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Custom Design Dog T-Shirt

Designing T-shirts can be a way of expressing your creativity. And if the design includes your adored dog, the fun increases tenfold.

You might think that making custom-design dog t-shirt needs extreme sophistication and expertise. But that’s not the case. In fact, with the help of a T-shirt printing machine, you can easily make them at home.

Imagine holding the power of making creative designs and exhibit them through t-shirts at your will. Something tells me that’s what you always wanted but decided it was too challenging to handle by yourself. Trust me, it’s not.

How To Make Dog T-Shirt At Home Using T-Shirt Printing Machine

First Stage- The Preparation

1. Select The Fabric

Not all fabric performs well on a heat printing machine. There are some fabrics susceptible to heat and melt when placed on a hot surface. The best fabrics that are tolerant to heat pressing are Nylon, cotton, polyester, spandex, Lycra, etc. Do not wash the fabrics before printing to avoid awful looking wrinkles.

2. Prepare The Transfer Paper

This step is critical to get the dog t-shirt design right. There are different transfers you can choose from. You can even buy pre-printed ones.

Ink Jet printer/ Laser printer are both translucent. However, they need spate types of transfer paper to work. They work best on white/ light color fabrics. You can simply buy the transfer papers and choose to print them from your home.

Store bought transfers are usually opaque, so you can use them on colored fabrics. Another choice is buying embroidery patches, you can use them with heat presses. Just make sure they have heat activated glue at the back side. I want to say thank to my friend lary.

He helped me to knowing this information. He writes some comprehensive article on his ToolsSpecialist blog

3. Print And Trim The Transfer Paper

If you’re looking to design your own dog t-shirt, the process is rather simple. Just choose a dog image, design or make one on your own. Edit the design the way you like. Print the design with your printer using the appropriate transfer paper.

If you purchase store transfers, it’s better to trim the transfer and cut unnecessary parts. Because the additional film coating can be oriented onto the t-shirt and leave marks.

Second Stage- Setting Up The Printing Machine

1. Open The Press

For most models, you can open the press by lifting the handle. Transfer the heat plate away from the silicone pad. Let the press heat up, keep it open during the process.

2. Adjust The Temperature

Read the instruction manual first to know how you should do this. Most of the time, the machine contains a knob and an indicator light. Turn the knob clockwise to increase the temperature, you’ll see the light flashing.

Once the plate reaches the desired temperature, turn the thermostat knob anticlockwise, and the light will turn off. For most of the time, the temperature you’ll need is from 350 degrees Fahrenheit to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Adjust The Pressure

It works just like the thermostat knob. Turn the pressure knob clockwise to increase pressure and vice versa. The pressure should vary depending on the thickness of the fabric.

For thicker fabrics, the pressure doesn’t need to be high. For thinner fabrics, increase the pressure to get a clear print. Be cautious about twisting the knob too much, or else the swivel arm might come out. Most of the time, the pressure will run within medium to high range.

4. Set The Timer

Now, the final step of the t-shirt printing machine set up process. Use the timer to set how much time the heat will be applied. There are minute and second buttons on that timer that’ll help you set up an exact time.

Depending on your transfer, the time will be different. Go with the recommended time provided by the transfer paper manufacturers. Here is a general list of times for different transfer papers.

Transfer Paper TypeRecommended Time
Laser Printer Transfer Paper18 To 25 Seconds
Ink-Jet Printer Transfer Paper14 To 18 Seconds
Embroidered Appliqués20 To 30 Seconds
Sublimation Transfer Paper25 To 30 Seconds
Die Cut Vinyl Lettering45 To 60 Seconds

Final Stage- Pressing The Dog T-Shirt

1. Place The Shirt

The side you intend to print should face upwards. Use a light color fabric for truculent transfers. If your transfer says opaque, you can go for darker colors. Make sure the fabric is straight, not wrinkled.

2. Place The Transfer

If you’re using transfer paper, make sure you place it face down on the t-shirt. The design should be in contact with the fabric. Also, check if the intended printing area is well within the heat plate and silicone pad.

For Embroidered Applique, set the adhesive side down, embroidered side up. For Vinyl Lettering, set the matte side down and the shiny side up. If you transfer come with a silicone cover, great! If not, cover the transfer with a thin cloth to protect it.

3. The Final Print

Now the final operation begins. Close the press by pulling the handle down. Lock the press by clamping it. Adjust the pressure depending on the thickness or transfer type.

Press the start button and let the machine do its work. Once finished, press it again to reset the timer. Open the press, peel the transfer paper off the t-shirt while it’s still hot. The dog design should be printed on the t-shirt clearly by now.

If you want to print another design on the back too. Use a cardboard between two sides of the t-shirt before printing. This way, the first design won’t get reheated and spoiled.

Final Words

Voila! You’ve made your own custom design dog t-shirt. The process might feel overwhelming at first, but after the first time, it’ll be easy as a pie. Give the fabric 24 hours before you wash it, the print will be locked by this time.

Now you know how to make unique designs that illustrate your dog and print them on t-shirts. So what’s stopping you from filling your closet with own custom designed t-shirts? Get started today and let us know how the experience was for you.

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