Thursday, August 4, 2011

I have a new obsession. I can't stop myself from making t-shirts with iron-on transfers.

What sparked this obsession you may wonder? It was the discovery of iron-on transfer paper that I can print out from my own printer!

If you haven't used this, you may be as skeptical as I was when I first saw it. Psh, that won't last through one wash! It will peel and crack and look TACKY. That's what I used to think. I'm here to tell you if you do it right, it will last and can look awesome.

My first shirt was for my husband who wanted a shirt to honor his favorite basketball player. He wears it all. the. time. We've washed it over and over and it still looks great (and feels softer with each wash).

Making a shirt

I decided I wanted St. Patrick's Day shirts that we could wear past St. Patrick's Day, too. That is where this tutorial begins. Enter SNF Jolly Curls, SNF Sophia and DB Lucky Trinket in fun, lucky designs.

First rule: before you print your design onto the transfer paper, make it a mirror image because you will be ironing it face down. Most design programs will let you do this or your printer may have a reverse or mirror image setting.

Next, cut out your image with a narrow margin around it. Try to keep corners rounded.

Here is when the nit-picky details make a difference. First, drain all the water from your iron and let it heat up for 5 minutes to evaporate any moisture. Don't take out your ironing boards. These transfers need a hard flat surface that can trap the heat between the iron and the surface. The instructions recommend veneer or laminate countertops covered by a pillowcase. I can do that.

Iron the pillowcase and your shirt (or fabric if your not doing a shirt) to make sure they are flat and free from moisture.

Then place your image face down how you want it on your fabric.

Push hard on your iron, with two hands, and slowly move the iron back and forth, up and down over your paper. Pay close attention to the edges. Make sure they get lots of heat and pressure. It should take 1-2 full minutes of slow pressured ironing to make sure you've got it.

Let your shirt cool for about two minutes and then carefully peel back the paper and reveal your creation! This is the exciting part.

Woo Hoo! It worked! (I haven't had it fail on me yet, but it's still exciting every time it works.)

I'm pretty pleased with my two St. Patty's shirts. If you like these designs, you can find slightly scaled down versions in this collection of Lucky Word Art at SNF.

Just so you know I'm not just making this obsession up, here is a sampling of some of the shirts I've made in the past few months.

I've burned through at least two packages of transfer paper. Good luck, and beware. It's funner to make these than you may think, and oh so easy.

Shop for the widest variety of craft and scrapbooking fonts, DoodleBats, WordArt and Brushes.

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