Home Crochet baby clothesPrint your own T-shirt - DIY instructions

Print your own T-shirt - DIY instructions

  • Print your own T-shirt
    • washability
    • Suitable materials
  • DIY guide | With bleach
    • Prepare the motif foil
    • Instructions with bleach
  • DIY guide | With lavender oil
    • Instructions with lavender oil

T-shirts with cool prints are an absolute constant trend. Whether a stylish lettering or a pretty motif such as flowers, animals or mysterious patterns: The creative designs spice up every outfit and give the look an individual touch. Without spending a lot of money, the style can be designed quickly and easily on your own. You can print your T-shirt yourself with the following two methods!

Print your own T-shirt

DIY: Printing a T-shirt is very easy

Often the finished prints in the shops do not correspond to one's own taste - or they appeal to many people, and therefore do not seem a bit individual. In addition, even simple creations can quickly cost a relatively large amount of money. It does not have to be, if you print your next T-shirt yourself. Both of the methods presented below are excellently suited to try out the technique .

Because every DIY manual comes with a material cost of well under five euros and requires no practice or experience. In this way, a perfectly fitting shirt can be designed for special events in just a few minutes. But also for everyday life is the new favorite shirt, because it is absolutely true to the wash.


Each of the two methods produces at the end of a easily washable unique. To do this, simply turn the shirt over on the left side before washing and give it into a small laundry net to protect it. Then it's no problem to wash your new T-shirt at 30 degrees in the machine.

Suitable materials

In fact, there are no limits to your creativity. For T-shirt printing on your own, all textile materials work . Of course, in addition to the stylish outerwear, you can also print on all other fabrics as you wish. Cushions, jackets or bags look at least as great with the personal print as the good old T-shirt.

Just make sure to choose the right color for your design or vice versa the right design for a colored shirt. Depending on the method, the most uncomplicated way is to print a completely white or completely black T-shirt . After all, every conceivable nuance of the choice motives is clearly recognizable. But those who choose a red shirt, for example, should choose patterns without red in variant 2, because of course the corresponding games on the finished print would hardly be visible anymore.

Tip: Once your favorite piece has gotten a nasty stain, you can hide it wonderfully by printing on the t-shirt. Simply place your desired motif directly above the stain and cover it with it.

DIY guide | With bleach

By bleaching certain areas on the fabric, you can print great pictures on them - without really printing. Rather, the color change gives contour and makes the silhouette of the desired motif visible. Attention: Since we are working with bleach in this DIY tutorial, small children should better watch while adults print the t-shirt themselves.

You need this to print a t-shirt:

  • T-shirt in black
  • Bleach (can be found in any drugstore, major supermarket or online)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Motif made of transparent film or laminating film
  • large base made of plastic, such as old placemat
  • Spray bottle or sponge
  • scissors
  • commercial hairspray with strong hold

Basically every color works except white. However, the darker the T-shirt is, the stronger the effect . That's why black tops are especially good. The picture then appears in great red-orange nuances.

Prepare the motif foil

Step 1: Search for a creative you like online and print it out.

Tip: The best thing to do is to choose simply kept images with well-visible contours similar to silhouettes. If you print on your T-shirt by means of bleaching, the final motive consists of its outlines. Thus, for example, a sitting cat is good, while a cat's face would be reduced only to the contour of the head.

Step 2: If you own a laminator, then start to laminate the printed motif.


Without a laminator, first place the image in an ordinary transparent film . You can spray it in advance with a little hairspray or apply inconspicuous places double-sided tape, so that the paper then firmly stuck in the film.

Step 3: Regardless of whether you have opted for lamination or the foil variant, cut out the motif now.

Tip: You can use both the outer edge as a template, as well as the cut-out image itself. Using the edge, the actual image would be bleached and thus brighter light out of the darker shirt. On the other hand, whoever hangs up the image and then bleaches, keeps the subject dark and brightens its surroundings.

