Silk Screenery

Yes, this is about my sister Beans again, but I promise this is the last one about her for awhile. My sis is smart. I mean damn smart. She has her masters in some kind of sciencey-animal stuff that I don’t understand. She studied black bears in the Texas desert, and monkeys in Costa Rica. I stay home and make crafts for her.

One of our joint favorite movies is Ghostbusters! There’s one particular quote she loves, especially since she is now a scientist: “Back off, man. I’m a scientist” – Dr. Peter Venkman. Since we have a silk screen, I wanted to make it into a t-shirt for her.

The first step is to create the stencil. I used an alphabet stencil I had to write it out on a sheet of paper.

I then used an Exact-o knife to cut out the letters.

Here it is, about halfway cut out.

We have an actual silk screen, which is a wooden frame with silk (surprise) stretched across it. You put a piece of cardboard inside the shirt so the paint won’t bleed through, line up the stencil where you want it on the shirt, then press the screen down on top. You spread the silk screen paint on the back of the screen, and use a special squeedgee to spread it across the design and press it through the stencil onto the shirt. It gives you nice, even color and crisp edges. Here’s the shirt (which is pale pink, not white) after the silk screen.

I then used a paint brush to fill in the little stencil parts, like on the “O”.

Now you let it dry, and then lay a piece of clean paper over top of the design. Iron over top of that “until it’s hot to the touch” according to Hubby. He used to work in a silk screen shop, so I just trust his judgement. He tends to press down, and iron over the design for about a minute, with the iron on high.

These are some of the other things we’ve made lately with our silk screen:

Zombie masks!

Movie monster throw pillows! (which were already covered in cat hair by the time I took these pictures)

And a bandana for our sweet baby Flapjack! It looks just like him!

See? Hubby created that design himself, from scratch. He is always amazing me with his creativity.

We’ve also made t-shirts for my trivia group, and just for ourselves. We’ve had the silk screen for so long now that I don’t know how much it was. Maybe around $50, 6 or so years ago? For us, it’s worth it. You could always create these types of things with shirt paint instead, but it would take longer, and the silk screened stuff is more durable in the wash. With the silk screen, you can also make several of the same thing, which we did with the trivia shirts and zombie masks, using the same stencil.


April 21, 2011. Tags: , , , . Arts and Crafts.


  1. Beans replied:

    You are so great! I heart my big sister!

    • thatcleverchick replied:

      I know you appreciate the stuff I make for you, and that totally makes it worthwhile!

  2. More of me being an awesome friend « My Attempts at Cleverness replied:

    […] are just so excited to get something, it totally makes it worth it. Hubby and I had silk screened the t-shirts for my trivia team, The Cupcake Bitches, awhile back, and our Geeks Who Drink quizmaster, Evelyn, […]

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