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DIY Cat Cartoon T Shirt Printing

Posted by Cassiefairy Oxfam Fashion blogger

8th Aug 2013

Shop festival fashion

I'm a massive fan of "Maneki Neko" the lucky cat and I've always wanted to have a t-shirt with a image of the cat on it to bring me luck every time I wear it. But could I find one? No! So I took it upon myself to make my own printed t-shirt.

Maybe you love cats too... or dogs... or unicorns?!  And maybe you want to have your favourite character, photo or artwork printed on a t-shirt too. Well you don't need to go to a specialist printer for this - just grab yourself a pack of t-shirt transfer paper and a plain t-shirt (try pre-loved ones from Oxfam Online Shop) and give it a go yourself.


Plain t-shirt

Pack of light t-shirt transfer paper

Printer with ink

 Ironing board and iron


Choose a plain t-shirt and the image that you'd like to use. I used this Maeki Neko graphic from Articubone.

Print it onto a sheet of transfer paper using 'best' quality printing. Remember to reverse the image it so that it is a mirror image of itself, so that when it prints onto the t-shirt it will be the right way round - this is especially important when printing text!


Cut out the image close to the edge, leaving a 5mm gap which will ensure that the image adheres to the t-shirt properly


 Iron the t-shirt, making sure that the printing surface is completely flat and free of creases. Position the transfer image onto the t-shirt and press with the iron. Follow the guidelines on the paper pack to make sure you iron the image for long enough to transfer it completely.


Allow this to cool completely before peeling off the backing paper to reveal your image. The t-shirt can still be washed now that it is printed, as long as you turn the top inside out before washing and always protect the image with a piece of paper/greaseproof paper whenever you iron it in the future.

And here is the finished t-shirt. I think it looks super-cute with the bow above the lucky cat and I know I'll get a lot more wear out of this t-shirt now that it's been given a new lease of life. The sky's the limit with printing your own images onto t-shirts. You've got a few more sheets of transfer paper in your pack to use, so why not print your own artwork onto t-shirts to create lovely hand-made gifts for your friends' birthdays? I even printed a couple of slogans onto baby-grows for my new niece! Give it a go - it's seriously addictive!

Blog post written by Cassiefairy

Oxfam Fashion blogger

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