If you’ve ever wondered how to make a custom t-shirt?
We can answer that here. Of course keep in mind that there are many levels of custom t-shirts.
And the outcome of the quality will be dependent on your budget.
To answer this question, we need to first look at the different ways to make a custom t-shirt.
Assuming you mean decorate the t-shirt and not actually fabricate one from scratch.
Here are your choices.
- Photocopy and iron on. This may be the cheapest way. But certainly not the most durable
- Vinyl cut and Iron on. This will require a vinyl cutting machine or asking a sign company to perhaps cut the vinyl for you
- Screen print your own iron on transfer material
- Direct to garment printing
- and finally silkscreen printing
We’ve laid out the answers in order of least expensive to most expensive. However, answers 4 and 5 could be flipped around somewhat depending on how you do it.
If you were to use a manual printer to silkscreen print or even a couple of hinges mounted on a table can do the trick, than certainly answer 5 would become 4 and vise versa.
On average a direct to garment printer can run about 20 to 30 thousand dollars new. And about 4-5 thousand dollars second hand.
While a silkscreen press ranges from about 5 to 12 thousand dollars for a manual and 40 to 170 thousand dollars for an automatic press (which is what we use).
How to make a custom t-shirt?
First you’ll need to buy some t-shirts. If you’d like to know which ones are the best, you can read this. Next, you need to decide the cheapest way or go the expensive way. You can read the list above to decide that. The first is photocopy. For this, you just need to produce your artwork, whether it be black and white, or color. And go to a place like Staples and get photocopies. But before you do that, you might want to read up on how to do t-shirt artwork for photocopy printing.
Once you got your “mirrored” photocopies ready, you can simply apply them to your t-shirts with an iron. This is the cheapest way to do this. But remember, we did say it is not durable. This kind of printing is wonderful if you have a one time event and plan on tossing out the shirts in the end. We highly recommend NOT to throw those t-shirts away. Rather, why not donate them to a charity to help less fortunate folks.
If you’re still interested in making your own custom t-shirts and want to learn more about the more expensive ways,
you can go here.