Printed T-shirts

Hello everybody! In this post I would like to show you these nice printed t-shirts I made last summer! Boyfriend W spotted a shirt he really liked, but it was ridiculously expensive (but still a simple cotton shirt… hooray for expensive brands…). I promised him I would make a shirt like that for him, but a lot cheaper! After a lot of washing the print still holds well, so if you can find the right paint I can guarantee you that it will hold for quite some time.

With the upcoming holidays I can imagine a shirt like this as a very nice present for your friends and/or family. Nothing as unique as a home-made present totally made to someones personal taste! If you want to make your own, keep reading 🙂

This is what you will need:

  • one or more cotton(!!!) shirts
  • picture of the desired print in the right size
  • empty cereal box (or something like that)
  • glue stick
  • hobby knife
  • acrylic paint
  • round paint brush
  • iron


First wash and dry your shirts to remove any coatings or paint residues left in the fabric. Cut the front and back of your cereal box, so you are left with two slabs of cardboard. Glue the printout of your design to the shiny side of one of those pieces with a glue stick. Don’t just put glue on the edges of the paper, make sure the whole design is covered in glue! When it’s still wet, cut out the design using a hobby knife (watch your fingers, especially with small, difficult shapes and curvy lines) and remove the printout paper. Smooth the edges of the holes you cut and voila, you have your template!


Now comes the fun part: centre your template on the shirt, right where you want your print to be. Put the other piece of cardboard inside the shirt, so the paint won’t press through the fabric. Squeeze some paint of the desired colour on a plate and load your brush with quite a lot of paint. Now, while holding your template firmly down, start stamping the paint in the holes of your template. Be very careful to press down the template well and do not brush but stamp to prevent the paint from bleeding under the cardboard. Cover the whole design in a generous amount of paint, making sure the fabric is evenly covered.


We are almost there! Peel of the template very careful, don’t shift it around or move too fast! Now you can see if the design turned out well, and if necessary you can do some touch-ups with a small brush. Let the paint dry until it doesn’t stick anymore. Then you can pick it up and put it on a clotheshanger to leave it to dry for another 24 hours. Don’t be impatient, letting it dry long enough is important for the paint to set! After 24 hours, iron the print for about 1 minute on the backside on the cotton temperature of your iron. This helps the paint to ‘melt’ into the fibres of the shirt.

And after this final step you are done! So easy, and so nice, especially when you see the happy faces these shirts induce. As you might have noticed, I made two of those shirts, a grey one with a black print and a black one with a red print. Both hold up for a good 4 months now, after a lot of wearing and washing. The red print faded a bit, but considering it is a light colour on a dark background and red is a difficult colour in general I am not disappointed at all.

So, this was a tutorial again! I have much more planned which will be published as soon as I have the time for them. Please let me know what you think of this project. Who would you give a shirt and what would you print on it? Let me know in the comments, I would really like to hear some ideas!

Do you have a request? Mail me at

Categories: Clothing, Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Printed T-shirts

  1. I love this shirt 🙂 it really suits him, and it looks very professional (as in, you cannot see that you did the painting yourself).


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