I love looking through the Chasing Fireflies catalog when it comes. And when I saw their number shirts last year I fell in love. How much would your child like to sport around his/her age? Yeah, a lot.
But that price tag. Ouch.
I knew there had to be a cheaper route to get the same effect. So I set out to learn as much as I could about screen-printing at home. Yudu is all the rage, but still, a Yudu for a birthday shirt? It seemed a bit much.
I found solid colored long sleeved tees on the clearance rack at Old Navy for 74¢ and figured this was a good opportunity to practice!
Freezer paper screen-printing won out for this simple design. And worked out awesomely for my nephew’s “5″ shirt.
A green (his favorite color) 5 on a gray shirt.
So awesomely, that I was mad I didn’t take any photos, we made a “4″ shirt for my son. After it was all done I decided I didn’t like this font. And he decided he didn’t like the color so it turned out to be a flop. But here’s the process anyway:
Trace the number onto freezer paper–shiny side down. Freezer paper is wonderful because when ironed the shiny side will actually melt into the fabric creating a great surface to work with. It is also used with certain quilt patterns and peels off easily when finished.
I read that you can cut freezer paper to 8.5″x11″ and run it through your ink jet printer. Some say you should cover the shiny side to protect your printer, and others didn’t seem to care. I found it to be very easy to trace the old fashioned way, but if you had a more detailed image you could try it.
Then cut out your number and iron in place on the shirt.
Be sure to place a piece of cardboard in the shirt to protect the backside of the shirt. Squeeze your screen-print paint right onto the shirt. I used an old credit card to scrape across as my squeegee. If you hold the card at a low angle it will leave a thicker amount of paint and cover nicely.
After the shirt is screened let it set for 24 hours before removing the freezer paper. Iron (with an ironing cloth) to set the paint. Or follow the instruction on your paint bottle.
The only place I was able to find screen-printing paint (besides the internet) was Hobby Lobby. Michael’s sells Yudu supplies and I think the Yudu paint would work just as well.
Even though this “4″ isn’t green I’m not out much, and I learned a few things on a 74¢ shirt!