DIY: The Big Ugly T-Shirt.

I’ve always been a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl, but in 2012 a t-shirt is not the shirt of years past, unless we are talking about the year 1983. It’s boxy. It’s thick and not gauzy and thin. It looks like the t-shirt you got for free when you joined the Zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society, or the type you stole from your boyfriend to sleep in. Except now its in fashion. Every single designer is making t-shirts like this, the uglier the better, I think the official term is “Graphic T”?

Anyway, I’ve been itching to play with some iron on paper. ITCHING, I tell you. I thought about it for weeks. I bought some paper, got the right T-shirts, new printer ink, bought parchment paper all over the course of weeks, having this in the back of my mind. When I got this thing up and running, I didn’t know WHAT to print. I wanted something cool and animal-esque, so I decided on a photo of my horse (not my horse exactly, just the horse I ride. For now.) and the photo of those cool blue legs I took last week at the Saks party, I added a line from one of my favorite songs on the photo and viola- and there we have it. The photos were ready to go. So you basically buy some printable iron-on paper. Then print on it, like you would a normal paper.

Give your shirt a quick 2 second iron to make sure its not wrinkled.

Then peel and stick your image onto your shirt. You may want to print something not rectangular and cut it out before you print. whatever you don’t fill will be white on your T-shirt, look at the edge on the black shirt I did. That’s because the photo didn’t fill the entire sheet, but I decided I liked it.

Put parchment paper on top, and then iron on cotton setting on high, for 20 seconds per area, lifting your iron as you go along, not just sliding it. (Thats what the instructions said.) Then you peel off the parchment paper depending on your paper it could be while its still hot, or cold.


And you’re done.

The possibilities here are really endless. Like I want to make a shirt with my paintings in the shape of the word ART (like my header) and then paste those to the shirt. I want to make one with my photo of my legs in the floral pants and then wear the T-shirt with the floral jeans. I want to make one for Cookie and her best friend – of a picture I took of them licking ice-cream cones. I want to print an abstract and cut it up into little pieces and then iron it back together on the shirt. I want to make one of the picture I took of my kids leaning out the car window. I mean… come on. I could go on and on. And I will. Because guess what, since I’ve made these, I haven’t NOT worn them. Right, made them Friday afternoon- wore em, Saturday, Saturday night, yesterday and today. With jeans and a cute blazer, it’s a complete outfit of coolness. The whole key here is that the T-shirt needs to fit loosely and be boxy, which is so easy and enjoyable to wear.

Want to know about our awesome blazers? Well, the white one is this amazing Alexander Wang painted plastic leather something. Honestly have no idea what the material is, HERE. The black is a tweed number by IRO, HERE. Bag by Phillip Lim HERE.

Iron-on paper, it’s nothing new, but I don’t care, I feel like I discovered a new universe of self-expression.  Go, be free and make T-shirts. Your instagram pictures will come in handy.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Alison says:

    Very cool! Much better than the DIY tees my mom made for me in the 80s with puff paint and huge rhinestones haha

  2. you’re so cool. seriously.

    • Nicole Cohen says:

      You are funny. You know Im the biggest nerd, but thanks for humoring me!

  3. Ingredientses!

  4. I simply would loove to try that! Prints can turn T-shirts in to real pieces of art and what I love about them (especially ones which are black and white) is that they suite anything and anyone!

  5. Once again, I love love love those jackets! They remind me of one of my favorite tweed chanel suits! Gorgeous!

    Love, Jamie Herzlinger

  6. I love how you can really transform a tee from a bland looking item to a funky, personalized statement simply through prints.

  7. They look great. Good result

  8. MMish says:

    these look awesome, love them

  9. I tried this a few months ago and my image wouldn’t stick at all and I was so bummed, because like you I thought I was opening up this whole new world of possibilities! Maybe my iron wasn’t hot enough or my paper sucked, but you have inspired me to try again. What brand paper did you use?

  10. WHAAAT! This is beyond awesome! We def want to try!!

    ox from NYC!