Custom design iron-on t-shirt transfers with kids

Children love to express their creativity!  Just look at parents’ refrigerator doors – they’re often crowded with special drawings from their kids!

Many times that creativity spills over to fashion choices.  Over the years I’ve had to overrule some of my kids’ clothing decisions, but I try to let them go with their own unique style as much as possible.

Recently my daughter and I found a fun way to get creative and work together on her wardrobe.  We decided to custom design some clothes just for her with iron-on t-shirt transfers!

T-shirt transfer supplies

Our fashion design session got started when I found some Avery iron-on t-shirt transfers for our inkjet printer.  I actually had these tucked away in our craft supplies and had never used them.  My daughter decided they were perfect for making her some new t-shirts.

Her first choice?  A t-shirt to showcase her love for baking.

We found a fun, free image on Pixabay to use as the art.  She chose a public-domain cupcake heart design.  Then we loaded it to Canva to add a cool font.  After saving the design as an image, it was easy to print it on the Avery iron-on transfer paper in our inkjet printer.  We just had to reverse the image so it would be legible when we ironed it onto the shirt.

Because her design was on the small side for her kid-size shirt, I combined it with another image before printing so we wouldn’t be wasting half a sheet of the transfer paper. We cut them out separately and had two designs ready to go.

T-shirt transfer trimmed

Avery provides full, easy instructions for trimming around the design and for the proper ironing length for best image transfer.

T-shirt ironing on

It was fast and easy to get her custom t-shirt ready to wear!

We noticed that the pink t-shirt I chose muted the colors in the original artwork, so it probably would have looked better on a white shirt.  However, my daughter wanted to bake in her baking shirt, so I figured a color may hold up better than white for her use.

T-shirt completeThis was an easy, fun, and inexpensive project to do together!  My daughter is thrilled to have a t-shirt that she designed herself!

Amazon affiliate link

The Avery iron-on t-shirt transfers are available at Amazon and other retailers. At Amazon, the package of six Avery Iron-On T-shirt Transfers for Inkjet Printers (affiliate link) is under $8.

We used the version for white/light-colored t-shirts. There’s a separate version – Avery Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers for Inkjet Printers (affiliate link) – for ironing onto dark t-shirts. The price is slightly higher for the dark t-shirt version.

I got the t-shirts at Hobby Lobby since they always have them for 30% off.  Their discounted price for kids’ t-shirts is less than $3 each – perfect for fun projects like this!

The iron-on image has lasted well through several washes.  My daughter likes to wear her custom design often, and I’ve been happy that washing hasn’t stripped away the image.

When my boys had a school dress-up day with a Hawaiian theme, we had plenty of the transfer paper left, so it was easy to make our own t-shirts for the event.

Custom iron-on Hawaiian t-shirtWe found some public-domain surfing images on Pixabay, added some Hawaiian words, and ironed our designs onto bright shirts.  We used a full page of the Avery iron-on transfers with these Hawaiian designs.

Custom Hawaiian Surf Shop Iron-On T-shirt

These custom shirts were perfect for Hawaiian day!

The pictures of our Hawaiian shirts above are after washing.  I’ve found that the Gildan Heavy Cotton T-shirts are a bit wrinkly, no matter how quickly I grab them from the dryer and try to smooth them.  The price is right for these shirts at Hobby Lobby, though, so we make them work.

Have you tried making your own custom designed iron-on t-shirt transfers?  It’s a fun and inexpensive project with kids!

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