Homemade T-Shirt Design Ideas

Iron a catch phrase onto a T-shirt for an eye-catching fashion statement.
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you're looking for an uncommon piece of casual wear, design your own T-shirt. By making your own custom shirt, you can ensure that it is truly one-of-a-kind. When planning your T-shirt creation, consider an assortment of design ideas, selecting the one that best represents your personal sense of style.


Integrate your favorite printed fabric into your design to create a patchwork T-shirt. Gather fabric scraps around your home or purchase some remnants from a fabric store. Cut the fabrics you select into geometric shapes or letters and applique them onto the shirt, overlapping them to give the shirt even more decorative appeal.


Using a digital image of your choice, create a photo T-shirt transfer. To produce this transfer, print the picture in mirror image onto a piece of iron-on transfer paper. Add words above or below the image before printing to further customize the garment. Iron the resulting print onto your plain T-shirt, following the package instructions on the transfer paper.


Select a phrase that is of importance to you to feature on the shirt. Trace out the phrase using a pencil, sizing your letters or adding designs to make it more attractive. If placing the phrase on a see-through shirt, you may be able to print the phrase onto a piece of paper and place it behind the shirt to use a guide. Use puffy paint to transfer the phrase onto the shirt itself.


To prepare for your name T-shirt project, decide upon a way in which to feature your name. You may want to place it across the middle of the shirt or, for a less common look, position it down the shirt front. If you need guidelines, outline the letters very lightly in pencil with the aid of a stencil. Using fabric paint, place the name on your shirt, decorating it with an assortment of colors. Finish your creation by drawing shapes or designs around your name for further embellishment.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.