Digital Printing Vs. Screen Printing

When you decide to create a t shirt with a custom design, there are two different printing options for your t shirt, screen printing and digital printing. This blog post will help you determine which method would be best for your design.

Screen Printing

What Is Screen Printing?

Screen printing is the more common method of printing designs on various apparel.screen printing The screen printing process uses woven mesh and ink-blocking stencils to create the design. The stencil for one color is placed on the mesh and then ink is moved across the stencil, forcing ink only through the opening in the stencil. Once one color is complete they repeat with another color and another stencil until the design is complete.

Pros of Screen Printing

-This technique is more cost effective, especially with larger orders

-Creates a high quality print

-Prints are long lasting

-Can be used on items with unique shapes or on specific areas of an item of clothing

-Looks professionally

Cons of Screen Printing

-Cannot produce high resolution details, like from photographs

-May have color limits

Digital Printing

What is Digital Printing?

In digital printing, the printing process uses a printer head to apply ink directly onto your clothing or other various apparel. It works the same as your paper printer at home, only this printer is designed to print on fabric.

Pros of Digital Printing

-Great for small orders

-Can show the finer details of photos

-Soft to the touch

-Design lays flat

Cons of Digital Printing

-Exact color matching not guaranteed

-Printing area size is limited to size of the printer or it’s set-up

-Large orders can be less cost efficient

-Printer specific ink can be more expensive

I hope this helps you determine which method would best fit your printing needs. Until next time!

Customizing Your Blank T Shirts

Customizing t shirts and jeans is a great way to show off your personality, or maybe show support at an event, or creating a personal gift. There are many different ways that you can customize t shirts and other clothes. There’s iron ons, bedazzling, paint and more.

Iron Ons

Iron ons are a simple and easy way to customize t shirts and other clothing. You can buy them in an already made design, or customize your own. To create your own iron on, buy a plain one, draw a simple design on it, then cut out the design. Don’t add anything else to it until after you’ve applied the iron on to the clothing.

First, before doing anything, read to see if there are any specific instructions for your iron on. But normally to apply the iron on, put the shiny side down on the clothing, or the side with the adhesive on it. After making sure it’s it the correct spot, turn your iron on, and then use the iron on top of the patch. Don’t just put down and hold the iron in place though, that could burn your clothes and the iron on. Slowly move it back and forth, just like when you’re ironing your clothes.


A shirt with iron on letters


Another way to personalize t shirts is bedazzling. Bedazzling is basically decorating your clothes with rhinestones. Nowadays you can buy things that make bedazzling easier and more efficient, or you can glue them all on individually. You can also bedazzle your iron ons, after you’ve applied them to the clothing though. The rhinestones would get in the way of the ironing, and maybe be scratch your iron or be ruined by the iron.


A fabric sign with painted snowflakes and one bedazzled snowflake.

Paints, Markers and Crayons

Using a variety of fabric art materials you can create a totally personalized t shirt to support a team, your school, or maybe write your favorite quote and just be downright creative. You can do anything so long as you can draw it.

For paints there are many different types of fabric paint. There are some that come with nozzles that allow you to draw with the paint, directly from the bottle. Another option is to put the paint on a paint pallet, or a paper plate works just as well, and paint a design with a paint brush. To add something a little extra to a design you can use puff paint. Puff paint when used from the bottle, puffs up a little from the clothing instead of laying flat, and creates an extra effect to the design.

There are also a variety of fabric markers and fabric crayons. When using these make sure you read the directions. I made a design with fabric crayons and an iron once, and my mother didn’t read the washing directions and washed the design off the shirt! So, make sure you always follow the directions! There will be some you can directly draw on the clothing, and others where you draw on a special paper and iron onto the shirt.

Personalizing shirts can be a fun activity for kids and adults. Did I miss your favorite customization technique? Let me know! I’d love to hear about other methods that I missed, or maybe don’t know about. Until next time!

