This is mostly to document my ideas, and I owe all of my inspiration to Thread Bangers. Great guide, guys. Gave me a lot of motivation to create my own shirts.
Also, please comment or rate. My only focus group was my mom, and she knows nothing about the game, or the bear in question. I'd like to know how people thought all of it turned out.
Step 1: Materials
What you need:
-Porous materials: I used some basic Muslin, not sure how much of a difference it makes
-Fabric paints: I used some Americana acrylic paint + fabric paint medium
-Water resistant glue: Mod Podge works well.
-Some brushes: I chose foam because it holds it shape even when pressed down, creating a cleaner line.
Step 2: Get Your Image
I chose my picture off of Google, might not be legal, but I bet it is. I then opened up Photoshop and went at it. I highlighted as little as I needed to for the viewer to understand what it is (with prior knowledge of it, of course.) It came out pretty well, although I wish I could have used less.
To create the pieces, I simply used the pen tool. Then I merged the whole thing together when I was satisfied
As an afterthought, I decided it should be inverse. It was easy enough to select all the white, I just went to Select -> Color Range, and used the dropper on the white parts. After selecting them, I Layered Via Cut, and deleted the background. I then selected by white again and filled it with Black. I then created a new layer, moved it down below the Amani Warbear layer, and filled it with White.
Step 3: Tracing
I went ahead and taped it flush with my floor (any flat, wide surface will do) and stretched my material over the loop. I made it as taut as possible. I then laid it flush with my floor (as apposed to hovering because of the loop) and began to trace with a pencil.
When you've traced all of the pieces, then comes the hard and long part...
Step 4: Gluing! Dun Dun Dunnnn
I start with a large base, not touching the design at all. A nice large square will allow the cardboard to move more freely without getting any over the sides of the design.
After that, I moved to the detail work. I started with the teeth, but after realizing the glue dried clear, I decided to work from left to right.
What a grueling task. It took me 2 hours or so, with all the going back. Luckily, I had some Roy Orbison ("Crying" is a great track) to listen to, while I passed the time.
After this is done, I decided to make a huge mistake.
Step 5: Testing (Caution!)
I did this far too fast, and I fear I might have washed off some of the glue before it had a chance to dry. To add injury to insult, I decided to print while the sheet was still wet. DON'T DO EITHER.
Be patient, I wanted to get it done in one night, and it screwed me over. I think it made the end design more soggy, and less fine.
Step 6: Screening!
My fabric paint medium said 2 parts paint to 1 part Medium, I think any more makes the ink soggy.
After mixing some Americana "Cool White" with fabric paint medium in a small disposable cup, I then laid the screen over my (very flat) shirt. I made sure to add a piece of cardboard in between to prevent bleeding as well.
Then I just poured it on and smoothed it over. I did this for about a minute, making sure to get it as even as possible. Take off the screen slowly, you don't want to smudge anything, or have the shirt fold on itself and transfer paint everywhere.
And yes, I know how soggy the image is. Again, I used a wet screen, and am probably going to redo it, along with a few touchups to problem places. The shirts were 5 dollars, and paints were 1, so I only really lost 6 dollars and some time.
Update: I am touching up the glue mold in the problem places, not getting it wet before printing, and covering the stencil much more evenly. Also going to iron the shirt first to make sure there are absolutely no creases. The neck area got screwed up because of a giant crease.
Update 2: I have printed a new shirt! Check the pix, yo. I think the material I used wasn't porous enough, and as a result, not much ink went through. Nothing a little manual labor won't fix. Also, no splatter, hurray!
Update 3: Tried fixing, worked well. End product looks clean, but indie.
Step 7: Iron, Wash, Wear.
It is very simple, though. You can iron it. Thread Bangers said to put a diffuser between it (a simple newspaper or paper bag). Possibly to prevent the paint melting onto the iron. Not exactly sure, but I use the paper bag anyways.
After that, I turn it inside out, and machine wash, then hang dry. Then I wear! Or in this case, the person I am giving it to will wear it... on November 15th. If you know who you are, repress this memory, so I can surprise you.
Step 8: Extras! Extras! Get Your Extras Here!
And if anyone with World of Warcraft and Zul'Aman experience wants to question the fact that he bought it, he had completed Zul'Aman bear runs before, but it was not his turn to loot the bear. The bear was removed in 3.0.2 (pre-wotlk talent patch) so it is now a unique item.
Anyways, back to the step. I only have the screen made at the moment, as I am letting the newly screened bear dry.
Also, yes, it's backwards. It's upside down. Actually, now that I think about it, this might be a problem. Will check later.