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If you are obsessed with screen printing with vinyl, like me, your closet may be overflowing with t-shirts for every season. I have made so many shirts with my Cricut Maker and screen printing method.
Many of my shirts are seasonal, like my 4th of July shirts and Easter bunny shirts. I wanted a way to store these shirts that aren't in season and make them a little easier to find when the holidays are near.
My t-shirt collection has taken over the top row in my closet. This is where I hang my everyday shirts. I had all of my holiday shirts in various tubs and tossed in the top of my closet shelf.
I found these storage cubes on Amazon. They are the perfect size for folded t-shirts. Plus, they fit nicely on my closet shelves.
For this project, I used my 1-color press. If you are just getting started with screen printing, you don't need this equipment. You can do this same process on a sturdy table.
I like using this 1-color press, because it allows me to check my design after each coat of ink and place the screen back down if I need to add more.
Screen Printing vs. Iron-On Vinyl (HTV)
I chose to screen print the labels on these boxes for a few reasons. First, I wasn't sure that these boxes would hold up to the heat of a press for iron-on vinyl. I think they would melt!
I also just love the way screen printing looks and feels compared to iron-on vinyl. Screen printing ink absorbs into the fabric so you don't have that plasticy, shinny look that you do with iron-on vinyl.
Screen printing also comes in really handy when you are making multiple prints of the same design. So, if you are making these boxes to sell… or maybe you want to make a set for everyone in your house, screen printing would allow you to reuse the same screen to print all of them!
Supplies Used for Screen Printing with Vinyl
- Screen Printing Frame
- 1-Color Screen Printing Press (optional)
- Fabric Screen Printing Ink (I used black)
- Oracal 651 Vinyl (any color)
- Cricut Maker
- Cricut Mat
- My Favorite Transfer Tape
- Painter’s Tape
- Storage Cubes
Screen Printing Tips for 1-Color Press
I decided to use my 1-color press for this project, just in case I needed to add several coats of ink. I wasn't sure how much coverage would be needed for this type of material.
In order to lift your screen and lower it again in the exact same spot, you need to make sure your box doesn't move around. I use Super Tack adhesive on my pallet to hold t-shirts in place. While the tack held the box a little bit, it still had a chance of moving around. Just to be sure it stayed in place, I secured the box to the pallet using a piece of painter's tape.
With the box secured to my pallet, I lined up my design and screen printed the first label.
I used 2 screens for this projects – each with 2 labels. So after printing the first label, I turned the screen around to print the next one. You can do this project with just one screen – you would just need to wash and dry it before using it again.
Heat Setting Speedball Fabric Ink
However, I wasn't sure that the material on these boxes could withstand the iron or heat press. They feel like they might melt if they got hot. So, I decided NOT to heat set the ink after it dried. I don't plan to wash these boxes or get them wet, so the ink will stay just fine. If you are printing on a surface that will get washed, you would want to heat set to keep the ink from fading.
Watch this Tutorial in Action
Organized Closet of Screen Printed Shirts
And just like that – I have a more organized system to keep my screen printed t-shirts in my closet. I have a feeling I may need to make more of these boxes as my obsession with screen printing has me making more and more shirts each year! I hope you are loving the process as well. If you're using your Cricut or Silhouette to make shirts, comment below with how you are keeping all of your shirts organized!