Blank Doesn’t Mean Boring – Having Fun With Colors

Just because your clothing is blank and doesn’t have some sort of design on it, does not make it boring. You can mix and match your blank clothing using colors to make an outfit that’s fabulous and interesting. You don’t need patterns to make an outfit interesting, but you also can’t just throw any colorful clothing together.

The Color Wheel

Before we start mixing and matching colors we need to know how to use the color wheel. The color wheel is a visual aid to see how colors mix together. All art students utilize and learn about the color wheel when mixing paints and deciding on colors for pieces.colorwheel

The color wheel starts as a triangle, always starting with the three primary colors. Depending on the color system used the primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow or more commonly red, yellow and blue. Then in between two primary colors is the color that is created when those colors are mixed, or the secondary color. For example, on the circle between red and yellow, it would be orange. You then continue to mix and fill in the colors until you have a circle with all of the color variations created from the original three.

Color Terminology

Here are some terms that you can use when looking at the color wheel and putting outfits together with your colorful clothing. These apply to art and design as well.

Complementary Colors – complementary colors are a pair of colors that are the exact opposites of each other. These colors create the strongest contrast next to each

other than with any other color. A trick for finding a colors primary on the color wheel for the 6 basic colors, the complement of a primary color is the combination of the other two. For example, the opposite of yellow is the combination of blue and red, which is purple.


Analogous Colors – these are pairs of colors that are close to each other on the color wheel. For example, blue and green are supplementary, as are green and yellow.

Value – The value of a color is how light or dark it is, or when colors start to be mixed with black or white. The best place to see differences in value is black and white photographs

Fun With Colors

Start using the terms and ideas above to start mixing and matching your colorful t shirts and other clothing into fun and interesting outfits.Start playing with analogous colors, complementary colors and values. Using just lights and darks you could have an outfit that’s all variations of the same color. Or you can start pairing colors with the analogous color of it’s complimentary color. An example would be for Red and Green, a color pairing associated with Christmas, pair together Red and Blue-Green or Geen and Violet instead.

Don’t forget about using colorful accessories either! Pair up a bright orange bag with an blue item of clothing. And also put some whites and blacks in there to break up colors and add interest to an outfit.

I’d love to hear your favorite color pairings or see fun outfits you made using just colors. If you want to learn more check out the resources below. Until next time and remember to have fun with colors!

Color Series: Color Theory and The Color Wheel

Color Theory, The Color Wheel And Color Schemes

Color Theory for Designers, Part 1: The Meaning of Color

The Meaning of color: An interesting piece on what different colors mean to you

Foolproof Guide to Matching Colors in Your Outfits

The Color Wheel: How to Combine Colors in your Wardrobe

How to Make Splatter Paint T Shirts

Decorating shirts is popular for a lot of students, and even some adults! I always see student teams wearing they’re customized puff paints shirts and I think they’re great! One technique I’ve been seeing more and more on these shirts is Splatter Paint. Splatter paint is a fun way of decorating your t shirts and it creates really cool designs, though if you like to control a design this is not the decorating technique for you.

What You’ll Need

The first thing you need is a t shirt or item of clothing to splatter paint, the t shirt can be any color you want. The next thing you’ll need to splatter paint clothes is paint. If you want the paint to stick up from the clothes a little, I would suggest using puff paint. Puff paint is designed to dry on top of fabric vs. soak in and become part of the fabric. I personally love puff paint, but if you want a flatter design there are many different fabric paints out there. There’s even glitter paints if you want to add a little sparkle to your splatter paint t shirts. Ask the people at your local craft store for recommendations or suggestions for paints.

paint brushesHow to Splatter Paint T Shirts

First take a piece of cardboard and lay it inside the t shirt. This will keep colors from bleeding through to the other side of the clothing so you can have one decorated side, or decorate both sides. Lay the shirt and cardboard combo down flat. You’ll also want to put on an old ratting shirt you don’t care about so you don’t ruin your clothes. Then grab your paints and pick a technique. Remember you can switch up and use multiple colors in your design.


