Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fashion Fridays (on Wednesday): "Screen Print" Tee

Since Who's That has been moved to Friday this week, I thought it only appropriate that Fashion Friday would be on Wednesday.  So here we go!

Hand-Screen Printed Tees

We all have them in our closets and dressers: boring, plain t-shirts that need some pick-me-up.  Screen printing is a great way to do just that.  Now, not all of us are fortunate enough to own a personal screen printer.  So here's my solution.  Paint and freezer paper.  And no need to pre-treat!  To screen print your shirts, you'll need:

Freezer paper
Utility knife
Paint-I just use regular ol' acrylic craft paint.  It works great.  Won't wash out or fade or peel.
*If you're doing a large area that will be all one color, spray paint works great*
Other embellishments, if desired

I like to pre-draw my designs on a drawing pad so I can tweak them and get them just how a want them.  Then I trace the design onto a piece of freezer paper, shiny side down.  This makes a stencil for you to use to "screen print" your design onto your shirt.

Using the utility knife, carefully cut out the design.  Mine is some clouds with a lightning bolt.  I saved the piece for the bolt and you'll see why in just a sec.

Iron on the design onto your shirt.  The waxy side sticks to the shirt, keeping it in place for when you paint.

Paint!  Don't forget to place something in between the layers of your shirt before you begin painting so that the paint doesn't bleed through.  I ironed in the lightning bolt piece so that I would have nice, clean lines.

Once I had painted the clouds, I took out the lightning bolt piece and painted it.  Let the paint dry and then remove the stencil.

And there you go!  If you have other embellishments that you'd like to add, go for it!  Originally I was going to add some small clear beads to the shirt as rain, but decided against it.
Like this shirt?  It's currently for sale in our Etsy shop!

Here are some of the other tees I've "screen printed."

This one is my favorite.  I did the flamingo using spray paint and did a few layers so it was thicker then cracked the paint to give it a crackled look.  No worries about it flaking off either.  I made that shirt 4 years ago and it still looks the way it did the day I made it.

This one was made as a present for a friend.

The vines on this one took FOREVER to cut out, but I think the result was worth it.

This was my first-the stars wrap around the back.


  1. Oh my. Aren't you ambitious. Thanks for the lesson. Great job.

  2. These are great! I'd even like to dress up some of my plain tanks. I haven't tried the freezer paper technique yet, {I keep forgetting to buy some when I'm at the food store!}, but hopefully soon.

  3. Super cute! I bought a roll of Freezer paper at the thrift shop for $1 because I knew you could do this with it...but I have not tried. I seriously need to make that exact design (clouds and lightning) because my son is having a Percy Jackson B'day party next week. Thanks for linking to Tickled Pink.

  4. AWESOME idea. Do you buy special paint or just any paint will do?

  5. Fabulous! I have a onsie that I'm going to do this on for my sister-in-law! Thanks so much...can't wait!

  6. So cute! I have the same question as Bec about the paint. It looked like you used acrylic paint, did you have to treat it 1st or anything?

  7. That is super cute! Thanks for the tutorial...I'm going to have to try this!

  8. No way! This is brilliant! I've been wanting to take a silkscreening class at a local craft collective for so long now, but never seeem to have the time or money. Who knew you could achieve such amazing results with freezer paper? Well, you did, and I am so, so thrilled to have found you by way of my real-life gal pal, Holly at 504 Main! Thank you!

  9. Very cute. Glad you shared the differrent patterns. I just made some for my kids that will post tomorrow at 3 pm. They turned out so cute. I bleached their shirts first and then did freezer paper stencils. I even did something on the back of two of them. Thanks for linking up at Trendy Treehouse.

  10. I love this! Thank you for the great instructions!

  11. This is SO neat! I had no idea one could do this - and thanks for the great tutorial! They turned out great!! :)


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