Instant T-shirt Design With Laser Printer

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Introduction: Instant T-shirt Design With Laser Printer

Make your special one-day t-shirt design and impress your friends, with an every-day-new t-shirt ;)

What U need:
- laser printer
- baking paper
- plain paper (on what u normally print)
- some kind of cutter
- double-faced scotch tape
- hard underlay (heat resistant)
- iron
- t-shirt

What U get:
- nice individual clothing

mostly after washing your cloth is just like before - without individual style
sometimes some black color will be left anyway
so, it's all on your own risk ;)

Deutsche Version (german version)

Step 1: Prepare the Design

I only own a b/w laser printer, so my motive has to be b/w, too.
I think this should also work with a color laser printer (haven't tried).

So choose or create what you want to get on your clothes.
In case that it is a DIN A4 printer I fragmented my writing in order to get it bigger than A4.
For even bigger things, just use more sheets.
Do not just cut your image. The border-zones schould overlap a little bit, this will make it easier putting them together in the right way.
And don't forget to mirror it!

Step 2: Prepare the Printing

For transferring the motive on cloth, it has to be printed on baking paper.
baking paper isn't in printer friendly format, so you have to cut it in the format which is supported by your printer ;)

The next fact is: Printers don't like baking paper - they'll eat it and go on strike!
You have to make your printer believe it's a plain paper.
Use the double-faced scotch tape to mount the baking paper on the plain paper.
Baking paper should be a little smalle than the plain paper.
If your baking paper is coated on only one side, this side should be on top (you'll print on this side)

Step 3: Get Ready for Ironing

After printing you should handle the sheet with care so that the toner doesn't leave the paper.
A little bit of the toner will be left in the printer so that your very next print gets "dirty" (at least in my printer) don't care ;)

Now you have to cut the motive into a usable shape - better use a cutter or scalpel than scissors (above named handle with care).

looks good so far

Step 4: Ironing

last step:
For ironing you should use a hard underlay, otherwise the result will be ugly.
I used a sheet metal.
Before ironing you should test the position of the complete motive on the cloth - still handle wiht care.

Turn off the steam. Iron as hot as your t-shirt supports ;)
Iron the parts seperately.
Be sure to have everytime a baking paper between iron and toner.

At the beginning heat the complete part with the iron evenly.
Then go on from the border with some pressure, maybe use the edge of the iron.
While doing this, strip off the baking paper slowly - you will see wether the toner is on the cloth or on the paper -> should be all on the cloth.
Do not iron directly on the toner - the toner loves your iron much more than your t-shirt.

At the end all the toner should be on the cloth - nothing on the baking paper.

(the toner is black plasitc powder which melts on heat)

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    47 Discussions

    Does this work with pictures?

    Would I be able to use toner based ink to print on opague heat transfer paper?

    My printer didn't like the baking paper even after sticking it down. It didn't jam or anything, but the toner wouldn't adhere to it at all. So it came out a massive black smudge....

    1 reply

    mine did the same then i turned it over and it stuck perfectly

    Thanks for sharing your idea, its given me an idea!

    I love this...if I could get it to work as well as the pictures. So here are some questions:
    1. I am using parchment, is there a particular brand that works best? mine have all had about 1/2 the toner left on the parchment.
    2.What about the temperature of the iron
    3 it would be cool if you could trick the printer so it didn't heat the paper so you'd get a more pure print.

    Where can i get the baking paper?

    Is baking paper in the US parchment paper (in a roll) or perhaps waxed paper (in a roll). Thanks!

    It would be a perfect method, but it's unusable witch black t-shirts :/ And so it's "only" great :)

    2 replies

    would be interesting how color prints come out on black t-shirts. color laser printer anyone?

    i tried this a while back for a school project and yea color works. its sticks well. but it messed with my laserjet 1600. now all my pages are pink and it runs low. and USE double sided tape. regular tape melts and gets stuck.

    New T-shirts have a treatment on them that keeps them from getting wrinkled and dirty on the shelf. This treatment needs to be washed away. Pre-washing also pre-shrinks the shirt, which is important. Also, use ordinary 50/50 cotton/poly blend shirts for best results.

    Cool, i like it, yet to try it though.. you can often get cheap colour laser printers from pc/harware reclaimation yards

    2 replies

    After a preliminarily pressing the iron flatly over the whole image (letters) at once, I found i needed to go over the whole thing applying pressure with the tip of the iron (the end of the flat bit only a square centimeter or so I guess, so more force was exerted over each bit) . Im guessing i could also improve the blackness of mine by printing twice on the baking paper, so that a thicker layer of toner is applied , though I have not tested that yet . God bless, Mark

    better don't try to print twice on one baking paper - i think this would end up in a tonerpowder everywhere in your printer effect ;) better print on two sheets and iron both on the shirt. works fine

    This is a really good free way of printing your own t-shirts. Thanks Kiwisoft

    so... will wax paper work? most wax paper can stand up to quite a bit of heat. i want to know, but i don't want to kill my printer figuring it out.

    If it's a simple logo, i'd print an image and make a template, Then spray paint it.