This first technique is a more concentrated and controlled way of splatter painting. Squirt some paint onto a paper plate, then dip your paint brush, or a paint stick, or even a Popsicle stick, into the paint. Then aim and flick your wrist and watch the paint splatter! You could also flick the paint off the brush/stick using your finger.


The second way to splatter paint clothes is not as controlled and can potentially be messy so lay down some newspaper or do this in a spot where you don’t care if you make a mess. Instead of using a paint brush, this time you are just going to use the bottle. Make sure the bottle has a squeeze top, like a squeeze ketchup bottle, or else this won’t work. Take a step back, aim, then start squeezing the paint and swing your arm towards the clothing. Make sure you don’t accidentally fling the bottle.

painted shirtOnce your happy with what you’ve created, let it dry and then flip over and decorate the other side if you want to. Dry times my vary based on the type of paint you used and any overlapping paints may also affect drying time.

Now you have a fun and creative piece of splatter paint clothing to show off to the world! And your not just limited to your clothes, you can splatter paint sheets, shoes, banners, whatever you want!

If you want to learn more check out these other splatter paint related resources:

WikiHow: Splatter Paint

Michelle’s Blog – How To: Splatter Paint A Shirt

ScrapHacker – Splatter Paint D.I.Y ideas

Impish DIY – How To Make A Splatter-Paint Hoodie/Shirt

Super Mom Momments – Kids + Splatter Paint = Fireworks!

How to Fold a T Shirt and Other Clothing Items – Proper Laundry Care

This is my second post in my series on proper laundry care. Today’s laundry lesson is on how to fold your clothes. Folding clothes is an important part of putting your laundry away. If you fold clothes properly it can help shirts with creases keep their shape, keep clothes from becoming wrinkled messes, and make it easier to put away and fit all of your clothes back into your closet or dresser.

pile of folded laundry

Before Folding

Before we start folding clothes we need to be prepared for folding. First run the clothes through the dryer before folding, I was always taught to fold clothes while they’re still warm, and it helps prevent wrinkles to fold clothes fresh from the dryer. I suggest using two baskets. Dump all of your clothes into one basket, then once you fold the clothes lay them down in the other basket, but you can always just pile clean and folded clothes on your bed or couch as well. Also be sure to have a place for socks that have lost it’s pair, mine just stay in the basket until its match is found.

How To Fold A T Shirt

We’ll start with something simple to fold, a t shirt. A basic t shirt doesn’t have any special folding needs, like some other shirts or clothing items do to keep their shape. There are two methods that I am aware of for folding t shirts. The first method is fold the t shirt in half down the middle of the shirt crosswise, so sleeve to sleeve, then fold in half lengthwise, collar to hem, then fold the sleeves under. The other way to do it is to fold in the sleeves behind the t shirt, then fold the sides to the middle of the t shirt, then fold in half lengthwise, hem to collar.

woman folding clothes

Folding a Dress Shirt

Now we’ll look at how to fold a shirt that may need some more special care than a t shirt. First make sure the shirt is buttoned up all the way. Then you fold the sleeves to the middle of the back of the shirt, and make sure the cuffs cross over the middle of the shirt. Then you fold the sides towards the middle, then fold the shirt lengthwise.

Folding Pants

For basic simple jeans and pants, just fold the pants in half crosswise, leg to leg, then fold in half the side way, hip to hem. For pants with pleats. Fold the pants crosswise, but match up the pleats. So fold them pleat to matching pleat, then straighten everything out and hang on a hanger.

I hope this helps you learn how to fold clothes. If you want more instructions, or more detailed instuctions, check out these resources:

WikiHow: How to Fold a Shirt

The Best Way to Fold Laundry from Socks to Shirts

Proper Laundry Folding Techniques

Learn to fold clothes properly

How To: Fold a Dress Shirt from RealSimple

How To Fold Pants – Written Instructions And How To Videos

How to Fold Dress Pants for Travel

How to Fold Pants & Trousers

Happy folding!

