Category Archives: silkscreen

T-shirts = complete

braziltshirt.PNGLast night Shamus and I completed the last of the t-shirts for his martial arts academy. Holy moly it was a lot of work, I think we probably invested a good 40-50 hours on the project. We also put quite a few dollars into the project. Shamus spent about $170 of his t-shirt income to buy screens, hardware, putty, and inks. I spent about half that on new emulsions, construction supplies, and fabric. But now that the setup is built, the maintenance costs will be minimal and the resulting t-shirts are masterful.

It may not look particularly amazing by itself, but compared to those t-shirts that first came off of our assembly line the difference is staggering. Take note of the great consistency of the colors and the alignment… oh man, the alignment is DEAD on.* I think you’d have to work on such a project like this to really appreciate the complexity in achieving an acceptable pressing tolerance.

You can’t even compare these shirts and the cupcakezilla t-shirts of a few years ago – totally different leagues. Now that I have this apparatus, four color t-shirts are fully achievable. If you have any really clever multi-color t-shirt ideas feel free to fire me an e-mail and let’s make it happen.

*”DEAD on” given the screens we used. I think I could improve the quality just slightly by adjusting the tolerances of the transparencies used to make the screens. If you have a sharp eye, you might notice the slight intentional overlap of the green over the yellow. We should have done the same of the green over the white around the flag’s perimeter – especially considering that the shirts are black.

Silk Screening Adventure

Normally I save these types of posts to use as Features, but this weekend was too eventful to wait.

On Saturday, Shamus and I got together to start work on a silk screening jig for an ambitious silk screening project. Shamus takes martial arts classes and agreed to make a four color t-shirt for his peers. For those of you in the silk screening know, you’re probably thinking “Four colors!?!! Gah!!” Indeed, four colors.

Cupcakezilla was the last time I tried a four color shirt. And while the shirt came out pretty sweet, we only had 3 semi-successful runs out of 8 attempts. Not a good ratio. This time, success was even more important because instead of screening on $3 shirts, we would be screening on $20 exercise shirts. No room for error!

After making a plan, Shamus and I went about building a very robust jig.

Shamus – in action!

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I’ve dabbled with silk screening of t-shirts and I definitely love the process and the results… but I’d describe the results as little more than a fun past-time. I want to make my screening more artful. Interestingly, I’m not sure the best way to do so is through better use of photoshop MSPaint.

What makes the perfect silk screen?

If you recall, a year or so ago I posted a link to the Ramones on window shades. Find it here.

Today I saw this blending of Snow White and Apple on Digg. Genius!

I think silk screening is beautiful in part because it requires a simplification of color. Screening multiple colors is a pain in the butt, so you’ll rarely see silk screening that incorporates more than three colors.

So unearthing the fundamental shape of your subject is number one.

Less important, I think, than representing your subject is choosing one. For me, my favorite silk screen examples almost always incorporate some reference to pop culture. Don’t get me wrong, unique individual stuff is awesome too, but I just love it when someone can squeeze a pop culture image into a creative unexpected use.

And there’s medium. I’ve been exclusively working on t-shirts. I think I need to explore other types of canvas. Walls, drapes, pants… that snow white laptop is brilliant. I have an old bass amp that I don’t use much, perhaps I could silk screen something righteous on its face.

Finally, size. I’ve been so specifically focusing on 8×11 that I need to try something different. Something HUGE. I was thinking about trying to silk screen a wall in my house.

It’s time I expanded my silk screening envelope.

Awesome Contest!

I mentioned last week that I wanted to try and find a way to promote So I’m doing what I know how to do best: MSPaint and T-shirts.

I have designed a sweet t-shirt. Check it out:


It’s the perfect combo of Geekery and Rockery! All the while mocking corporate sponsership! I am going to be giving two of these t-shirts away. This is how it works.

There are three ways to get yourself entered in the drawing.

1. If you e-mail someone you know and tell them about my website (you must include a link to the website) and CC me in on the e-mail, then I will enter you into a drawing for a t-shirt. The person who sent the winning e-mail will receive a free t-shirt, and so too will the person who had the e-mail sent to them. For each person you send an e-mail to, you get one entry. One e-mail, one entry. If you send one e-mail to 8 people, you’ll only get one entry. If you send personalized e-mails to 8 people, then you’ll get 8 entries. E-mailing people who already openly read the blog doesn’t get you entries. Nor does e-mailing the same person multiple times. Please be respectful to the people you e-mail.

2. If you add a blog post about my website on your website and include a link to my website, you get two entries. Please e-mail me a link to your blog. Limit one blog post per person. If you are selected the winner via this method, you will receive two t-shirts in the mail.

3. If you share my blog via Google Reader you will get one entry – please make sure I’m following you first by sending me an e-mail. Limit one shared post per person. If you are selected the winner via this method, you will receive two t-shirts in the mail.

DEADLINE: The deadline is the end of Labor Day weekend (September 7th, 11:59pm EST). On September 8th, I’ll take those entries that I have received and randomly pick one lucky winner. I will mail out the winning t-shirts after I get the winners’ size and color requests.

Limit 15 entries per person.

I reserve all rights to deny entries to anyone I think might be spamming or stretching the rules in a way that’s sneaky or underhanded.

My e-mail address is: MikeDiDonato AT gmail D0T com

The t-shirt design above might change slightly between now and September 8th, but if it does it will only get more awesome. If the winner would prefer a Breakfast Squad t-shirt, then that’s cool too.

Good luck!!

T-Shirt Idea!

I recently took mouse in hand, as I often do, and opened up MSPaint for some t-shirt designing. I came up with this idea after a chat with Darcy. She told a tale where she was sassed by an unexpecting fool. Friends, you don’t sass Darcy. It’s just not something you want to do.

So I drew a sweet T-shirt design.
Let me know what you think.

Do not sass this lass

Oh man! Can you feel the wrath of that MSPaint chick or what?! I’m very proud of how she came out. I’m thinking about silk screening a bunch of these for the ladies. Especially those ladies who should not be sassed.

Get Ready to BeDazzled.

The BeDazzler is here and it’s ready to go. I don’t think I’ve ever ordered anything so blindingly pink before. The glow of this box has the potential to destroy the reputation of any man not comfortable with his masculinity. That said, I must blog about it. Shield your eyes good friends. Shield your eyes.


Have you ever seen anything so powerfully effeminate? And to be honest, the picture doesn’t come close to the pink power of the real box. In real life, when you see this item, Clay Aiken, Josh Groban, and various boy band songs immediately get stuck in your head.

Once I get the silk screen prepared and order the proper BeDazzling rhinestones, we are going to make the Fibonacci Sequins t-shirts happen. Never before has a beDazzled shirt been so geeky. Get excited.