DIY Fashion: Screen Print Tee

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DIY Screen Print Tee

The life of a college student involves attending many events, from parties, to football games, to concerts on campus. And what better way to celebrate these monumental events - and show off your school spirit - than with a custom screenprinted shirt?

Using an old shirt and some fabric paint, you can create a custom screenprinted shirt proclaiming your love for your school, your football team, or whatever suits your fancy.

What you'll need:

  • Shirt, hoodie, or whatever else you want to screen print
  • Fabric paint
  • Freezer paper
  • Iron
  • Exacto knife
  • Ruler
  • Cardboard
  • Sponge
  • Pencil
  • Marker
  • Printer paper
  • Plastic plate

How to:

DIY Screen Print Tee: Step 1

1. Design your print. I chose to make a school spirit shirt, but you could make one adorned with nearly anything: your sorority letters, a movie logo, or just a cool design. Draw what you want onto printer paper (or print out a design from your computer to trace). Keep in mind which parts you want to be "printed" and which parts of the design you want the shirt to show.

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2. Trace your design onto freezer paper. Make sure you draw on the non-shiny side. Draw the design in marker to make it easier to follow. Use rulers for straight lines, and make sure you're very precise.

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3. Cut out your design. Using your Exacto knife on a hard surface (making sure you use a cutting board, thick cardboard, or put down newspapers so you don't scratch the surface of your table or floor), follow the lines of the design. Save all of the pieces, and make sure you don't cut through an important piece. Once you've finished cutting, use scissors to trim any uneven edges.

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4. Put a piece of cardboard inside of the shirt to keep it perfectly flat, then place your design onto your shirt. Be sure it's exactly where you want it and that the shirt is completely flat - wrinkles will ruin your design.

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5. Iron the freezer paper, shiny side down, onto your shirt. Use a medium heat setting, and don't drag the iron. Just place the iron down, hold for a few seconds, and lift. Dragging may cause the design to fold over or come up. The design may not stick at first - mine curled up before it stuck. Use a higher heat setting if you're having problems with the paper sticking.

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6. Begin painting. Pour your paint onto the plastic plate and dab your brush into the paint, making sure you don't have globs of paint anywhere. I found the best way to apply the paint was using a spongy brush and gently dabbing. This kept the fabric from pulling, and let me get an even application. I went over my design about three times to get the color I wanted. Don't let the paint dry in between applications.

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7. Before the paint dries, peel the paper off. I used tweezers to get some of the smaller pieces off so I didn't mess up the paint. Also, make sure your shirt isn't stuck to the cardboard from the paint. I had to peel mine off afterwards.

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8. Use a wet paper towel to clean up any mistakes. Just gently dab any area that paint might have seeped through before it dries.

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9. Allow the paint to dry according to the instructions on the bottle.

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This DIY is something that can be easily translated for almost any event - the possibilities are endless! Just get creative. These would be great to make for movie premieres, sorority events, or even a gift for a friend!

What do you think?

Will you be making your own screen print tee? What  will you make this DIY for? Have a fab idea for a DIY? Let us know in the comments!