The Making of a Printing Table

How to Make a printing or silk screening table (and over-sized ironing board!) via lilblueboo.com

It’s about time to retire the cover from my oversized silk screening table:

Silk Screened Table cloth via lilblueboo.com

the silk screening process via lilblueboo.com

It holds little pieces of every screen print I’ve done over that last 2 years:

[Read more…]

Hot Glue Gun Stencils

Instead of art journal prompts this week I’m experimenting with some art journaling techniques!

Hot Glue Gun Stencils via lilblueboo.com #artjournaling #theliljournalproject

This hot glue stencil technique is from mixed media artist Traci Bautista…..my art journaling hero. I’m in love with her studio…..click the image below to see more: [Read more…]

How to Make a DIY Custom Instagram iPad Cover

How to Make a Custom Instagram iPad Cover via lilblueboo.com

Boo and I made this iPad cover highlighting some of our favorite Instagram photos from the last year.  Wouldn’t this make a great holiday gift for family members? You can have custom iPad covers made for around $55 online but this one cost me around $20 to make.

I used this blank “transfer ready” iPad case: [Read more…]

A Strawberry Shortcake Dress (A Tutorial)

Silhouette just released their new 12″ cutting machine the CAMEO! Here’s my first project with it:

 

I purchased a simple 99 cent strawberry image from the Silhouette online store and had the machine cut it out onto vinyl shelf paper.

 

 

Many of you know that I haven’t been feeling well so I had a TON of help with this tutorial. Gicela brought fabric samples of scraps we had and I picked them out and she cut out the dress pieces and made them into a t-shirt dress style. You can use my Sienna Dress Pattern as a starting point.

Lisa used my strawberry cutout to make a contact paper silk screen (you can see the full contact paper silk screen tutorial here):

 

Basically the contact paper adheres to the screen (I use 110 mesh YUDU screens (without the machine) because they are flat and easy to store)……

 

……and you pull the ink (Versatex Ink) across the screen to push the ink through for your image:

 

 

Lisa also printed some polka dots onto some pink fabric and used my free beret pattern to make the hat. We already had the leggings but you could use my li’l leggings pattern to make a pair with a ruffle at the bottom too.

 

Boo loves it so it made my day! Here she is at school today with my mom:

 

 

 

Use the discount code LILBLUEBOO through October 31st you’ll get:

The brand-new CAMEO and your choice of a starter kit (Fabric Ink, Vinyl, Heat Transfer, Rhinestone) for $299. There are a limited number of Cameos for this promotion and they will sell out so if you want one don’t wait!

The Silhouette CAMEO™ is an electronic cutting tool that connects to your computer allowing you to cut fonts and images in cardstock, vinyl, heat transfer material, etc.

Cleaning a Screen and Removing Emulsion (Screen Printing)

(more after the jump)

[Read more…]

Monogrammed Canvas Totes (A Tutorial)

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

 

We are spending time with my husband’s family this week at the beach. I wanted to make everyone something special so I made these extra large personalized beach tote bags.

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

 

They are perfect for carrying all of our beach toys, towels and sunscreen down to the beach.

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

 

It’s easy to keep everyone’s things straight and they all look pretty cute together on the sand:

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

I bought the large totes at Marshall’s.  You can find blank ones many place on the internet and other suppliers.  I used two methods for these bags to give you a few options!

 

The first method I used is the freezer paper method. Freezer paper is typically used by butchers to wrap meat because it has a waxy finish on the inside and regular white paper on the outside.  It can be used as a fabric stencil because when the paper is heated the waxy side adheres to the fabric but doesn’t leave any residue on it when removed.

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

You can purchase freezer paper at most large superstores. I know for sure that Wal-Mart carries it as well as Dharma Trading.

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

First, use an exacto knife and cut out the monogram letters into the freezer paper:

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

After the letters are cut out place the freezer paper stencil face down on the fabric, waxy side down.

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

Iron the paper (cotton setting) so that it seals to the fabric.

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

If your paper rips at all or if you “overcut” any of your letters just use some scotch tape to fix it so ink doesn’t flow through those areas:

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

 

Take a paint brush and fabric paint…..

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

…..and begin dabbing it onto the stencil.

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

I usually do about 2 or 3 coats:

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

Once the paint has dried thoroughly.

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

The second method I used was a “one-time” paper screen print. For a one-time paper screen print you need a stretched screen. It can be a silk screen or even just a large embroidery hoop with panty hose stretched tightly. (I recommend investing in an actual  screen, you can use it over and over again….the paper part of this method is what is considered “one-time.”

