gansta"
B.) I wear converse instead of a pair of $500 Jordans or what ever brand or
C.) I have belt buckles of different Star Wars character's heads (such as Boba Fett) or
D.) I wear usually black shirts. (I also have red, white and Grey shirts I frequently wear)
but any who I make probably make 50% of my shirts. below are 2 different ways to do shirts the one on the right is obviously the batman logo which was done pretty simply by using Jordan's "Another T-Shirt Stencil" tutorial. the only difference is I kept the freezer paper on and waited for it to dry then reapplied a yellow ink then took the freezer paper off and left it to dry. However the on on the left has many different colors and stuff. for this type of shirt design you will need to do a run to walmart.

Step 2: Run to Walmart

Picture of Run to Walmart

go run to walmart and pick up a package of these they won't carry these exact ones put the will most likely have them. you will find these in the "craft" section of walmart ask some one who works there they will know where they are. if you local walmart doesn't carry them you can check places such as Micheals or A. C. moorse they definitely will have them! also while your there at walmart pick up some t shirts (Black) Now run back home and pop the sheets in your ink jet printer. find a picture off the internet here are some of my favorite websites to go to to get ideas or to steal pictures from:,,,, and . just get the largest picture you can of the design and just "copy it" then open you favorite program for pictures. I like to use print shop 15 but use whatever you have. then open a a new document or new and paste the picture, now make the design you want to what ever size you want it to be on the shirt. if you are using 2-4 pictures on one sheet paste all the designs to one sheet and print it out. make sure you let the ink set for about 30mins.

Step 3: Cutting Time

Picture of Cutting Time

now that you have the design on the paper its time to cut it out with your trusty x-acto knife or blade. make sure NOT to leave any whit border around unless that is the look your going for. now you should have design cut out like the one in the picture below. as you can see I couldn't find a big picture of the design so I now have a pixelated look but it will still look cool!

Step 4: Ironing Time

Picture of Ironing Time

now you have to peel the front thin side from the thick "photo papery" back. see picture. then take out you iron, put it to full/ high heat.let it get as hot as can be. iron the spot you are going to lay the design on. this makes for a better surface to stick to. now place the design on the shirt, put some parchment paper on top of the design. now place the HOT iron on the design that is now under the parchment paper MAKE SURE TO GET THE EDGES OF THE DESIGN or you design won't stay very long on the shirt. take the iron and parchment paper off let the design cool in about 30 more minutes repeat the ironing steps this will ensure of a great hold / stick. the black looks a lot lighter than the shirt but when you do the iron process all the colors are bolder and darker

Step 5: In Conclusion............

Picture of In Conclusion............

So in conclusion... to make decent shirts for roughly 5$ each (do the math) and considering things like my Thundercats shirt would run for $20 opposed to $5 it can't get any sweeter!! also as far as washing use ONLY cold water, low wash, and turn the shirt in side out during wash to ensure for a long life of the shirt. oh by the way did you get the impression that i like star wars and Boba Fett?


DanielM856 (author)2017-01-07

Nice tees! I use to use an iron as well but found that my designs weren't always lasting very long. After using a heat press I found they were lasting a lot longer, and now I could never go back. I also started a website reviewing and discussing heat presses: You can get some pretty cheap ones now through Amazon. If you're interested, please have a look.

ErinA41 (author)2016-11-13

Super cool that you're a Star Wars nerd. And this is good stuff-clear instructions with interesting side details thrown in. Thank you for this!