Instructions with bleach

That is how it goes:

Step 1: Slide the protective film into your T-shirt, so that its backside does not get any bleach.

Step 2: Now fix your preferred motif foil at the desired position of the fabric. For this, spray the film with hairspray and stick it onto the textile. Make sure that the stencil fits really well anywhere, so that no bleach can get underneath it.

Important: If you have created your template with transparent film, now only use the film part. The paper can be put aside.

Step 3: Put on your disposable gloves.

Step 4: Transfer the bleach to a spray bottle. Pay attention to the instructions of your product, it may be advisable to use the bleach diluted to protect the structure of the T-shirt fabric.

Step 5: Now gently spray either the inside of the stencil or its outer edges (whichever you choose) with the bleach. The spraying produces a nice speckle effect on the treated areas. Alternatively, wet a sponge with a little bleach.

The sponge method is perfect for precisely bleaching small areas. The sponge users now simply dab the bleach along the contour.

Tip: If you spray very close, you will achieve a strong result. Instead, if you keep the spray bottle farther from the subject and perpendicular to it from above, you will see small speckles that are reminiscent of the starry sky.

Step 6: You can directly observe how the bleaching process starts. The bleach must now dry completely - either in a few hours in the air or faster with a hair dryer.

Step 7: Be sure to wash the T-shirt after printing before putting it on.

Step 8: If uneven edges are visible - and you are bothering - then you have the option to easily retighten them with the same-colored textile marker. That does not stand out, provides more precise lines and is absolutely washfast.

DIY guide | With lavender oil

This second DIY guide is especially eco-friendly, but works just as easy. It is suitable for those who do not like to use bleach - for example when small children want to participate directly.

You need to print this T-shirt:

  • a bright T-shirt (best of cotton)
  • a motif printed in mirror image via laser beam printer
  • lavender essential oil (from the drugstore, the health food store or the pharmacy)
  • optional: Brush for applying the oil
  • large wooden spoon or tablespoon
  • baking paper
  • Iron
  • duct tape


The oil dissolves the colors of the laser beam printer (!) And transfers them to the fabric in amazing color brilliance. Unfortunately, this does not work with the colors of an inkjet printer. Each motif must also be printed mirror-inverted, otherwise it will appear later reversed for the viewer.

Instructions with lavender oil

That is how it goes:

Step 1: Spread your T-shirt on a firm surface as wrinkle-free as possible. (Maybe iron the shirt beforehand.)

Step 2: For protection, push a few layers of baking paper evenly into the T-shirt so that nothing gets stuck on the back.

Step 3: Now tack the bow with the desired motif with the front to the fabric on the spot on the T-shirt where you would like to have the print.

Tip: You do not have to cut the outline of the picture or font separately. After all, the oil only transfers the colors to the fabric anyway.

Step 4: Now add a few drops of lavender oil to the brush and gently coat the picture.

Tip: If you want to do without the brush, you can simply drizzle a larger amount of oil directly onto the subject and pass something with your fingers.

Important: Never use more oil than is needed for the paper to soak around the subject. If a picture floats in oil, the subsequent print will also look blurry. This can even create a great vintage effect, but should definitely be considered in advance.

Step 5: Give the oil a few seconds to collect. Then gently rub the motif into the fabric with the back of the spoon. Be careful so that neither the paper nor the fabric slip.

Step 6: Check your success by carefully lifting the paper from time to time at one corner to see if the image has already fully reached the fabric.

Step 7: Once the motif has been completely transferred, let the T-shirt dry in the air (and enjoy the intense lavender scent).

Step 8: Now put a new sheet of baking paper in the dry shirt. This takes in the next step, the oil residues perfectly. You can also generously place a piece of baking paper over the motif. To protect the iron you are about to use from possible paint or oil spills.

Step 9: After that, set the iron to cotton temperature. Iron on the motif for a few minutes.

In this way, you fix the color in the fabric and make it absolutely washfast.

We hope you enjoy printing your individual T-shirts!

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