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

I used my Silhouette to cut out these initials. Or you can just use an Exacto knife.

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

I used just regular 8.5″ x 11″ copy paper to cut out the letters:

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

Place the paper onto the bag:

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

Carefully place the screen on top of the paper:

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

Put a small amount of screen printing ink or fabric paint on your screen and use a squeegee to pull the ink across the image (or I’ve used a credit card as well if you don’t have an actual squeegee). Use enough pressure so the ink goes through the screen. You can touch up any light areas with a small fabric paint brush.

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

Lift up the screen (the paper will stick to the screen) and you’ll have your finished monogram. Iron to set the paint/ink:

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

 

 


 

A few of the finished bags!  They were filled with snacks, magazines, beach toys etc to greet everyone at the house when they showed up!

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

 

I made one special one for Boo using some of the artwork from our Spring nautical line:

 

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

 

Just beachy :)

 

Easy painted monograms with freezer paper or as a silk screen. 2 DIY tutorials via lilblueboo.com

 

 

 

 

Printed Canvas Bunting (A Tutorial)

The first thing I made with my new Silhouette machine was this printed canvas bunting! I downloaded 2 different bunting graphics from the Silhouette online store and had the machine cut out the designs on vinyl:

 

 

I placed the vinyl cutout onto a basic screen. The bunting is a “positive” image so I had to cut a few pieces of vinyl to create an outline around it:

 

 

I used a large canvas tablecloth for my fabric. First I did a row of charcoal colored flags in one design:

 

Then I did a second design in hot pink:

 

I was tempted to silk screen the entire table cloth with this print and leave it at that!

 

 

I cut out each flag:

 

 

I left the edges of the flags raw…..the ink keeps them from fraying:

 

I used a 1/4″ ribbon as the string……

 

……and sewed each flag to it along the top:

 

 

So festive! An easy way to decorate for a party or just spruce up a room or table:

 

 

For more on screen printing and where to buy supplies check out my other detailed tutorials:

 

The Casbah Carryall (and my new Silhouette!)

I started a new project……

 

……inspired by my new Silhouette machine!

 

 

I knew exactly what I wanted to try first…..I had the machine cut out a bunting design (a download from the Silhouette store) onto vinyl adhesive:

 

 

Here’s the cutout on the screen. Since the cut is a “positive” cut, I added pieces of vinyl to outline the bunting triangle…….

 

 

……and masked the other areas of the screen:

 

Now I just have to finish the rest of the pieces today:

 

 

I’ve been ready to release a new carryall pattern and as I silk screened I decided to use the bunting design to make myself a new bag! I silk screened the design on a canvas tablecloth and then cut out the pattern pieces.

 

 

I love wearing white all summer and this bag will be perfect to compliment it!

 

Love how detailed the Silhouette can cut!

 

The Casbah Carryall is the perfect design for a tote, handbag, beach bag, grocery bag etc. 8 pages of instructions and 8 pattern pages…..great for any level. It’s in the shop now!

I’m giving away 2 free patterns  so leave a comment to be entered! (Giveaway ends Tuesday night at 12pm PST)

 

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNERS ARE #3 Debra, and #102 Lily. PLEASE EMAIL LISA {AT} LILBLUEBOO {DOT} COM TO CLAIM YOUR PRIZE!

 

 

 

Mini Screens and Clothing Labels (A Tutorial)

I’m so excited to launch a small trunk show line this coming spring for my tiny clothing line….but phew, SO much work. My biggest concern with branching out from my online store was that I had to come up with a way to better label my clothing so it meets FTC requirements. I don’t like putting any type of tag in Lil Blue Boo clothing for comfort reasons (Boo is pretty sensitive to anything with tags)…..so I came up with an easy way to silk screen all the information using little handmade “mini” screens:

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
I found these little $1.00 wood photo frames at my local craft store and knew right away that they would make the perfect little screens. I purchased about 20 frames and I ordered a pack screen printing fabric sheets.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Step 1: I cut the screen printing fabric large enough that it would wrap just around the edges of the frame.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: I used binder clips to stretch the fabric as tight as I could across two sides of the screen.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Then added 2 more clips on the other sides. It is important to work across and around the frame to get the fabric as tight as possible.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
I stretched the opposite corner last to pull out every last bit of slack.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: Using waterproof wood glue……

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
……I used a brush to apply a thick layer of glue all the way around the wood screen, using pressure to work the glue through the fabric.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
After the glue was COMPLETELY dry, I removed the clips and applied glue to the spaces where the clips had been and then once the glue was dry I trimmed all the excess fabric off using a razorblade.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: I applied emulsion to each frame using a tiny squeegee (the one I am using is from the Yudu line).

