How To Make Amazing Heat Press Transfers For T-shirts At Home!

If you want to make amazing Heat Press Transfers for yourself or your customers, but you don’t want to spend a ton of money on the presses and supplies, then you have to read this article!

There are several simple ways to get great results using simple tools you probably have lying around the house right now…but that’s not all! We’ll also show you how to use ready-made heat press vinyl if you don’t have your own.

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What You Need to Know about Heat Press Transfers

They are a type of iron-on transfer that has the design to be applied to fabric. They can be bought in stores, but why would you want to do that when you can make them at home for much cheaper? That’s what this tutorial is for. You’ll need:
1) A blank t-shirt
2) Transfer paper
3) An iron and ironing board
4) Scissors or an Xacto Knife (optional)

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Step by step guide on how to make your heat press transfers:

  1. Cut out the design you want to transfer on a piece of paper that is the same size as your t-shirt.
  2. Tape down the edges of the design and put it on top of your t-shirt.
  3. Flip it over and put another piece of paper on top with an iron set to high heat and press for about 10 seconds or until done (or follow instructions from your heat press).
  4. Let cool for a minute before taking off the second layer of paper, then take off first layer of paper and you have made a custom shirt with your own design!
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The Materials You Need

To make heat press transfers for t-shirts at home, you will need the following materials:

  • A heat press machine and a way to plug it in
  • A stack of shirts that you want to customize
  • White fabric paint (you can also use colored fabric paint if you want a more colorful design)
  • An iron with a steam setting (if your iron doesn’t have this setting, turn on the steam function)
  • A bowl or container that is big enough to fit your shirt inside and won’t leak water all over the place when you pour in water
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The Process

  1. Purchase a heat press machine.
  2. Set up your design on an iron-on transfer paper and cut out the design with an X-Acto knife or scissors.
  3. Apply the heat press to your garment and press for about 12 seconds, then peel off the backing paper carefully from the back of the design and place it onto your garment (this is where you will want to double check that you trimmed off all of the excess paper).
  4. Apply pressure for about 10 seconds with a clothes iron on top of the design, then peel away any remaining pieces of backing paper.
  5. Your transfer should now be applied to your garment and ready to wear!
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Tips and Tricks

  1. Prepare the heat press by turning it on and heating it up for at least five minutes before use, so that it is hot enough to transfer the image onto fabric;
  2. Create the artwork you want to put on the t-shirt using your computer, tablet, or phone and a photo editing software like Photoshop;
  3. Cut out the design you want to put on your t-shirt with a pair of scissors;
  4. Place a piece of freezer paper (or parchment paper) over top of your cut out design and then place that design face down onto the t-shirt and iron them together for about 5 seconds at 300 degrees Fahrenheit or until they are stuck together well;
  5. Peel off the freezer paper carefully and turn the shirt over to reveal your printed t-shirt; 6. If there are any air bubbles in your design, prick them gently with a needle;
  6. Enjoy wearing your new personalized t-shirt!

The best part is this process can be repeated as many times as you want without any additional cost because all you need are some basic supplies – a printer, glue stick, hair dryer, freezer paper (or parchment), scissors – plus one good quality cotton t-shirt from your favorite store.

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Final Thoughts

Making heat press transfers for t-shirts at home is a great way to save money and have total control over your design. The one thing that is important to remember is to cut out the design first before ironing, because it can be difficult to cut out once the plastic has been heated up.

After you’ve created your design and ironed it onto your shirt, all that’s left is to use a household iron on high heat with no steam and start pressing the transfer onto the fabric.

It’ll take two or three minutes per side of the transfer, but don’t let it touch anything while its heating up or cooling off in order to avoid lifting or wrinkling.

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Can I make my own heat transfers?

Heat transfers are a great way to brand your t-shirts or any other fabric. If you want to make your own heat transfers, all you need is a transfer paper and an iron.

This post will walk you through the steps on how to make your own heat transfers for the most professional looking results. Follow these steps and enjoy making your own high quality custom t-shirt designs in minutes at home with no expensive equipment required.

How do you make homemade iron on transfers?

You will need a clean surface and an ironing board. Lay your shirt on the board, inside out. Place your transfer paper on top of the front side of the shirt and use an iron to press it for about ten seconds. Turn the shirt around, place the transfer paper on top of it, and press again for about ten seconds with a hot iron. Now you can peel off the backing and enjoy your new design!

How do you make your own t-shirt transfers?

Making your own heat press transfers for t-shirts is a lot easier than you think. Here’s how to do it:
1) Get your design ready in a graphics program of your choice – Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. Make sure that your design is the size you want it to be on the shirt and has less than 300 dpi.

2) Upload the design to Inkjet printing paper so that when you print, the ink will transfer onto the T-shirt. You can also buy special heat press vinyls for this purpose. Follow the instructions given by your printer on which settings to use, but generally keep the print quality low at around 10%.

Place some scrap paper over top of the printed design before putting it into the printer so that any spilled ink doesn’t end up all over your printer. You can place a small piece of cardstock or other stiff material under your inked up plate before printing to give more surface area for better coverage without having to use too much pressure from pushing down on an inkpad.

3) Once you’re done with one color, remove it from the screen (using clean hands or rubbing alcohol), put another piece of clean white fabric underneath and continue until all colors are complete.


We have outlined some very easy to follow steps so that you can make your own heat press transfers for t-shirts in minutes. The best thing is, you don’t need any fancy tools or expensive equipment. You can do this with materials found around the home and a little time. We hope these instructions will be useful to you and we wish you success in creating your own heat press transfers for t-shirt in minutes at home

Last Updated on November 6, 2022

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Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith is an editor and author for Printerchief, specializing in creating informative content on the topics of office printing and paper processing technology. When he is not working, he enjoys exploring the great outdoors in Michigan and Arizona, along with activities like hiking, cycling, fishing, and reading. Additionally, Andrew loves working on various projects for his home and garden to keep himself busy and continue learning new skills.


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