How to Do Iron on T Shirts and Make Designs on the Computer

Applying an iron-on transfer to a t-shirt is a great way to personalize it with your own unique style

Steps

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    Create your design transfer in any picture editing program or open a picture you wish to have on your shirt.
    • Flip the image horizontally as per the directions on the transfer paper you have. You want the picture to appear backwards because when you transfer it to the shirt it will be on correctly. In this example we are using A very Dark T-shirt Transfer that doesn't tell you to flip the image.
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    Print the picture onto transfer paper.
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    Trim the transfer paper as necessary. Whatever you have left will all be transferred to your t-shirt.
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    Place the T-shirt on a flat, hard surface like a table. Use a clean plain shirt you plan on applying the transfer to.
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    Pre-heat a clothing iron.
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    Iron out the creases in your shirt. Make sure it lies completely flat before the transfer.
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    Peel the backing off the transfer paper.
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    Place the transfer onto the shirt in the location you want the design.
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    Place a soft kitchen towel, terry cloth towel folded in half or the parchment paper from the transfer package on top of the transfer.
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    Place the hot iron onto the towel and work in a circular motion from the middle of the transfer to the edges. How long you do this for is dependent on the instructions included with the transfer paper.
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    Allow the transfer to cool completely.
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    Remove the parchment paper from the transfer. Pull slowly starting at a corner.

Tips

  • Turn your shirt inside out when washing it. This will prevent your design from fading and being "washed away."
  • Make sure you reverse the transfer on the computer before ironing it on.
  • Be careful to not burn the paper on the transfer. This will scorch your design. It will make the finished design have dark burn spots on it.
  • Dry your shirt on low heat to prevent it from cracking or shrinking.
  • Make sure you use a hard, clean surface when ironing; this will prevent wrinkles in the design and give an easier time ironing.
  • It helps if the towel you use is thin, but if too thin (able to see through) you will want to fold it over. This acts as a heat absorber so you don't burn pattern.
  • If you have a figure instead of a square/rectangular pattern, cut around the figure and leave about 1/4" around the edges.

Warnings

  • Clothes irons get VERY HOT, as does the steam coming out of them.
  • If children are doing or helping with this project, adult supervision is a must at all times.

Things You'll Need

  • Transfer Paper.
  • Scissors to cut around design if needed.
  • Clothes iron with heat settings and optional steam feature.
  • Ironing board or hard clean surface you can place inside the shirt.
  • Graphics Program with ability to Horizontally Flip image, or a lot of Transfer Paper packages come with free software to make transfers.
  • Clean, new shirt (preferable) of preferred color. Recommended is having a color that makes the design stand out or something that blends with the outer edges.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Fabric and Clothing Decoration