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
…and stuck push pins into the bottom for the screen to rest on as it dried in the dark.

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
NOTE: You can find my entire photo emulsion silk screening tutorial here for all the details of this process because I am kind of glossing over a few details:

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Step 5: I set up my registered trademark, sizes, and clothing information for each label and printed it onto transparency film:

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Each label was exposed onto a screen. I made one screen for every clothing size that I regularly produce:

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Washing out the emulsion after exposure:

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com

Now with a little ink and a tiny squeegee I can easily add my logo, size, Made in USA and all the care instructions to every piece of clothing!

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Very professional looking!

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
It might seem daunting to make so many screens, but if you do it in an assembly line manner it isn’t as much work as you think. It took me one Nanny McPhee movie with Boo to stretch and glue all of these screens!

How to make mini silk screens (to make your own clothing labels or small silk screens) via lilblueboo.com
Total cost for 20 screens? $47

Screen Printed Drapes & Pillows – A Tutorial


My husband has been bugging me for years to add window treatments around the house….but they are always either too expensive or I haven’t found ones I like. So I made my own….and it was so much easier than I thought it would be!


So happy with the result.


I wanted drapes that were simple and elegant but also that fit our informal living style. I love how they “pool” on the floor…..adds a little drama to our everyday living space.


I especially love how the morning sunlight comes through the sheer fabric.


With my leftover fabric I made some simple covers for our existing couch pillows to coordinate the room.


I made the small rectangular pillows from scratch with linen-like fabric.

Tutorial:

Note: Before starting your screen printing you will need to create a screen. See my Screen Printing 101 tutorial on how to create a screen using photo emulsion. If you want to use a simpler design than shown below you can also try the contact paper screen printing method.

Here is the design I created using “damask” dingbats. You are welcome to use it (just click on the image and then save to your desktop). I couldn’t find my original file so this is a scan.

I started with 108″ plain white muslin (using my 40% off coupon it was about $3 a yard). For tops on measuring your window for the amount of fabric needed see my curtain tutorial (with download).


You will need a large area to spread your muslin out onto. I used my back patio, but you could use a driveway as well. Just spread a tarp or large drop cloths out to protect the muslin.


You can use the “fold” lines on the muslin as vertical guides and use a long piece of wood to mark your horizontal guide lines. I used a disappearing ink pen to mark out where my designs would be.


I used Versatex screen printing inks in the colors: Umber and Brown. I added Versatex Fixer which eliminates the “heat setting” step (i.e. no ironing to set the ink).


Mix your inks together (four 4oz tubs was plenty for pillows and drapes). I added a little black to get a darker brown.


Start your printing! Allow yourself to have errors (for character!)…..it will look like you meant to have imperfections. Place your screen flat onto the fabric. You will probably want to have a piece of cardboard underneath each section you are printing (I used flat boxes). Apply a small glob of ink at the top of side of the image……..and pull the ink down the screen with the squeegee. You might have missed some areas so I like to go over it a few times carefully. Do a test run first on a scrap!


The first one is the hardest! Then it gets easy!


You can do several rows at at time. Just keep your tape measure and disappearing ink pen nearby so you can mark guides as you go.


After the first layer has dried, turn your design around and screen the mirror image.


A finished complete image.


A finished drape! I screened in the hot sun and it only took minutes to dry.


Once all my drapes were dry I brought them inside for sewing. For the top of the drapes, I folded the edges over 1.5″ and then over again 1.5″ and sewed all the way across. I didn’t even hem the sides or bottom, I just serged them with white thread. If you want a more finished, formal look see my tutorial on curtains here.


A curtain rod for a 16 foot slider was not really in my budget so I modified a store-bought rod to fit across the 17 foot span. You can buy 6 foot finished wood rod pieces at your hardware store, just make sure to buy the connecting screws too. I bought three rods and cut about 6″ off the ends. I had to re-drill holes for the finials at the end. I purchased 4 brackets for the rods to sit on.


I cut 2 squares from my leftover fabric for each coordinating pillow.


I screen printed the design diagonally onto the pillow squares.


Once the pillow fronts had dried I pinned them together and sewed the outside edges leaving a small opening for stuffing.

I had my best helper stuff the pillows.


And I sewed the pillows shut with a blind stitch.


This technique is so versatile that you could use it in any room of the house. How about printing a similar duvet and large square euro pillows for a master bedroom!

My little one is the most excited about our new drapes because she gets another hiding place!

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