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Making a Shirt – Customizing in GIMP

This is a section of the tutorial Making a Shirt.

To customize the look of your shirt, you need to edit the textures you downloaded from the Bella Crop Top product in your preferred image editing software.

In this tutorial, you will see how to use basic GIMP properties to make quick changes in the product’s textures.

GIMP 2.10.32 is used to make this tutorial. Please, be aware that other versions may have different ways to perform the steps explained below.

1. Editing the Colors of the Textures

Open the textures files downloaded.

  • STEP 1. Open the textures in GIMP by clicking the menu item File ➞ Open… and navigating to where you saved the textures from the product page

You can also open files by dragging and dropping the image file into GIMP.

To ensure you see everything correctly, check that the texture is set to RGB Mode by going to the top menu and click on Image ➞ Mode ➞ RGB.

The easiest way to change the color of a texture is to make a new layer.

  • STEP 2. Look for the toolbar on the bottom right hand corner of the screen and click the create a new layer button . Or you can also go to the top menu and click on Layer ➞ New Layer… .

A new window opens to set the attributes of the layer. Click OK.

It is time to choose the color you want to add to your texture and drop it to the layer you have just created.

  • STEP 3. Click on the Foreground Color on the toolbox to bring up the Color Picker. In this case, the current Foreground Color is black.

Select a color you would like to use for your shirt, that is to say, choose the one that fits best with your style. Once you have decided which color you are going to use, click OK.

Color Picker: Setting and Saving Colors

  • To keep the color for future use, click on the button next to Current.
  • Another way to keep the same color on all textures is using the number that appears in the HTML Notation field.

Let’s fill the layer you created previously with the chosen color.

  • STEP 4. Select the Bucket Fill Tool  on the left toolbox or click on the menu options Tools ➞ Paint Tools ➞ Bucket Fill.

Once the Bucket Fill Tool is selected, the shape of the cursor changes.

Make sure that the layer created is selected.

Move the mouse over the shirt and click on it to fill the layer with your selected color.

The color of the layer has changed from transparent to the chosen color. 

The next step is changing the Layer Mode to see the changes on the texture.

  • STEP 5. Change the layer mode to HSL Color by clicking on Mode.

Layers Mode

Selecting a layer mode changes the appearance of the layer, based on the layers beneath it. GIMP offers a ton of other layer modes to achieve different effects

Experiment with various modes to see which will fit your texture best.

CONGRATULATIONS! The front of your shirt has a new look! Repeat the same steps for the other textures.

Now let’s spice it up a little more by adding text and images!

2. Adding a Custom Design to your Shirt

•  Adding an Image

When choosing an image, be sure to keep in mind:

  • Always go for copyright-free works. They may either be licensed or royalty-free. 
  • Using copyrighted and trademarked images and logos is a violation of the IMVU Virtual Goods Policy.
  • Handmade images are also great options!

Once you have chosen a royalty-free image for your shirt, it is time to add it to your project.

  • STEP 1. Drag and drop the image onto your project. If a prompt appears, update the properties to match the current settings of the texture and click on the Convert button.

The dropped image can be resized and positioned as desired to fit your shirt.

  • STEP 2. Scale the image by selecting the Scale Tool   on the left toolbox. You can also access to the Scale Tool by selecting the menu options Tools ➞ Transform Tools ➞ Scale

Click on the image. The handles will appear on the screen.

To retain the proportion of the image while resizing, hold the Alt key on Windows or the option key on Mac.

  • STEP 3.  Click and drag the resize handles at the corners of the image to adjust its size and position. 

To adjust the position, drag the center square of the tool.

When the image is set, click on the Scale button.

Move Tool

You can move the image to a desired position any time by using the Move Tool  which can be found on the left toolbox. 

You can also access to it by selecting Tools ➞ Transform Tools ➞ Move.

In case the image you have chosen does not have a transparent background, you may want to get rid of it.

