DIY: Custom T-Shirt

Need some t-shirts for your next outing, or simply have a witty slogan that you want to put on one? Good news – making a customised t-shirt is not as hard (or expensive) as you may think. Using the relatively simple method of screen-printing, you can get your own custom t-shirt!

Here’s the step-by-step on how to make a DIY custom t-shirt, as explained by Bob on I Like to Make Stuff.

Things you’ll need:

  • Photo emulsion kit
  • Screen-printing ink (colour of your choice)
  • Squeegee
  • Screen and frame (available as a package in stores)
  • T-shirt(s)
  • A piece of glass (in a similar size to your screen)
  • Scotch tapes


  1. Print out your custom design/artwork on transparency. This could be done in your nearest copy centres. Set aside.
  2. Open the emulsion kit, containing emulsion and sensitizer. Mix the two according to the instructions on the bottle.
  3. Pour a small amount of the mixture on the screen. Spread it thinly and evenly on the screen with a squeegee.
  4. Dry the screen in a pitch black room for around two hours. To help it dry faster, you can also use a fan.
  5. Put your design/artwork backwards on the back of the screen. Tape the transparency and top it with a piece of glass. Let it sit under a very bright light for 15-45 minutes.
  6. Remove the transparency. Spray the screen with water to wash out the emulsion.
  7. Put your t-shirt on a flat surface and make sure it doesn’t wrinkle. Place your design screen on top of the t-shirt. Put a thick dollop of screen-printing ink on the design, and spread it out with the squeegee.
  8. Remove the screen, and you have your custom t-shirt! If you want the image print to be more long-lasting, heat it up in the dryer for 5 minutes.


  • Clean your screen afterwards with the emulsion remover.
  • Choose an ink colour that contrasts your t-shirt.