CestaS (author)2016-08-30

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KarenM203 (author)2016-03-31

You're a lifesaver!!! Thanks so much!!!!

erikt24 (author)2016-03-21

Thx for putting this out there I have a small lawn business and didn't want to spend hundreds on screen printing so thx a lot. Btw it's not what people call, it's what you answer to. Your more than a guy making t shirts with Boba Fett on them your a man trying to make a difference by being yourself and not letting others dictate who they say you should be. One last thing don't feel like you have to defend yourself by talking about what others think about you, all that does is echo the negativity for others to hear. None of us knew what others were saying but now we do. Stand up when others sit down and sit down when others stand up, there are times when strength is needed because those around you are weak. There are also times when choosing to be humble can stop the pride of others dead on their tracks. Those people saying those things are looking for a reaction from you and want to bait you in to make them look cool to the other "cool kids" but I guarantee that there are others watching that need someone like you to stand up by not saying anything back. Pride is the only disease that makes everyone else sick accept the one who has it. Stay strong and maybe you can turn your T-shirt making skill into a business that makes a difference by promoting a positive message on the shirts your making. Remember this world is full if people that can't or won't speak up but there are others like yourself that can. You can tell a lot about a person by those who they surround them self with. I was not planning on writing all of this but I have lived a life that has been full of choices that have made a difference both positive and negative. Hope this helps you and any others that read this. God bless

ccole12 (author)2016-03-14

You sound normal to me and definitely not punk! You stay true to who you are and thanks so much for this tutorial.

EllieT3 (author)2015-09-01

sounds cool!

lrussi11111 (author)2015-08-08

How many shirts per ink cartridge?

TautalanoaF (author)2015-06-15

Hosting our family reunion just now become easier. Thanks! :)

TristanL (author)2015-05-13

dude thank you so much for this. You have no idea how expensive it is for me to do a custom print t shirts. This is actually going to you allow me to make a Mothers Day shirt for my mom. She loves Thor. I'm going to print Thor's armor on the front of the shirt and then I'm going to put "its my boyfriends shirt" on it. Thank you so much.

ChadB2 (author)2015-03-08

Thanks, I'll give this a try! I enjoyed your, guess at school I'm condsidered to dress as a punk...

amy.brchtt (author)2014-10-04

This is going to be very useful as my son loves TapOut stuff and it costs a fortune. I am going to be doing some experimenting very soon :) Thanks!

CoriK (author)2014-09-28

how many times do you repeat ironing?

CaitlinM1 (author)2014-09-24

Nice instructions! I will give this a try

benpic10 (author)2012-04-11

A heat press will produce better results

NordiKChicK (author)2012-03-11

I design tons of shirts using the transfer sheets I buy from art stores - but the thing i HATE is that invariably they all curl or crack off after the first or second washing. :( 1) Any tips to eliminate the cracking altogether? I really don't think it's a matter of turning the shirt inside out. It still happens. It reminds me of iron-ons from the 1970's - only they don't last at ALL. Boo! and also:
2) I would LOVE to be able to just skip the whole cheapo "iron-on" print out / transfer thing and do the more professional screening thing, but isn't that thousands of dollars and takes up tons of room? This is a hobby of mine. and lastly (sorry to be such a question hog)
3) I AM actually quite proud of the designs I make and get compliments and requests to buy them all the time but , truth be told, I use images from the internet and from pop culture, film,k etc. and their are definite trademark infringement issues. Advice? Warnings? Is it just a big no-no?

benpic10 (author)NordiKChicK2012-04-11

You will achieve better results if you use higher quality transfer paper! Just google you'll find more than enough

lcamp (author)2011-08-18

This is great. I really like unique shirts, such as home-designed shirts, team shirts, and so on. Thanks for posting this!

Possumeth (author)2010-11-04

Why walmart? :s

SantaB (author)2010-05-20

I think I have that same, exact iron at home...

xxgearzofgrindxx (author)2009-11-04

star wars isn't punk...

star wars will never be punk.

infestacool (author)2010-01-07

Nice instructable !

I made a business out of making shirts this way in college. you can buy the shirts wholesale online for about $3 each. You can get the screens pretty cheap too. I charged $15 each making a healthy profit. They look very professional and are really easy to make.

The best part is you can make a shirt out of any picture. A little photoshop and basic graphic design and people will ask you where they can buy it.

To answer some people questions
Yes you can wash it.
They do fade over time, though turning them inside out helps.  i've worn shirts made with these for years.
If you dry them on low heat or hang dry they wont crinkle up but i always forgot to do that.
You can use the screens on any color shirt. They are opaque so you dont need to flip the design when you print and they look the same on any color tshirt.  The light color transfers are transparent and you need to flip the design.

