Want a T-shirt decorated
with a particular saying or picture perhaps your own, or a loved
ones? Dont go to the T-shirt shop make your own!
Its easy with specialized image transfer paper, available at most
computer and office products stores.
The process is simple. First, create the image you want to transfer
to the T-shirt Use software that flips the image horizontally, creating
a mirror-image print to transfer. Get some specialized paper for iron-on
transfers (made by your printer manufacturer, if possible). Print your
design on the transfer paper (inkjet printers only). Next, heat up your
iron to its hottest setting. Place the transfer paper with your design
printed on it onto the T-shirt where you want it. Iron the paper on
the T-shirt slowly, letting the paper get very hot. Remove the backing,
and you should have a good image on your T-shirt Thats the theory,
anyhow; lets see how it works.
I searched for iron-on transfer paper by Hewlett-Packard, since I have
a Hewlett-Packard printer. To my surprise, it was somewhat hard to find,
but I found it at my local OfficeMax. The paper was quite expensive:
$15 for 12 sheets. Other brands were similarly pricey. Some generic
brands were cheaper, but I figured using paper from the company that
made my printer would produce the best results. To my delight, I found
a detailed instruction sheet included in the paper box.
I wanted to make a T-shirt that featured the Alamo PC 20-year anniversary
logo, which Clarke sent me. As a longtime user of the Print Shop program,
I knew it would produce reversed images for transfers, so thats
what I used. I played around with various designs, then settled on an
image where the Alamo PC logo was framed by a wooden frame, which was
a stock Print Shop frame type. Viewing a print preview showed me I had
about half a page left blank, so I created a text headline with the
organizations name and motto at least it used to be the
motto, and for me, it portrays what Alamo PC is all about: Member Helping
Members. I printed this text underneath the framed logo. Finally, following
the suggestions on the instruction sheet, I printed a test sheet. After
all, I didnt want to mess up one of the expensive transfer sheets.
Good thing I did, too; the text, which had looked so neat on the screen,
was hard to read. I removed some of the special effects Print Shop used
for its standard headline text, leaving on the letters. I then adjusted
the relative sizes of the first and second lines of text, and printed
another test page. Much better!
Now it was time to print on the transfer sheet. I opened the printer
driver, and set the paper type as Hewlett-Packard iron-on transfer (one
of the reasons to use paper from your printer manufacturer the
printer driver knows how to print optimally on the paper, to produce
the best final image). To my inexperienced eye, the result looked pretty
Not wanting to use just any old T-shirt for my work of art, I scoured
the finest clothing stores for one that would really do justice to my
creation. Finally, at Sams, I found the ideal shirt: a white computer
nerd-approved Fruit of the Loom shirt with a pocket. Coughing up the
$2.47 to purchase the shirt, I returned home to complete my work of
art. Now came the part I was most apprehensive about: ironing the image
onto the T-shirt Normally, I would have requested spousal assistance,
but mine was out of town. So I was on my own. Fortunately, Hewlett-Packard
provided very clear, detailed instructions. Dont use an ironing
board; a flatter, harder surface is required. I used a kitchen counter.
Place a pillowcase or sheet over the flat surface to provide protection
from burning. Heat the iron to its hottest setting. Iron the pillowcase
or sheet so there wont be any wrinkles to smear the image. Then
iron the T-shirt for the same reason.
Trim excess paper from the transfer image, leaving a 1û4 inch border
around the image. Place the paper on the T-shirt, with the image side
against the T-shirt Carefully line up the image, making sure its
not crooked (this was the hardest part for me). Then slowly pass the
iron across the paper, taking about 20 seconds for each pass across
the paper. Iron until all parts of the paper have been ironed across.
Let the paper cool for at least a minute, then peel off the paper. The
image will remain behind on the T-shirt, protected by some sort of transfer
layer from the paper that overlays the image.
As you can see, the images on my T-shirt were very sharp and brightly
colored. And my worst fear leaving big scorch marks on my kitchen
counter did not happen. Whew!
Although I used transfer paper designed for a white T-shirt, it is also
available for dark colored T-shirts. Just pick the right one.
Im happy with the results, but it remains to see how well the
design stands up to washing. Hewlett-Packard recommends turning the
shirt inside out when washing it so the image