A friend recommended I try to screen print shirts but I knew that would require a machine and lots of skills I don't have. Besides, I doubt many people have screen print machines just chillin' in their closets. So when I came across this post on Dana Made It, I knew I had to give it a try!
You just need five things:
1. A t-shirt
2. An x-acto knife
3. Freezer paper (found in your grocery store with the aluminum foil and wax paper)
4. Fabric paint
5. Foam brush
My husband has been watching the old 90's TV show, "Hercule Poirot"on Netflix lately and wanted a shirt showing off the main character. After a little Google image searching, I found a great headshot. Now the original post recommends using a program called Picnik but I used Photoshop to crop, make the image black and white, and posterized. Honestly, you don't have to do any of those things if you don't want to. All it does is simplify the image, remove the details, and lets you see a little clearer what should be outlined.
|Original trace and copy that has been flipped|
Once your design is cut out, put some blank paper in your t-shirt first, then place your design on the t-shirt and try to iron it on as best you can. However, I found this did nothing. The paper didn't create any sort of seal to the shirt. Still, give it a shot.. maybe you'll have better luck. I didn't have any small pieces because I cut everything in one giant piece but that might not work for your design.
Grab your brush and start painting on top of the design. Because I couldn't get the paper to seal to the t-shirt with the iron, I had a really hard time keeping the paper down when painting. Go slow, be patient, and use as much paint as you need. Just remember do not paint outside of the paper! I accidentally made some drops at the bottom of the shirt and those won't be coming off...
It didn't say how long it would take for the paint to dry but I found it was about 2 hours. The absolute hardest part was removing the paper, especially when it came to the smallest lines. Lets just say, it's not pretty. Maybe with more practice I'll get better, but mine looks sloppy.
Once you get the paper off (as best you can), you need to set the design with an iron. I just took an old dishrag, put it on top, and ironed for a minute or two.
So the moral of this story: choose a simple design to start out with so you understand the process and practice makes perfect!
TOTAL COSTS: About $20
$7.95 for freezer paper at Vons
$5.99 for fabric paint from Michael's
$3.99 for t-shirt from Michael's
X-acto knife and foam brush already on hand
TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: Almost 3 hours
20 minutes to trace design
15 minutes to cut it out
15 minutes to iron and paint
2 hours to dry
EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 3 out of 5
If you have a printer, an idea, and some patience, you can easily do this! Just note it might not look as professional as a screen print.