Making your own custom t-shirts can be a fun way to express yourself, and a great hobby to take up. The initial startup costs of t-shirt making can be expensive, but if you have the funds, it might be worth it! If you want a t-shirt made and don’t want to pay for the startup machinery, you can always get a custom t-shirt produced by professionals like RushOrderTees.
Startup necessities. To start making your own custom t shirts, you’ll need to buy a few essential items necessary for the production of the t shirts. These items include:
- T-shirt press. A t-shirt press is used to heat your designed graphic, and attach it to your t-shirt. This will be your most expensive startup purchase, but on the plus side, it is a one-time purchase. A good t-shirt press is (arguably) the most important asset to t-shirt production, so you need to do your research and find the right press for your project. You can also find great deals on used t-shirt presses on resale sites.
- Graphic design software. You’ll need a good software program to create your unique printing designs. Photoshop is the most common, but there are other software programs out there specifically made for t-shirt design. You don’t necessarily have to be a professional graphic designer to create your own designs, but it helps to have an artistic mind around. If you feel designing graphics is not your strong suit, consider hiring a freelancer to do the work for you.
- Printer. A printer is necessary to bring your design to life. Once you print out your design, it will need to be run through a cutter, and eventually the heat press. The two most common types used for t-shirt printing are inkjet printers and laser printers. The type of printer you decide on will depend on what type of materials you are working with, the projects you will be doing, and the look your are going for. Once you choose the printer, be sure to purchase the correct ink for the printer, so the quality of the prints doesn’t suffer. For instance, if you get the Epson SureColor F3070, you need to buy the Epson F3070 ink and supply from a trusted retailer.
- Vinyl. While there are other material options to use for your prints, vinyl is the most common and is usually the cheapest option. Vinyl comes in almost any color you could need, but be aware that vibrant colors could lead to a blended look on your shirt, depending on the color of the shirt. You’ll need to find a supplier for your vinyl, and most companies will offer you a discount for bulk orders.
- Vinyl cutter. This machine us used to cut the printed graphics. The quality of vinyl cutter you will need varies, depending on how intricate the designs are that you are trying to cut. Spare no expense for this item and read reviews, because some vinyl cutters are not as precise as others.
- Transfer paper. This paper is used to transfer your design from the printer to other materials. This paper is relatively inexpensive, and can be found in bundles with t-shirt materials offered from most suppliers.
- Last but not least, t-shirts! Selecting the right t-shirt supplier is an extremely important process. While you may be tempted to go with the lowest offer, consider the type of t-shirts you are buying, as well as the quality.
If you plan on selling your t-shirts, do it legally. If you are attempting to make a business out of selling your shirts, you need to obtain a business license. Ensure you go through the proper channels to become a legally protected company, and make sure you are not using copyrighted designs for your prints. Once you get established and start producing shirts, consider copywriting your own designs.