Hello my friends!
I hope you had a fabulous weekend!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in Colorado! The snow has been falling, and I finally have my Christmas decorations up. This holiday season, "JOY" has been my mantra. I am trying to avoid being overwhelmed and focus on spending quality time with my family. So I decided to make a little something for me! Not for the house, not for a gift, not for Little Man, but for me!
I think it will be fun to have a shirt I can wear each Christmas season!
Keep Calm and Jingle On!
I had so much fun creating this shirt. I had the chance to try out something brand new to me:
Recently, I was selected to review Plaid Crafts' Simply Screen kit. I couldn't wait to try this out! I've made shirts using freezer paper stencils and flocked heat transfer vinyl before, so I was interested to see how this kit would stack up to the other methods! After conquering the learning curve of this simply screen kit, I am excited about all of the possibilities!
Creating the screen
The most difficult part of the process was creating the screen stencil. I read and re-read the directions over and over again. But it still took a bit of practice. Here is what I did:
1. I started with a plain red t-shirt found at my local Hobby Lobby. I created my "Keep Calm and Jingle On" artwork in Microsoft Word and just printed it out on regular printer paper. I love that I can customize my artwork! Plus I didn't need to reverse the image or have to print it on some kind of transparency. It really was simple!
2. I followed the instructions to stick my artwork to the blue screen, and then used the squeegee included to be sure that it would stick well.
3. With the paper side face up, I used painter's tape to secure it to the bottom of the actual exposure box. I realized that the only way I could get crisp, clean lines on my stencil was by placing a sheet of glass on top of everything.
4. It took about 25 minutes to expose the screen. I followed the directions to soak the screen in water and scrubbed away until the screen revealed crisp, clean lines on my stencil!
The instructions recommended using 10-lb paper, but I only had 20-lb paper on hand. So I experimented with the test strips until I found the right exposure time. I just needed a couple of more minutes than the instructions recommended.
I found the the screens that came in the refill pack actually worked better than the other screens.
Placing a sheet of glass on top of the artwork/screen in the exposure box was key to my success! Finding a piece of glass that would fit across the entire screen was a little tricky, but it made all the difference for me.
Instead of using the attached plastic tub in the box, I found it easier to scrub the screen gently in my kitchen sink.
Painting with the screen stencil
Once the screen was ready to go, the rest of the process was simple and actually quite fascinating. I couldn't believe how the paint just soaked right through the screen stencil! Here are more details about the process:
1. I made sure the stencil was completely dry after going through the soaking/scrubbing process.
2. I sprayed the screen stencil with Martha Stewart stencil adhesive spray to be sure it would stick well to the shirt. I also taped up all of the edges using painter's tape.
3. Using the silk screen paint that came with my kit, I squeezed paint over the stencil screen. The paint is acrylic and non-toxic.
4. Using the squeegee that came with my kit, I swept the paint downward over the stencil. I found that MORE paint worked better here.
Here was my only problem....
See that first picture? The paint looked GREAT in the beginning. I was excited.
But 30 minutes later, the white paint had completely soaked into the shirt. I guess that's what I get for using white on red!
No worries! I found it quite easy to line up the stencil again and paint over the stencil with a second coat of paint. I really painted it on thick this second time, and this worked beautifully! I love that I can re-use the same stencil over and over again!
After letting the shirt air dry for 24 hours, I used an iron to heat-press it.
I plan on wearing my shirt each and every Christmas! It will be fun for me to have a shirt to wear each holiday season.
If you would like to try this out, you can find a Simply Screen kit at your local Hobby Lobby (the only outlet that carries this kit!). Once you buy the kit, you're set! You'll just have to purchase refill packs for future use.
We have been enjoying a snowed-in weekend here in Colorado!
This finally gave me the chance to slow down and get all of my Christmas decorations up!
So bring on the Christmas season!
You can check out my Disclosure statement here. Although Plaid Crafts supplied this kit, all opinions are 100% my own!