There are a lot of ways to design your own graphic shirt. When I was in high school, we used iron-on transfers to make club shirts, and when I was little, I used to be big into painting every item of clothing I owned with glow-in-the-dark acrylics (I might still be pretty into that, actually). But my favorite method for homemade graphic tees is the pinprick transfer method. It's a little more laborious than other methods, but I've been able to make a couple of shirts in one night before a special party. It's also a method that makes the most faithful design images... what you design is exactly what you get, and you can customize colors and layout easily. This is the same method I assign my middle school students to use when they do their visual literacy unit with t-shirt designs. I like to think it's one of their favorites :D
Things you'll need:Start with your design. What kind of graphic do you want on your shirt? What do you want it to look like? It's important to work out what you have in mind before jumping in, it can make all the difference. The shirt I made was for Caleb's video game party. I hopped online and did an image search for PS3 controllers. The one I found was high resolution and large enough to be a good size for my shirt. I edited it in Photoshop to remove the background and isolate the controller in high contrast.
- Clean shirt to paint onto (I like to get a pack of Hanes Boys shirts and use those for my own shirts)
- Fabric paint (I use a neon kit I got from Joann's Fabrics)
- Paint brush
- Palette or plastic plate for mixing colors
- Cup of water
- Shirt-sized piece of thin cardboard (I use the back of a cereal box)
- Print outs of what design you want to use or white printer paper to create your own unique design on
- Sharpies, any color
- Pin, safety pin, tack, needle, or clay stylus...
|My print out|
|it looks like a pretty constellation of stars... in a PS3 controller shape|