Showing posts with label screen printing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label screen printing. Show all posts

Project Ideas: Disneyland Celebration Shirt

Disneyland birthday shirtMy daughter and I have a tradition that started when she was in the eighth grade. Every year we take a short trip to Disneyland, just the two of us. This year, our trip coincides with her birthday, so it's going to be even more fun.

If you know me or have been following my blog for long, you are likely aware that:

  1. I love both Disneyland and Walt Disney World! Maybe it's because we never went there when I was a kid. They are my happy places and I love to show my Disney side!!
  2. The perfect trip to a Disney park includes some sort of handmade shirt. We had an extended family trip to Walt Disney World a couple years ago and I was thrilled that everyone in our group of 8 agreed to wear my high visibility safety green "no disco dancing" shirts.
With that in mind, I decided that my child needs to be sporting an 18th birthday shirt on our pending trip to the park. I whipped up a basic design and grabbed my screen printing press.
I'm not going to share a complete tutorial for this project because screen printing is a little more complicated that I can explain in one or two posts, but I would like to tell you about a couple products I tried during the process.

The first is Speedball Diazo Photo Emulsion Kit. Since I was only making two screens, I liked that this came in a smaller size than other diazo emulsions. It's perfect for people like me who only screen print occasionally.

The directions were easy to follow  and my only surprise was how thin the emulsion coating was on the screens compared to other emulsions I have used. Had I been more careful, I probably could have coated 4-5 screens with one bottle.

It was easy to burn my images and the screens washed out nicely. Here are the screens I made. The front says "I'm celebrating my 18 birthday in Disneyland!"

The back has a complete checklist of all the Disneyland and California Adventure attractions so we can mark them off as we go.
The second product I tried was Tulip Fashion Glitter iron-on transfer sheets.

Sure, my shirt looked nice after printing, but it needed a little bling! These iron on transfers were perfect for my project.
I used scissors to cut out a pair of mouse ears for the 18 on the front of the shirt. The glitter sheet was easy to cut and easy to iron on.

For the back, I used a large paper punch to cut stars. Since the glitter paper is so thin, I actually placed a piece of printer paper under it so that the stars didn't get tangled up in the punch. (I may not have needed to do that if my punch was newer and sharper.)

Disney birthday shirt with attraction checklist

Now, my friends, we are ready for two and a half days of Disney magic! And yes, I will be making sure that our first stop is City Hall so we can get a birthday button to pin on the birthday shirt.


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Tutorial: Solar Printed T-Shirt

Learn how to use Lumi Inkodye, solar activated ink to create a high quality, printed t-shirt design.I was wandering the aisles of Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts a few weeks ago when I discovered a small display of Lumi Inkodye. I have enjoyed a few fabric dyeing projects in my day and have even experimented with screen printing, but I had never seen anything like the Inkodye before.

It's solar activated. So you spread it on your fabric, set it out in the sun, and whatever sections of the ink are exposed to the sun, dye the fabric. The ink that's not exposed washes out.

I simply had to give it a try. I was not disappointed by the result. The crisp lettering looks as if it could have been screen printed. The best part is, it's 1000 times easier than screen printing.



Before you begin, wash and dry your shirt. Skip the fabric softener when you are laundering it.

Next, create a stencil of your design.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut the words "Create Happiness" out of Contact paper.
Remove the paper backing and stick the stencil onto your shirt.

Design Tip: When you print a design on a t-shirt, the top edge of the printed area should be at least 2 1/2 inches (about four finger widths) below the neckline of a crew neck shirt or 1 1/4 inches (about two finger widths) below a v-neck.
Slide a piece of cardboard into the shirt so the ink won't bleed through to the back of the shirt.

Secure the shirt in place with a few clothespins so it won't shift as you apply the ink.
You will need to work in a shaded room for the next part. I just closed the curtains in my studio and left the lights off. Also, make sure you work in a well ventilated are because the dye has a pretty strong scent, like hair coloring.

Shake up the Inkodye packet and squirt it onto a disposable plate. Use your foam brush to stir up the dye on the plate.
Use your foam brush to pounce (not brush) the ink onto the shirt.

Make sure that your lettering is completely covered with ink, but don't over do it. The material should be damp, not sopping wet.
Carefully take your shirt outside and place it in the sun so it is completely exposed and there are no odd shadows over it.
Within 3-5 minutes, the ink is already starting to darken.
After 20-25 minutes, it looks perfect. (I don't think you can really overexpose the dye.)
When you are happy with the color, take your shirt back inside to your dark room and carefully peel off your Contact paper or vinyl stencil.

Finally, wash your shirt twice, using the Inkowash. Lumi recommends using a hot wash/cold rinse cycle. (I used a warm wash/cold rinse cycle because I was afraid my shirt might shrink and it turned out just fine.)

After that, your shirt is ready wear and you can show off your one of a kind style!

Learn how to use Lumi Inkodye, solar activated ink to create a high quality, printed t-shirt design.

