Raising Memories: An Announcement & A Project (Printable Iron-On Shirt Designs)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

An Announcement & A Project (Printable Iron-On Shirt Designs)

It is very exciting to announce that after many years of University, Ken is finally finished school! I don't think I'm able to put into words yet, what this journey has been like. Someday I hope to write more in depth about it, but for now I'll just let the T-shirt do the talking! To celebrate Ken's successful thesis defense, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law threw a party. Ken and I made some T-shirts for our family (and learned a few things along the way).

We had been testing out our new cartridge-free printer and had some of Epson's Iron-On Cool Peel Transfer Paper so we gathered some T-shirts and got to work, creating a family of T-shirts that would be fun to wear to the party.

Some of them worked very well and some of them could have been better, so I'm going to share what we learned from trial & error about the dos & don'ts of DIY Iron-On T Shirt Transfers! :)

1. DON'T Estimate the Timing

I made one T shirt the evening before the party and finished the others the next morning. I didn't have the instructions nearby when I started on the first T shirt that morning, so I just estimated how long I needed to iron for. I didn't iron long enough.  This just meant that there were bits of the letters that didn't transfer. I must've come close because it still looked pretty good and definitely readable- just kind of worn-out, with specs missing here and there.

2. DO Use Cotton or Cotton Blends

Talia and Ken made a last-minute dash to the store to try and find her a T shirt to use. They came home with a cute T shirt but when I looked at the tag, I saw that it was 66% modal and 34% polyester. The instructions said the transfer paper would work with just about any cotton or cotton-blend fabric, so I knew it was a risk but we were out of time, so I went for it anyway.  It worked alright for the party but after the first wash, I could see why they recommend using cotton! (On the plus side, I think it will come away cleanly so she can still wear the shirt as just a cute, plain shirt.)

3. DON'T Use Dark Fabric

The instructions also recommend using light-coloured material with a smooth texture. Ken ended up choosing a darker T shirt and as soon as we had ironed the words onto his Tshirt, we could see why they recommend lighter shirts. Although the red letters showed up pretty well against the grey, you could see the clear background of the transfer. This didn't happen with my white shirt or Katrina's light blue shirt. 

4. DO Cut a Careful Border

When you trim away the extra blank paper after printing your image or letters, you want to leave a border. You don't need more than 1/4 inch and it's a good idea to trim it nicely in case your fabric allows the clear background to show up a bit.

If you follow these suggestions (and really, just follow the instructions that come with the paper), you'll end up with great results!

If you missed the post about our cartridge-free printer and want to learn more, you can find it here: The Printer Ink Solution!

We're very excited to finish this chapter of our lives and to find out what's next in our family's journey! We're definitely in a transitional phase right now, exploring our options and wondering what's around the corner. I hope you'll stay with us as we discover what lies ahead!

Disclosure: Epson provided products to facilitate this post. All opinions and experiences shared are my own.

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  1. This is such a cool product – I would love to use something like this for birthday giveaways with the theme of the party printed on shirts.

    1. That's a good idea! There are so many different things you could do with these! We have already made a couple of personalized onesies for baby gifts :)

  2. Yay! Congrats to your husband (and his awesome support team)! Those t-shirts are adorable. I'm now curious to try my own hand at custom shirt making. Thanks so much for the tips.

  3. LOVE those shirts. I totally should have made one for my Hubby when I finished my Masters. Congratulations to ALL of you for making it though the PhD, looks like you had a fun time celebrating as a family.

  4. That is really cool! What a great way to celebrate you husbands success!! Great tips too! There is nothing worse than trying to recreate something and it doesn't turn out for simple mistakes like material or shirt colour!

    1. Thank you! :) Yes, I know- little things that you kinda wish someone would've warned you about ;) (even though, yes, the instructions DID warn me... ahem.. best tip of all! Keep instructions handy & read thoroughly! ;)


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment- I love reading them! :)
~Heather Lynne

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