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Tee Shirt Printing for Kids - Our Homeschooling Project

Updated on June 5, 2018

Teen's First T Shirt Output

Start with Silk Screen

Grab a shirt, hold a printing pen or brush and textile paint and execute your design: this is the easiest and most flexible way of printing on a shirt. Nonetheless, it has lots of limitations. There are other several ways of printing on a shirt, the most common are:

Silk Screen Printing

Direct to Garment Printing

Use of Transfer Paper

Use of Vinyl

Anyone who wants to engage in t shirt printing must check carefully what are the pros and cons of each of these options. In this article, I will be dealing with the easiest technique in screen printing.

Whether you are reading this because you want to DIY your next customized shirt or you want to use it in your homeschooling or you want to put up a home-based business, I suggest that you read through until the end, check the video and come back for more tips on tshirt printing. I am sharing here practical tips that I learned through trial and error. Since this is my very first t-shirt printing article, I will keep it simple. For more complicated designs and techniques, I will be posting more soon.


Photo Credit: All Photos in this article are mine

Video Credit: Video links to my videos.

What You Need; As Simple as These

Materials
Materials

Business Start-up Set

Silk Screen Printing Machine 4 Color 4 Station Screen Printing Press Screen Printing Machine Printer DIY T-Shirt
Silk Screen Printing Machine 4 Color 4 Station Screen Printing Press Screen Printing Machine Printer DIY T-Shirt

If you are into tshirt printing business, this set is complete . You can start right away.

This business can be done by stay at home moms or dad. The best part is - you do not need a wide space for this. Create designs, print and post on social media and start selling. The big advantage is - t shirts are not perishable and so, you need not worry for unsold inventories - you can store them.

 

This is the Simplest Technique of T Shirt Silk Screen Printing

As mentioned, there are several techniques in silk screen printing. This hub involves the easiest one; that is, print - cut - print.

You can also use:

* green film

* photo emulsion

This two options are not discussed in detail here.

Watch the Actual Demo Here

5 Simple Materials to Print on Shirt

You may not believe that you only need these for you to print on shirt:

Silk Screen

You may opt to buy the silk textile and mount it on a wood frame or you can simply drop by a craft store and buy one. Of course, online shopping is always an option.

Buying the ready-to-use screen saves you time and materials because if you are not familiar with how tight it should be mounted, you will ruin the textile or your prints on shirts will not come out neat. Too tight will tear the silkscreen textile; too loose can cause paints to smudge.

Textile Paint

Three Kinds of Textile Paint:


1. Ordinary

2. Rubberized

3. Embossed

For white, cream, off-white and other very light colored shirts, you can buy ordinary textile paint. But, if you are planning to print on colored shirts, you have to go for rubberized textile paint. Check the manufacturer's specification because the term "rubberized" may not be what the manufacturer used in categorizing this type of paint.

If you want a raised effect on the print, go for rubberized embossed.

Cutter

You will need this in cutting out the printed design. Use a crafting cutter for more precision specially if you want to cut out intricate designs. If your design does not include to many curves, then an ordinary paper cutter serves the purpose. If you want to engage in t-shirt printing as your business, it is best to invest in computerized cutter.

Print Out

Create a simple design on your computer and print it out on a paper with at least 180 gsm thickness. Do not print it on a very thick paper because you will have difficulty in cutting it out. Avoid thin paper because your cut out will crease during the process of printing on your shirt. 180 gsm thickness can support printing of around 20 shirts. If you have to print more than 20 but less than 50, print your design on a paper of any thickness and use a plastic folder to cut out the design. This technique is not covered in the video tutorial but I will soon demo this in another hub.

Squeegee

You can buy this in stores, both online or in a craft store. If you don't want to buy, you can look for a rubberized flipflop and improvise.

When choosing your squeegee , consider the size of your design. Check the video tutorial for more tips.


3D Puffy Fabric Paint - 24 Set of Highly Pigmented vibrant colors for Fabrics, Wood, Canvas, Glass, Metal, Wood, Posters, Backpacks, FREE 3 Brushes, For Professionals and Beginners By Diamond Driven
3D Puffy Fabric Paint - 24 Set of Highly Pigmented vibrant colors for Fabrics, Wood, Canvas, Glass, Metal, Wood, Posters, Backpacks, FREE 3 Brushes, For Professionals and Beginners By Diamond Driven

What i like most about this set is that the paints are vibrant. Added to that, it is glittery thus, it gives an added attractiveness to the output. If you are looking for fabric paint , this is the best choice. You may also use it for wood, metal and glass. So cool, right?

 

Beginner's Tips

Use one colored design until you get the hang of it. Surely, you will destroy a shirt or two. Sometimes, you may have not reached yet the printing stage and you messed up with the template you are making while cutting off the design from the print out. Remember those dealing with t-shirt printing still commits these.

