How do you print a custom t-shirt ?

May 11, 2024
How do you print a custom t-shirt ?

If you’re looking for a way to make a statement, sell your brand or gift someone, then creating your very own t-shirt is perfect. With the current advancements in technology, you can print your own t-shirt from home and be your own designer. Read on for a detailed step-by-step guide to printing your own t-shirt, from start to finish.

Step 1: Design Your T-Shirt

Time Required 1-2 hours:

First, you create your design – it can be anything from a text slogan to a full-colour graphic. You can use graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator, or free online tools such as Canva, which have easy-to-use interfaces and pre-made templates.

Tip: If you are new to graphic design, keep the design simple. Use high-contrast colours and bold lines, so your design will be easier to print and will stand out.

Step 2: Select the Right Printing Method
Time Required: 30 minutes:

There are various ways to print t-shirts and each have their advantages and disatvantages. Below is an instructions that describes a task, paired with an input that provides further context. Write a response that appropriately completes the request.
Below is an instruction that describes a task, paired with an input that provides further context. Write a response that appropriately completes the request.
Today, there are various ways to print t-shirts. The most popular ones are.

Screen printing:

Good for bulk orders, it produces gorgeous, opaque colours that will last but also incurs a setup fee so it’s costly for small orders.

Direct-to-Garment (DTG):

DTG printers work like regular paper-based printers, except on fabric. They are good for detailed, multicolor items, but generally more expensive per shirt, the more you order.

Heat Transfer:

Perfect for home craft projects. You print your design on special paper and then heat-apply it to the shirt (think iron).

Pick the one that matches your budget, colour needs and the number of shirts you intend to print.

Step 3: Choose Your T-Shirt

Time Required: 30 minutes:

Choose a t-shirt with an appropriate design. Think about what material and colour your shirt would be. Generally, cotton t-shirts would be the best for printing, since it would absorb the ink and, as a result, would last for a long period.

For DTG or heat transfers, lighter fabrics are easier to print on:

Step 4: Print Your Design

Time Required: Varies

Once you have your design and t-shirt ready, it’s time to print.

If you’re having it done by a professional. Send your design to the printer, mentioning which method you’d like and details of the shirt. They will do the rest.

- If at-home heat transfer (DIY printing): Print the design on transfer paper, then iron or use a heat press to apply the design to the t-shirt; follow the instructions on the transfer paper to ensure the shirt does not burn and the design does not come off.

Step 5: Curing and Post-Processing:

Time Required: 1-2 hours

Now the curing – that is, setting – of the ink in the cloth has to happen. Generation of a t-shirt, stages 1 to 4. Courtesy of the author.Professional printers use a hang-dryer, but at home you might need to iron the shirt (no steam) to help the design set into place.

- TIP: To make the shirt last, machine-wash your custom t-shirt inside out on a gentle cycle.

Step 6: Wear Your T-Shirt!

Time Required: As long as you like!

Once your t-shirt is printed and cured, it is ready to wear. Enjoy your new t-shirt, whether you wear it for a special event or in your daily life, and add some personalization to your wardrobe.


Printing a custom t-shirt is a fun project that promises a lot of room for creativity and personal expression. It’s rewarding to have a printed piece that feels like yours and can be worn proudly. Follow these steps to make sure your design looks professional from the outset and will last throughout time.