Thursday, November 29, 2007

Give a Creative Gift: Custom T-Shirt Instructions

How To Use Digital Brushes to Create

A Custom T-Shirt Gift

By Julie Ann Shahin, Founder

Put your creative skills to good use by designing a unique, one-of-a-kind t-shirt for a loved one this holiday season. Then upload your design to be screen-printed or digitally printed professionally at

Let me show you the quick and easy steps!

If you want to create your design on a t-shirt graphic for realism, you can download a FREE T-SHIRT GRAPHIC by going to this link at Photoshop Roadmap. You need to click on one more link there "Go to Skull T-Shirt Design". There you will find the free graphic to download as well as another T-shirt Tutorial.

  • Open the graphic in Photoshop Elements.

  • Go to Image -->Resize--> Change width to 30 inches while keeping proportions constant. I chose 30 inches because that is the size of the t-shirt I will be printing on.

  • Next, create a new document that will be the size of your design.
  • In this example, my design will be 10" x 8". Go to File --> New --> Blank Document, then enter the inches.
  • I will have the background as transparent.

  • I want a border to act as my guidelines so I click ctrl-a which "selects all",
  • then I go to Edit-->Stroke (Outline) Selection --> Chose the color and the stroke width 10 px, Location Inside. Click ok.
  • We want to copy this onto the t-shirt so click ctrl-a again to select all, then go to Edit-->Copy Merged.

  • Go to the T-shirt Design.
  • Click ctrl-v to paste,
  • then move the border into position by selecting the move tool,
  • and using the arrows on your keyboard to move it into place.
  • This will be your design guidelines.

  • Now we are ready to upload the brushes we want to use.
  • Select the brush tool. Use the drop down box, and click on the arrow on the right.
  • Click on Load Brushes, then chose a brush from your files.

  • I am using Katie Pertiet's Stamped Block Frames from Designer Digitals.
  • On a New Layer, I position it within my guidelines.
  • At any time you do not want to see your guidelines, you can hide them by clicking on the eye icon.

  • My next step is to add a dingbat font (Oldtime Dings Set number unknown).
  • I then decide I want the area within the frame to be white so I draw a rectangle with the marquee tool.
  • Then go to Edit --> Fill Selection. I fill it with white. Click OK.

  • I also add some splotches with another dingbat font called Loosydings Expert.

  • Here you can see the order of my layers.

  • Now I want to move my design to a new document to print.
  • In a new document that is 10"x 8", I have a transparent background.
  • On my t-shirt document, I hide the t-shirt by clicking on the eye icon.
  • I select one of the layers above the t-shirt graphic. Then I go to Layer -->Merge Visible.

  • I drag the design onto the new 10" x 8" document.
  • Now I am ready to print if I am using inkjet iron-on transfers. Or you can upload the design to a professional site as I mentioned above such as

Enjoy your new digital knowledge! If you liked this tutorial, be sure to sign up for our newsletter!

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Jennifer said...

What a great tutorial. The link to the t-shirt didn't provide an actual download link though. I will still try this out. Thanks for thinking out of the box!

Sagar said...

Online T-Shirt Shop, It provides a platform for T-Shirts Designers, T-Shirt Lovers & T-Shirt Customers. Growing T-Shirt Designer Community contributing T-Shirt Designs.Flaunt your taste and wear your imagination!Online T-Shirt Shop

Heidy said...

Thanks to you Julie for sharing your idea in using digital brushes to create a custom t-shirt design. Now I know how people put the desired design on the tees. I am sure now that I could do this at home if only I have the resources.