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Project

Block-Printing T-shirts

Materials

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Download and print the templates: chickadee, cloud, flower, grass, seadiver, bubbles, or octopus. You can also use clip art or photographs, or draw your own design.

  2. Step 2

    Using a pencil, trace over the printed template design.

  3. Step 3

    Place the design facedown on a Speedy-Carve (soft block-printing material) or linoleum block.

  4. Step 4

    Transfer the design to the block by firmly rubbing over the back of it with the side of a pencil or burnisher. 

  5. Step 5

    Cut out the negative (blank) areas of the transferred design using linoleum block carvers. If you are using a Speedy-Carve, you don't need to carve out all the surrounding negative space -- just carve about 1/4 inch around the entire design. Cut away the rest of the unused block with a craft knife.

  6. Step 6

    If using Speedy-Carve material, apply foam glue to the stamp back (the side without the design) and mount to a piece of scrap wood or MDF (medium-density fiberboard) that is about 1 inch larger all around than the cut-out stamp. Let the mounted stamp dry for at least 15 minutes.

  7. Step 7

    Repeat to create additional blocks for overlapping designs.

  8. Step 8

    Work on a padded surface, such as a portable ironing pad, that is protected with craft paper. Place a few layers of craft paper in between shirt layers to prevent ink from bleeding through.

  9. Step 9

    Mix water-based fabric inks to get your desired color(s). Spread the prepared ink onto a glass plate or other hard surface. Roll a brayer over the ink to cover the brayer completely; lightly roll the inked brayer over the prepared stamp to transfer ink to the stamp. Make sure you have covered all parts of the stamp with ink.

  10. Step 10

    Position the stamp block over the area of the shirt where you would like to print the design. Place the block on the shirt and use an even, firm pressure to press the block straight down. Carefully peel the block away from the shirt. Let the ink dry for 15 minutes before adding overlapping designs. (To clean the block, use water and an old toothbrush.) If you would like to add an applique to the shirt, print an additional design on a patch of Ultrasuede.

  11. Step 11

    Heat-set designs with an iron that's set to the appropriate temperature for the fabric; be careful with Ultrasuede; it is 100 percent polyester and can melt and become hard if the iron heat is too high.

  12. Step 12

    To add the applique, cut around the printed design by about 1/4 inch. Spray the applique back with quilt basting spray, position, and machine-sew onto shirt.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, January 2008

Reviews (23)

  • 23 Apr, 2009

    am 51 years old now and i remember the martha stewart show as the first of its kind to air on TV here in Manila. i learned a lot from that show, first and foremost is my creativity and lots of craft that i somehow made money with. now shows like this are all over the net and TV. but am sure glad to be a part of the first and unbeatable craft and livelihood show. more power!!!

  • 7 Sep, 2008

    Sometimes using some spray starch and ironing the area stiff will help control a bleed. There are also special inks for t shirts in just the right consistency. I have always thinned my artist acrylics and just used them with a potato block print; so it may be that when the block is water misted, then ink rolled on, you get a better print.

  • 25 Jul, 2008

    For Jerry's Arterama go to your browser and put in the URL yourself. There is something wrong with the link off the Martha Stewart site. I got there just fine going directly.

  • 11 Jul, 2008

    I have been block printing tees since before the show, totally home craft with my son. I still haven't found a good water-based fabric paint that is thick enough to roll onto my block (without running into the negative space--resulting in undesirable results and bleeds). I done so many tests, with quantity, pressure, and product, I just really need some help. Any recommendations out there?

  • 11 Jul, 2008

    By the way, the jerrysartarama.com link above is dead--that would probably help me see what was used on the show.

  • 10 Jul, 2008

    I have been block printing tees since before the show, totally home craft with my son. I still haven't found a good water-based fabric paint that is thick enough to roll onto my block (without running into the negative space--resulting in undesirable results and bleeds). I done so many tests, with quantity, pressure, and product, I just really need some help. Any recommendations out there?

  • 24 Jun, 2008

    Never mind, found it on the website.

  • 24 Jun, 2008

    Hi all, I am new to this. I cannot find speedy carve anywhere. Any suggestions?

  • 20 Jun, 2008

    you can get these blocks at Michaels

  • 20 Jun, 2008

    SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME OUT! I love this project and cannot wait to get started, but I have one major issue, I can't find linoleum anywhere! I live in Baltimore, does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

  • 8 Apr, 2008

    I liked this video and will try the printing methods. Nice work.

  • 16 Feb, 2008

    unable to watch part 2 of this video, part 1 keeps repeating!!!!

  • 25 Jan, 2008

    karmah
    you could always use the rit dye products or at the craft store in the t-shirt department they have dye for t-shirts as well

  • 11 Jan, 2008

    Her products can actually be found at Etsy.com
    http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=55283

  • 10 Jan, 2008

    She also has a site where she sells her stuff on ETST.com

  • 10 Jan, 2008

    Didn't she mention that they would have the how to dye the t-shirts info on the website as well? :(

  • 10 Jan, 2008

    I thought the direction on how to dye the shirts was going to be given on the site as well. :(

  • 9 Jan, 2008

    Hey Everyone - There's also a myspace page and website with tons more info on her, the designs, etc. She does a ton of craft fairs/festivals and some boutiques carry her shirts too.
    http://www.myspace.com/1girl1boy
    www.1girl1boy.com

  • 9 Jan, 2008

    She sells on Etsy -

    http://1girl1boy.etsy.com

  • 9 Jan, 2008

    The person who was featured here is an Etsy artist, her shop is on Etsy (NOT ebay) and the url for etsy is: http://etsy.com and the shop is http://1girl1boty.etsy.com.

    Etsy rocks! Yay Stacey!

  • 9 Jan, 2008

    1girl1boy.etsy.com

  • 9 Jan, 2008

    I only caught the tail end of this segment, and missed the name of the woman who crafted w/ martha-anyone know it? the business name was like "one boy one girl" right? Does she sell on Ebay?
    Also, Was there a reason given why store bought stamps wouldnt work? I've got a few designs that would be great, but if i can use what i've got instead of transferring them somehow to the linoleum, it would save a bit of time and hassle.

  • 9 Jan, 2008

    hi, I was wondering where can you buy these cute shirts?