For an easy option, purchase a vintage iron-on decal, which can be found on eBay or specialty websites. To create your own design, research t-shirt designs from the period, and make your own design in a photo-editing or design program. Popular t-shirt designs from the period feature movies, music, sports, cars and television shows. If making your own design, remember to create a mirror image, so the design displays correctly once ironed.
Most t-shirt transfer paper comes with a link to download a template. Use the template to create a print-ready file of your design. Once the design has been finalized, print the file onto the transfer paper using an ink jet printer.
If your design does not fill the paper, trim it down to remove the excess paper.
Place the t-shirt onto an ironing board or other appropriate surface.
Place the decal or iron-on transfer face down onto the shirt.
Following the heat settings provided with the decal or paper, iron the design onto the t-shirt. Once ironed, remove the backing paper to reveal the completed t-shirt.