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How to Design and Sell T-Shirts Online: A Complete Guide


Do you dream of starting your own t-shirt business but not sure how? Did you know you can actually design and sell t-shirts online in the comfort of your own home?

In this guide, I will cover how you can make your own t-shirts! Read on to discover the complete guide to make t-shirts!

1. Design and Sell T-Shirts Online

Did you know the world’s most expensive t-shirt cost $250,000?! Imagine making a lucrative t-shirt from the comfort of your own home that sells over and over? Your first step is to make a plan of action.

You need to brainstorm different t-shirt ideas and make sure to keep track of these ideas.

2. Have a Unique Idea

If you see a t-shirt online you can buy at a local store for half the price, will you buy it online? Probably not. It’s important to have something unique that someone can’t buy everywhere.

You want to come up with a unique idea for your t-shirt that will grab others’ attention and will make them think, “I need this now!”

3. Brainstorm

Don’t have a unique idea? That’s ok! You can brainstorm and think about different ideas out there. Think of pretty designs, funny jokes, and pop culture. When you come up with your idea make sure that it’s not using any copyright materials!

4. Design

Do you have a knack for design? If not there are options out there to design and sell t-shirts! If you’re willing to learn, you can explore different colors and typography. You can also learn Adobe Photoshop.

View here whether graphic design or royalty free images is the way to go for you! It also has a complete breakdown and comparison of both.

5. Printing Your Shirts

Next is to decide whether you’ll use an online platform to print your shirts or learn silkscreen shirts. If you decide to do your own printing then you’ll have to decide where to store the shirts.


If you decide to have others do the production, then they will ship it out right to your customer! They will keep track of the orders, shipping, and storing so you don’t have to!

6. Setup Shop

Are you excited to start your own shop for others to buy your designs? Many sites that you choose to design through will allow you to have a storefront. You can make it your own and then upload them to the storefront.

7. Build a Website

If you don’t want to have your storefront on another platform, you can create your own website. If you decide to go this route and do it yourself it’s a process.

You’ll need to purchase a domain name, also create a logo, and make sure your website is user-friendly. You’ll also need a hosting platform so you can create your website.

You can always outsource if this part seems too time-consuming.

If you decide to go this route you’ll need to think about a license and paying taxes. You’ll need to contact a local CPA to see the tax requirements in your area.

8. Think Marketing

You want your business to be successful right? You can’t just sell to local friends and family, think global! This is the most important aspect of your business to succeed and how to sell t-shirts!

Have you heard of SEO? If you haven’t, there are plenty of free guides out there. Check out Moz’s free guide on understanding and learning SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s all about your website showing up as the top result in searches!

When someone types in a keyword that has to do with your business, you want your site to be one of the results that pops up! The more eyes who see your site the more people opening, and the more opportunity for a profit!

You also need to figure out who your ideal customer is. What kinds of shirts will you be making? Who will be interested in those types of shirts?


It’s always important to have your target customer in mind as you’re designing your shirts! A target age group would be for example 25-35-year-old women in the United States. Do not try and sell to everyone, it will not work.

Once you have your audience in mind, then you can market to them! Also, when you’re online whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. find some influencers! If you’re on a budget you don’t need to use celebrity influencers.

You can find influencers who have a good amount of followers, and ask them if they can mention your company. You can send them a free t-shirt to wear and ask them to mention your company in a post.

You’ll want to also create different pages for your business on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You’ll want to regularly post content about your products to stay active and noticed out there!

Here is a beginner’s guide to help you get started on social media. When you’re on social media as well, you can discover your ideal audience for your business!

Next Steps

Do you dream of starting your own t-shirt business? You can design and sell t-shirts online! If you follow this complete guide you can be well on your way to a successful t-shirt business!

You might feel overwhelmed, but don’t let your fear take over. Remind yourself why you dream of having your own t-shirt business, and how lucrative it really is! Think of your ideal audience for your shirts, and keep them in mind as you design! Remember, you don’t want to target everyone!

Once you have some ideas you can sell through a platform or have your own website. When that is complete remember that marketing is one of the most important aspects, and will help you succeed!

If you ever feel overwhelmed by any step, take it one day at a time, and you can always outsource any work as well, even social media!

Would you like to learn more about starting a business from the comfort of your own home? Check out our blog for more information!