How NOT to DIY a t-shirt for BlogHer

I knew I would procrastinate too long to order a t-shirt with my blog name and logo from a respectable t-shirt company like Vistaprint in time for BlogHer next week. I just took it as a given. I have my business cards and I was going to give up there. But then I was looking at Pinterest late at night one night and became convinced that I could make my own branded t-shirt! Of course! I bought 2 blank t-shirts from a craft supply store and a package of paper that goes in the inkjet printer that makes anything you print on it into an iron-on transfer. 

Overestimate your skills.
I couldn’t find an organic cotton t-shirt at the craft store, so I decided to tea stain the white t-shirt. This actually went well, which gave me a false sense of hope that this was going to work out well and be easy.

Putting a t-shirt in a pot of Earl Grey tea bags smells yummy,
makes the shirt brown, and deceives me into thinking I can do this.

Don’t be a designer.
Nevermind that I have absolutely no graphic design skills, which is exactly what prevented me from importing artwork to a t-shirt site and having it created by professionals in the first place. I spent hours and hours just trying to figure out how to get words centered over a logo and change the colors in this Photoshop knock-off program that we have. I had to ask 3 people to help me design it. I am still a little uncertain about it, but it was taking so much time that I decided it was good enough.

Buy the wrong paper.
I bought iron-on transfers for dark t-shirts because one of my t-shirts was black. I assumed it would work the same on black and white t-shirts. WRONG. The iron-on for dark t-shirts has a white outline around anything you print, like so:

UGLY…so ugly

It’s a good thing I put this on a test t-shirt first!

Spend too much.
When I went back to get the correct iron-on transfer paper, I tried Target first instead of Office Depot. It turns out that the exact same products that I paid $20 for at Office Depot cost only $8.99 at Target. It’s great to know that not only did I buy the wrong product the first time, but I spent over twice what I should have.

Do not read the instructions.
There were some very clear instructions in the new package of iron-on transfer paper specifying that for light t-shirts, you’ll need to reverse the printing of your design. I would have noticed this if I had read the instructions, which clearly stated that I should read the instructions first.
Read instructions

Do not know how to iron.
When I finally got the transfer printed correctly and read the instructions, I interpreted them incorrectly. I was unable to get that stupid design to go onto the t-shirt. I ended up having to get my husband to do it, because he knows how to work an iron. He is the only one who irons anything in this house, by the way.

Learn from my mistakes. Order custom t-shirts from Vistaprint. (Special offer below this post.)

See you at BlogHer!

4 thoughts on “How NOT to DIY a t-shirt for BlogHer

  1. Jessica Allen says:

    Sounds frustrating. Matt’s the only one that irons in our house too. I’m not even sure where the iron is. 🙂

  2. Calley Pate says:

    This is the best thing I’ve read all day!  I love that you tried it!!  See you next week love!  

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