These arent only limited to t shirts either Ive made patches and messenger bags using these. Anything that can be ironed.

Also don't worry so much about copyright infringement with logos and stuff. Unless you're selling it no one is going to care.

Though designing your own stuff is more fulfilling.

paltskan (author)2009-12-01

 awesome instructable, thanks! do you have any idea how long this will last (with the careful washing and all) because a friend told me it will only last through a couple of washes?

slimguy379 (author)paltskan2009-12-02

um always turn the shirts inside out when washing and if not by hand was at low speeds. but i have a shirt its lasted me a year a little crackling, which leads to chipping but its still hasn't chipped

emokids67 (author)2009-03-21

deff trying this, thanks

goodoldayz (author)2009-02-20

does the printed material have to be a specific paper or can a regular piece of printed paper do ? is there a seperate sheet strictly for white shirts ?

slimguy379 (author)goodoldayz2009-02-22

has to be heat transfers, if thats what your asking and yes there are differences between black an whit shirt transfers

cphuph1 (author)2008-12-25 is good too

weswert (author)2008-12-09

O man that a cool shirt nice job on it too! Boba Fett rules!

wenpherd (author)2008-11-25

do they have to be black

slimguy379 (author)wenpherd2008-11-25

thats the purpose of these special kind, is so you can print on black you can also buy irons that are made for white shirts as well

wenpherd (author)slimguy3792008-11-25

soooooo can you buy them for diffrent color shirts

slimguy379 (author)wenpherd2008-11-25

yes, these are usd on dark colors such as black, or olive , dark blue, any dark color.... an then there are prints for lighter colors such as white and even some greys. do a lil research on this site... youll find a better explanation

mangadragon (author)2008-11-11

It's still kinda stealing... but then again, half of the songs and programs on my computer are stolen. Fair enough.

noxvox (author)2008-08-27

Really neat work. For girls who want more fitted shirts than Hanes (an excellent choice, to be sure), try on anything you want at Good Will. Your total cost for the shirt will come to $4.00 including tax.

slimguy379 (author)noxvox2008-08-28

yeah yeah I was wondering if there were any women fit shirts out there (like hanes) that I could buy in a bulk for my screen printing designs. multiple input would be greatly appreciated

slimguy379 (author)noxvox2008-08-28

I buy my shirt at 2nd hand stores as well, Im not a gal so I really dont care for the fit but I pick up shirts for $.99- $1.99, good deal, thanks for posting

slimguy379 (author)2008-08-28

sometime soon I will make a video on how to screen print, just as soon as my chemicals come in from ebay

DIYDragon (author)2008-08-23

What type of shirts work best for these? I made one today with my own design, but it didn't come out well.. I'm blaming the stretchy type of material the shirt was made out of. I thought it would be Okay, but the design didn't "stick" all the way. : ( 100% cotton best for these or what? Thanks, Tabz.

slimguy379 (author)DIYDragon2008-08-23

i use the the hanes shirts that come 4 to a pack ibelieve they are %100 cotton

MrL33TPenguin (author)2008-08-19

Where can I get the transfer sheet? I live on Guam and we don't have most big brand stores like Walmart.

slimguy379 (author)MrL33TPenguin2008-08-20

idk, ac moores, micheals, staple, office max/ depot..... enywheres that sells printers or printer paper.... i guess

MrL33TPenguin (author)slimguy3792008-08-23

OK.... Thanks.

smarteddaedae (author)2008-08-16

where did you get the boba fett design?

andyhuntdesigns (author)2008-06-06

Good tut, but if you're gonna take the time to make homemade t-shirts, you should come up with your own new original designs that no one else would ever have instead of making knock-offs of shirts from Target. That defeats the purpose of making custom shirts.

Tru dat

slimguy379 (author)dashman942008-06-07

you don't have to agree with me!! :)

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