how to make your own custom-designed tshirt // DIY

Today Pearl is showing how to make a customized tshirt with iron-on transfer paper! Read to the end for a fun surprise!

Anna and I had tossed around the idea of getting tshirts with our blog logo but couldn’t find any frugal options. So when Christmas rolled around I decided to make it happen!

Buying brown tshirts from a thrift store and the $store, I made my first step into the world of iron-on transfers! lol And they turned out perfectly!!

Shout out to the fabulous Natalie Therese for requesting this tutorial after she saw our Latte tee’s in a vlog!


Supplies you need:

  • Fabric transfer paper (use a coupon πŸ˜‰ and choose light/dark paper according to your fabric)
  • Tshirt (preferably 100% cotton)
  • Clothes iron
  • Pillowcase
  • Scissors
  • and a flat, hard surface

Untitled design

Important Note: Follow the instructions that come with your transfer paper. I am simply following mine, but be careful because yours may be different!

Insert your picture, logo, or words into a google doc. Make it about the size you think you’ll want it on the shirt, then go to print settings and change it to black&white.

It’s important to load your printer with regular paper at this step– DO NOT USE TRANSFER PAPER YET!

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Now hit print!

(If you don’t have a printer look for a local, inexpensive print store.)

Now you can lay the paper on the tshirt and determine if the size works for you. Re-print as many times as you need!

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Next, go back to your computer and make a free Canva account. Flip your image to be mirrored as shown in the screenshot below. (My transfer paper’s instructions said to do this, but paper I’ve used before didn’t. Check your instructions!)

Re-insert into your doc and make sure it’s the same size as the previous b&w version. NOW print on a piece of transfer paper, following your package’s instructions.

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Try on the tshirt, position the printed design, and make a light pencil mark in the centerΒ of where you want it to be. This will be a helpful guide later! πŸ™‚

Purple Yellow Blue and Pink Disease Prevention Coronavirus Awareness Poster

Cut out your design, leaving a narrow margin around it. Round off edges to make sure they won’t peel up in the wash.

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Lay the transfer image (my particular transfer paper had me put it face down) on the tshirt directly over the pencil mark you made earlier. You can measure from each side of the shirt to make sure the design is centered.

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Empty the water from your iron, plug it in, and preheat it to a cotton no-steam setting.

Lay a pillowcase on your hard, smooth surface. Do not use a towel or an ironing board.

You may iron the wrinkles out of the tshirt next, if needed.

Following the instructions for your transfer paper, iron the image down. Use continuous pressure and straight, non-stop motions from top to bottom and side to side. Your instructions should recommend how long to do this.

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Let it completely cool! YES this takes patience. πŸ˜› When cool to the touch, gently peel off the paper… and you’re done!

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(Most transfer paper will instruct you to wait 24 hours before gently washing and wearing.)

EXTRA THING: Add a touch of embroidered cuteness! Anna penciled a word on the left side of the collar and stitched it freehand.

There ya go! These would make awesome, personalized gifts for your friends and family!

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And now that fun surprise…

We’re mailing this LifeWithoutALatte tshirt to one person, and it will only cost you shipping! Just be the first to share this blog with 5 people who don’t already know about it and contact us to let us know!

(Closed. Congrats Kaitlyn!)

It’s a size medium, but I’m an XS and still made it cute by tying it. πŸ˜›

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Hope ya’ll enjoyed this DIY and are staying safe!

Don’t forget to follow along with our Giveaway and enter every possible way!! And join our Zoom Q&A on Wednesday!

>>Enter the giveaway here<<

Tell me in the comments if you want to try a tshirt transfer or have questions. πŸ˜€







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27 thoughts on “how to make your own custom-designed tshirt // DIY

  1. My favorite thing about this blog…. (OH, this is hard) XD Is maybe all the fun ideas you guys have, and every post is really interesting. Also, your personalities are great!! Love you both! ❀ πŸ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Awesome post! Wow such a cool and easy way to make T-shirts! xD I love it! So do you have to be the first person to share with 5 people that don’t already know about it to actually win the tee or is that just to enter for a chance to win?

    Liked by 2 people

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