by guest blogger Andrea Strand
One of the greatest Christmas movies ever is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We were inspired to pay homage to that movie with our take on the Christmas sweater.
What you’ll need:
- Fabric screen-printing ink
- Printing screen
- velum sheet
- X-ACTO knife
- Scrap paper
- Blakely font by Mark Simonson
Create your image for the stencil. We used Mark Simonson’s Blakely font and created the shape of a Christmas tree around it. Print your image either straight onto the vellum sheet or trace it with your Sharpie on a white sheet of paper you printed. Once you’ve created the stencil, carefully cut it out using your X-ACTO knife. This is the tedious part, but it pays off in the end!
Now, tape your stencil to the back side of your screen, making sure it’s not backwards when you put it on. Put tape all around the stencil to ensure the rest of the screen is blocked and no ink can get through any spots except the image.
Next you’ll need to bleed the screen. The first print never works out quite right, so doing it on a sheet of paper “bleeds” the screen and gives you a more even print. If it’s not even just yet, try another print on another sheet until you’re happy with the results. If you’ve never done screen printing before, check out a YouTube video tutorial or two to get the squeegee technique figured out. It’s pretty easy once you see how to do it.
Place your sweatshirt on the table and put a piece of paper inside it to catch any paint that might go through. Be sure to get the shirt as flat and wrinkle free as possible before printing. (You might want to tape down the sides to prevent it from moving.) We eyeballed the top of the tree to the middle of the neckline of the shirt in order to get it centered. Another easy way to center it is to place a piece of tape at the neck and on the sides of the shirt to help measure.
After you’ve printed your image, let it dry and then iron on low following the instructions on the side of the printing-ink bottle. This will set the ink so it stays on the shirt. And you’re done!