I decided that I wanted to make shirts for the kids who come in every morning and take care of my classroom animals and track the weather. I also wanted to make shirts for the kids who did the recycling, but I ran out of time. And, I volunteered to make the team shirts that my trivia team wanted for the nights we play in the charity tournaments. It was almost 50 shirts (knocked down to 25 when I eliminated the recycling shirts), and I figured that the Yudu would be so much easier than cutting out freezer paper stencils
This is the very first shirt I printed (white ink on a green shirt):
Then, I started messing up the next few shirts. So, I scrapped the screen and started again. I did a bit of reading, and realized that I needed to flood the screen after each shirt, so the rest of the Critter Care Crew shirts came out okay.
So, with renewed confidence, I moved onto shirt design #2 (white ink on a light blue shirt):
I was ready to tackle the team shirts, which had a large design on the back, and a smaller design on the front. Most were orange on yellow, but a few were orange on white. This is my shirt after I wore it and it landed in the laundry pile. So, it's a bit wrinkled...
I was really impressed with how nicely it printed the letters. The only detail it didn't quite get was the very small spiral that dotted the letter "i" on the back of the shirt.
I designed the images using Microsoft Publisher and copied them onto transparencies at Staples. The spiral image was in a shade of dark grey, but it still blocked the light well enough when burning the screen.
I did a few things to make things go a little more smoothly for me, since I was working alone:
- I cut the emulsion sheet to the size I needed. I found that I had a much easier time working with a smaller section.
- I bought a bunch of cheap plexiglass sheets (11" X 14") and sprayed them with adhesive spray. They were just tacky enough to hold the shirts in place, and they were small enough to fit inside the youth-sized shirts (size L and XL... I didn't try anything smaller, yet). I made a stack of shirts with the plexi inside, so I could just plop the next one in place without any fuss.
- I flooded the screen, and then used a small, plastic putty knife to scrape the ink off and used it to print the shirt. Then, I raised the screen, used the putty knife to scrape the ink off again to flood the screen before I swapped out the shirt. By scraping and re-using the ink on the squeegee, I was able to use a lot less ink.
Ironing the shirts to heat-set them just about did me in. I did the 16 shirts for the morning helpers, but gave my trivia teammates their shirts with instructions on how to heat-set their shirts.
I'm definitely happy with my results, and I'm glad I got myself a Yudu. Now that I've gone through the process, I'll be able to plan things better for my next round of printed items