The day before Valentine’s Day, I still had no idea what I should dress my baby in the next day for his first Valentine’s Day. I did not get any new clothes for him and there were no hand-me-downs with Valentine theme. By about 10pm, Steve said why don’t I just screenprint a custom onesie for him? Wait! What? How come I didn’t think of that? Yes, I still have a silk screen from 5 years ago when I took a screenprinting class sitting at a corner!!
So on the morning of Valentine’s Day, I waited for him to take his morning nap, gathered all my supplies and went to work. He took a 1 1/2 hours nap, and by the time he woke up, the onesie was done and ready to wear!
- Silk screen
- Water-based textile screenprinting ink
- Paint stick (something to stir the ink with)
- Freezer paper
- 100% cotton baby onesie
- Scissors / Exacto knife
- Draw the outline of the baby onesie on a piece of freezer paper bigger (Image 1)
- Draw a simple image on the freezer paper and cut out the image. The cutout will be where the ink will be applied. It’s best to avoid fine lines or fine details. (Image 2)
- Using painters tape, tape the contact paper to the bottom of the screen, making sure you place the image the correct side for printing. Cover up other space with more freezer paper. (Image 3)
- Lay onesie on flat surface. Place a cardboard inside the onesie and smooth out any wrinkles. I used a corrugated cardboard wrapped in layers of muslin. You want the surface to feel very smooth so it will print evenly.
- Align your screen to the onesie, using the onesie outline from Step 1 as a guide. Test print on a scrap piece of paper first. If it looks good, print on the onesie. (Image 4) Unfortunately freezer paper stencil doesn’t last so you can only make a few prints before it gets smudgy.
- Put a piece of scrap fabric on the iron board, put the onesie with the image facing down, iron the onesie using the highest heat setting. Use another clean scrap fabric, repeat ironing until you don’t see any more ink transferring to the fabric.
And it’s ready to wear!
Remember to take lots of pictures!
I haven’t wash it yet, but I will probably hand wash it using cold water the first time around, and then putting it directly into the dryer.
Photos taken by Vean Chen