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5 Heat Printing Tips for Beginners

by Debra Romalia, Digital Marketing Director

Grace's Soccer T-Shirt

With a heat press and some pre-cut letters, it’s quick and easy to personalize T-shirts.

My 3-year-old daughter just started playing soccer and received her first soccer T-shirt. Of course, they didn’t include her name on the back. You would think with 30 kids running around they would want names on the backs of shirts so they can keep track of who is who.

Seeing that I have the coolest job, though, I decided to put her name on the back myself.

Rummaging through my desk full of pre-cut letters, I found some that would be small enough for her tiny T-shirt, 2″ CAD-CUT® Flock. My daughter’s name is “Grace,” not “GRAGE,” though, so I had a bit of a problem with a missing “C.” I put on my problem-solving hat and figured out that a C is very similar to a G, especially when it’s in Pro Block font.

So I took an extra G out of my stash, folded it in half, cut off the extra, and voila! I had a C.

Next came laying out the letters. I used a lettering layout board and Thermo Tape to make my life easier. Then I changed out the full size platen to the 6″ x 10″ platen, pre-heated my garment, and heat applied the letters.

Here are a  few tips to help as you personalize shirts and jerseys.

Before-After-G

Short on a particular letter? Be creative, then line up the name using a layout board and Thermo Tape.

1. If you don’t have a particular letter, be creative with what you have. (Then remember to re-order pre-cut packs to keep your letters stocked).

2. Change out the lower platen of the heat press to fit the size of your garment.

3. Always use a Quick Slip Lower Platen Protector – it makes it easy to dress garments on your heat press.

4. Line up the letters and use Thermo Tape or pre-mask tape to keep them together when heat pressing. You’ll thank me for it.

5. Make sure the name is centered on the T-shirt before pulling the handle down on the heat press. Even the pros make mistakes sometimes.

Bonus Tip: Always take a picture of the final product and use it to market your business. I had 5 other moms at soccer ask me how I put a name on the back.

What are your tips for the beginners? Share your ideas with us here, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

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One Comment to 5 Heat Printing Tips for Beginners

  1. Dee Francis says:

    Thanks for these tips for personalizing T-shirts. I liked your tip for using tape to keep letters together when heat pressing. When I was thinking over how I would print a shirt, I was worried about keeping my letters together evenly. Using tape seems like a great way to make sure that they’re all evenly aligned.
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