Posted at 

January 24, 2018


Grâce Ouendo


There is no doubt that we are in the digital era, whereby everything even woocommerce custom t shirts can be sold online and to anybody in the world. This said, it is important to know which product can easily be sold online with low investment from you.

To know if your product is worth it or not, you should ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does this product have a bright feature online?
  2. Is it a potential viral product?
  3. Can the product be easily rolled out without a huge amount of money?
  4. Can the product be adapted to new designs?

Selling t shirts answers ‘Yes’  to all the questions above because they are easy to customize and purchase online. Statistics also shows that:

“According to the State of the Industry survey, T-shirts alone made up 13.5% of distributor revenues in 2014, translating to nearly $3 billion worth of sales.”

“According to the NPD Group, a market researcher based in Port Washington, NY, the US T-shirt market totaled more than $22 billion in 2006, up 8.4 percent from the prior year. Women’s T-shirt sales fared better than men’s, rising 11 percent in 2006 compared to men’s T-shirts up less than four percent.”

“According to SALTYCUSTOMS In 2016, the global athleisure market had a market size of a whopping $270 billion, and the number is expected to grow by 30% by 2020.”

“ Industry leader threadless.com made sales of $30 million in 2009, selling an average of 110,000 shirts per month. If we place a conservative estimate of 5% market share, that extrapolates to a market volume of at least $600 million”

This is to say that custom t shirts have always been a thriving business, now with the possibilities of personalizing them, the opportunities are huge.The need to customize it to brand an event, a social gathering or to make a statement.

People will always wear t shirts, and they are more inclined to buy more when they feel personally connected to the statement or the design in the t-shirt, and that is all the beauty of personalization.

However, creating a woocommerce custom t shirts store online is not a hard task, relatively inexpensive and quick to set-up.

Creating your woocommerce custom t shirts store

In order to create an online store, or any other type of website, you’re going to need 2 things:

A domain name: is your store’s unique address on the web. Something like “yourshirt.com”
A web hosting: is basically a remote computer that stores your website and then serves it up to whoever wants to visit it.

You will need to pick a domain name for your new online store, that should be easy to remember and catchy.

First of all there are different e-commerce platforms that can host your shop. We have Magento, Shopify, Prestashop and Woocommerce among many others and they all have their pros and cons that you can find out here.

But we prefer the Woocommerce / WordPress combination because it is simple to use.
There are hundreds of extensions and themes available for WooCommerce, which makes it easy for you to add new features to your eCommerce site. It supports both Digital and Physical Goods. Using WooCommerce, you can add affiliate or external products to your site.

WooCommerce has built-in support for popular payment gateways and you can add many other payment and shipping options using extensions. These a few reasons why we prefer Woocommerce. So if you are with us, and you choose to go the Woocommerce way, what you need is:

  1. First of all Install WordPress and Woocommerce, for more details read more here .
  2. Next Choose a theme, you can go for a free or paid theme, it all depends on the final visual output you want for your site ( how you want your site to look like). You can get themes for free on wordpress.org, or you can purchase one from the biggest directory of premium wordpress themes on the web called Themeforest. Furthermore we have some best-selling themes Porto-Novo or Grand-Popo, which are good for large scale online stores and also for those building up their shop from scratch.

Now your site is set !

Where to get quality custom t shirt supplies?

One feature that will contribute to the credibility of your woocommerce custom t shirts store is the quality of your t-shirts. If the quality of your t-shirt is not good enough, people will give you negative feedback which will negatively impact your business.

To choose the perfect T shirt blank for your shop you need to consider the t-shirts fabric, the sizes and color available.

Below is a list of some of the existing and popular t-shirt types:

  1. Round/ scoop neck t-shirt
  2. Crew neck t-shirt
  3. Polo t-shirt
  4. Henley t-shirt
  5. V-neck t-shirt

So it’s up to you to decide if you will stick to one type of style or if you will include all the types.

