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Russter's avatar

What is the best/cheapest way to do custom t-shirt design?

Asked by Russter (242points) July 29th, 2009

I think it would be fun to make T-shirts with my own designs/pictures. Do you know of any good free websites or cheap methods of doing this? I would especially be interested in finding out if there’s a website where I can make a design, and then make a profit every time someone wants to buy my design off of the site.

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16 Answers

Chongalicious's avatar

I’m not sure of websites for this, but a cheap way is to buy fabric paint at your local craft store, make a stencil from some computer paper…place that stencil behind some screen door material attached to a wooden square frame, and put a glob of the fabric paint in the middle, and scrape it around into every corner of your stencil with a straight edge. If done well, the design comes out perfectly. Hope this helps!

richardhenry's avatar

Sounds like you’re looking for something like Cafepress?

photographcrash's avatar

Yeah, I was just about to say CafePress. Definitely easy and inexpensive. I’ve made tshirts there before for my friends.

Tink's avatar

I use CafePress too, it’s easy.
Sometimes I create designs on the computer and print them on iron on paper and paste it on the Tshirt.

FrogOnFire's avatar

Buy t-shirt transfer paper from your local office supply or craft store. You just load them in your printer (be sure to follow the directions, because many brands work differently) and print out your design. You can then iron it on the shirt (takes some practice to get this part right) and you have a professional-looking, washable design for somewhere less than $1 plus the cost of the shirt.

YARNLADY's avatar

If you want to make your own, you could get a t-shirt screening kit. You would gain back the expense with the first few shirts, and all the rest would be mostly profit, except the replacement supplies.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

cafepress is my favorite… designed and ordered all the T shirts for a band i was in there, good quality, relatively cheap, pretty versatile.

Mrgelastic's avatar is a good site, if you’re looking for some 8-bit fun

El_Cadejo's avatar

I like to make my own with fabric paint.

It is a bit of work, but i find it quite enjoyable. First you want to draw your design into something that could be made into a stencil. Make sure you dont have any islands (floating pieces that would fall off when you cut the stencil)

After you have your design, transfer it to some thick stencil “paper” and cut it out. You can use a razor but it will start to hurt your hand a bit if you have a real intricate design or a lot of cutting. For this reason i like to use a soldering iron knife it gets nice and hot and cuts through the stencil like butter :).

After you have your stencil cut out your ready to put it on the shirt. To secure the stencil to the shirt and prevent bleeding, spray the back side of the stencil wtih some spray adhesive (a little bit goes a long way, if you use to much your going to have gummy residue on the shirt for quite some time.)

Firmly press the stencil down onto the shirt, and make sure all the inside edges (area your painting) are stuck to the shirt. Now just paint inside the stenciled area. I dont know how every brand is, but ive found with my fabric paint you really have to push the paint into the shirt with the brush.(which reminds me, make sure you have a thick piece of cardboard or something on the inside of the shirt.) Let it dry for a bit then pull of the stencil. (if you wait too long, your going to have a hard time getting it off due to the glue)

So yea thats all it takes. I know it looks like a lot, but its really not, and once the stencil is made, you’ll have it forever for whatever you want. So replicating more shirts for say, profit, wouldnt be hard.

Heres two of the shirts i made

richardhenry's avatar

@uberbatman The second one is so fucking awesome. Dude, I would buy that shirt. I would buy it so hard.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@richardhenry Thanks. Unfortunately i left that stencil on too long like i warned about above and ripped it in half. I’ll have to make another stencil one of these days.

skceb1234's avatar

an easy way to do stuff like that is to design on a computer(or on paper and then scan it on to the computer), and then print it off on to this special paper. it lets you peel the back off and iron on your design to you tshirt. i did this in textiles with a photo. after that you could sew on sequins or beads to make it more unique. Im not entirely sure where you could get the paper from but i guess over the internet or a craft shop.
I hope this helps:D

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