ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Create Simple Effective T-Shirt Designs and Make Money on Zazzle and Cafepress

Updated on June 15, 2014

Using Simple Self Produced Graphics

This Simple Drawing was created with Microsoft Paint and made a popular design
This Simple Drawing was created with Microsoft Paint and made a popular design | Source

Are You Artistically Challenged?

Do you consider yourself artistically challenged? Do you say 'I can't draw?"

I was never good at Art or Drawing at School, I could draw a house with four windows and a coil of smoke coming out of the chimney and a nice front door, but that was about it.

Now I have the added problem of not being able to see color very clearly and only seeing strong thick black lines with my nose pressed against my 21 inch monitor.

That is not the best place to start becoming a t-shirt designer.

But I decided to try to sell some designs and it has been somewhat successful.

So even if I can do it maybe you can too!

Basic Drawing Package

Both the designs you see on this page were created with Microsoft Paint, being a simple art creation tool it is limited but if you want cheap and cheerful you can't beat FREE with your Windows O/S.

For the best results you can if you find you need it buy a program such as Corel Draw. Such packages allow for saving with invisible backgrounds. Paint doesn't allow this so you must either modify your design for colored shirts or accept that it will be printed with a white background.

Go Modern

Become inspired by modern art. This design was suggested by the art of Piet Mondrian, famous for his straight lines and color blocks.
Become inspired by modern art. This design was suggested by the art of Piet Mondrian, famous for his straight lines and color blocks. | Source


The drawing at the top was created using some of the circle and line tools on the Paint program.

I named the German Shepherd Cartoon character Polly after my pet GSD. The dog in my profile picture.

I had tried to draw "Polly" freehand on a piece of paperusing a heavy Sharpie (permanent) marker. It was ok but the paint version was better.

You can draw freehand on a piece of paper if you like and make the picture just larger than you require, scan your drawing at the highest possible resolution and save it in JPG or JPEG format. That works for me too.

The second design was created using the line drawing and fill facillities on paint.

I followed some examples of the work of Piet Mondrian who is famous for his line and colored blocks art work. Borrow a book on modern art from your library for inspiration. There are many areas where modern art requires little ability to represent the world in photographic detail, but you can create individual artwork and design that is full of color and interesting patterns.

Mondrian was my first choice to try, but I will add more later.

Keep the design as simple as you can though. Too many small details get lost in the T-shirt printing process. Make images, patterns and colors bold and don't be afraid to use bold color combinations. But don't over use color. It can look like n explosion in a paint factory. Mind you if you like Jackson-Pollock then that is what you might want.

Saving Your Designs

When you are happy with your design. Save it to your computer as a JPG or JPEG or PNG file.

These are more easily uploaded to for you to create your products.

One way to vary a design is to simply flip it. I used this technique to add variation to my "Polly" design. Some images then face left others face right. All done at the click of the mouse. Two designs in one. Of course you can flip the Mondrian type of design four times through 90 degrees so giving more variety.

Try T-shirt design for yourself

T-shirt design is fun. I decided to try it just to see what might happen and I have had agood time designing and coming up with styles.

I have sold several shirtd so making a few dollars in income. I have also been able to expand my own t-shirt collection in my wardrobe with some good quality products.

It can also provide you with some publicity. You can become your own walking advertisement for your hubs or blogs. Just include your URL and you may find people looking you up online.

I would recommend Cafepress in particular. Their shirts are good quality and the printing is excellent.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)