Monday, June 20, 2011

Make Your Own Custom T-Shirts

I am in the custom T-Shirt printing business, it's true. Maybe you'd think it's bad business for me to tell people how to make their own decorated shirts! But the fact it, with my minimum order at 50 shirts, there is plenty of reason to let people know what their options are.
If you need to put a design on just a few T-Shirts, I recommend using the tried and true ink jet transfer technique. Really, for short run full color, it's the only way to go.
Start by sourcing a few T-Shirts at relatively low cost at your local big box retailer. I'd stick to white or light T-Shirts as the transfer will look best on it. If you can't find blank T's at a good price, zip me an email and I'll set you up with blanks for a reasonable price.


You can do ink jet transfers on dark shirts too, just be sure to trim away the white margins from the ink jet paper before ironing.

You will need one piece of transfer paper for each shirt. You can buy ink jet T-Shirt transfer paper at most office supply stores, or you can order it online from Avery.
Of course you will need a design! Use a graphics or word processing program to set up a design. You can use typography, illustration, photos, and color in your design. Try to create something that will read well from a few feet away.
The design must be flipped horizontally to it's mirror image, then printed on the transfer paper. You can do this in Photoshop from the image pull down menu, and I understand you can do it in Microsoft Word also. I don't use Word, so you'll have to look in the help menu for tips on flipping the design. Or, just export the design as a PDF file and flip it in Photoshop!
Once you've printed your transfer paper, you are ready to print. Set an iron on cotton/high heat. Place each T-Shirt on a flat surface and place the printed transfer paper face down over it with the print in the desired position. Iron the back of the design firmly in a circular motion for three or four minutes to transfer the image to the shirt.
When washing, turn the shirt inside out and wash in cold water. The print will last longer if you do this. It will not last as long as a screen print, but still you get a great looking printed T-Shirt for a very low price.
Of course, when you decide you want a top flight screen printer to do your run of 50 shirts or more, I hope you will email me for a quote on the job!

2 comments:

Jimfavreur said...

Thanks for the info on how to make the best of making custom t-shirts . really informative. Keep up the great work!

Tshirt onlie said...

Majority on the shirts with these designs in the market, are available only in cotton material. The key purpose for giving priority on cotton material is due to the durability.Custom T shirts