There are many reasons why you may want to put a picture on a T shirt. You may need T shirts designed for your employees to wear on a daily basis, you could be taking part in a fundraising event, or you may simply want to wear one of your own designs to show off your unique swag! With that in mind, continue reading to discover the steps that you need to follow to put a photo on a shirt effectively.

How to put a picture on a shirt – Steps to follow

If you want to put a picture on a shirt, there are a number of steps you need to follow.

Gather your materials

The first thing you need to do is get all of the equipment and materials needed. This includes the following:

  • A T-shirt (no surprise there!)
  • Tape
  • A tub or bucket filled with water
  • A printed image to trace
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle
  • Water and bleach mixture (approximately 50/50)
  • Cutting pad and mat
  • Hobby knife
  • An iron
  • Freezer paper
  • Cardboard (to act as a barrier in the shirt)

Once you have got all of your materials together, here are the steps to follow:

Figure out your idea

The first thing you need to do is determine the idea you want on the shirt. If you can draw your own design, great! If not, your best friend here will be Google Image search. Simply add the word “stencil” to the end of your search and you should be able to find something suitable for you.

Once you have found the image silhouette that is right for you, print it out.

Preparing your stencil

Next, you will need to prepare the stencil. This involves tracing the stencil onto freezer paper.

Be generous when tearing off your piece of freezer paper. This will ensure the parts that you don’t want to be bleached are covered, so having a piece that is big enough to cover the shirt is essential. Covering the entire shirt with one piece of freezer paper may not be possible, but you can use more pieces, or even old towels.

Your freezer paper should be placed down flat, and then tape the stencil on top, face down, to the side that has a glossy, plastic finish.

Next, flip the freezer paper over and start tracing the image on the paper side.

How many color tones will you have?

Once you have finished tracing the stencil, you need to determine whether you are going to have one color tone or several. Multiple color tones are created by spraying parts of the shirt multiple times, removing parts of the stencil, and then spraying the exposed parts again. You can do this as many times as you need to get the desired result.

Prepare for the bleaching process

Grab the piece of cardboard and put it inside of the shirt so that bleach does not bleed from one side to the other.

You should iron the shirt so that it is perfectly flat.

Once you have done this, take the stencil you have pre-cut and move it to where you want it to be. You won’t get it fully flat until you iron it on, but for now make sure no parts are overlapping.

Start to iron the stencil on, and you can then start cutting the lines (without cutting the shirt, of course!)

Bleaching your shirt

The approach here will depend on whether you are adding a single color or multiple colors. With a single color, exposed parts will take the bleach, and everything else should be covered by freezer paper.

Spray the bleach over the full design evenly, and then pat it dry. Keep doing this until the color is as vibrant as you want it to be.

For multiple colors, you need to do this in layers (i.e. wait for one color to fully dry before moving onto the next.)

Save yourself the trouble with T-shirt printing services from J’s Silkscreens

Rather than messing with a DIY approach, you can save yourself the trouble by making the most of the T-shirt printing services offered at J’s Silkscreens.

How to Put a Picture on a Shirt

We make the entire process as simple as possible. You can use the design studio on our website to create your own logo or image. Alternatively, you can make the most of our expert design services and we will put together the perfect T-shirt for you. The choice is yours. It really is that simple!

If you have any questions about the services we provide or you would like to place an order, please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can reach us at 586-779-5456. There you can speak to one of our friendly team members who will be happy to answer your questions, no matter how big or small!