8 Iconic Movie and T.V. Apparel

Today we’re going to be looking at famous t shirts from movies and T.V.  Movie apparel can be tied to a plot point or show off a characters personality. The clothes of some popular characters, or from a popular movie, can become iconic and a popular t shirt that we start to see worn in the real world. Here are 8 famous t shirts and famous apparel from various movies, specials, and T.V. shows.

Vote For Pedro from movie Napoleon Dynamite

napoleon_dynamiteThis shirt from the movie Napoleon Dynamite, was worn by the main character Napoleon to support his friend Pedro, who had decided to run for class president against popular girl Summer Wheatley. This shirt is the prime example of an iconic t shirt. After the movie Napoleon Dynamite came out in 2004, the popularity of this shirt spread like a wildfire and it’s still an extremely popular shirt today. It’s also popular as a pin, and I’ve seen it on blankets, hats, and a variety of other things.

Charlie Brown’s Shirt from Comic and Cartoon Peanuts

peanuts-charlie-brownCharlie Brown is an American comic strip, that is illustrated and written by creator Charles M. Schulz, that has been in newspapers since October 1950. Later this comic strip had very successful television specials as well, such as It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (a personal favorite of mine around Halloween). The main character of the comic and T.V. specials is a young boy named Charlie Brown who always wears the same yellow shirt with the black zig zag stripe going across it that is instantly recognizable whether you are a fan or not.

David Wooderson’s Shirt in Dazed and Confused

Dazed-And-Confused_lSo, I can honestly say that I have not seen this movie (I know, I need to watch it), but when I asked some friends about iconic t shirts most of them instantly mentioned this shirt. In the cult classic movie Dazed and Confused, Matthew McConaughey plays character David Wooderson, a man in his early twenties who continues to socialize with teenagers. On his t shirt is the cover on Ted Nugent’s album from 1974 named “Tooth, Fang and Claw” on a white t shirt.

One in the Oven” Cut Off Slogan T-Shirt from movie Police Academy

police-academy1Again, this is not a movie I’ve seen, but I do recognize the shirt. The “One in the Oven” shirt worn by main character Carey Mahoney, a man who has been given the choice of joining the police academy or going to jail. I’m not 100% sure when the shirt is worn, but I believe it was worn when he arrives at the police academy (if I’m wrong message me and let me know!)

College Shirt from movie Animal House

Jim-Belushi-in-Animal-House_I know this shirt well, there are many college dormitory walls that have a poster of actor John Belushi, playing character John “Bluto” Blutarsky, wearing the iconic ‘College’ shirt. John is one of the members of the misfit fraternity members that the movie follows. When we meet him, he is urinating outside of the fraternity’s house.

Shirt worn by character Alan from the movie The Hangover

alan from hangoverA comedy film that came out in 2009, The Hangover became almost instantly popular. Everyone has heard of the movie, and knows the entire plot, even if they haven’t seen it. This shirt is worn by the socially inept character Alan, the man who seems to be the reason this group of friends keep getting into trouble. He is probably the most well-known character from the movies, when anyone mentions The Hangover he is the first thing that pops to mind.

Flash’s T Shirt from the movie Flash Gordon


FLASH! AAAHHHHaaahhhhhh! Another cult classic, Flash Gordon is a comic strip turned science fiction movie, following a NY Jets quarterback who is tricked into a ship that takes then to an alien planet where he and Dale Arden must escape from, as well as save the Earth from the planet’s Emperor Ming. While wearing his Earth clothes, character Flash Gordon is wearing the iconic white t shirt with his name FLASH written across it in red lettering.

