You’re looking at the picture, and you’re wondering: Where did the girl on the right get that cool graphic tee? The answer: I plonked down five bucks and printed my own design using a super lo-fi screen printing technique. I learned this amazingly cheap—and easy—technique from the incredible Runny Bunny at a workshop last summer. The design is an image from my journal. (It’s an elephant/orchid, in case you were wondering.)
* A tee you’re not afraid to experiment on. I spent a couple of bucks on an American Apparel one from the discount bins at Spiritex
* Chiffon fabric
* Embroidery hoop
* An image for your design
* Modge Podge
* Paint brush
* Piece of cardboard
* Screen printing ink or fabric paint
* A plastic card (a discount card from a grocery store or a junk mail credit card work great)
Make Your Own
1. Trace your image onto the chiffon.
2. Assemble your fabric design into the hoop. This is your screen. Using Modge Podge, paint your design. Consider the positive and negative space — anywhere you paint will block the ink from your tee. Let your screen dry completely. (To speed it up, you can put it in the sun.)
3. Insert the piece of cardboard inside your tee and place your screen where you want your design to go. Brace yourself.
4. Dab out some ink on the top of your screen. Go easy; a little can go a long way, and you don’t want to flood your image. Grab the plastic card and “pull” the ink over your design, applying even pressure.
5. Hold your breath. Carefully lift the screen and see what you’ve got!
6. When the ink dries, iron the back side of your design to heat set it (the directions on your ink or paint bottle will tell you how long).
7. Flaunt it.