Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Custom-made, Totally Unique T-Shirt Designs!

I guess you could say we were tired of our same old t-shirts so we wanted to do something a little bit more unique. I've always been amazed at Melissa's awe-inspring designs

(PICS! for a sample), so what we wanted to do was to find a way to get one of her designs onto a t-shirt.

The drawing we wanted to use.

The best way to do this, we thought, would be to iron them on. First, we had to find the right printer paper to use. I have an HP inkjet printer so we checked out the usual office supply suspects for printer paper. We found some Avery Ink Jet T-Shirt Transfers

at Staples that seemed to be what we were looking for. Next, we picked up some blank t-shirts from Michael's. We scanned the desired t-shirt design and then printed it out in a way that would best preserve the quality of the drawing as well as the detail. I'm not completely dialed-in to my HP scanner+printer so it took some fiddling to get it right. (Side note: if you're thinking of trying this, don't actually print on the expensive Avery Transfer paper until you've found the right set of conditions for the best print-out on regular printer at low-quality. Once you've found what works, print at a high-quality on the transfer paper.)

What proved to be the tricky part was the actual ironing-on of the print-out to the t-shirt. For the first attempt, we placed the print-out face down on the t-shirt and ironed for about 2 minutes directly on the back-side of the paper. This might have resulted in too much heat being applied because the shirt started to brown. We placed a pillowcase over the paper and ironed for the recommended 90 seconds. However, when we attempted to pull back the paper from the shirt, the design itself wasn't completely affixed to the shirt so part of the design started to peel off as well.

Finally, we tried ironing over the pillowcase but for about 3 minutes making sure the transfer was fully applied. This proved to be the best case as it came out beautifully.

We'd like to eventually do a more professionally looking application. We just wanted to try this out. and see how it would work.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. I think it turned out well with the iron on! I think Melissa's designs would work great when screen printed as well.