Instructables

Unorthodox T-shirt Printing: Stamping T-shirts

Featured
Say NO to screen printing!

I don't like all the equipment involved in the screen printing process, so I am searching for a better way for the standard person to create small amounts of t-shirts cheaply with easily available materials.

In this Instructable I will show the process I used to make a rubber stamp, apply ink to it, and apply the design to a t-shirt.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*I apologize for the quality of some pictures, I only have the camera on my phone available, and I suffer from a work enviornment with poor lighting conditions. : (

I like comments! : )
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Needed Materials

To make your own stamped t-shirt, you will need the following:

1.  A t-shirt.
              (Check your local craft store, or recycle an old one you have laying around)
2.  Red rubber packing sheet.
              (It's rubber sheet that comes in 6x6" squares at hardware stores.  It is used to make gaskets for plumbing and such.  They are sold in, I believe, 1/16" and roughly 1/8" thicknesses.  I am using the 1/16" thickness.)
3.  Plexiglass, wood, or other material to be used as the back of your stamp.
4.  A small dowel, or other material to be used as the handle for your stamp.
5.  Paint/ink
              (I am using "crafter's acrylic"; it costs 50 cents at my craft store and seems to work well.  Whatever you use, it must be water-based!)

Tools:  Hot glue gun, scissors, Sharpie marker, paintbrush

Uh, why exactly would I have to check a CRAFT store for a t-shirt?
Because you can buy plain T-shirts there? :P And plain bandanas, bags, etc.
csmith173 years ago
Firstly say YES to screen printing. For what it costs to buy a few hinge clamps and a couple of wooden screens you could have made this exact print look very professional.

Secondly, why go to all the trouble of cutting out a rough stamp when you may as well have just painted the ying and yang on the shirt?

Thanks for the time taken to post this but don't diss screen printing anf then post a very substandard methos just because you don't like using proper equipment.
fozzy13 (author)  csmith173 years ago
Hi there.

Firstly, I do not know of a place near my house where I can cheaply purchase screens for screen printing.

Secondly, the stamp is very useful for making the shirt. If I were to just paint the yin-yang on the shirt freehand, my lines would be much less sharp, and if my hand slipped slightly, I would need to toss out the shirt and start over. I don't have to worry about that with a stamp.

I like this method, and have used it for making t-shirts since this Instructable was published, all of which have turned out well. It may not be the conventional method, but is allows me to easily make t-shirts for myself using easily available and inexpensive materials.
quodnunquam4 years ago
If you mix your paint with "acrylic fabric medium" (from most craft shops or online) your paint will not be stiff and it will last much longer. It wont flake either! Great Instructable!
fozzy13 (author)  quodnunquam4 years ago
Thanks for the tip!! I had no idea there was such a thing, I'll be sure to look into it : )
Appollo644 years ago
Great Instructable! Thanks, this seems like a really great way to print shirts. What other kinds of paint works well?
fozzy13 (author)  Appollo644 years ago
Thanks! : ) I don't know what other kinds of paint work well, since I have only used the acrylic I use in the instructable based on online research. However, the key factor that I seemed to find everywhere was "water based'. If the paint is water-based, and you allow it to dry completely, I would tend to think it would work. Thanks for the comment again
dchall84 years ago
Thanks for posting this. I'm always looking for a way to print shirts, too. This is probably a good approach until the design gets complicated. I wanted to put my daughter's face on a shirt. That's probably beyond my ability with the rubber stamp method. Anyone who has ever painted a room knows that house paint works very well and is permanent. And it can be tinted to any color.
fozzy13 (author)  dchall84 years ago
No problem, thanks for the comment! : ) Designs can be made as complicated as you have the patience to cut. When compared to other methods of printing tshirts, isn't it alwasy easier with simpler designs? At least that's how I see it. As for your daughter's face, if it were me, I would go with the printable iron-on for that, just for the amount of detail and color availability.