One night while wasting time on Pinterest, I stumbled upon a miracle craft tool — the iron-on transfer pen. Draw, iron, and peel. Three easy steps. Hmmmmmm. Have I finally found a simple way to screen print T-shirts? Sort of. I printed out a simple and cute cat outline (image reversed) onto normal copy paper; traced the outline with the special pen; ironed the image onto a white T-shirt; peeled the paper back; squealed with delight at the faint image on the T-shirt; and painted the outline with blue fabric paint.


Finding an image and printing it out was simple (I have a Pinterest board dedicated to screen printed shirts). At first I started to fill in the thick outline with the pen but realized I just needed the outline. I planned to paint the outline blue because I didn’t want to worry about the pen washing out. I’ll test the transfer pen’s durability on another T-shirt. Anyway, I traced the cat outline with the transfer pen and cut off the excess white paper. When ironing a transfer, the smaller the paper the better for me and small hands.


Before ruining a completely good shirt, I did a test run on scrap fabric and the pen worked perfectly! But now, do I need to trace the outline with the pen again? Not wanting to take a chance, I quickly ran the pen around the outline and accidentally skipped a few areas. Also, did I need to iron the image as soon as I was done tracing? How fast do I need to be? Answer: not that fast. Once my iron was heated, I quickly swept it over the T-shirt area, warming it up a bit. With the image face down on the T-shirt, I simply ironed all over the paper for about a minute and carefully peeled back the paper to reveal a faint outline.


Woot woot! So pretty! To a bit of brightness and permanence, I filled in the outline with blue fabric paint marker, taking less than hour. The result? A beautiful kitty! I love it! I want to wear this shirt every day for the rests of my life! How cute is this shirt? Super awesome! With the test run out of the way, I’m eager to try the pen again on something a little more complicated and test the staying power of the pen’s ink.


Categories: Jennifer Elliott

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3 replies »

  1. The girls just love love love love the kitty shirt! I promised them we would make some over the weekend. Thanks for the idea, sweetie!

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