How to Make Heat Press Transfers

This post has been updated for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas 2019

How To Make Heat Press TransfersWhether you’re crafty and you just love making your own creations or you are thinking about starting up a low-cost business that has the potential to be quite successful, you might want to consider transferring images onto different materials.

T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pillowcases, aprons, totes, onesies… There are so many different materials that you can print graphic images onto. There are several ways that images can be transferred onto garments; the heat press machine and the vinyl cutter are the two most common application methods. If you’re looking to produce a high volume of graphic images in a short period of time, the heat press is the better of the two options. This method is quick, easy, and more affordable, too.

But how do you go about making heat press transfers to put onto your textiles? It’s actually a lot easier than it sounds! Read on to find out…

DIY Heat Press Transfers

With the right tools, you can easily create your own, custom-designed graphic textiles using a heat press machine. Transfer paper, transfer images, a printer, and a heat press are all that you need to design and make one-of-a-kind T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, tote bags, and so much more!

With the following steps, you’ll be on your way to crafting your own graphic creations.

Purchase Heat Press Transfers

First, you need to purchase heat press transfers. You should be able to find a wide selection at your local craft store. For even more convenient shopping and a larger variety of options, shop online.  You’ll have no problem finding heat press transfer kits that come complete with transfer paper, software, and perhaps even a garment to print your images onto.

When selecting your transfer paper, make sure you consider the color of the substrate you will be printing it on; lighter materials require light colored paper and darker materials require dark paper. Also, pay attention to the size of the paper; it must fit into your printer.

Obtain an Image

Obtain an image that you want to apply to a garment. You can either create your own with computer software (think Photoshop), scan a picture into your computer, or search online for a picture you like.

Edit the Selected Image

Once you’ve found the image you want to apply to your garment and it’s in your computer, edit it. You can do this with rudimentary editing software. Resizing the image so that it fits on the substrate is crucial; however, you can also edit the colors, the position, add in different effects, and adjust the size of the image, too.

Reverse the Image

Make sure you flip the image so that it appears properly on the garment. When you use your heat press machine to transfer the image, it appears opposite as how you see it; in other words, it’s a mirror image. If the picture contains numbers or letters, that can be very problematic.

To ensure the image transfers correctly, reverse it before you apply it to your substrate.

Print the Image

Once you’ve edited and reversed the image, you’re ready to print it.

Before printing it on your transfer paper, do a trial run to ensure that it prints correctly. That way you can see if any changes need to be made – and make them – before you print on the transfer paper and avoid unnecessary waste.

If you approve of the trial printing, load the transfer paper into your printer; ensure that the right side is facing up (the paper will be marked). When the paper is loaded, press print, remove the paper out of the printer, and you’re ready to transfer it to your garment.