How to Print T-Shirts at Home With Iron?

Often, we love to customize things according to our needs but getting items customized from other people is not only expensive, it takes a lot of time to reach you. From the actual designing part to the final execution, there are a lot of things that go into making the perfect printed t-shirts.

But, wouldn’t it be amazing if you get to do the same yourself? Sounds like a pretty great option, right? Well, to be fair, the process is very simple, all you need to take care of are the ingredients needed and the process involved. That is all there to it.

Here, we will discuss every last detail that you likely need to know about the DIY printed t-shirts that you can make in the comfort of your own home with a few standard items and an iron.

Why is Printing T-Shirts at Home a Better option?

If you want to print T-shirts with iron at home, chances are that you need a suitable reason to convince yourself and your family of that. And, saying that it is going to be a fun project won’t always suffice. So, before you decide to get the printed T-shirts done at home, there are a few important things that you likely need to keep in mind.

Why is it a better option?

DIY Fun Projects

The first and likely the most important reason why printing shirts is a better option at home is because of how fun the entire project is. You get to plan your own design and then see the same come to life on the T-shirt that you are printing it on. It is also a fun way to earn a side income from. If you are trying to look for ways to keep yourself occupied when you are bored.

See Your Vision on a T-Shirt

Another reason why printing your t-shirts at home is fun is because it provides you with a creative outlet. It allows you to draw your own design and then see it come to life on a T-shirt. This is especially great for individuals who are good at drawing and envisioning things. Just ensure that you make the most out of the design and whip up something that reflects your personality well.

It is Cheaper

You can’t deny the fact that doing your own printed T-shirts is a lot more economical than buying them from stores or bulk fashion houses. It is all about you getting the basic supply like the transfer paper and the image and a printer and you are all set to go. You don’t have to pay additional money on shipping and other accessory expenditure.

It Contributes to Sustainable Fashion

The fashion and clothing industry is one of the biggest contributors to non-sustainable fashion. They contribute to the risks of climate change and also include unfair pay for the workers in the industry. Printing your own T-shirt is thus an amazing way of stepping towards better sustainability. When you know the process of printing your own T-shirts, it means that you can thrift and transform your entire closet as well, thereby reducing further wastage.

How to Print T-shirts at Home Using Iron?

Now that we have talked about the benefits of printing t-shirts on your own at home, it is necessary we discuss the best ways to do so. The process is pretty simple. All you need to do is follow the steps and maintain the right heat and ensure that the fabric is of superior quality to sustain the iron and ensure the easier iron-on transfer of the print.

What Supplies Do you Need?

For successfully printing your own t-shirts at home using an iron, you first need to sort out the needed supplies. Some of the most important ones include:

  • Iron-on transfer sheets
  • T-shirt of your choice
  • Inkjet printer
  • Iron

How to Print T-shirts Using Iron-on Transfer and Printer?

Once you have accumulated all the needed supplies, you need to follow all the steps we have sorted out for you below. Keep in mind that the printing process is not a single-step process. It includes a number of factors that you need to keep a check on. There are seven individual steps that you need to prioritize, including:

  • Design
  • Print
  • Trim Material
  • Prepare Workspace
  • Ironing
  • Finish Transfer
  • Care and Maintenance


  • This is the first and likely the deciding factor involved in the whole T-shirt printing process. You can either make your design from scratch or you can get the design templates and inspiration from the internet and then use them for your t-shirt.
  • Ensure that you have the dimensions of the design sorted out in accordance with your T-shirt’s size and the area you want the print to be on.


  • Once you are done with the designing part, the next thing to focus on is the printing process. Before anything, gather the paper and the printer.
  • Start by printing the design on the plain papers to ensure that the placement would be right before you do the same on the transfer paper.
  • Feed the iron on the transfer sheets into the printer to ensure optimal accuracy of the print for the t-shirt eventually.

Trim Material

  • Once the print is on the transfer paper successfully, you can cut around the print and the margins to narrow down the design so it doesn’t look odd.
  • When trimming, try and keep the edges of the print round to ensure optimal ease of removing the paper after the iron-on transfer is done successfully.

Prepare Workspace

  • If you are doing iron-on transfers, working on a wooden table is considered the best option. It reduces risks of damage and ensures smoother and easier management of the printing process.
  • Be very careful with the iron settings and ensure that it doesn’t have the steaming setting selected. Also, get rid of any moisture if there is any.
  • Once that is sorted, you can take the iron and then set it to the cotton setting and preheat it for 2 minutes to 5 minutes maximum.
  • Start by ironing the pillow you are working on along with the t-shirt where the transfer paper will be placed.
  • Once all that is done, you are then prepped for the most important process – the iron-on transfer.


  • Take the transfer design down on the t-shirt where you want the design to be on.
  • Once you have the placement of the design finalized, you can take your preheated iron and then start ironing on the transfer paper, applying even and firm pressure all across the design to ensure an even transfer of the design that you want on the t-shirt.
  • Put extra pressure around the edges to seal the design in place.
  • Once done, you can turn off the iron.

Finish Transfer

  • Once the ironing process is done, you can easily remove the t-shirt from the workspace and leave it to dry and cool down for a few minutes before you end up removing any of the excess trimmings from the side.
  • Wait till the design is transferred and then peel off the backing paper little by little without putting excess pressure on the design.
  • If you find the design lifting from around the edges, you can re-iron the area on the design and then wait again before peeling off the rest.

Care and Maintenance

  • Once the design has been ironed on, you need to wait for at least 24 hours before you consider washing the t-shirt.
  • When washing it, make sure that you flip it inside out and then machine wash it with cold water.
  • Avoid ironing directly on the design and the print because that will eventually result in peeling off the paint from the t-shirt.

T-Shirt Printing With Iron: FAQs

1. Can a regular printer help with iron-on transfers on t-shirts?

The majority of the inkjet printer gets the job done. These are designed for the iron-on transfers specifically. You don’t need to modify or change any of the settings because the inkjet printer is programmed for that only. Just ensure that you have the right printer and the accessory materials for a comfortable transfer process of the design.

2. What kind of papers work best for printing on t-shirts?

If you are planning on printing your t-shirt, you will need a heat transfer paper of the best quality. This is to ensure that the transfer process onto the fabric is done optimally and without leaving any stains onto the sides. These papers are best for DIY projects.


Printing shirts at home is not a tough process. All you need to do is have all the necessary supplies and follow the instructions to set things up within 2 minutes. Always make sure that you use the right fabric, good quality and the latest inkjet printer along with a transfer or parchment paper to get the iron-on transfers done correctly.

Jan Mason

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