Start a Business Designing and Selling T-Shirts

Start a business online designing T-shirts

Why T-shirts?

There are around 2 billion dollars worth of T-shirts sold every single year. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t make some of that money your own, even if you don’t have any design skills.

How do I start a business designing T-shirts?

Designing and selling T-shirts has become really simple. You don’t need to by T-shirts in bulk or expensive printing equipment anymore. In fact, you don’t even need to see a T-shirt!

There are numerous companies that are set up to allow you to produce your own designs on various products. You can set up entire stores within their website and sell you designs on anything from mugs to baby clothes. The company that I use is but and are also fantastic platforms. If you want to read about the differences between these three platforms to decide which one is right for you then you can read my article here.

Where do I start?

Once you’ve decided which platform is right for you, then you need to establish what kind of designs you want to sell. One of the first things you’ll do is decide on the name of your shop, so it’s not much good naming your shop until you have decided who your target audience is. Are you targeting golfers? Gamers? Mums? Women? Men? People who knit? Do you already have an audience that you’re designing your T-shirts or are you starting from scratch?

Once you’ve established this you’ve done the hardest part and you can begin to focus on your designs and your marketing.

Getting your designs

Let’s be honest, most of us have little to no design skills. I can do enough to get by, and if you’re like me then I would highly recommend using To use Canva to create t-shirt designs you’ll need to pay for the service (it’s only around $12 a month, and you can pay monthly rather than having to pay for a year up front) and this allows you to download .png files with a transparent background.

If you’re you’re slightly more advanced when it comes to designing images or are prepared to learn, then you could use which is a free browser based piece of design software that rivals GIMP and photoshop.

There are also plenty of free images and icons that you can use to enhance your designs. You can also look at sites like or Pngtree requires paying to use their designs commercially, so it might be better to wait until you’re making a decent income from your designs to merit the purchase.

Not a designer?

Maybe you just aren’t a designer. No artistic flair or zero technical design ability? Then you’ll need a bit of cash to get yourself started.

There are graphic designers on freelancing sites like and that can can complete your designs for you so that they are ready to upload straight onto your T-Shirts. You can have designs created from as little as $5.

How to sell your shirts?

Each of the websites I have given allow you to create your own store within their website. You can use this without a problem, and can rely on people stumbling upon it and buying your designs.

You could also use adverts to hit your specific target audience and make sales this way. You can pay for ads on all social networking sites and search engines and target the adverts appropriately.

Create your own e-commerce store for next to nothing using WordPress and Woocommerce, upload your products and when people buy them, order them from your original store and have them delivered to their address. With some of the websites you can even link your Woocommerce store directly to your T-shirt store so that this is all done automatically.

Sell your products on eBay and Amazon and purchase the product from your store and have it shipped to the buyer. This is a great way of getting people to see your products as there are millions of people using eBay and Amazon every day. You can list your own products on Amazon exactly as you can on eBay, but it is a slightly more complicated process that includes paying for a barcode for that product.

Creating a T-shirt design business is a great way to get started in making money online if you don’t have any capital to get started.


Gemma Laxton on EmailGemma Laxton on FacebookGemma Laxton on StumbleuponGemma Laxton on Twitter