Monday, August 19, 2013

Made-It-Monday: DIY Screen Printing

So this Made-It-Monday isn't something I made for the classroom, at least not the way I used it in this project. BUT it is something that I would love to try to incorporate into a classroom, I just need to find the right project. This is a techniquue I use to put custom images onto fabric like tank tops, sweatshirts, and totes.

What you'll need:
Freezer paper (near the foil at most stores)
Fabric paint*
Sponge/paint brush
Plain shirt or other fabric item
Utensil to draw with
scissors or x-acto knife

Die-cut Machine

Step .1. Cut some freezer paper around the size of the image you want. Draw the design onto the non-shiny side of the freezer paper. When choosing a drawing, keep in mind which areas will be white space and which will be painted. This is easiest with text. When cutting out the image, only remove the parts that you want to be paint. This sounds simple but can be tricky depending on the image.

~Keep in mind pieces of the image that come unattached that you may need later, these are little island pieces.~

You can print the image and then trace it on the paper because it’s so thin, or free hand your own image. Another option for creating your image is to run the freezer paper through a printer or use a die-cutting machine like a Cricut (my fav).

Step .2. Place the image (including any island piece) on the fabric. Iron the freezer paper directly to the fabric on medium high. Make sure the shiny side of the freezer paper faces down. Iron by pressing the iron directly down on the design rather than moving the iron back and forth. Pay particular attention to any corners or small piece. The bond between the fabric and paper is only temporary, so don't worry about damaging anything.

Step .3. ~At this point, you might want to place a piece of cardboard inside the shirt so it won't bleed through.~ Paint in the design with fabric paint (the darker the colors, the more coats you will need). On this particular project, I used a paint brush but a sponge brush works well.

Step .4. Remove the paper just before the paint is entirely dry. Be careful during this step so that you don’t smudge the paint. Using tweezers or a knife edge is helpful.

Step .5. Let the paint dry for at least a few hours and then marvel at your new one of a kind object! This is a tank top I did for our Disney cruise honeymoon in April.

I have this dream of having student draw self portraits and then using those images that my student draw and turning them into screen printed shirts using this technique. At 26 kiddos per classroom though, that dream might not be achieved any time soon. Someday though. Unfortunately, each template can only be used once so this process can be tedious for large numbers. If you plan on making multiple of the same images though, you can layer the paper to create multiple templates at once. You have to be rather steady though because the paper can slip easily.

Have you got any cool ideas for a way to use this technique in your classroom? I'd love to try it out on something else.

* I have tried a number of paints with this technique. I prefer to use Tulip Soft Fabric Paint but I have only found it in sets of five colors. When I only need a small amount of a color or I want to mix my own color, I usually pick up one or two of the small bottles of Tulip Scribbles Dimensional Fabric Paint. [Remember the puffy paint you decorated shirt with when you were younger?] The dimensional paint can be painted with a brush also but dryes a little stiffer than the Tulip Soft Fabric Paint.

P.S. Zelda and Erin over at The EZ Class made it to 50 followers on Bloglovin’ and are doing a fun giveaway to celebrate! Check it out!

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