The Puffy Shirt from T.V. series Seinfeld


And last but not least, we can’t talk about iconic shirts without mentioning the puffy shirt from an episode of the popular T.V. show Seinfeld, a sitcom that aired from 1989 to 1998. This shirt appeared in the second episode of Season 5, in an episode known as “The Puffy Shirt.” In the episode Jerry is feeling embarrassed while being forced to wear the shirt, referred to as the “pirate” shirt, on The Today Show. The original shirt worn in the episode is on display at the National Museum of American History.

These are 8 iconic t shirts from movies, specials and T.V. shows. If I missed your favorite famous t shirt let me know! I’d love to learn about more, and maybe even add to the list. Until next time!

1920s Fashion – Vintage Apparel Style Guide

This is post number two in my Vintage Apparel Style Guide series. Last month we looked at Fashion of the 1970s after finding old pictures of my mother from the 70s, today we’re going to look at 1920s fashion. Why fashion of the 20s? I recently saw the new Great Gatsby movie and wanted to look more into the fashion of the era.

About the Roaring 1920s

World War I ended and the 1920’s began. Customs and morals relaxed and the stock market was booming. Prohibition made alcohol illegal, but most ignored that, and for the first time there were more Americans living in cities than in the country on farms. There were many Americans who were not comfortable with the new, more racy culture that was dominant during the decade, but for the younger generations in the cities, it was a grand time.

Women’s 20s Fashion

Flapper On Ship 1929

Young woman on cruise ship in 1929 dressed in style of the era. From Wikipedia

Women were entering the workforce and had earned the right to vote and this had affected their fashion in the 1920s. Trends became more practical, accessible and comparably masculine compared to the conservative clothing and corsets from before. A boyish figure with flattened hips and chests became desired at the time.

The most well know, and memorable, trend that emerged in 20s fashion was “the flapper” look. This dress flattened a women’s bust line instead of accentuating it and was more functional for women. Dresses were low-waisted and full at the hemline which allowed women to do the popular new dances of the time. In 1925 the waistlines disappeared, creating a shift type of dress. Towards the end of the decade we started to see knife leaded skirts with a hemline that rested just below the knee as well as dresses with collars and straight bodices.

Men’s 20s Fashion

Man in 1920s

Frank Griffin in 1927 wearing a hat. From Wikipedia

For men there were two different periods of fashion on the 1920s. During the entire decade men wore short suit jackets. In the early 20s these jackets had lapels that were narrower and pants, or trousers, were more narrow and straight. Trousers were also designed to be short enough that the gentleman’s socks were showing. Later in the 20s jackets returned to a more normal waist and the lapels became wider. The sleeves also became more loose fitted and lacked a taper. Oxford bags, a wider trouser, also became a trend. Men also started wearing sweaters and knickers, or a short trouser, going with the trend of 1920s fashion becoming less formal.

Hats were also a big part of men’s 20s fashion, though the hat a man wore was influenced bu his class. Upper class men typically wore tops hats and homburg hats. Middle class men wore bowler hats, trilby hats and fedoras and the working class men wore flat caps and newsboys caps. During the summer months, the upper and middle class may where a straw boater hat.

Hair and Makeup

Louise Brooks detail

Actress Louise Brooks in 1927, wearing bobbed hair under a cloche hat. From Wikipedia

For women, short boyish cuts were popular including the bob cut, shingle bob, and the eton crop. Hair was kept flat and close to the scalp, and very short. Make-up became easier to apply, which caused it to be used more. Make-up was used to make the eyes look larger and younger, lips were painted to accentuate the bow of the upper lip and the depth of the lower lip. Tanning also came into fashion after Coco Channel showed one off after an afternoon on a boat.

Here are some other resources to take peak at if you want to learn more about fashion of the 20s:

1920s Women’s Fashion

Wikipedia Entry: 1920s in Western fashion

Wikipedia Entry: Flapper

1920’s Womens Fashions and the Changing Role of Women


Flapper Fashion 1920s

Men’s Fashion in the 1920s

How to Gatsby: Hair and Makeup

Beauty by the Decade: The 1920s from @CollegeFashion