Plaid Simply Screen Christmas Shirts

If you’re anything like me, you have a whole section on Pinterest with quotes and printables that inspire you and that you wish you could incorporate into your crafting or style. The “Keep Calm” signs are some of my favorites and I often wish that I could take some of those sayings and add them onto a shirt or some other item. However, I don’t necessarily want to seek out a screen printing company and pay $30+ for a t-shirt that may be just a seasonal thing. I was so excited to find out you could do these at home with Simply Screen by Plaid.

I had the pleasure of reviewing the Simply Screen Custom Silk Screen Print by Plaid. I can honestly say that this has easily become one of my favorite crafting tools after how wonderfully it worked for me this weekend. I was skeptical at first when reading the instructions. The whole process seems a little daunting and I was very afraid I was going to mess it all up and ruin my t-shirts that I had just purchased. But after reading through the instructions carefully and reading some reviews on other crafting sites, I had no issues with it whatsoever. Want to see how it all works?! Let’s take a looksy, shall we?

What you need:
Simply Screen Custom Silk Screen by Plaid–sold exclusively at Hobby Lobby
Item to Screen print (I used two Old Navy $4 tee shirts and a child’s apron from JoAnn’s)
Piece of glass (not with the kit–I used a piece from a picture frame)
Paper Towel
Scissors
Painters Tape or other heavy tape
Printer/printer paper

1. Start out by printing off your image from your printer. I did not have 10 lb. card stock as the directions suggested, so I used regular printer paper, which was 20 lb,. and it worked out fine. I made my image in Picnik and printed it out in black and white. I will say that the less colors your image has the better. This image was the only one I made that used any color on it.

2. After you have your image printed out, trim it down.

3. Go into a room that is dimly lit and remove one of the silk screen sheets from the package (there are 3 sizes to choose from to match the size of your print). Peel off the white backing on the screen and stick your image face down onto the sticky side of the blue screen. It’s not super sticky, but you’ll notice a little tack to it.

4. Take the scraper that comes with the kit and use it to help smooth out any wrinkles between the printer paper and the screen to make sure that it sticks well.

5. The cool thing about this kit is that the box it comes in actually is also used to burn the image, as well. So don’t destroy the box. Follow the instructions on the box to put the light bulb into the top and plug it in. From there, place your image screen-side down in the bottom of the box. It helps with you use a little scotch tape to hold the whole thing down so the sides don’t curl up while the image is being burned into the screen. I also followed the tips of other bloggers and placed a piece of glass over top of the image to print it from lifting/separating.

6. After I was all set up, I pulled the box top over my image and screen print and turned the light on for 25 minutes to start burning the image onto the screen. Set the timer for 25 minutes and stick with that exact amount of time.

7. When your timer goes off, turn off the light in the box and prepare your plastic tub to be filled about 1/3 full with tepid water. Pull your image out of the box and place the blue screen into the water filled tub to soak for about 30 seconds.

8. After soaking, take the sponge that comes with the kit and gently scrub at the screen print to remove the burnt part and reveal your image. This isn’t a quick process. Take your time and be sure to get it all off so it doesn’t mess up your screen print.

9. After you have successfully scrubbed your screen print and your image is clearly shown, use paper towels to dry off your screen.

10. Now the fun part starts! You get to actually screen print your shirt (or other item!). Take your screen and place it on your pre-washed shirt being sure to line it up evenly. Then use painters tape (or in my case packing tape because I ran out of painters tape) to hold the image in place and to ensure that excess paint doesn’t get on the item your screen printing.