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Product Review - Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Paint

After some prodding from one of my friends, I decided to try a glass painting project. I created stencils using Grafix Cling Vinyl and my Silhouette Cameo, then used Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Paint by Plaid to make a couple funny wine glasses.

Overall, I really liked this product.

The paint comes in a variety of colors and finishes. I especially like the pearl and metallic colors because they are shiny and sparkly. What girl doesn't like shiny, sparkly things?

You can apply the paint a variety of ways. I created three glasses using the following techniques.

Glass 1 - I used a paintbrush.

I simply used a flat brush to apply the paint to my glass. If you look closely, you can see slight ridges in the paint giving the lettering a little texture.

Glass 2 - I applied the paint with a foam dauber or detail painter.

I simply tapped the paint into the stencil with the dauber. This method produced a more random texture than the paint brush.

Glass 3 - My favorite effect was achieved with a rubber scraper.

First, I applied the paint with the bottle tip. Then I used the scraper to press it into the stencil. The paint was so smooth that the design almost looked professional.


  • variety of colors and finishes
  • affordable way to personalize glassware
  • easy to apply with the fine tip on the bottle
  • non-toxic
  • can be applied using different techniques to create various textures
  • project ideas on the Plaid website
  • other Martha Stewart Crafts accessories such as stencils and adhesive silkscreens are available
  • can also be used with your own stencils and accessories
  • designs can be air or oven cured
  • projects are dishwasher safe after curing


  • challenging (but not impossible) to get a completely smooth finish
  • can be bubbling after curing if the paint is too thick or is applied to glass that is not completely oil and residue free
  • oven curing instructions are not on the packaging. However, they can be found on the Plaid website.

Overall, I thought this was a good product. Getting the exact texture you want from the paint takes a little practice, but many crafts require a little practice to perfect the technique. If you are extra artsy, you could use this paint with a brush to freehand designs onto glassware as well. I preferred using the stencils because it allowed me to create crisp, evenly spaced wording to decorate my glasses.

If you are curious... This is the only French phrase I know. It means "I would like a glass of red wine."  It seemed appropriate and funny to put it on a wine glass. Cheers!

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6 Stages of Crafting

While I was working on my chair re-upholstery project, I began thinking about the process I go through during every project that I work on. Big or small, it's always the same. If you are a crafter or love a crafter, my theory may help you understand and work through this crazy routine. Let me explain.

You may be familiar with the Five Stages of Problem Solving.

  1. Defining the problem
  2. Producing ideas
  3. Testing ideas
  4. Choosing an idea
  5. Planning for action

And you have probably heard of the Seven Stages of Grief.

  1. Shock and Denial
  2. Pain and Guilt
  3. Anger and Bargaining
  4. Depression, Reflection and Loneliness
  5. Upward Turn
  6. Reconstruction and Working Through
  7. Acceptance and Hope

My theory is that somewhere between these two philosophies lie the Six Stages of Crafting.

1. Inspiration and Enthusiasm

It occurs when you least expect it. You may see a picture in a magazine, an item in a store or maybe you run across an idea on the internet (like when you are still scrolling through Pinterest at 2 a.m.). All of a sudden, you have the spark that pushes you to create your next masterpiece and you can't wait to get started.

2. Organization and Procurement

You know what you want to make. Now you need to figure out exactly how you are going to do it. You skim through a tutorial, realize you don't have any of the necessary supplies, head to the store and buy everything you think you will need (and then some.)

3. Initiation

You have the tools and supplies and are about to begin. You get out the glue and scissors and start crafting...

Then life happens!

The kids need a ride to soccer practice. The dog has an appointment at the groomers. Eight loads of laundry, including soccer uniforms, are piled across the living room floor. Something is burning on the stove. Your husband is running late. By the way, you are out of milk, eggs, bread, peanut butter, cereal and bananas.

4. Frustration and Anxiety

The kids are at their friend's house. The dog has been fed. Your husband is watching the big game. Now, you finally have time to work on your project. You are just getting started when you realize one of the following things:

  • You forgot to get one critical material or tool
  • You did not buy enough (choose one or more) fabric, yarn, paint, glue, glitter...
  • Somehow, you measured once and cut twice instead of the other way around
  • The directions said "Easy," but unless you are Martha friggin' Stewart there's no way

At this point you may regress and repeat Stages 2, 3 and 4, or toss the project into a dark corner for days, weeks, months, years, even decades. Either way, these things take time.

5. Reflection and Determination

You are back on Pinterest (at 2 a.m.) where you are reminded of your project, lurking in the shadows, as you peruse the 237 pins on your "Projects to Try" board. You also notice your "My Finished Projects" board. Really, 0 pins?

That settles it. Who does that Martha Stewart think she is anyway?

You retrieve your project from its hiding place with a new sense of purpose and continue where you left off. This time things are going to be different.

6. Completion

After countless hours, trips to the craft store and anxiety attacks, it's done. Did it turn out like the Pinterest photo? Maybe not, but that's okay. You created it with your own two hands, passion and a little bit of luck. You breathe a sigh of relief.

