I have pictures of our t-shirt design class! Last night, Candie Cooper (here's her website and here's her blog) taught us how to silk screen...
And it was a lot of fun!
Back when I was young, when trees covered the earth and steamboats chugged over the Mississippi, when telegrams sent the latest news and ponies still ran across the west carrying mail to the settlers, we had to make our own silk screens. We did that in drafting class (although what that has to do with architecture, I shall never know). The screens are troublesome to make, you need a special printer and it was so annoying to do that the teacher only let us make one screen.
This meant that the whole class had to pick one design we all liked. None of us liked the design. Then, we had to use all the same color because the screen could only really be used one time before it was ruined.
But now that's changed. Candie snatched up a bunch of samples at a trade show of this new product called Simply Screen--Plaid makes it (the Mod Podge people).
These are amazing.
Basically, you grab a screen (these are at big craft stores, and will soon be at Walmart) and some paint (there is special paint, also at the biggie craft stores-but-soon-Walmart). You peel the screen (which is a little sticky on one side to hold it in place) off its backing, then put the screen down on your shirt.
Then, you take your paint and squirt out a line across the top or side of the screen, about as thick as the mayo on a sandwich from Subway--well, maybe more like toothpaste from a tube. They put on tons of mayo at Subway.
After that, you use the little squeegee that comes with the screen to drag the paint across the screen at a 45 degree angle. It goes through the thin silk mesh of the design and hits the fabric underneath.
You can also just paint your shirt through the screen with a brush. Whatever you want.
And you can layer different colors of paint, leaving you with black lettering tinged with copper or pink. Very fun.
When you finish your design, you wash out the screen and put it back on the backing (sticky side down), and you can use the screen over and over again.
The whole process can take moments--my first shirt took like five minutes to make. And I love it.
The hair dryer helps the paint dry quickly. When it's done, you can wash the shirt like normal (but inside out, I'd imagine, would help keep it looking pretty). You can also glue on little crystals (or "sparklies" as I was calling them last night).