Friday, August 1, 2014

DIY Screen Printing on Tshirts

It's been done, probably 100 times over. But I think I may have found one of the most inexpensive and easiest ways to get er' done!
It all started when I jumped onto Instagram and notices all these adorable screen printed shirts. I fell in love! But at $20-35 each, x2 (remember, I have twins so its double everything!) It adds up FAST! We are always on a budget. And as much as I would love to just go buy every cute thing I lay my eyes upon and support some wonderful wham's, I cannot justify it!
SO, I decided to attempt this whole screen printing thing on my own.

- 1 embroidery hoop (I found mine at a thrift store but Im sure you can find them at your local craft store!) Mine was $1
- Leotards/Nylons (Dollarama) $1.25
- Fabric Paint (I just purchased martha stewarts stuff but its leaves it stiff) $2,88 at Walmart
- T-shirt $1.25 - $2.00
- Printer + Design
- Something to cut design out (Those pen slicer things and rubber sheets are the BEST way to do this!)
- Thin plastic (I used paper, big NO NO! It bled through, so something very thing and plastic would work well!)
- Old card
TOTAL COST = UNDER $10 (I had some things on hand!)

I started by creating my design on my computer in photoshop. Then I printed it off. This is where you would need to lay it overtop of your plastic sheeting and use one of those slicing pens (make sure to have that rubber pad on the underside so you don't slice your table!) and slice out the pieces. I used paper, which didn't work so well.  I highly suggest using plastic!

I took my embroidery hoop, and stretched the leotards/nylons over it and held it into place. I stretched it a bit, but not too much and it didn't shift at all!

Then I laid the cut out on top of the shirt, and on top of that I laid the embroidery screen. This is the fun part...
I took out my paint and laid a generous amount of paint at the top of the design, NOT on the design! Then I took my old card and slide it across from top to bottom. Surprisingly, this worked amazing! minus the bleeding...

Next time I will use some plastic sheets to do my cut outs, that way you can re-use the design again. The other way I found online to create a screen print was to use mod lodge. I didn't like this idea because it would cause me to have to purchase multiple hoops or have to re-do the design again. (I imagine pulling off the nylon would make it impossible to put it back onto the hoop!)

I also would suggest purchasing some REAL fabric paint. The stuff I bought said it would be used for fabric, but it is quite stiff. It was only $2.88 though and I am sure I will get 5 + shirts out of the bottle...

I am going to attempt this again, REALY soon. I have a ton of shirts that I want done before the boys start kindergarten which is approaching way too fast!
Have you ever done any DIY screen printing? Would love to see how it turned out!


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