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12 Heat Press Business Ideas
Written by: Carolyn Young
Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.
Edited by: David Lepeska
David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.
Published on April 21, 2023
Updated on October 2, 2023
The heat press has emerged in recent years as a popular and affordable alternative to screen printing, used to transfer designs onto fabric and other materials through heat transfer.
You can get a heat press for less than a thousand dollars and make a wide variety of customized goods, from T-shirts to mugs, and from signs to bags and more. Just check out YouTube to learn how to do it.
Then you just need to set up an online shop or sell your goods at local markets. Ready to get started? Check out our list of 12 brilliant heat press business ideas and jumpstart your entrepreneurial future.
T-shirts are always popular and a good way to make a statement. In the last decade, the online US T-shirt market has nearly doubled, so it’s a great time to get in on the action. The best approach is to keep an eye out for trends. Current events often inspire popular T-shirt designs, so if you follow the news you could spot a trend in the early stages and take advantage.
Nearly three out of four Americans drink coffee every day, which means most kitchens are home to several mugs. Mugs are great gifts for coffee and tea drinkers, and uniquely appealing designs are always popular. With a heat press, you could create porcelain mugs or travel mugs and sell them from an online store. You could also offer personalized mugs.
3. Wooden Signs
Wooden signs are popular home décor items, displayed indoors or out and often offering a bit of homespun wisdom. You could get creative with your signs, choosing unusual pieces of wood and pressing unique designs and statements onto them. Personalized signs could be a great seller, highlighting family names, catchphrases or traditions. Etsy might be the best place for your signs.
4. Throw Pillows
Designer throw pillows are another popular option. Throw pillows add a pleasing pop of color and comfort to any room. In recent years, throw pillows have become their own industry, with the decorative cushions, pillows, and blankets market worth more than $5 billion. You could experiment with different fabrics to create unique pillows that really stand out.
Coasters serve a purpose, but they can also make a design statement. They’ve been around for more than a century and are a common sight in most households. Coasters are easy to decorate with a heat press, so you could put your creative eye to work to make eye-catching designs. You could also create cardboard coasters with company logos for bars and restaurants, which would give you another pool of customers to target.
6. Tote Bags
You might not believe it, but tote bags are a growing $9 billion industry. Tote bags are great for carrying all sorts of items, and can also be an attractive accessory and advertising tool. Companies often purchase tote bags with their logo and give them to customers to boost brand exposure. Do some research and choose your tote bag niche.
7. Mouse Pads
Mouse pads are used in homes and offices around the world, the more appealing the better. Custom mouse pads are popular, imprinted with family photos or sports team logos. Companies also buy mouse pads with their logo to give to customers. The mouse pad market is growing at more than 5% a year, so this is definitely a legit business opportunity.
Bandanas are always a big seller, popular with women, men, and for pets. You could make different sizes and put a creative spin on them or customize them for furry friends. In fact, if you want to target pet owners, you could add custom leashes and collars to your product mix. People spend a fortune on their pets, so whether you offer just bandanas or a whole line of pet accessories, you could have a real money-maker.
Tight-fitting, knitted caps known as beanies have been trending for years and they’re still an Instagram sensation. They’re also part of hip hop and skate culture, and often worn by celebrities. The latest trends are bright colored beanies or those with unique graphic designs or social statements. As with T-shirts, you could track current events and be a beanie trendsetter.
Thanks to a wave of popular food shows, the number of home chefs is growing, and many like to sport cute aprons while they whip up tasty creations. Custom aprons make great gifts, or you could come up with unique designs and phrases to put on them. You could also target local restaurants to make branded aprons for their chefs and waitstaff.
Remember the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Terrible Towels? Custom towels are popular, whether for the home, the beach, the boardroom or the sports stadium. You could make branded towels for local gyms to get recurring revenue, because gym towels need to be replaced periodically. You’d also be getting large orders, since busy gyms use hundreds of towels daily.
12. Cell Phone Cases
Nearly 6 billion people use mobile phones, and for most it’s an investment that needs protection. This explains why phone cases are a $20 billion global market. If you’re looking for a heat press business that allows you to test your creative talents, a custom phone case business could be just the ticket for you.
12 Heat Press Business Ideas
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