How Do You Make an '80s Style T-Shirt?

How Do You Make an '80s Style T-Shirt?

Graphic tees were popular in the 1980s. Recreate the look using an iron-on decal or t-shirt transfer paper and a home printer.

  1. Find or create an image

    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.

  2. Print your design

    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.

  3. Trim the design

    If your design does not fill the paper, trim it down to remove the excess paper.

  4. Lay out the t-shirt

    Place the t-shirt onto an ironing board or other appropriate surface.

  5. Position the decal

    Place the decal or iron-on transfer face down onto the shirt.

  6. Iron

    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.