Recently I spent some time with my daughter teaching her how to make her own "silk-screened" t-shirts. This is a fun project which can be adapted to some tabletop applications; so I figured I'd share the technique.
Screen printing is a technique that can reproduce a design quickly and easily. Typically it is reserved for commercial applications. A while back Jo Anne's and Michael's sold a machine called a Yudu that was supposed to offer a easy low cost way to do silk screens at home. Unfortunately the cost of the materials for the machine was pretty ridiculous compared to buying you own supplies from an art store so it failed and was discontinued.
This is a bit of a bummer as a family member had one that I used to make shirts for promoting this site. If you needed to make a couple dozen shirts it worked great.
Anyway, my daughter wanted to have a few shirts with logos printed on them and paying $20 a shirt from Hot Topic for something that wasn't exactly what she wanted was out of the question. So dad decided to share a trick with her that I used to use in art school.
For this project you'll need:
• Freezer Paper
• Hobby Knife and fresh blades
• Foam Brush
• Iron (preferable not your wife's expensive fancy one)
• Acrylic Paint
• The thing you want to print on
Freezer paper is available at any grocery store it comes on a big roll for a few dollars. Essentially it's a heavy wax paper that is used when freezing meat.
Step one is to print out (or draw) your design. Solid one color designs work best until you get more skilled.
Step two is to tape the design to a piece of freezer paper slightly larger than the design you want to print.
Step three carefully cut out your design. Remember the parts that you want to have color need to be removed.
Step four iron down the negative version of the design. Be sure to not use steam you want the wax to stick to the shirt.
Step five use a foam brush to gently apply paint. Your want a thin even layer if it gets to heavy the design will crack when washed. (Alternatively you can use a credit card to squeegee the paint across the design, this is tricky and if you didn't create a good seal the paint will bleed.)
Step six carefully remove the freezer paper, this is easier to do when the paint is still tacky.
That's it six easy steps to create a unique design. This would work well on canvas army bags or anything else you might need to brand with your faction logos.