How to Make Your Own Iron on T-Shirt Templates

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You can make your own iron-on transfer templates for T-shirts.
You can make your own iron-on transfer templates for T-shirts. (Image: stock.xchng)

Personalized T-shirts are commonly worn by people to make fashion statements. You can use iron-on transfers to quickly personalize shirts. Keeping the iron-on template on hand will allow you to mass produce iron-on transfers for multiple T-shirts. You'll also be able to distribute your template so that others can use them to make their own iron-on templates. Once you have your template, you can print it on quick-fuse fabric sheets or iron-on paper specifically made to be used with your home ink-jet printer.

Draw your design template. You can incorporate images and text, putting them together like a collage. Your printer will not be able to print the color white, so don't use it in your template. White spaces will be clear in the transfer, so your T-shirt's color will show through in those parts.

Make sure your template is no larger than 8 1/2 by 11 inches, because that is the largest size in which you can buy iron-on transfer paper. It should also be small enough to fit into your computer scanner.

Scan your image into your computer and save it as an image file such as a JPEG or GIF file. Alternatively, design your template directly on your computer. Use design software or word processing software that will allow you to work with images if you are incorporating images into your template. Some iron-on transfer kits come with software that you can use to create your templates.

Print your template on a plain white piece of paper so that you know it will print the way you want it to appear.

Keep your template as an image or document file on your computer. From there, you can use it when you need it, mail it to others, or post it on the Internet.

Tips & Warnings

  • The advantage of using image-editing software instead of word processing software is that you can easily reverse images in image-editing software. This way, if you are using fabric sheets that you must print the image on backward, it will appear forward when you iron it onto your T-shirt. Some iron-on transfer kits come with software that will automatically flip your image before printing it.
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