Custom tshirt making

One of my friend’s birthday is in 3 days, and it just dawned on me to get her a tshirt with her favorite phrase on it. There are a million websites that do t-shirt printing, but I am on too much of a time crunch to order something. Theoretically, I should be able to purchase a blank shirt, and purchase the lettering to iron/steam onto it. Over the years I have made various tshirts, usually for something school related, and the ones that didn’t come out crappy would TURN crappy after the first wash. I want to do this right, and preferbly without breaking the bank. Keep in mind that I know next to nothing about fashion. Advice? :slight_smile:

I have a friend who does custom T-shirts all the time. She make the design on her computer, takes it down to Office Depot or Kinkos, and they can transfer the design to an iron-on material. I’m not totally sure how it works tho’ so you might want to call ahead and see what they need.

you could go the craft route and get fabric paints and a stencil.


find an monogram shop near you. they will embro. what ever you want. you can pick a font and colour. hopefully she isn’t very wordy, they do charge by letter.

blank shirts are very affordable at craft stores.

You can buy thermal transfer sheets for an inkjet printer. The darker colors do okay, lighter ones, not so much. Iron on letters and such work better, but are tricky to get lined up properly. Check around for a t-shirt shop (there used to be ine in every mall, not so much anymore). They can crank out a custom lettered shirt in about 20 minutes.

Cafe Press does a good job, and very fast. I ordered one with my username cartoon and it came within a few days of my ordering it. Dunno if they could make it in three days – probably if you paid a premium.

Can anyone tell me if I can avoid the pesky iron-on transfers? I have an image, and I want a t-shirt made with it. I don’t like the iron-on transfers because they wash out and gemerally look bad. I’d rather have the shirt look professionally made. Is there any place to do that?

I’m thinking that since I only need to do 4 letters, it would be best to buy the letters and the shirt separately, and do a home-made job. The shirt is pretty easy to figure out, it’s just a matter of getting the letters. I live in NYC, so I’m sure there must be an iron-on letter shop somewhere out there…if I were to check in a bigger chain store, what section would they be under?

Around these parts (southern New England) there is a chain of stores called “A. C. Moore”. They are essentially an arts & crafts superstore. Huge place - think the size of Wal-Mart. While I haven’t gone there looking for iron-ons before, that is the first place I would check. If you don’t have an A. C. Moore around you, you might try another store that sells arts and crafts supplies. (It’s the “crafts” stuff you’re looking for - an art supply house like Utrecht or Charette probably wouldn’t help.)

You might also try Michael’s - it’s a fairly large chain craft store. There are some in Staten Island and Long Island for sure.

Good quality cheap T-shirts you can get at any Wal-Mart (braces for impact) for about five bucks.

i received two t-shirts from cafe press in 1997 that i wear, wash & dry at least once a month. they have suffered no noticeable degradation to this day.