How to Write on T-Shirts

by Benjamin Twist ; Updated September 28, 2017

To test for color bleeding, use the fabric markers on an old rag and put it through a wash cycle.

Jupiterimages/ Images

Say you have an idea for a perfect T-shirt slogan, but you just can't find anyone selling it and you don't have the money to get a custom run of shirts printed. Never fear. Fabric markers allow you an easy and inexpensive way to decorate a T-shirt exactly the way you want it done. You can also let older kids write or draw on shirts as a craft. Provide supervision for the heat set and to avoid permanent marker stains.

Lay out several layers of newspaper on a hard, flat surface to protect the surface from staining.

Stretch out the T-shirt on top of the newspaper and weight it at the corners. Fold a few sheets of newspaper and slide them inside the T-shirt to prevent the markers from bleeding through to the other side.

Write your desired slogan or design onto the T-shirt with fabric markers.

Turn the T-shirt inside out and replace the newspaper inside it. Heat set the design by ironing the T-shirt for 4 minutes on a cotton setting without steam, using a steady back-and-forth motion.


  • Instead of ironing the shirt to heat set it, you can put it through the dryer on the hot setting for 30 minutes.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images

About the Author

Benjamin Twist has worked as a writer, editor and consultant since 2007. He writes fiction and nonfiction for online and print publications, as well as offering one-on-one writing consultations and tutoring. Twist holds a Master of Arts in Bible exposition from Columbia International University.