A good t-shirt can make a killer style statement and really add a lot of personality and flavour to your look. There are load of sites selling printed t-shirts with kickass slogans and cool graphics right out of a pop art lovers dream. These tend to be pretty pricey however, so I’ve been looking into DIY clothing and custom designs as a way to save money and have something really special and unique. These one of a kind creations also make for excellent gifts for birthdays, graduations and even Christmas.
In this post I'll show you guys and gals how to create your own fully customised t-shirts for under 15 bucks.
The Cost Of Logo/Design Printed Tees from Standard Retailers
To begin with though, let's look at what the average cost of a logo printed tee is from some of the most competitive, well known retailers out there in order to establish a benchmark. Over at Boohoo you’d pay about $18 to $32 with free shipping for printed t-shirts with a wide range of designs from skulls to slogans. ASOS seems to be the most reasonable when it comes to pricing where you can find printed tees on sale for around $17.73 shipped.
Online T-shirt Custom Designs
Threadless makes t-shirts with fun slogans and graphics and these go for about $25 a pop plus extra for shipping. Don't forget though that their popularity means you’ll probably run into like 5 other people wearing the exact same t-shirt if you live in a city with lots of people. For some slightly cooler, more funkier designs, RedBubble is a good destination where many talented artists sell their illustrations. You can browse through these and get them printed on clothing and accessories, however you'll be looking at paying in the region of 30 odd bucks for a singlet or tee to be delivered.
Online t-shirt design sites are another option for taking customisation another step further. These sites have an array of stock images and text that you can choose from although they also allow you to upload your own designs too. Both The Tshirt Mill and The Print Bar let you choose a plain t-shirt, add an image, a slogan or a unique design and get it printed for $23.95 shipped. This price is for a basic white round neck t-shirt. Prices vary depending on the cut and colour of the t-shirt.
Save $$ DIY Style
One interesting option I came across was this offer on the EPSON Iron-on t-shirt transfers. The pack contains A4 sheets on which you can print your designs and then simply iron them on to your t-shirt or clothing item of choice. According to some reviews online these produce photo-quality prints so you are looking at a good quality finished product.
Dick Smith currently has the EPSON iron-on t-shirt transfers on sale at $34.99 with free shipping for a pack of 10. That works out to about $3.50 to create a custom design on each t-shirt, assuming you use an A4 sheet per tee design. You should of course check the ESPSON website to ensure that this paper is compatible with your printer.
You can use these to spruce up your existing t-shirts, but with all the mega sales going on at the moment, you can even stock up on a couple of basic t-shirts and create a whole collection.
Over at Hallensteins you can get 6 t-shirts for $60.78 with free shipping. This is with use of a discount code so do check out the full post for details. It’s a great offer as it essentially gets you a t-shirt for $11.76. Once you factor in the cost of the iron-on t-shirt transfer, the total comes to $15.26 for your very own DIY creation. The Hallensteins t-shirts range for contrast pockets tees to round necks with a button collar.
If you are looking for the bare minimum (a plain v-neck or round neck) you might want to try ASOS where they are going at $7.84 a piece (as shown in the picture). ASOS offers free shipping for orders over $30, so to maximise your savings you would be best off buying 4 pieces and take advantage of the free shipping. Adding up all costs each tee works out at $11.34 including the t-shirt and the transfer paper.
Girls can save even more by getting basics on sale, which usually can cost you as little as $5 a pop. Over at Missguided, ASOS and Boohoo there's always a good selection of singlets and tees for around $10 (regular price), while you can get your hands on some quality 100% cotton tops on sale at Cotton On and Bonds for $5 and $10 respectively. Bonds also ships for free with no minimum spend threshold and currently there are plenty of colours and cuts available in all sizes for $10 each. Either one you choose, you'll be looking at spending below $15 per top including the cost of the transfer paper for your design. If you're willing to chip in a bit more, General Pants is also a merchant to look at when stocking up on basics, they often run a 2 for $30 promo on their basics which get very good reviews from customers.
Overall there are some significant savings to be made from going down the DIY route, where in this instance customisation doesn't cost you more.
Party Favours, Team Kits & Gifts Galore
As an aside, these iron-on transfers can also be used to create jerseys for your kid’s sports team and even cool party favours. A customized DIY t-shirt also makes for a thoughtful and really special gift, particularly on a milestone birthday or a graduation. I’ve even seen girls on their hen’s night all in sexy DIY camis and tank tops- so you are really looking at a whole range of possibilities with these iron-on t-shirt transfers.
Don’t Sweat The Design
The best part about the DIY route is that you have complete creative freedom over your creation. Anything goes! You can do a mash up of your favourite cartoon characters, use an iconic image or even borrow a line from a movie or a song. Don’t fret if you think you can’t come up with a quirky quip or a killer design, there are tons of tools online that can come to your aid. Pinterest for instance is loaded with cool t-shirt ideas like this dark take on Disney princesses.