Easy DIY Graphic Tee: Make Your Own with a Photo Transfer
by Samantha McClelland
Be bold this summer with an eye-catching graphic tee inspired by vintage Polaroids. You can make this project with photo transfer paper, a favorite image, and your computer. Here’s how.
The temperatures are on the rise, so what better way to combat the heat than with a breezy graphic tee that you personalize yourself? I was inspired by this project, which features a cool collage of images framed like old Polaroid shots. This is a fun way to turn some of your Instagram shots into wearable art. I snapped my image while on my honeymoon, and I love wearing my finished tee with silky shorts and sandals or with cutoffs and Birkenstocks. Everything about it just says summer.
- Photo-editing software (Adobe Photoshop)
- Iron-transfer paper
- Striped tee
- Pressing cloth or parchment paper
1. I used my smartphone to capture an image, but you could take an image with any camera as long as you can download it to your computer. I snapped a photo of a sunset over Laguna Beach and used it for my graphic tee. Because I snapped mine with my smartphone, I was able to play around with filters and editing tools until the image was perfect. Save the image to your computer.
2. Open up the template we have provided in your photo-editing software. Once you open the template, click File and then Place. Select your image and resize, fitting it to the 8.5 x 11″ document size. Next, select your eraser tool and remove all excess portions of your image that may have exceeded the border of the collage template.
3. Following the instructions for your iron-transfer paper, print the photo onto the paper. My instructions said not to flip the image prior to printing; however, some iron transfers ask you to flip the image. If you need to flip your image, you can do so in Photoshop (Image > Image Rotation > Flip Canvas Horizontal) before you save as a jpeg or PDF. Print your image. Using scissors, cut out your collage using the border as a guideline.
4. Heat your iron, but do not put it on a steam setting. Place your shirt on a hard, flat surface and smooth out any wrinkles. Place the transfer onto the shirt, centering the image. Place a cloth or piece of parchment paper over the image, and press the iron firmly onto your image, securing all corners of your transfer. Make sure to move your iron over the entire image 1 to 2 minutes until image is secure.
Here’s a Pin-able version for reference later. Have fun! And don’t forget to download the free template for the T-shirt.
For more DIY fashion ideas from Samantha, go to The Brunette One.