How to iron letters onto a shirt

Written by margaret mills
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How to iron letters onto a shirt
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Personalising your wardrobe is possible by simply adding iron-on letters to a shirt, most commonly a cotton T-shirt. Letters can be made on special transfer paper in your printer, then ironed to your shirt. Letters can also be made from fabric and bonded on with a fusible iron-on webbing. The simplest method is to buy already made letters at a craft or sewing store and apply them to a cotton T-shirt with a hot iron.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Commercial iron-on letters
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Ruler or tape measure

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  1. 1

    Determine the number and size of letters you want for your design. Buy your letters at a fabric or craft store. You can also purchase transfer paper and print the letters you want onto it from your home computer.

  2. 2

    Cut the letters apart with a pair of sewing scissors.

  3. 3

    Smooth your T-shirt, right side out on the ironing board. Position the letters roughly where you want them. They should be ink side down, with the paper backing facing upward.

  4. 4

    Measure the letters to be sure they are even and where you want them. A hard-edged ruler is good for getting an even design.

  5. 5

    Touch each letter lightly with a hot iron. The iron should be set on "cotton," if you have a cotton T-shirt. Do not rub with the iron. Bond each one lightly in place.

  6. 6

    Hold the iron on the letters with even, medium pressure for 10 to 15 seconds. This will permanently bond the letters to the T-shirt. Don't rub or move the iron, just press straight down and hold.

  7. 7

    Allow the T-shirt and letters to cool for a minute or two. Peel the paper backing off each letter. Your new personalised T-shirt is now ready to wear.

Tips and warnings

  • Commercially made letters come in a variety of sizes, colours and fonts.
  • The letters usually come in a sheet with the printed letters on one side and a paper backing on the other.
  • T-shirt parties are a popular and fun social event, where friends get together to use iron-on letters to decorate their own T-shirts.
  • Pre-wash your T-shirt before applying iron-on letters.

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