11. Once successfully in place and taped down, use your silk screen printing paints and apply a thin line of paint across the top of your image.
12. Use your scraper to evenly drag the paint down the screen at a 45 degree angle. You may need to add more lines of paint as you go down the screen, just use your best judgement and be sure that when you squeeze the paint out it doesn’t splatter onto the shirt (I had a few close calls).
13. I decided to use red and white, so once the red was applied I did a thin layer of white on the “MERRY” and followed the same procedures. I also decided to add glitter to my shirt, so I applied Plaid’s adhesive paint (the same way) to the areas I wanted to glitter.
14. After I had applied all my paint and adhesive evenly, I carefully lifted up the screen print. I did notice a few areas that weren’t clear, so I simply laid my screen print back down carefully and touched up the paint again being sure to press evenly on the parts that weren’t quite right yet.
15. After everything looked good, I pulled off my screen print gently to reveal my shirt. Please excuse the wet hand print on the bottom of my shirt ;)
16. Lastly, I added Plaid’s glitter to the two areas of my shirt that I added the adhesive to.
17. Once your shirt is complete, you let dry for 24 hours and then iron. After 72 hours you can hand wash the garmet and line dry.
In the end I made myself a “Keep Calm and Be Merry” shirt, a “Keep Calm and Ho Ho Ho On” toddler shirt for my son, and a “Keep Calm and Eat Cake” apron for my coworker’s daughter. My husband already has a request in for a shirt he wants for work, as well. The only regret I had with my shirt was that I added glitter to my Santa hat and it’s not as clear that it’s a Santa hat as I would have liked now. It looked much better without the glitter…live and learn.
The Plaid Simply Screen kit is a lot of fun and isn’t a lot of work once you get the hang of it. For children, this is a fun and unique way to create shirts, tote bags, pillow cases, and anything else you can think of and it’s very reasonably priced at $39 for the kit. I can honestly see myself making my son shirts for different times of the year, as well as using this kit for party favors or other gift ideas. The screens can be re-used, so I have all of mine saved up for future uses, as well.

Overall Review:

Pros:
~Fast burning time
~Easy to use (once you get the hang of it)
~Nice crisp lines and no issues with seeping through
~Ability to choose/create your own designs
~Very reasonable price ($39 for kit and $19.99 for refills-can be purchased at Hobby Lobby)
~You can reuse your screen designs
~You do not have to “flip” the images or modify them in any way
Cons:
~Instructions need more detail and there needs to an FAQ’s and troubleshooting section
~The size of the box may limit your design options
~Multi-colored images printed in black and white did not work for me (the only image that I used with any color on it was the Santa hat and it only had red in it, which worked ok).
So have you tried screen printing?! What’s your take on it? Hope everyone has a happy Monday! 
more by Abbey »

Abbey DeHart

Hi, I'm Abbey from The Cards We Drew. I'm working wife and mommy residing in Columbus, OH. By day I work in accounting and by night I'm a blogging, crafting, creating, fanatic. My blog, The Cards We Drew, started in 2009 to document my pregnancy and family life and has slowly developed into a creative outlet over the years. I can also be found as Blogger and Media Assistant at DimplePrints on the side. Blogging and creating is truly a passion and I invite you to stop by my site and say hello! www.thecardswedrew.com

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Comments

  1. Sarah posted on December 12, 2011 at 4:28 am (#
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    Wow I really like how your cute shirt turned out! It does look kind of complicated. I’d be super nervous to try this, but it turned out so nice I might give it a shot :)

    Reply

  2. Joy @ Christmas Spirit All Year Long posted on December 12, 2011 at 5:57 am (#
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    I would love to get my hand on this! How much does it run, do you have an idea? I’ve pinned this, just to let you know. Thanks for the great tutorial, too!
    xoxo
    Joy

    Reply

  3. Tanya Phillips posted on December 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm (#
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    this looks like so much fun. glad to see you can resuse the design. may have to try this, I know the kids would love it.

    Reply

  4. Gayle posted on December 12, 2011 at 3:19 pm (#
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    SO awesome!! What a fabulous idea, great for gifts, too!

    Reply

  5. silva posted on December 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm (#
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    This is pretty fantastic!! I think it would be great for party t-shirts!! Love your blog btw!

    Reply

  6. Michelle Sexton posted on December 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm (#
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    I didn’t know that you could do this at home!!! I am so excited to try doing this!!!

    Reply

  7. Bromeliad posted on December 13, 2011 at 7:10 am (#
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    I had fun trying the product but need more practive. I love your eat cake apron.

    Reply

  8. Dawn posted on December 14, 2011 at 1:31 pm (#
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    So cute! Does anyone know what font the word “Merry” is done in?

    Reply

  9. Brenda posted on March 8, 2012 at 8:42 am (#
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    Have you heard if the kit is compatible with any other paint brands? The paint bottles they sell are so tiny! Also, if you are using to initial things (i.e. small area needed), do you think you can cut down the sheets before use to get more life from them (i.e. take one large and make into 4 usable sized pieces)?
    Thanks!

    Reply

  10. Marcy posted on July 23, 2012 at 8:00 am (#
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    If you liked the Plaid Simply Screen, you’ll LOVE, EZ Screen Print. It takes less time, uses the sun rather than a light box and the emulsion washes off easier than Plaid’s Simply Screen. I’ve used both and EZ Screen Print is so much quicker and easier.

    Reply