How to Make Custom T-Shirts with Screen Printed Transfers

Are you looking to create custom t-shirts for your business, band, clothing line, sports team, or event? Screen printed transfers offer a high-quality, cost-effective solution that can be applied at home. In this article, we will explore the process of creating custom t-shirts with screen printed transfers, the equipment needed, the best materials to use, and considerations when choosing a transfer printing company.

Equipment Needed

To apply the transfers to t-shirts, you will need a heat press, which can be purchased online or from a local supplier. A good quality heat press will last for years and will allow you to create professional-looking t-shirts from the comfort of your own home.

Best Materials to Use with Screen Printed Transfers

Screen printed transfers work well with a variety of materials, including cotton, polyester, and blends. For the best results, it is recommended to use a high-quality, smooth fabric that can withstand the heat and pressure of the heat press. Cotton is a popular choice for t-shirts as it is comfortable to wear and easy to care for.

Strengths and Limitations of Screen Printed Transfers

Screen printed transfers offer a high-quality print that is durable and long-lasting, making them a popular choice for creating custom t-shirts and other apparel. They also allow for a high level of customization, with a wide range of colors, finishes, and materials available. However, screen printed transfers do have some limitations, including the need for a minimum order and the inability to print small, intricate details. When considering colorful designs, it’s important to note that screen printed transfers have similar limitations as direct screen printed t-shirts. Intricate fades and shading may require specialized transfer printing or the consideration of a different t-shirt printing method.

How Much do Screen Printed Transfers Cost

hen it comes to creating custom printed heat transfers, the cost can vary depending on a number of factors. Below, we will explore some of the factors that can affect the price of custom printed heat transfers.

  1. Quantity: One of the biggest factors that can affect the price of custom printed heat transfers is the quantity ordered. Generally, the more transfers you order, the lower the cost per transfer will be.
  2. Size: The size of the design can also affect the price of custom printed heat transfers. Larger designs will require more ink and more transfer paper, which can increase the cost.
  3. Number of Colors: The number of colors used in the design can also affect the price of custom printed heat transfers. Each color requires a separate screen to be created, which can increase the cost.
  4. Type of Transfer: There are several types of heat transfers available, including plastisol, water-based, and sublimation. The type of transfer used can affect the price, with some types being more expensive than others.
  5. Material: The material that the transfer is being applied to can also affect the price. Different materials may require different types of transfers or special treatment, which can increase the cost.
  6. Turnaround Time: Rush orders or orders with a shorter turnaround time may come with an additional fee.
  7. Design Services: If you do not have a design already created, some transfer printing companies may offer design services for an additional fee.
  8. Shipping: The cost of shipping can also add to the overall cost of custom printed heat transfers, especially for orders that require expedited shipping.

In general, it is best to get a quote from the transfer printing company to determine the cost of custom printed heat transfers for your specific project. Factors such as the size of the order, the complexity of the design, and the type of transfer needed can all affect the overall cost, but working with a reputable company can help ensure that you get high-quality transfers at a fair price.

Best Graphic File Formats and Graphic Design Software Options for Custom T-Shirts

When designing graphics for custom t-shirts, it is important to use a high-quality graphic file format such as PNG, PSD, or AI. These formats allow for high-quality images that can be resized without losing clarity. Popular graphic design software options for custom t-shirts include Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and Canva.

Considerations When Choosing a Transfer Printing Company

When choosing a transfer printing company, it is important to consider factors such as cost, turnaround time, and quality. Look for a company that offers a high-quality product at a competitive price, with a quick turnaround time. It is also important to read reviews and ask for samples before placing a large order.

Example Plastisol Transfer Printing Companies

The following custom t-shirt printing companies companies specialize in the printing of screen printed heat transfers. You create the design on your computer and send it electronically (usually via email or online form) to the printing company with instructions on how many transfers you want to order and they’ll give you estimates on printing costs. Once you pick a company, they’ll print your design on screen printed transfers using durable plastisol inks and mail you the completed printed transfers on sheets that you can easily apply at home with your heat press.

  1. Transfer Express
  2. Stahls’
  3. F&M Expressions
  4. S&S Activewear
  5. Custom Transfers Inc.


Creating custom t-shirts with screen printed transfers can be a fun and rewarding experience, and with the right equipment and materials, it is easy to achieve professional-looking results from the comfort of your own home. When choosing a transfer printing company, consider factors such as cost, turnaround time, and quality, and be sure to use high-quality graphic file formats and design software for the best results. With a wide range of colors and finishes available, screen printed transfers offer a high level of customization and durability, making them a great choice for businesses, sports teams, and individuals looking to create custom merchandise.