Some of the sites from which you can purchase quality blank t-shirts  are listed below:

  1. T-shirt Magazine: listed 6 different t-shirt producers ,with details on the different fits, sizes and colors available.
  2. Bella + Canvas: It is one of the best in terms of screen printing and its comes in more than 50 colors with a perfect blend of fitness, softness and weight.
  3. Next Level Apparel: is of a superior quality, and comes in various fabrics and texture and styles.
  4. Next Level Fitted Sueded: Has a huge list of brands, if you decide to go into sportswear sweatshirts or t-shirts.

From this wide range of choice it will be very difficult to choose the best type of t-shirt that fits your online shop.
This is an easy way to pull out from such a dilemma.

  1. Have a design in mind
  2. A preferred t-shirt quality
  3. A preferred t-shirt weight
  4. Order a sample to test quality
  5. Choose a supplier close to your geographic location

This is basically what you need to create your woocommerce custom t shirts shop without much investment at the beginning phase. Basic t-shirts can easily be sold, if you make sure they are of good quality, variety of size, shape and color for both men and women.

The following steps demand a bit of money investment in materials that will enhance your custom t shirts, so if you are ready to go the extra mile, let’s jump in!

After determining where to purchase your woocommerce custom t shirts, the next question would be how to print your designs?

Where to get a quality printing machine to print your design?

You can decide to print your woocommerce custom t shirts from an external supplier or you can buy your own printing machine and control all your print works.

This is a list of the popular printing machines and the advantages and disadvantages of each, this will help you make a more informed decision. You will have to consider the cost of printing from outside or purchasing your own machine.

a) The Screen printing machine: this method is one of the old-fashion ways of printing and it demands an extensive labor work, it is good for bulk printing and volume discounts, the disadvantage is that it doesn’t take complicated designs.

b) The Heat Transfer Machine: this machine comes in different forms and sizes. It enables you to print from your home office with the help of a heat transfer paper. Easy and quick, the disadvantage is that it is not durable, it may not last for long and you could invest 70% of your time on it, rather than using it to grow your brand.

c) The Direct-to-Garment (DTG) Machine: It can produce colorful images designs with accuracy because it functions like an ink-jet printer. It produces quality prints and it is cost effective. Good for small orders, not cost effective for large orders.

The next thing to lookout for are the designs  you will need for your t-shirt, how do you get them?

Where to get designs, fonts and more to customize your t shirts?

First of all you need to have an idea of the designs you want. You could possibly create them yourself with Adobe Photoshop. But if you are a dummy at photoshop you would likely hire a graphic designer or search for designs online.

Below is a list of marketplaces from which you can get the best designs and monograms for free:

  1. Fribbble
    Fribbble is a website for curated design freebies from the biggest online design community called Dribbble. They have icons,fonts and more from which you can choose from.
  2. Freebiesbug
    Freebiesbug is a web design blog showcasing free and high-quality design resources. You can download free photos,fonts even illustrations.
  3. Pixel Buddha
    Pixel Buddha has a huge collection of free and premium design resources. You can choose from a variety of patterns, photos, vectors designs that fit your next design project.
  4. Free Design Resources
    This website has a vast collection of free design resources with over 5 million downloads.
  5. PixelsMarket
    Every week PixelsMarket shares a new freebie. You can find free and premium resources including cover photos for you Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
  6. Icon Deposit
    If your project has a lot more to do with icons, then Icon Deposit can help you best. It’s a huge community of icon lovers.
  7. GraphicsFuel
    GraphicsFuel is a mix of a blog and freebies website. Freebies content include a broad range of design resources.
  8. Monogram Vector Graphics and Icons
    Over 42 results for Monogram Vector Graphics in EPS, and Icons in vector AI, PNG, ICO and ICNS format.
  9. FontSpace
    Instant downloads for 42 free monogram fonts. For professionals, some fonts are free for commercial-use!
  10. Circle Monogram Font (Free)
    If your project needs circle monogram fonts. Use their free online monogram generator or download the font. You can change color or size to personalize.
    If you are looking for a more professional look and feel for your designs

Below is a list of paid marketplaces from which you can get the best designs and monograms:

