Creative and cheap heatpress gifts you can make

Angie Renner
Published by 
Angie Renner
Last updated: 
January 23, 2024

Do you hate the idea of giving somebody a generic gift that anybody could have bought from the store?

You’re not alone. There’s a particular pride that comes from creating a gift for somebody that you care for. The look on their face when they open it and realize that it is custom is unparalleled.

But you can also save money by creating gifts from scratch rather than paying exorbitant prices for products from the store. Most blank materials are incredibly inexpensive, and the cost of pressing is minuscule once you have a heatpress.

DIY Heatpress Gifts

Here are our recommended heatpress gifts that you can easily do at home.

Custom Tote Bags

Tote Bag

They are perhaps one of the easier items to print onto and are totally in right now. The tote bag is the ideal gift for anybody that cares about fashion and utility.

Tote bags are thin and can be easily flattened, unlike backpacks which would be more difficult to print onto. This makes them an ideal medium.

Tote bags are more popular now than ever because they are so utilitarian and partly because celebrities and influencers have taken to them.

Find tote bags in blank colors and then press them with your custom design. Maybe a kind message, or an image or phrase that represents the person you are giving the gift to.

Aprons for the Aspiring Chef


When it comes to heatpress gifts, you can’t go an inch without running into a customized apron. And for a good reason!

Everybody cooks, but few of us have aprons, despite how useful they can be.

For the aspiring chef or baker in your family or friendship group, a custom apron is an ideal gift.

Take a blank apron, preferably in a dark color so that stains won’t be so obvious. And then print as large of a logo of phrase possible so that it looks great on such a big canvas. Why not an outline of a tasty meal with a funny phrase underneath?



Can you ever have too many cushions on your couch? Didn’t think so! The more cushions, the better, which makes this one of the perfect heatpress gifts for that person who cares about their home above all else.

Take a look at a homeware store for some inspiration. Many of their designs are relatively simplistic and usually involve either a white cushion with black print or vice versa, which can give you a simplistic but elegant design.

For the extra ‘wow’ factor, try printing onto both sides of the cushion so that they can turn them more frequently.

Custom Pillowcases

Pillow Case

Cushions are great, but if you’re worried that they might not want to use it, perhaps you could create a custom pillowcase instead which is more private and may get greater use.

Pillowcases are tremendously simple to print onto because they are relatively small, thin and can be ironed flat in just a few seconds.

Pillowcases can easily be printed with names of children, or perhaps “Mr” and “Mrs” or nicknames. Blank pillowcases are a bargain, and you can create a bunch for a fraction of the cost of a single set in most homeware stores.

Cosmetic Travel Bags

Both men and women regularly use cosmetic travel bags, even within their own homes. Travel bags which people can store their toothbrush, soap, and shampoo in are incredibly useful and versatile. This makes them a fantastic gift.

While they are a little trickier to print on for an amateur because they don’t lay completely flat, with a little maneuvering you should be able to figure out the right angle and position to make it work.

Such small items can be trickier to design for. Perhaps a name and a logo would suffice, especially for younger children who love to see their name imprinted on their property.


Drawing Shirt

Simplistic, right? Sure, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be a welcome present.

If you’re going to gift somebody a t-shirt, it’s best to spring for a quality material that they will want to wear, rather than a cheaper fabric that might be thin and itchy. Premium blanks are cheaper than ever, and you can find them on Amazon or any other online store.

When it comes to wearable items, the design is more important than ever because it’s going to be seen in public and is a representation of the wearer. Take a look at the clothes that they are already wearing. Then see if you can figure out a design that fits with their style.

You need to remember that t-shirts get washed regularly. This can cause large, low-quality prints to fracture and peel off if you’re not careful with your design and quality control.

Place Mats


Placemats for at the dining table are a novel printing idea. You’d be wise to stick to cotton rather than some of the human-made materials, many of which will melt under the heat and pressure.

The best placemats are simplistic and often dark to hide stains. Why not print the family name and a short poem or quote which represents them? Adding this customization and thought into a gift can make it ten times better.

Drying Cloths

Most households go through dishcloths incredibly quickly. They stain, they get wet, and they are often lost.

A fresh set of tea towels is always a welcome gift.

Drying cloths are ideal for beginners who aren’t experienced enough to print onto more complicated fabrics or products. They are one of the easiest heatpress gifts to print.

While some of the best quality drying clothes are patterned and have physical bumps and notches, these aren’t the easiest to print on. Instead, grab blanks that a flat, almost like a placemat, so that you can more quickly print large designs.

Some of the most desirable tea towels and drying clothes are white with large black quotes and text.

Is there a celebrity or influencer that they admire? Perhaps you could find a quote by this person to print onto the towel so they can be reminded of it when they are doing the boring chores that we all have to do.

Coffee Mugs

Coffee Mug

Printing onto a mug is an entirely different beast. You will need a specialized mug printing press, rather than a flat press that you can use for t-shirts or other cotton products.

These mug printing presses can also be used for other cylindrical items, especially if they are delicate.

Custom mugs are one of the best heatpress gifts because they will get used extensively, rather than being pushed into the back of a closet never to be seen again.

Even the worst print ever created is still a great mug. It serves a purpose, and that makes it a safe bet.

Printing onto a white mug is fine, but why not spice it up with a bright blue or pink mug with white text instead?

It will stand out in their mug cabinet. And is more likely to become their favorite mug that they use every morning for coffee!

Baseball Caps

Baseball Cap

If you’ve ever been to a camp, or to a sports game, or practically anywhere, ever, you’ve probably received a handful of printed baseball caps before.

That doesn’t mean that they’re not a great heatpress gift. It just means that you need to be careful about what you create.

As with t-shirts, it’s important to prioritize material quality and build above all else. Skip the cheapest hats and pick up a quality, premium blank which will hold the print better while looking more stylish.

The simplest baseball caps are the best. Forget any brash or large text and logos. A one-word slogan or initials or small image is best, on the front of the cap but not on the visor.

Pocket Square

For the stylish man in your life, look no further than a gorgeous pocket square. They can wear it in their suit pocket. Pocket squares are either flamboyant or plain, so it’s important to recognize which style fits them best.

If they prefer plain, pick out a white pocket square and print a small logo, slogan their initials onto the corner of the square.

But if they love a flamboyant look, you can grab a multicolored blank and let your creativity take you to the moon and back!

Baby Clothes

Baby Clothes

Almost as easy as printing on a t-shirt, baby clothes are a great gift for an expecting family or new parents.

There are thousands of examples of pressed designs for baby clothes online. But why not create something custom and unique to them?

You can imprint the sex and name of the baby at the back if you already know it. Plus, if you have an inside joke or funny nickname you could include that somewhere in the design.

Beach Towels

Beach Towels

Finally, why not consider printing them a custom beach towel? Especially if they live near a lake or the ocean or are heading on vacation soon.

Beach towels are ideal because they get less use than a regular bath towel. Therefore, the print should last far longer.

You can find a variety of blanks in solid colors, as well as with stripes or other patterns, which you could print on to create a unique style.

So there is our heatpress gifts suggestion. Start making your gifts now!