T-shirt Printing at Home

T-shirt Printing at Home

With few simple instructions and the right materials, you can easily print a t-shirt at home. Read the Fashionhance article to find a step-by-step guideline that is easy-to-follow, and fun at the same time.
Fashionhance Staff
Last Updated: Mar 6, 2018
Printing t-shirts at home helps save your time and money. Even though it sounds complicated, it is in fact quite simple. You can buy plain white or black t-shirts, and create beautiful prints and designs. Just follow the instructions mentioned below, and I guarantee you will be showered with compliments wherever you go.
Screen Printing
Think of a simple design that projects your individuality and style. Keep the design between 9 x 15 inches in length. Ready the materials mentioned below and select an area (preferably away from everyone in the house) as your workstation.

Materials Needed
  • T-shirt
  • Black or color ink
  • Squeegee
  • Cardboard
  • Screen w/ frames
  • 150 watt bulb
  • Light bulb socket
  • Photo-emulsion Kit
  • Lukewarm water
  • Duct tape
  • Transparency paper
  • Hanger
  • Iron
  • White paper
  • Ironing board
  • Watering can
Step #1:  Take the transparency paper and copy your final design on it. If you don't want to risk making a mistake, go to your nearest supply store and have them make you a copy on the darkest piece of transparency paper. Carefully check if the copy is what you are looking for, because this is what the print on the t-shirt will be like.

Step #2:  Buy a screen from any art store or you can make one by purchasing the frame and some silk screen according to the size of your design. The inexpensive choice would be to make one yourself. Spread the screen over the frame and fasten it with some staples.

Step #3:  This step is a bit tricky because we will transfer the design on the screen, so pay close attention. Take your photo-emulsion kit and follow the directions that are on it. It will show you how to burn the image on top of the screen. Use the heat from the socket which is holding the 150 watts bulb, it will transfer the design from the transparency paper to your screen.

Step #4:  Now wash the image away from the screen with the lukewarm water. Don't panic; you are only washing out the parts that aren't needed. The design which is needed has already been imprinted onto the screen with the chemicals.

Step #5:  Place the t-shirt on top of a cardboard and put the screen on the t-shirt. Take out any creases so that you have a smooth surface to work on. Pour black or any other color of your choice on top of the screen only. Take the squeegee, extract the ink from top to bottom and then bottom to top over the screen. When you lift your screen, you will find your design transferred on the t-shirt.

Step #6:  Take a hanger and hang the screen printed t-shirt to dry properly. Once the ink is dry, place a white paper on top of the print and iron it for 5 minutes. This will help set the ink on the t-shirt.
Spray Printing
To get a professional looking print, always use a simple stencil.

Materials Needed
  • T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Sheet of paper
  • Marker
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Stencils
  • Spray paint color
Step #1
Take a piece of paper and draw the design or shape. Cut it out with the scissors. If you are not really good at drawing, keep the design real simple. Or maybe you are good at it, then go ahead and explore the horizons.
Spray Print Tshirt Step-1
Step #2
As you get your design, place the cut-out over the stencil. Keep the stencil flat on the t-shirt. Now it's time to spray the t-shirt. Think of what you want the end product to look like and imagine the color(s).
Spray Print Tshirt Step-2
Step #3
Place the cardboard inside the shirt, as it will prevent the paint from spreading through the other side. Just as an extra precautionary method, work on top of a newspaper.
Spray Print Tshirt Step-3
Step #4
Take the spray paint can and hold it about 6 inches away from the t-shirt. Apply light amount of paint around the stencil. Don't spray too much. Just a light smear over the stencil will give you the desired pattern. You can keep moving the stencil up or down the t-shirt and make more prints.
Spray Print Tshirt Step-4
There are many other methods that can fit into anyone's budget. Same goes for the color, I chose black because it is much cheaper than other colors. If you are using cotton t-shirts, make sure you don't pour too much ink on the screen as it may bleed inside the fabric.