  1. Society 6
    This site is great if you’re looking for some interesting unique visuals for your t-shirts.
  2. MyFonts
    Typography is all the rage right now and most marketers realize that a unique font can easily take a brand to the next level.
  3. Creativemarket
    Creative Market is an online marketplace for community-generated design assets.
    The company sells graphics, WordPress themes, stock photography, and other digital goods for use by web creative
  4.  99designs
    This smart platform helps businesses and individuals to find talented freelance designers ready to realize your vision.
  5. CrowdSpring
    If you need an attention-grabbing name for your startup or an eye-catching logo, CrowdSpring is a top pick.
    This smart marketplace for logos, graphic design and naming allows to launch a project where dozens of talented creatives participate to bring you more than a hundred of custom designs on average.
  6. GraphicRiver
    GraphicRiver is the best marketplace for premium design templates and stock graphics that can be used in designing fonts, logos, prints, websites, business cards or icons.

Sourcing out designs for your woocommerce custom t shirts store online can be tiresome, especially if you dont get exactly what you are looking for.

If you are not able to get any design to illustrate the images or text you want to use on your t-shirts, then just hire a graphic designer and it’s solved.

Where to get t shirt mockup generators?

When your customers log into your woocommerce custom t shirts store, during the buying process they would like to know how the end result of their t-shirt will look like after customizing it, therefore the need of providing a mock-up comes in handy.

One way to go about it is to hire a graphic designer to build your mock-ups for you. The advantages of getting a graphic designer is that:

  1. He can reproduce exactly the custom design you want
  2. You can get the shape or display angle preferred
  3. You get unique designs tailored to your t-shirt shops brand

The other way round is getting mock-ups from design websites. This is a list of mock-ups and templates for your custom t-shirt line:

  1. Shirt Mockup.com is a free online tool that helps you add your design onto the t-shirt and re-adjust it to your taste.
  2. GraphicBurger
    GraphicBurger is another large website for design freebies. You can download mockups, UI kits, icons, text effects, backgrounds and modify them.
  3.  Placeit
    They have more than 4700 premium mockup templates from which you can choose from, some of the mockups include model faces which you can use for your website and social media marketing goals.
  4.  Creative Market
    Plain t-shirt, hanging t-shirt and many more other design from which you can choose from. The mockups are premium quality designs , you could also modify the designs the help of photoshop.

There are many more websites that gives you free and premium websites which you can discover here.

Finally the most important tool you need on your shop to start selling, is a tool that will allow your customers to customize their t shirts before purchase. They would be able to build their own design on their shirt before pushing the purchase button.

That is where the Woocommerce Product Designer plugin comes in. It has all the necessary features to make your customers experience unforgettable.

Woocommerce Product Designer is a web-to-print plugin which makes selling your woocommerce custom t shirts online fun.

Now that your t-shirt mockups are ready for use, the process that will help your customers visualize the end product, will happen with the Woocommerce Product Designer plugin.

All you need is to purchase the plugin and follow the user manual steps on how to create and customize a product. You can also try the free version here (Note that the options are limited in this version).

The plugin allows you to :

woocommerce custom t shirts

Now that you know to set up your store and know where to get all necessary material for the production, the next thing you need to is how to set up the configuration process of allowing your customers to able to design their t-shirts. This tutorial – a step-by-step tutorial on how to create your woocommerce custom t shirts shop explains in details all that is needed to be done. The article was well put together for anybody to understand, whether you have little or no technical Knowledge, this article is all that you need.

Now you know the process to creating a woocommerce custom t shirts shop, the only thing you need to do is to act.
To summarize we looked at:

  • Steps to create a Woocommerce shop
  • Where to get quality custom t shirts supplies
  • Different types of custom t shirts
  • Where to get quality printing machine to print your designs
  • Where to get designs, fonts and more to design your t shirts
  • Where to get t shirt mockup generators
  • The best web-to-print plugin for your store

Hopeful that you learnt something meaningful from this article. Let us know in the comment box below how this has helped you.


  1. Dwayne

    Its too bad that i didn’t find this article weeks ago. I would have saved a lot of heartache.

    July 29, 2019 at 7:38 pm
    • Origin Orion

      Hello Dwayne,
      I’m glad it’s helpful to you. Which part did you find the most interesting? I’m asking because we’ll release our tshirt designer plugin for woocommerce very soon and think that you might be interested.

      July 29, 2019 at 8:05 pm

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