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Five Websites to Print Your Own Custom Designs/Photos Onto T-Shirts and Other Gifts

Classic T-Shirts printed with "Upload Your Image" worn by two models.
Have you ever wanted to print your child’s art onto their very own skateboard, or create a calendar of all your holiday snaps (or maybe even a photo book)? That’s where Print On Demand websites come in. They specialise in printing custom images onto their products, with orders being as small as just one item.

While many of these sites are designed for artists and photographers to open online shops to sell their designs that doesn’t mean you can’t use these sites too. There’s no reason you can’t open your own free shop for the sole purpose of buying your own printed designs - some sites will let you design custom products without needing to open a shop at all.

Below I’ve created a list of five Print On Demand sites I’ve used and recommend, along with a sixth bonus option that you may not have even thought of but is probably the most convenient of all.
  • Red Bubble - Has grown into quite possibly one of the biggest Print On Demand sites online. Registering a free account will give you access to all their store features and allow you to upload and purchase your designs on any of their products. I’ve always been happy with their print quality on my own products.
     
  • Threadless - This Print On Demand site is really targeted at artists wanting to sell their designs online, as such you’ll need to open a shop before you can put your design on any of their products. Shops are free to open and you don’t have to promote them or anything if all you want to do is buy a few of your designs on various products. They do have a few items not usually available on other similar sites including Slip on Shoes, Skateboards, and Cut’n’Sew apparel. Print quality is easily comparable to Red Bubble.
     
  • Spring (formerly TeeSpring) - Spring has all the standard products to choose from that you’ll find on most sites. Starting your own store with them is free and you can integrate it into other social media like YouTube and Twitch. Unique to Spring is the ability to sell digital products such as Image files, ebooks, video files etc. As far as I’m aware Spring is the only Print On Demand site with this option.
     
  • Board Pusher - Probably the first and only Print On Demand site dealing exclusively with custom skateboards. It’ll cost you an annual fee to open up a store with them but if you just want to create a custom skateboard (or custom grip tape) for yourself or as a gift then sign up for a free account. All their skateboard decks are Canadian Maple and printed in the USA, plus they have the widest range of shapes from mini cruisers, standard popsicles, to longboards and more. Print quality is excellent. As good as any board sold in a reputable skate shop. Optionally buy your board as a complete with quality brand name wheels, trucks and other hardware.
     
  • CafePress - One of the longest running Print On Demand sites, CafePress is currently a disaster for their shop keepers (don’t be tempted to open your own shop with them). Despite this, if you just want to sign up for a free account to put your own designs on their extensive range of products (some you won’t find anywhere else) for your personal use, their print quality and delivery times are pretty good. I’ve always been happy with the products I’ve purchased from them.
     
  • Bonus Option - If you don’t want the hassle of ordering products from an international site that may take weeks to fulfil your order check to see if your local department store such as Walmart (in Australia we have Kmart and Big W) has an online custom photo printing center. They usually have a wide range of products you can have your images printed on and may even let you pick up your order at the store closest to you for no extra cost.
Got any questions about Print On Demand websites? Maybe you’re thinking about opening your own free store as a side hustle? Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have and I’ll answer them to the best of my knowledge and direct you to any relevant resources.

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

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