How to Print Iron-On Transfers for T-Shirts

by Miranda Brumbaugh ; Updated September 28, 2017

Whatever you capture in an image is an option for printing on iron-on t-shirt transfers.

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Customize t-shirts with iron-on transfers with designs limited only by your imagination and artistic ability. Choose real images caught in time with a camera, or design your own work of art using a graphics design program. A corporate logo, advertising for an event or funky messages to share with the world are only a few of the ideas available with handmade iron-on t-shirt transfers. Let your children work with you to create their own t-shirts that they will want to keep long after they are outgrown.

Upload a photo from a digital camera, copy an image using a scanner or download a file containing an image via your computer. Alter the image to make it the size you want for your t-shirt. Change the print settings to print in a mirror image if directed to do so on the packaging, or your image will appear reversed on the t-shirt; this is important for images containing words.

Set your computer to print on the highest dpi setting and best quality available. Select the proper paper setting for printing on the transfer sheets, which is high gloss if cotton transfer sheet is not listed in the settings. Test the image direction and size by printing it out on a sheet of computer paper, and make any changes to the settings as needed.

Follow the instructions on the fusible cotton transfer sheet packaging to decide which side of the paper to print on. Insert a sheet of the transfer paper so the blank side is facing in the correct place for the printer to print correctly.

Print the image on a transfer sheet. Set the printed sheet aside, and let the ink on the transfer sheet dry completely before handling. Trim the transfer according to the image outline, or cut a framing shape around the perimeter of the image, according to how you want the finished product to appear.


  • Choose a color for the t-shirt that will highlight the image.

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  • Jamie Sabau/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

About the Author

Miranda Brumbaugh enjoys covering travel, social issues, foster care, environmental topics, crafting and interior decorating. She has written for various websites, including National Geographic Green Living and Dremel. Brumbaugh studied in Mexico before graduating with a Master of Science in sociology from Valdosta State University.