Do It Yourself Silk Screening Tutorial

Inspired by Kristy (girlx512)’s tutorial, I’ve decided to make my own brief tutorial on how to make a multi-coloured screen printed t-shirt.

The supplies you will need include:

  • prewashed tshirt
  • a 5-10 inch embroidery hoop (having more than one means you can prepare all the screens for all colours before you start)
  • sheer curtain material, nylons, or tulle (I used the sheer curtains)
  • Non Water soluable Glue (I used Mod Podge)
  • screen printing ink or acrylic paint + fabric medium (I used paint and medium)
  • paint brush with stiff bristles (optional but recommended)
  • a design, either drawn freehand or printed from a computer


  1. Find or create your design. This can be done either on the computer or as a drawing. The image should be high in contrast and not too detailed. Pretty much any design that you can paint, you can make. Make sure your design fits inside the embroidery hoop. It should be small enough to leave at least one inch from the edge of the hoop. I think a smaller hoop is better if you have a tiny design because the screen will be tighter, but even though it was unnecessary for me to use such a large embroidery hoop with my design, it still worked fine.
    Photoshopping T-Shirt DesignI created my image in photoshop and printed it the size I wanted it to appear on the shirt.

    Sheer Curtain MaterialStretch the sheer curtain into the embroidery hoop and tighten it. It should be as tight as you can make it without wrecking the hoop or tearing the fabric. The embroidery hoop can then be tightened to hold the screen in place.
  2. Place the hoop on top of your image sheer curtain side down.
  3. Tracing the Design

    Using a pencil, pen, or felt, trace the image onto the screen. The outline should be clear so that you know where to fill in the glue. Accuracy becomes more important if you are adding more than one colour on your shirt.

  4. Mod Podging the ScreenMod Podge all the areas where you don’t want the first colour to go through. I used an old paint brush but spreading it using just your fingers works even though it takes longer to dry. Also remember, when you apply the Mod Podge, to avoid gluing it to your workspace the screen should not be touching anything. Flip it over so that the side with the sheer curtain is up. At this point you have the option to use tape or other adhesive materials to cover/clog the larger areas, but if you want to make more than one shirt with the same screen, it needs to be washable.
  5. For single coloured shirts skip this step. Repeat steps 1 – 5 on a second screen. This time leave the areas open for your second colour. It’s okay to overlap colours a little bit, but depending on what look you are going for, try to be as accurate as possible.
  6. Mix Acryllic With Fabric Medium

    Since I didn’t have screen printing ink, I had to mix the acrylic paint with fabric medium. The type I used needs to be mixed in a 2 to 1 — paint to fabric medium — ratio, but read the label just in case. Think about how much paint you will need to cover the entire screen because if you don’t mix enough the first time, you may have to mix more and the consistency might change. I ended up having to mix more for this t-shirt but it turned out okay anyway.

  7. Screen Printing

    Make sure you remembered to pre-wash your shirt. It’s a waste of time, effort, and materials if the shirt shrinks after the screen printing is done. Position the embroidery hoop and screen against the shirt where you want the image to be printed. Once you have it placed in the correct spot, apply the paint by dabbing the brush up and down in a stippling motion. I put a piece of paper inside the shirt to prevent the paint from going onto the back side.

  8. Remove the screen and give the shirt time to dry.
  9. Repeat steps 7 – 9 using the second embroidery hoop and applying the second colour. Line the second embroidery hoop up as carefully as possible to match the first colour’s position. A little overlap is okay if you are going for that look.
  10. The instructions on the bottle of fabric medium recommend ironing the image before washing as well washing inside out.

    Here is the final look of the design:

    Palm Tree T-Shirt Design

  11. The screen can be used over, so if you want to reuse it don’t forget to wash it out before the paint dries.
My New Shirt

Here I am wearing my new t-shirt in my parents back yard. I couldn’t quite wait and as a result it was still a little wet when I put it on. I think if I were to make this shirt again, I would put the logo a little more to the wearer’s left. It seems a little too high and close to the centre for my liking.
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Malaysia – Day 17

National Air Cargo

Today we shot a video for National Air Cargo (the Malaysian division) and I got to be an extra.

I posed as a customer asking questions about the company.

Later in the day I worked on some proposals for channel V and checked out some cool New Media related sites (the first three are portfolio based, the last one has AfterEffects tips):

Got any good ones for me to check out? Leave them in the comments.

Five days after I posted these links, Patrick O’Brien (AKA Transfatty) was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). He decided to make a movie about it.

Family Photos

Last weekend Anna-Maria and I went to Medicine Hat to have our pictures taken with my family. After we spent some time at Gainsboro we decided to take some of our own shots at Strathcona park. Here is a one that my brother Gary got of Anna and me. (We all wore matching outfits).

Jeff Milner and Anna-Maria

More pictures at The Milner Blog.

Update: I guess he took the photos down because now that he isn’t in Canada he’s not getting internet / free hosting at Telus. Try browsing some Flickr photos of the same day, instead.

I Heart the Ladies

BNL in CalgaryAs promised here is my review from the BNL concert on April 1st in Calgary. It was great! As we were getting seated Anna questioned me about the tickets I purchased, “Do people that sit in these seats really get more nosebleeds?” Very funny. :)

The concert itself was a blast. Jason Plumb and Ron Sexsmith were the two opening acts. They seem like unknowns to me but Anna recognized Ron Sexsmith’s name and apparently Jason Plumb played for the Waltons — which I vaguely recall.

Anyway it was a great concert in which almost every song they played seemed like my favorite. I know I’m a big geek for this Canadian band, but whatever – it was fun. They played:

  • Maybe Katie
  • Too Little Too Late
  • Enid
  • Some Adlibing
  • It’s All Been Done
  • Another Postcard
  • Celebrity
  • More Adlib
  • Never Is Enough
  • I Live With It Every Day
  • Roadrunner
  • For You
  • One Week
  • Upside Down
  • A Bass Solo
  • Alternative Girlfriend
  • Testing 1,2,3
  • Never Do Anything
  • Blame It On Me
  • Shopping
  • Concert Going
  • Pinch Me
  • War On Drugs
  • Beat The Crew
  • Shoe Box
  • Old Apartment
  • Brian Wilson
  • Rio
  • If I Had $1,000,000
  • What A Good Boy

They weren’t planning on playing Alternative Girlfriend but got talked into it when someone in the audience held up a big sign that said quote/unquote Please let my husband drum Alternative Girlfriend with you. So they did. Ed told the audience that if he was at least half decent we should really cheer him on, but that if he sucked then we should beat him to a pulp. He was actually pretty good and it was really fun to watch. It’s stuff like that that makes a concert so memorable.

They had a fun choreographed shopping cart ballet in which they ran around with shopping carts, passed around boxes of cereal and made snow angels on the stage. They did three encore songs, which was more than the last time they were in Calgary, and I must say it was just a perfect concert.

BNL in Calgary

Ed wrote about the concert tour and specifically about Calgary’s show. Ed and Steve are by far my favorite bloggers in BNL – not just because they do the majority of the singing.

Maid Queen Vs. May Queen

A couple have people have written the same basic message:

Just to let you know the correct lyric [in Stairway to Heaven] is ‘just a spring clean for the maid queen’ not may queen.

Actually folks, it is may queen, but if you looked up the lyrics before emailing me, you’d already know that. What is a maid queen anyway? I bet if I had one my house would be spotless.