You get distracted while you are pinning a picture onto "My Finished Projects" when you see another exciting creation on "Projects to Try."

And why do we subject ourselves to these 6 Stages of Crafting, over and over again?

Because crafting is relaxing and fun, of course!

Happy crafting.

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The Happiest Place on Earth

I have been anticipating this trip for longer than you can imagine, the iconic Walt Disney World family reunion. We arrived on the 41st anniversary of the opening of Magic Kingdom and the 30th anniversary of the opening of Epcot. How cool is that? And, as I posted before, we were "that family" in the Magic Kingdom, the ones with the matching shirts. A little nerdy I guess, but it was easy to spot each other in our high visibility safety green "No Disco Dancing" shirts. We got tons of comments and compliments from the Disney cast.

What are the odds that the cast member who took this shot was from Castle Rock, Colorado, near where  Grammy and Pop live?

 Front Row: Carly, Carson, Megan, Ellen, Grammy
Back Row: The Rebel Spy, That Guy (he comes with a warning label), Jeff

 I got to check a few things off my bucket list on this trip.
  • Be the happy family with the matching shirts - I think the pictures speak for themselves.
  • Stay at a Disney World hotel - We were in the Treehouse Villas at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort. Fantastic!
  • Be in a commercial - It probably will never make it to the national tv market, but we were filmed at Disney's Hollywood Studios for a little spot to air on the station promoting the Disney parks.
  • Experience Disney during the holidays - I have always dreamed about going to Disney (land or World) during the winter holidays, but all the Halloween decorations were pretty cool.
  • Travel without checking luggage - Yep! We were able to spend six days away from home and we each only brought one carry-on suitcase.
It was a great vacation! We had fun on the rides, saw some cool shows, ate tons of good food, saw the fireworks, and enjoyed making some magical family memories despite a little bit of rain.

Who is ready to pick the date for our next Disney experience?

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No Disco Dancing

It's time for a family vacation and we're going to Disney World! I have been waiting years for this trip. Eight people, ranging in age from 4-68, together in the house of The Mouse. We've been doing some serious planning and arranging for the last six months to make everything about this trip, from the hotel accommodations to the character dining, magical.

And yes, it is my intention to be "that family." You know, the ones with the matching shirts. My daughter and I went round and round about design ideas. Being a teenager, she was not as thrilled about the idea of family shirts as I was. Finally, we compromised on a design and she picked the perfect shirt color.

If you have ever been to a Disney park, you are familiar with the safety signs on EVERY ride. There's the picture of what you should and should not do followed by a message about remaining seated and supervising children. If you have a strange sense of humor, like we do, you may have noticed that the picture of what you should not do looks a bit like a child and adult disco dancing. So, we made family shirts with our own safety warning.

Once the shirts were made, I decided that I would also get everyone Disney lanyards where they could carry their park ticket and Fastpasses. Then, I realized that you can't go to a Disney park without having a few pins on your lanyard to trade with the cast members.

When my pins arrived I was excited to see what kinds I got. I ripped open the package and sorted through them. There were a couple Mickey's, Minnie, Goofy... A nice variety of characters. Some even had hidden Mickey's on them. All of them were in good condition. Then I turned over the last one. I could not have planned it.

What are the odds?

I'll share the rest of the pins with everyone else, but I think this Disney magic was meant for me.


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I love learning how to create new things! This week, I learned about screen printing.

My daughter got a screen press for her birthday, recently. It came with some great instructional videos that we watched together. Since then, she has been making shirts for herself and her friends. She even made a cool one for me to wear when we went to see The Hunger Games a couple weeks ago.

This week I was excited when I finally had an excuse to make a few shirts of my own. Our staff at school is creating shirts to wear to get our students energized for AIMS testing. What a great opportunity to practice the process that I have been watching! With a few pointers from my daughter and shirts from my team I was ready to go.

Here's a quick description of how to screen print a t-shirt:

First you need an image. I was able to create mine using Microsoft Word. Then, print it on a special film.

Next, prepare the screen. Clean it, dry it, apply a coat of bright pink emulsion to both sides, and dry it again.

Then, place the film onto the screen, cover it with a piece of glass, and expose it with a halogen light.

After that, wash out the screen. The part that is exposed to the light stays stuck on the screen. The part where the printing kept the light from getting through washes away.

Now it's time to print.  Clamp the screen on to the press. Position the shirt. Pull the screen down over the shirt. Add ink. Pull a squeegee across the screen.

Finally, pop the shirt in the oven for about a minute to cure the ink and you're done. Oh... Don't forget to clean up your mess.

Seems easy enough, right :)

I made the screen on Sunday afternoon and was able to start printing on Monday. The screen turned out great and I only really messed up on one shirt out of the first nine. Not too bad for my first attempt at this.

It goes without saying that I like shiny things, so I added a little sparkle to a few shirts, too.

This is one of those things that will take a little more practice to do well, but learning was a lot of fun. I'm happy this is one way my team will be able to inspire our kids to show off what they have been learning at school all year!

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