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5 Ways to Make Custom T-shirts at Home

You know that favorite graphic t-shirt of yours hanging in the closet? What if I told you that you can design shirts just like that one all from home? With the right equipment and supplies, you can earn an extra income all from the comfort of your home or even start a new hobby.  

With the t-shirt business continuing to skyrocket over the next few years, it’s the perfect time to dive into this relatively inexpensive side hustle. The question is, where do you start? 

There are 5 ways we recommend creating custom shirts at home, DIY styleWhite Toner Transfer Printing, Direct to Garment, Embroidery, Vinyl Heat Transfer, and Sublimation.  

White Toner Transfer Printing

One way you can start making t-shirts at home is by investing into a Digital HeatFX white toner transfer printer. This printer uses a 5-channel system to print, which means it can print 5 colors on a transfer sheet at once: White, Black, Yellow, Magenta, and uses white toner instead of liquid ink 

How to print tees using DigitalHeat FX:

Initial Investment$$$ - $$$$

Why you will like it:
What you might not like:

Direct to Garment Printing

Next, we have Direct to Garment Printing- yes, it literally means you print directly on the shirt! This process uses ink jets to pinpoint target ink to t-shirts, giving a high resolution image right on your shirt. The graphic is now part of the shirt, so it won’t peel or crack. The leading Direct to Garment printer is the DTG G4 with cutting edge technology and amazing looking prints.

How to print tees using DTG:

Initial Investment$$$$ - $$$$$

Why you will like it:
What you might not like:

Embroidery

Another cool way to create your custom tee is through the embroidery process. This process has been around for quite some time, which is why it’s considered more of the traditional ways to make a custom t-shirt design. However, we updated the process with our touchscreen Avance 1501C embroidery machine. This Wi-Fi connected machine creates stitches at a maximum speed of 1200 stitches per minute, allowing a quick turn around for products out of large shops or smaller home-based startups.

How to design a tee using Avancé:

This machine and process may be for you because it’s small, there is less mess, and the threads are cheap. You can create a custom t-shirt in no time depending on the size of your design

Initial Investment$$$ - $$$$$

Why you will like it:
What you might not like:

Heat Transfer Vinyl

This method involves using rolls or sheets of a heat transfer vinyl material. This material is then ‘cut’ to the shape of your graphic. You probably know someone who has a ‘hobby’ version of one of these machines they purchased from a craft store. This is a popular method for creating t-shirts and easy to use.

How to print tees using Heat Transfer Vinyl & a Heat Press

Using the heat transfer vinyl method could be useful for you in many ways. You have the option to use glitter and metallic vinyl and if you plan on using this in small quantities, your production rate will increase.

Initial Investment$ - $$$

Why you will like it:
What you might not like:

Sublimation

Last but not least is sublimation. This process is a bit different because you must use dye sublimation-based ink and paper. With these types of designs, it’s best to print on white or lighter items made of 100% polyester. The printer we use for this is the Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500.

How to print tees using Sawgrass Virtuoso SG500

Using the heat transfer vinyl method could be useful for you in many ways. You have the option to use glitter and metallic vinyl and if you plan on using this in small quantities, your production rate will increase.

Initial Investment$$ - $$$

Why you will like it:
What you might not like:

Screen printing is another way to make t-shirts at home, however we don’t recommend it. Reason being, it’s not a preferred home-based system. Screen printing requires you to deal with hazardous materials that require specific disposal methods. These are materials many people will not want, or cannot have, in their homes.

Regardless of the method you chose to create your t-shirts, we have the machines and supplies to help you get on your feet. Not to mention, with any purchase of our machines, we provide support and training from an experienced team that has a combined total of 65 years in the decorated apparel industry. 

Now you know about some of the methods and machines to get started. 

You can chat with one of our pros or call us at (855)348- 4839 if you’d like more information

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