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Simple Gifts: Giving the shirt off my back

Submitted by on Monday, 15 December 2008 No Comment

Seeing that perfect T-shirt for Aunt Sally in your head but can’t seem to find it in stores?

It’s pretty easy to make it yourself. All you need is a computer, clip art or images, iron-on transfer printer paper and imagination.

The computer paper is pricier than normal ink jet stock. It usually runs $15 or so for a 10-pack, and you’ll often need more than one sheet per shirt, especially for adults.
From there, you simply create your design in a photo editor, graphics program or desktop publisher.

Once you get hooked on desktop publishing, by the way, you’ll never buy a greeting card, invitation or gift tag again. My wedding invitations are the only paper ware I’ve bought since 1995, and that’s because I didn’t want to run my printer into the ground on a press run large enough to cover a big fat circus wedding. I did, however, make programs for the ceremony and reception.

I use Microsoft Publisher at home, which is an amazingly powerful little program for its price. It’s not quite the bargain it used to be – when I started using it, it ran about $30 a copy. But $169 is considerably more affordable than the $800 you’d pay for top-of-the-line Quarkxpress.

If all you want to do is a few shirts and cards, consider Print Shop. I haven’t used it for roughly 10 years, but it used to be a decent introduction to desktop publishing. And at $20, it’s affordable enough for experimentation.

Software and paper at hand, it’s time to start creating.

Just two cautionary notes: An 8×11 transfer will look too small on adult clothing, so I would suggest a big image on one page and your text on another. Arrange the two parts on the shift and iron away.

And speaking of text, don’t forget to reverse your type. Otherwise, it will be backward after you iron it on. Not that I’ve ever forgotten.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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