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How to Iron a Picture on a Shirt Without Transfer Paper

how to iron a picture on a shirt without transfer paper

Do you want to print a picture on a shirt, but you do not have transfer paper? The solution is easy, know how to iron a picture on a shirt without transfer paper. There are various ways to do this using different tools and directions. If you want the best results, make sure to follow these steps closely.

Iron on Shirt with Saran Wrap

One way to print an image on a shirt without transfer paper is by printing directly on the shirt. If you are looking for a low-cost and versatile method, without minding the labor, this is perfect for you.

You Will Need:

  • Printed picture
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Hard surface to iron on
  • Shirt
  • Parchment Paper
  • Saran Wrap

Step 1: Cut the Image

Using a pair of scissors, cut the image along the border. Neatly remove all the excess paper.

Step 2: Wrap the Image

Lay enough Saran wrap on a flat surface. Then place your image, right side up, on the wrap. Cut another piece of the wrap to place on top of the picture. Be sure to cover all image areas to get the perfect results.

Next, press the wrap and image gently just so they somewhat stick together. Then, remove the excess saran wrap or fold it to the underside. Once done, place your shirt on a flat, hard surface.

Flatten or smoothen the area where you will be printing your image.

Iron the shirt if need be. Place your image on the shirt, both the shirt and image with their right sides up. Then, put a sheet of parchment paper on top of the picture.

Step 3: Iron the Image

This step is one of the most exciting parts. Turn on your iron to the highest heat. Give it a few seconds to a minute to heat up. You can now iron your image. Use a little pressure when ironing.

To make sure the image or the paper does not move, press the iron on one area at a time. Instead of sliding the iron, lift it and press another area of the image. Give the edges more ironing time to ensure that the image is sealed.

Step 4: Peel off the Parchment Paper

Now, this is truly a satisfying part of the process. Once you are sure that you have ironed all areas that need ironing, turn off the iron and lay it aside. Finally, gently peel off the parchment paper until it’s entirely off.

If this proves to be a tad difficult and you fear it might ruin the image, get your iron once again. Repeat the ironing process. Do not leave the saran wrap un-ironed. The second time should be enough, and you should be able to have ironed an image on your shirt successfully.

It’s that easy! You now know how to iron a picture on a shirt without transfer paper. If you are open to another method, then keep reading.

Iron on Shirt with Freezer Paper

iron on shirt with freezer paper

Another easy and efficient method to iron a picture on your shirt is by using a freezer paper. This method allows more room for creativity, and you’ll see why.

You Will Need

  • Printed picture
  • Pencil
  • Scissors/Cutter
  • Iron
  • Piece of flat board
  • Shirt
  • Freezer Paper
  • Fabric Paint
  • Paint brush or sponge brush

Step 1: Trace and Cut out the Picture

First, cut a piece of freezer paper to the size of your printout. Get your printout ready and place it under the freezer paper. The waxed side of the freezer paper should face down, touching the printout.

Next, trace the image on the freezer paper, and trace all the details you need. Then, use cut out the image traced on the freezer paper. Keep the small inside pieces as you will need them later on.

Step 2: Place the Board Inside the Shirt

For easy and flat ironing, get your board inside the shirt. The board will serve as your flat surface, and it will keep the paint from seeping through the other side of the shirt. Cut another piece of freezer paper and place it on top of the board inside the shirt. The waxed side should be facing upwards.

Step 3: Iron the Freezer Paper

Now, it’s time for ironing. Get your stencil and lay it flat on the shirt with the waxed side facing down. Make sure to place the small inside pieces of the stencil on the shirt as well. Heat your iron to the maximum heat. Once it is hot enough, slide it across your stencil.

The wax should help the freezer paper stencil to stick on the shirt. The freezer paper inside will also aid with the adhesion.

Step 4: Paint your Picture and Remove Freezer Paper

It’s time to get creative. Using your fabric paint and paintbrush, paint over the stencil. Make sure to not get the pain outside of the outer border of the stencil. You can use however many colors you want to get the results you want.

I know you’re excited but let the paint dry. Make sure the paint dried well, and then you can remove the freezer paper from both the top and inside of the shirt.


There’s a secret to almost every trade. You do not precisely need transfer paper to iron pictures on shirts. Knowing how to iron a picture on a shirt without transfer paper does not even need an excellent skill set. So why not get your materials ready and start to get artsy.

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