How To Make Personalized T-Shirts as Homemade Gifts

One of the main questions in your mind right now might be how to give nice gifts to give your loved ones this Christmas without breaking the bank. Definitely, we’ve learned that it’s simply not worth it to amass so much credit card debt during the holiday season which we end up paying for the entire year! The good news is, great gifts do not necessarily come with a hefty price tag – all it takes is a little bit of thinking out-of-the-box, resourcefulness and creativity. One of the best gifts you could give is personalized items. Placing the recipient’s name or picture artfully on items like T-shirts or mugs will automatically raise the uniqueness of that item. What’s even better is that it’s so easy and inexpensive to create personalized products! If you decide on giving personalized T-shirts (a practical choice), here are some of the steps to do this:

  • Prepare your materials. Basically, you will need a plain T-shirt and your decorating materials. There are so many ways that you could personalize the T-shirt, so it will depend upon your selected mode of decoration.
  • Use fabric paint. This is perhaps the easiest and simplest way to personalize the T-shirt. Simply sketch the name of the recipient and the design that you want to add to the shirt, using pencil. There are fabric paint available in crafts stores contained in little tubes, which make it easier to control the direction and flow of the paint. Of course, it’s best that you practice using the fabric paint first, as mistakes may get messy.
  • Use an iron-on transfer. If you want more expert-looking designs, you could use iron-on transfers instead. Iron-on transfers (as the name implies) refer to a special type of paper where you could print your design, then transfer it to the plain T-shirt using an iron. Do know that there are certain types of iron-on transfer that is good only for white and light-colored T-shirts, and there is another type good for bright or dark-colored ones. Make sure you buy the correct one for your preferences.

If you want to use this technique, you’d need some iron-on transfers (available at craft stores with brands such as HP and Avery), an inkjet printer compatible with iron-on transfers, and an iron.

First, create the design that you want to place on the T-shirt. You can use simple computer software such as Paint, Adobe Photoshop or even Microsoft Word for this. Here’s an idea: if you the recipient is a contact of yours at a social networking site such as Facebook, you can easily copy and paste one of her best pictures and use it as a T-shirt design. Once you finish your design, make sure that you preview it using the software’s Print Preview option, and you could also print the design first in regular paper so you would know that everything is just right. Here’s another very important reminder: do know that when you iron on the design, what you printed will be the mirror-image of what will appear on the shirt. That’s why you should use the “reverse” or flip image option so you will print the mirror-image of the actual design that you want.

Print the design on the iron-on transfer then cut it out carefully, and be sure to allot a ¼-inch margin from the image. Put the iron on its hottest setting (without the steam), lay the transfer paper onto the T-shirt (on the spot where you want the design to appear), then iron away.

There you have it! These are some of the guidelines for preparing your personalized T-shirt. Good luck!


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