How to Design and Make Your Own T-Shirts

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Couples can wear custom anniversary T-shirts.
Couples can wear custom anniversary T-shirts. (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Hundreds of T-shirt design sites are on the web, and almost every decent-sized city has at least one store that specializes in T-shirts. If you are considering opening up a T-shirt business, keep in mind that the T-shirt itself is a standard commodity -- it is the designs that you offer on your T-shirts that will distinguish your effort.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron
  • T-shirts
  • Inkjet transfer paper
  • Computer with inkjet printer
  • Scissors

Design images for your T-shirt on your computer or use images you have stored in memory. Use your own designs or photographs to avoid potential copyright issues.

Print the images you have selected on transfer paper using an inkjet printer. Check the layout of the image before you print. Some images might need to be rotated or printed in landscape mode for optimum appearance.

Crop the the blank edges of the printed transfer sheet using the scissors. If you are using more than one image on a T-shirt, experiment by placing the sheets with the heat-transferable image in several different positions on the front and back of the T-shirt to see where it looks best. Place the transfer sheet image side down in the spot you have chosen.

Preheat the iron to its highest setting for cottons (no steam). Once the iron is hot, apply it firmly to the back of the transfer sheet, starting in the middle and working in a circular motion toward the middle for 20 to 25 seconds, then repeat.

Peel off the paper backing of the transfer sheet immediately if you desire a satin finish for the image on your T-shirt, or wait an hour until cool to remove the transfer sheet if you prefer a glossy, shinier image.

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