Thursday, September 11, 2014

how to image transfer DIY

On my DIY hunt to find a way to "screen print" on a tshirt, I came across a ton of DIY blogs that claimed to have the "easiest" or the "best results". I tried about 3 different types. Its not that they didn't work, I just wanted something with a better quality. Some came out smudgy, if tha'ts even a word (don't judge!), and other stiff. I didn't want to go out and buy a ton of screen printing materials just for one design either. So I finally decided I was going to give it one last try using lacquer thinner.
The tutorial I found here said to use paint thinner. I tried that, it DID NOT work! A lot of other commenter's pointed out the same thing. One comment has said lacquer thinner worked, so the second time I made the trip to Home Depot, I grabbed some lacquer thinner.
At this point, I just had my fingers crossed. I had tried other ways and they didn't work, so this was kind of my last ditch effort before throwing my hands up and ordering a screen printing kit!

Things you will need;

- Lacquer Thinner
- Spoon (Or something to rub the design onto the fabric or t-shirt)
- Q-tip
- T-shirt or fabric
- Tape
- Laser print of image you want to transfer REVERSED! (It MUST be laser, inkjet will smudge.)

Grab your design. Create it in photoshop, or whatever program you have. Remember it will be in black and white! Then you need to reverse the image, so it looks mirrored. Print your design out.
(I am told you can also print this out on a copy machine as it uses the same ink but I have not tested this out!!!)
You can also grab one of my designs HERE or HERE. They are for personal use ONLY. Please do not redistribute elsewhere or use to products to sell!

Once you have it printed out, and this is optional, cut off any success from the edges and use tape to hold it down on your t-shirt. I didn't use tape to hold it down the first time, and it turned out fine, but this helps your fingers so you don't have to hold it so tight!

The lacquer thinner has a very strong odor, and is toxic, so I just had the jug beside me and as soon as I dipped the q-tip into the paint thinner I immediately put the lid back on to reduce the fumes!
You also need to work quick with lacquer thinner, it dries fast!
Then I rubbed the lacquer on the print, only in small patches. At first I tried 3-4 letters at a time, but it was drying to fast and I couldn't rub it quick enough, so stick with small patches. Trust me! 
The rubbing part reminded me of those transfer things my parents bought me as a kid. It came with a little plastic tool to rub the image off onto something else. Does anyone remember those? Do they even make those anymore?! Ok, back to the transfer...
Then I took my spoon and rubbed the back of it against the print to burnish it on to the fabric. I worked at little at a time, lacquer then rubbed, until I had the finished the whole design! Some parts came off darker and cleaner than others, I think that was just how fast I could apply the lacquer and rub it. That and my printer needs more ink...
And this is what it turned out like!

Now I'm told it doesn't wash off. I haven't tested that yet. So when I do, I will update with more photos to test the durability!
The other thing I love about this process over the paint or the image transfers you buy, is that it has clean lines and it is not stiff at all. The design is as soft as the t-shirt itself.
And if you attempt this, I would LOVE to see how yours turned out!
Happy Thursday :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

DIY Screen Printing on Tshirts

It's been done, probably 100 times over. But I think I may have found one of the most inexpensive and easiest ways to get er' done!
It all started when I jumped onto Instagram and notices all these adorable screen printed shirts. I fell in love! But at $20-35 each, x2 (remember, I have twins so its double everything!) It adds up FAST! We are always on a budget. And as much as I would love to just go buy every cute thing I lay my eyes upon and support some wonderful wham's, I cannot justify it!
SO, I decided to attempt this whole screen printing thing on my own.

- 1 embroidery hoop (I found mine at a thrift store but Im sure you can find them at your local craft store!) Mine was $1
- Leotards/Nylons (Dollarama) $1.25
- Fabric Paint (I just purchased martha stewarts stuff but its leaves it stiff) $2,88 at Walmart
- T-shirt $1.25 - $2.00
- Printer + Design
- Something to cut design out (Those pen slicer things and rubber sheets are the BEST way to do this!)
- Thin plastic (I used paper, big NO NO! It bled through, so something very thing and plastic would work well!)
- Old card
TOTAL COST = UNDER $10 (I had some things on hand!)

I started by creating my design on my computer in photoshop. Then I printed it off. This is where you would need to lay it overtop of your plastic sheeting and use one of those slicing pens (make sure to have that rubber pad on the underside so you don't slice your table!) and slice out the pieces. I used paper, which didn't work so well.  I highly suggest using plastic!

I took my embroidery hoop, and stretched the leotards/nylons over it and held it into place. I stretched it a bit, but not too much and it didn't shift at all!

Then I laid the cut out on top of the shirt, and on top of that I laid the embroidery screen. This is the fun part...
I took out my paint and laid a generous amount of paint at the top of the design, NOT on the design! Then I took my old card and slide it across from top to bottom. Surprisingly, this worked amazing! minus the bleeding...

Next time I will use some plastic sheets to do my cut outs, that way you can re-use the design again. The other way I found online to create a screen print was to use mod lodge. I didn't like this idea because it would cause me to have to purchase multiple hoops or have to re-do the design again. (I imagine pulling off the nylon would make it impossible to put it back onto the hoop!)

I also would suggest purchasing some REAL fabric paint. The stuff I bought said it would be used for fabric, but it is quite stiff. It was only $2.88 though and I am sure I will get 5 + shirts out of the bottle...

I am going to attempt this again, REALY soon. I have a ton of shirts that I want done before the boys start kindergarten which is approaching way too fast!
Have you ever done any DIY screen printing? Would love to see how it turned out!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Kid Friendly Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe

First off, did you know how easy it is to create a homemade slushy in your own home?! And second, did you know that it can be super easy, quick and not a whole heck of a lot of work in the process! (My kind of drink!) I did, only cause I just tried it because I had very little energy to run down to the corner stone and my boys were asking for a cold drink. I am not super mom here! Just a regular joe jane trying to live a happy healthy life!

Okay, so to the recipe.

Kid Friendly Strawberry Daiquiri Recipe + FAIL!

- Motts Strawberry Daiquiri Mix (Or other. Juice can work too, specially great for lemonade slushy!)
- Water (if you are using motts, its strong stuff.)
- Lots and LOTS of ice cubes.
- Blender

Put all the ice cubes into your blender. I didn't have enough this time around cause for some strange reason someone forgot to fill the ice cube tray :/
I suggest using the WHOLE thing, if not 2 or 3!
Add in your motts syrup (bout 1/4 cup if making a whole blender full) and add a bit of water.
Hit that blender up and wait till its all slushy!

So today mine was a fail. I didn't have enough ice cubes BUT, that didn't mean my boys didn't enjoy it. Probably all that sugar, hehe. I have done this many times successfully and they tell me its better than the corner store!