Surfin’ Superstar T-Shirt

Ok, so I see a lot of surfers sporting Event T-Shirts, which is fun, since I seem to have a growing collection too, that I love to keep as memories of fun.
I also see a lot of surfers/non-surfers sporting shirts that I know are pretty expensive, but have some nice photographs- of other people doing fun things. Now, I don’t have a photo of me getting air, surfing Jaws, etc. I wish I had a good enough camera to take some action shots of local surfers, but, alas, no luck there either.
I do, however, have a nice picture (I think) of the beach along Patrick Air Force Base that I took with the iPhone and modified with a little iPhone app:

Sea Grapes on PAFB Beach

I thought this picture would look neat-o on a t-shirt. I had found a t-shirt in the clearance bin for $1.99. I wanted to use those t-shirt transfers that you can send through an ink jet printer and iron-on. The t-shirt I picked up was dark brown, so I used (already had some in the stash) some “dark t-shirt transfers”. They sell these at the office supply store, the box stores, craft stores, etc.
The different thing about dark t-shirt transfers is that you don’t print them backwards- you actually print on the good side and apply them to the shirt like a giant sticker. It also makes it fun just to cut out shapes, even if you don’t print on them, or if you print a random pattern and cut out a shape.
To start, I washed the shirt first. I can’t stress how important this is. Even if you are using a recycled shirt, wash it, but don’t use a dryer sheet if you put it in the dryer. Anything extra on the shirt will cause the decal to have a hard time sticking and can tear a little (trust me, it will happen, but you’ll call it art).

Blank Brown Shirt

So I still adjusted the picture I was going to use even more on the computer by adding text (my blog site 🙂  ) and by creating a stronger contrast so I’m hoping this will come through on the printer. My printer is pretty awful, as I discovered, so I used one of the reject prints as an image for the front of the shirt, then the better print for the back, but I still needed to trim the edges because of my squirrelly printer. Follow the directions on the package, but for my ink jet, I loaded the good side down to get it to print on the correct side.

Feeding the 8 1/2 by 11″ sheet into the printer

After this prints, I let it dry for quite a while so the ink can set up. Here’s the back of the shirt image trimmed up, but not ironed down:

Here’s the little front image I cut from a bad print to use. I cut it in a fun fish shape!

Traced out the fish shape over the blog name
Cut out shape

From there, I used a piece of cardboard inside the shirt so the transfers wouldn’t stick to the other side of the shirt. Also, the package came with tissue to use on top so the transfer won’t stick to your iron. It still can burn, unfortunately, so keep the iron moving constantly.

Ironing on the image on the back using the tissue

I tried my best to center the front and back, so here’s the final result:

Back of shirt
Front of shirt

Obviously, you can use a picture of yourself ripping it up, others ripping it up, etc. Just represent the locals, ok, don’t buy a picture of Sunny Garcia. I’m sure he’s very nice in person. Please don’t beat me up.

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