Family Fun Making Personalized T-Shirts
A unique idea for a family activity that will be fun for the whole family is to make custom designed t-shirts for each member of the family. Artwork software programs make this easy to do at home and will bring out the creativity in your children.
What You’ll Need
At its most basic, you’ll need a software artwork program such as Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrated and an ink jet printer. Other necessary items are as follows:
T-shirt printing press
Emulsion and a UV light
Screens and a squeegee
Light safe room (bathroom with bug light will work)
Have each member of your family draw a design for his or her t-shirt. This artwork will be uploaded to the software program where it will be changed to a vector format. At that point, you’ll be separating the different layers of color. For children and beginners it is easiest to start with a simple design such as black on white. The different color layers are printed on transparencies using your ink jet printer. The transparencies are taped to screens which are then coated with a UV light-sensitive emulsion. This step is done in your light safe room. The screens are then exposed to UV light. Afterwards, you’ll rinse and dry the transparencies, and you’re ready for the printing step.
You’ll carefully realign the layers of screens on the press, load inks and print, applying pressure to a squeegee to force the ink through. Then, there’s just one final step of drying each layer of ink with a heat gun in order to set the design and be sure it doesn’t wash off.
Printing your own custom designed T-shirts is an activity that can involve the entire family. Your kids will be excited to wear their creations out in public.