Customising clothing: transferable t-shirts

Written by Dan Featherstone.

Okay, so you’ve spent all the money you’ve saved during the holidays. It’s gone on vodka Red Bulls on a Friday night and takeaway pizzas after numerous failed attempts at that lasagna recipe your mother reminds you has been passed down the family for generations.

It’s also times like these where you want new clothes. You’re bored with what’s in your wardrobe but you don’t want to spend any money.

So, what do you do? Try transferable t-shirt making. It’s extremely cheap, you can personalise your own style and it’s simple to do.

Dan shirt
The finished garment. Photo: Dan Featherstone

What you will need:

  • Black t-shirt
  • Dark t-shirt transfer paper
  • A picture on a printable device
  • An inkjet printer
  • Scissors
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Iron

1) Iron the t-shirt before you start. Also, use a t-shirt a size larger than you normally wear as this looks better for prints.

2) Locate the picture you want on your t-shirt on your computer. I find that Word is simple to crop your photo to the required size.

3) Place the t-shirt transfer paper into your printer. You need to ensure that you print the picture out onto the plain side of the paper. The pattern on this paper can change but most commonly it will be a faint yellow square design on the back. Do not print on this side.

4) Cut your design out. Check that the design is cut evenly.

5) Make sure that the place on the t-shirt where the design is going to be is crease-free. You then want to peel the backing off of the transfer paper and discard this.

6) Placement is very important. Make sure your picture is aligned perfectly onto your t-shirt, as you cannot change this once it’s been ironed on.

7) Once you’ve done this, grab your greaseproof paper. You want to get a larger piece than the size of your picture and lay it on top of the image.

8) Using an iron on the required heat setting, iron over the image, placing it on the greaseproof paper. Do not at any time put the iron directly onto the image, as this will cause it to melt. Iron the paper in a circular motion for over 30 seconds.

9) Completed! Your t-shirt is made and ready to wear. Customise it even more by altering the neck, dying the shirt or even sewing studs on. Now you’ve done one shirt, why stop there?

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