How to Make a Customized Decal T-Shirt

Noel Hendrickson/Photodisc/Getty Images

You may find yourself shopping for new clothes and discover that nothing appeals to you. Perhaps what you find in stores is simply to plain for your taste, or maybe you want to make something that is truly unique. By using a decal or an iron-on transfer, you can easily make a customized T-shirt that fits your style.

Buy a packet of iron-on transfers from an office supply or hobby store. Decals may be available elsewhere, but should almost certainly be available at these two places.

Choose the design you want to put on your T-shirt. You can do this buy simply searching the internet for an image you like.

Enlarge or shrink the chosen design to the size you want it to be.

Save the chosen image to your computer as a picture file and give it a name that makes it easy to find.

Load your printer with the transfer paper as instructed and print the chosen image on to the transfer paper and print out the image.

Put the image face-down on the T-shirt where you want it to appear.

Place an iron on top of the transfer paper and firmly press down on the image for no more than thirty seconds at a time in each area. Move the iron around smoothly.

Wait for 10 to 15 minutes, or as long as instructed on the package you've bought, and carefully remove the transfer paper from the shirt by peeling it off.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron
  • T-shirt
  • Working printer
  • Transfer paper
  • Computer with internet capabilities


  • There are different kinds of transfer paper made for different types of T-shirts. If you want your decal to be put on to a light-colored T-shirt, then buy the corresponding transfer paper. There is also transfer paper made for dark T-shirts. The various types of transfer paper are marked on the packaging. When searching for an image to transfer, make sure it is large enough or can be enlarged while maintaining the quality. If the picture is too small, enlarging it can make it appear blurry or pixelated once it is put on to a decal. If the image you have chosen contains writing of any kind, you must reverse the image (left-to-right, not upside down) or else the writing will appear backwards on the T-shirt.


  • If you hold the iron down too long in one spot on the shirt, it may become cracked, burned or unable to stick to the shirt.


About the Author

This article was written by a professional writer, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more, see our about us page: link below.

Photo Credits

  • Noel Hendrickson/Photodisc/Getty Images