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Screen Printing Fabric
I know must of us that make our own t-shirts for kids and family/friends spend a ton on HTV (heat transfer vinyl). I’ve made shirts and other fabric items using other methods as well such as fabric paints, printable vinyl, tie dye and wax sticks. I wanted a sure fire way to make some cute t-shirts for my little guy for the start of Kindergarten. I’ve been using Southern Blenders Metallic paints for other things for a few months now. Since they stick to anything and are a nice thick consistency, I decided they would probably be great for screen printing designs on fabric.
First thing to do was upload my image into Cricut Design Studio and create a cut image. You can choose to cut multiple stencils to do the layers of colors, or try to carefully separate yours into two usable screens/stencils.Cut the image using the custom setting on the Cricut and with your paint mask attached to your mat.
Use the Cricut hook tool and flat edge to remove the negative spaces of the image. If you’re careful you can move them to transfer tape to use as the second layer.
Using transfer tape, firmly press enough to cover your image and flip over to slowly remove the paper backing.
When I weeded out the image on the paint mask, I kept the pieces to use as the second stencil or screen. Since the snail has multiple colors I would do them in layers to avoid runs or smearing as much as possible.
I centered the first screen/stencil onto a pre-washed and ironed t-shirt and made sure to press down the edges firmly.
Before starting your colors, place an old piece of cardboard inside the shirt to prevent any possible bleed through to the back side.
Now with the first screen in place, start with your lighter colors first and a good stiff bristle brush. The lighter blue/green (Southern Blenders Metallic – Aged Patina) took a couple of coats as it is light. This was the fun part, my 5 year old did the painting with a little help from mom.
Let it coat dry an hour before putting another coat of paint on. Once the first set of colors are completely dry, remove the screen and replace it with the second.
The engine and snail’s body were done with Southern Blenders Black Dragon and Blue Reef.
Once you have the second screen in place start dabbing your paint on with a brush barely full of paint.
My little mooch did a pretty good job for his first time making his own t-shirt. He was so happy to finally have Skid from the Turbo movie to wear to school.
I’ve already washed his shirt in cold water and accidentally through it in the dryer on regular heat. No worries though, it’s still as cute as ever!