T-shirt printing has come a long way since it began. While there are many steps involved in printing a design onto a t-shirt, with time, practice and the correct materials anyone can get the hang of it. If you are in need of printing a bulk of t-shirts screen printing is the best option however this process is more complex and requires specialized supplies. If you are doing a one-time project, printing using transfer paper is the way to go. Below you will find a list of steps to follow in order to print using the transfer paper method.
- Purchase your supplies. You will need t-shirt transfer paper which can be found in any craft store and a t-shirt. There are two types of transfer paper, one for white and pastel colored shirts and one for dark. you will also need a t-shirt, iron, ironing board or hard flat surface and inkjet printer with quality ink.
- Create your design. Whether you are taking an image from the internet or creating your own with Photoshop is up to you. You also have the option to take a photo and scan it into the computer to use that image as well.
- Print your design. If you are using paper for a light colored t-shirt, before printing you must mirror the image. This does not need to be done when printing on a dark t-shirt. If your image is too large for the paper look for the fit to scale setting. Make sure you are printing using the highest-quality inkjet printer ink for the best possible quality.
- Cut around the image. Once your design is printed cut off the access paper around the image.
- Iron the shirt. Make sure you have a hard flat surface, like an ironing board, and that the iron is set to the specific heat settings stated on the transfer paper. Iron the shirt you are printing on so that it is completely flat, wrinkles will disturb the design.
- Iron design onto t-shirt. Place the image in the place you want it to appear on the shirt, if using transfer paper for a white shirt place the image down (since you mirrored it). Press the image flat and iron for up to several minutes, moving the iron at all times.
Once the paper has cooled, peel the paper off to revel the image. And after a few more minutes of air drying you will have designed your very own shirt.