Do not open your paints when you are not ready with your template design.

Wear an apron or a shirt unless you don't mind getting messed when you are working with your paint.

You may want to wear gloves.

Refrain from moving the squeegee back and forth when you are printing - it will increase the probability of smudging or ruining the print.

Print in a well-ventilated area.

Always wash your screen and squeegee soon after you use it. The paint will harden and you will have to buy new materials.

Proudly Showcasing his Output

Design and Print
Design and Print

T-shirt Printing for Pi Day

Have you tried tshirt printing at home?

Will you be trying it?

See results

Printing on Both Front and Rear of the Shirt

If you want to print on both front and rear of the shirt, you have to allot more time for it and I suggest that you do the printing during the day - a sunny day. Use the heat of the sun to dry your first print before you can print on the other side. If you have no access to the sun, use a hair dryer to shorten the drying time. Alternatively, you may print on one side and leave it over night to air dry and print on the other side the next day.

In case you want to use more than one color in printing, you have to make separate template for each color. Then, print one color at a time. See the t-shirt in the picture above? Since the shirt on the right have two colors, we have to print one design/color first, let it dry before printing the next.

I am describing this so that you can estimate the time needed for you to work on a particular design. This will help you in your costing and planning.

Sample of Front and Rear Print; Two Colors

I'm a Nice Nurse T-Shirt
I'm a Nice Nurse T-Shirt

Fixing the Error

My son's very first print was messed up. He put it under the sun for drying but he was not very careful when he laid it on the cardboard so the shirt folded and the paint scattered over the neckline area of the shirt. He felt so guilty about it but he learned to be more careful on the next shirt.

Convert the mess into a design

If you find yourself in this same situation, do not get frustrated or depressed. You can actually cover up the mess by turning it into a creative design. Below is the picture of the shirt that I am describing. See? Nice design, is it not?

Express it with Flowers

It was ruined but transformed into a more beautiful Output
It was ruined but transformed into a more beautiful Output

You can Create Better; Challenge your Creativity

See this shirt on amazon? Well, if you have no time to print your own, you can simply browse options on Amazon - your shirt is just a click away!

You may also consider designing your own shirt in online sites like cafepress and zazzle. Have you heard of these two sites? Some creative fellows siphoned cash from their creative neurons using these two platforms. With these platforms, you can earn from your designs and you don't need to do the tasking work of printing on the shirt. What you are selling here is your design. In addition, it is a good idea to test your success probability in tshirt printing industry by creating some designs in these websites and have a feel whether you can attract interest of t-shirt buyers.


Planning and Costing

Perhaps you are organizing an outdoor activity and you want to create customized shirts for the participants; or you want to give it as party giveaway; or you want to start a home-based business of printing shirts. For any purpose you want to use what you have learned here, you need to plan and project the cost that you will incur.

Know that the ordinary textile paint is the cheapest option in the market. But then, it can only be used for white and very light-colored shirts, as mentioned earlier. The price of rubberized paint is almost double the price of an ordinary. Lastly, the price of rubberized embossed is double the price of the rubberized.

Rubberized embossed requires that you press it with iron to make the paint puff. That would be an additional cost. Consider the time you need for a project using embossed paint too. It needs drying and iron pressing.


Don't Forget to Watch the Video

Don't forget to watch the video, describing the process with words may not be as clear as when you see how it is exactly done.

Stay updated for future hubs on t shirt printing and tutu dress making. My next hubs will focus on this. Meanwhile, I have shared more hubs on flower making, craft making, painting, drawing and other things we do in homeschooling.

It would be great to hear and see your output soon.

Another How To Video You might want to Watch

Tell me what you think about my post

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    • profile image

      Brazelle Marie Castillo 

      11 months ago

      Awesome shirts you've got! Thank you for sharing your project and tips. Will also try this with my son. I hope he will enjoy doing this as you did.

    • iwrite100 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maribel Forayo 

      17 months ago from Philippines

      Kids are indeed creative. Parents are usually surprised when their kid come up with their output.

      His younger sister was inspired by this project and she created tutu dresses. I will be writing about it too. Her demo tutorial link is in my other hub, homeschooling is fun.

    • iwrite100 profile imageAUTHOR

      Maribel Forayo 

      17 months ago from Philippines

      Thank you. We will be posting as soon as he will learn how to work on multicolored designs and learn how to work with photoemulsion.

      He is currently working on Father's Day design and another design that his cousin requested him to do.

      When he will learn how to work on multicolored designs

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      17 months ago from the short journey

      Your homeschool project produced some neat tee shirts. Thanks for sharing what you learned in the process. It will be fun to see their future designs. Also glad to see encouragement to consider helping kids develop a business from what they learn to do...so important! Really cute homeschool kid, btw. :)

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      17 months ago from Norfolk, England

      I like the thought of this. Kids are so creative, and this is an excellent way of designing something they like. =)

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