  • STEP 4. To remove the background of the image, go to Select ➞ By Color and click on the background color of the image.

Tap the Delete key on your keyboard to erase the background on Windows, or go to Edit ➞ Clear if you are using Mac.


While you are working, periodically save and export your texture, and try it on IMVU Studio. This will help you visualize your design and easily make adjustments to account for stretch, alignment, and more. Not all textures are as simple as this one, and can require some shape modifications to look correct on the IMVU product.

•  Adding Text to the Image

Let’s add some text to the image with the Text Tool.

  • Select the Text Tool  on the left toolbox, click where you want the text to appear, and you are set to type out.

You can customize the color, font, or size of the text, among other things, on the left hand size of the screen. Take the time and explore these tools until you find a design that pleases you.

•  Adding a Gradient

Now, let’s try more design elements by adding a gradient to your image. Let’s customize your gradient.

  • STEP 1. To do so, you have to pick a Foreground Color and a Background Color of your choice. Those will be the colors of your gradient.

Choosing a Foreground Color Choosing a Background Color

  • STEP 2. Hold the alt key on Windows or the option key on Mac.
  • STEP 3. Click on the layer that contains your image.
  • STEP 4. In the image’s layer, click on the area in which the gradient will be applied. In this case, the area of the crown’s black ink.

As you can see, the crown is selected.

  • STEP 5. Create a new layer. To do so, click the create a new layer button  that you will find on the right bottom corner of the screen.
  • STEP 6. Select the Gradient Tool . The Gradient Tool is stacked under the Bucket Fill Tool. Right-click on the Bucket Fill Tool icon  to display the stacked list, and select Gradient.

The Gradient Tool uses the Foreground and Background Colors for the gradient start and end colors.

The shape of the cursor has changed.

  • STEP 7. Click and drag in the direction you would like to create your gradient.


You can explore the list of preconfigured gradients by clicking the small gradient thumbnail.

Review the available gradient presets to see if there is one that fulfills your needs.

Explore the different features to make a gradient you prefer.

You can use the control key on Windows or command key on Mac to restrict the direction of the gradient to a cardinal angle (90, 45, 12.5 degrees).

•  Adding Stripes

Let’s add some stripes to turn your T-shirt into something more stylish!

  • STEP 1. Let’s add a new layer by clicking on the create a new layer button   that you will find on the right bottom corner of the screen.
  • STEP 2. Make sure that the new layer is selected, click on the  Rectangle Select Tool  , and draw a rectangle (a stripe) that goes from one side of the layer to the other one.

  • STEP 3. Choose the color you want to use to fill the stripe by setting the Foreground Color.

  • STEP 4. Select the Bucket Fill Tool  on the left toolbox or click on the menu options Tools ➞ Paint Tools ➞ Bucket Fill.

Move the mouse over the stripe and click on it to fill the stripe with the chosen color.

You can add as many stripes as you want. Repeat the previous steps to add more stripes.

The next step is changing the Layer Mode to see the changes on the texture.

  • STEP 5. Change the Layer Mode to Multiply.

Don’t forget to apply the previous step to the rest of the stripes you have added to the shirt.

You did it! You have customized the front texture of your T-shirt!

3. Save your Work

In order to upload your textures to IMVU Studio, you need to save your project with PNG or JPEG format.

  • STEP 1. Go to the top menu and click on File ➞ Export As… .
  • STEP 2. Select the folder where you want to save the texture, name it, and click on Select File Type (By Extension).
  • STEP 3. Select JPEG image or PNG image and click on Export.

  • STEP 4. A new window pops up. Click Export.

4. Add More

Add other design elements or whatever you can envision using the techniques stated above. You can do it! Use your creativity and imagination!

CONGRATULATIONS! You are well on your way to becoming a Master Creator! Keep up the great work!

Now that you have made your textures you can return to the Making a Shirt tutorial and continue Creating Your Product.

Updated on July 21, 2023

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