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How to "screen" text onto a shirt? please help!!! Answered

I have read some great tutorials on how to do inexpensive screen printing using the modgepodge method and sewing looms, but that just seems WAY too painstaking to try and use that same method for applying lines of text to fabric. what's more, I can't see someone wasting an entire screen for just a few lines of text, even if they were using traditional screen printing methods. Other than iron-on transfers, what other ways might people be applying text to their items? I hope I make sense, I just have been needing to know this for some time now! The picture i have included is an example of what i am trying to learn. They say it's all "screened" but if so someone please explain to me how this is done! and if there is anyway to do it inexpensively.


Instead of a screen, you could use a stamp. Get some foamie letters or a sheet of 'fun foam' and cut your design. Then glue it onto a rigid surface like a piece of wood-make sure it's backwards! Acrylic paint sets with a hot iron, sometime even just leaving it long enough.

thanks for the reply, I am almost certain that is what the person who made this shirt did, was use an iron on transfer, but they swear it's all screen printed, and I just find it hard to believe although I know it's possible obviously for professionally made shirts, but I just just don't see how someone just doing this themselves would be able to afford to waste a screen just for a few lines of text. Also I have found it near impossible to find a tutorial or video on any type of method of applying text to fabric other than iron-on and hand painting..

You don't have to "waste" the screen. With the photo emulsion you can run a few prints and then wash it out to use again. Hard to see on the small pic, but it looks like the screen was used once for the black and then again for the red for a shadow effect.

Hmm... that wasn't clear enough. I meant that you can wash out the photo emulsion and "reset" it to make a it a different screen by reapplying new photo emulsion.

thank you for your reply, i may not be making a whole lot of sense as to exactly what I am looking for..I really just want to know a cheap inexpensive way to quickly create lasting images and text onto fabric...As of yet I hand paint all of my artwork onto fabric and while it looks great, its time consuming & I do not have nor will I have means anytime soon to be purchasing photo emulsion, etc. and all of the other supplies needed for professional screen printing. So I am going to be trying out the modge podge method for "ghetto" screen printing, but other than iron on, (i don't have an inkjet) I was wondering what else someone might do to put text onto fabric other than modge podge( way too time consuming). I just am looking to be able to churn out more items, I currently do it all myself and I am only able to sell a few items at a time.

Hate to say it, but your best option is screenprinting. You'll spend much more time trying to get a "ghetto" method to work in a subpar way than if you got a part-time job for a bit to get the silkscreen supplies you need. With those you'll be faster, more flexible, and the results will look more professional.

thanks, I know it's inevitable! I am working from home and late in pregnancy so a part-time job is a bit out of the question, but thanks for your reply, I will eventually make the step up to professional tools!

No need to go all "professional" to do some simple screen printing.

If you haven't seen it yet, here's an instructable for a very down-to-earth screen print, with zero "professional equipment (other than the emulsion itself - which should be affordable for a single screen):

Screen Printing: Cheap, Dirty, and At Home

It's no more complex than the "Mod Podge" method - you just use the emulsion and some sunshine instead of the painstaking filling in by hand.

Alternatively, you could look into PhotoEZ - sheets of silkscreen mesh and emulsion all in one! Just fix in a frame, mask with a paper or transparency BW print, leave out in sunshine for a while, and you're ready for printing. Price seems reasonable: 2 sheets of 8.5x11" for $16

thanks! I did glance at this but I didn't throughly check it out.

I did something like the "cheap, dirty and at home" method once upon a time and was amazed at how cheaply and quickly you could crank stuff out. Do your artwork in black on a transparancey sheet (or print it there with a laser printer), burn your screens and you're off.

ah, you are occupied already. when you have the time, try taking a class. it'll get you familiar with the gear pretty quickly.

I don't know if the above tips would, um, "apply" or not *chuckle* sorry, I am addicted to puns.....bad ones mostly....

At many hobby/craft stores you can buy individual iron-on letters, not just the full printer sheets. Have you tried those, or just text printed on transfer sheets? I've found that for basic text they are almost as durable as screen printing, and they're very fast...just pop them out, lay them on the shirt, and iron them.

thank you Cameron and goodhart I appreciate the input and I will try that!