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Printed T-shirts on a night out or holiday are great. There’s nothing funnier (to you and your friends) than having a hilarious, yet bold, t-shirt that is bound to turn heads. Remember that printer you bought in first year of uni? Time to dust it down, order some more ink and have some good old fashioned textile fun. Liberate that glorious machine of its monochrome Times New Roman shackles. The good thing about volunteering to make the t-shirts is that you get to choose your own complimentary ‘nickname’, whilst everyone else is at the mercy of your devious mind.
- T-Shirt transfer paper
- Ink jet printed image of your Choice(not printed on the lining side)
- T-shirt to be printed on
Step 1: Supply & Demand
T shirts – You have a few options when buying the tour t-shirts. The most important piece of advice I can bestow upon your excited little face is to make sure you pick a light color. White is best, but pale shades of many other colours are available in a range of budget stores that need no mention.
Depending on how popular you are, and the chances of ever receiving any money back from your mates, you could go for a bulk order off the web but beware of American sizes and weird fittings. If you have disproportionately fat arms and a skinny torso, you are in luck. Otherwise play it safe and go shopping yourself.
Step 2: The Transfer Window
Photo transfer paper – Again, depending on budget, there are a range of photo papers available from the big name brands which deliver the best quality, to those ones on eBay from far flung locations where the postage and packaging is the most expensive element.
Let’s get something straight: these t-shirts will not last you a lifetime. If you are looking for a quality piece of haute culture then go to a professional print shop.
If your designs are rather risqué and you would rather not leave your real name on the order sheet then home printing is your only option.
Step 3: Playing designer
Now for the fun part. Pictures, photos, cartoons, names, anything you like. Have a play around on your computer with some free editing software and find some fonts online to give the impression you’ve actually put some effort in. For most hilarious results, use your crude but effective photoshop skills to cut and paste your mates head onto someone or something else. You are now Banksy. You clever clever thing. Your art GCSE did come in handy after all.
Step 4: Reverse The Paper
You need to remember that anything you print onto the paper will be reversed when you iron it onto a t-shirt, including any text. Take a moment to let this point sink in. Good. Because I did it wrong twice in a row.
You want to utilise as much of the paper as you can, just like they taught you on Art Attack. To do this properly, use your photo editing software and work out the measurements in centimetres.
Placing a piece of A4 paper on the t-shirt will give you a good idea of how big your design will be. If you have any voluptuous friends, you might like to use more than one sheet of transfer paper. Also, if necessary, use a separate sheet of transfer paper in landscape for a nickname on the reverse of the shirt. Simples.
Step 5: Ironing – The home straight
Now, I know this is an easy step to rush, and not something you are used to, but take your time lining up your design, let your iron get as hot as it can and iron with a smooth gliding action on a flat surface . An ironing board is a good bet. How handy? Be one with the iron. You are Iron Man.
At this point, you may like to take a picture on your camera phone for posterity and upload it to a social networking site. May I suggest a caption such as “Check out my mad skillz, mega LOLZ”. This will only heighten the excitement of your chums.
Finally, when you cannot hold back any more, peel off the backing from the transfer paper and admire your creation. Now when you are strutting your stuff in your local drinking establishment or outside a Kebab shop at 3am you can be confident that everyone knows that you are ‘The Ladykiller’. (Because it says so on your t-shirt.). All your friends are crowding around and cheering you, they love your witty comments almost as much as you do. Job Done.
More helpful DYI tutorials:
- Screen Printing your own T shirts with Freezer Paper
- High table with textures
- T-shirt Transfer Tutorial
- Tutorial: Iron on Transfers
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