Tap to Read ➤

T-shirt Printing at Home

With few simple instructions and the right materials, you can easily print a t-shirt at home. Read on to find a step-by-step guideline that is easy-to-follow, and fun at the same time.
Sheetal Mandora Oct 12, 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.

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 as mentioned 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/Tracing paper
  • Hanger
  • Iron
  • White paper
  • Ironing board
  • Watering can
Step #1: On the tracing paper, copy your final design. To play safe, from a supply store get a copy done on the darkest piece of tracing paper. Check if the copy is what you desire of, as this will be printed on the t-shirt.
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. 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.
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. 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.
Step #2: As you get your design, place the cut-out over the stencil, kept 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).
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.
Step #4:Lightly spray paint around the stencil keeping the paint can 6 inches away from the shirt. Just a light smear over the stencil will give you the desired pattern. Keep moving the stencil up and down for more prints.
There are many other methods that can fit into anyone's budget. Same goes for the color, choose 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.