I’m such a jeans and t-shirt girl! That’s when I feel my most comfortable and feel like I can really be myself. Sure I love to dress up from time to time but when I do I typically spend most if the time worried about what I’m going to spill on myself! Give me a well fitting pair of jeans and a fun comfy t-shirt and I’m in chill mode. In this post I’m going to show you how easy it is to DIY your own t-shirts with transfers and inks from Chalk Couture.
What you’ll need
- T-shirt. I love 100% cotton t-shirts but a poly/cotton blend is great too. Inking on t-shirts is also a great way to hide any small spills or stains on shirt and get more use out of them!
- Ink mat. Chalk Couture has awesome mats. They not only stop the ink going through onto the surface/fabric behind but are also sticky so keep your fabric in place. If you don’t have a Chalk Couture mat don’t worry a piece of cardboard works too. If using cardboard just take extra care to make sure your fabric doesn’t move around while you are inking.
- Chalkology Ink. So many choices! This is generally the hardest part for me choosing colours as there are so many!
- Chalk Couture Transfer. Select the transfer or transfers you would like to use on your shirt. Remember it’s cool to mix components from different transfer sets.
- Application tools. Depending on the area you need to cover and the intricacy of the transfer design you may need a variety of tools. I like to have a mini, small and multi tool on hand for each colour.
- Sink or bowl. Container with 3-4″ of water to wash your transfer.
- Damp paper towel or washcloth. This is handy in case you get any ink on your fingers. You will want to make she your hands are clean at all times so as not to get messy fingerprints on your shirt – that is unless that’s the look you are going for!
- Iron or heat press.
One of the great thinks about using the Chalkology ink is that it doesn’t dry as quickly as the Chalkology paste so you have more time to work on your project. The slower drying time means that you don’t have to worry as much about areas drying and the ink coming off on the transfer when you remove.
A slower drying time also means you may need to wait a couple of hours or over night until the ink is completely dry before you can heat set.
If using a transfer that has multiple layers you will also need to wait until the first layer is completely dry before apply the second. Having a hairdryer on hand used on a low heat can help speed this process along!
Special note, ink is permanent so unlike using paste on a chalkboard if you make a mistake you typically can’t wipe it off.
I have had limited success removing the stray splatter or bleed by dabbing with a q-tip and a tiny amount of resolve stain remover. However don’t make fabric wet as this will cause even more bleeding.
On less absorbent fabrics small spots may peel off after they have been left to dry completely.
Another thing you can do is turn your error into part of the design. Chalk Couture has so many transfer choices adding a small heart or flower can add to your design as well as hide your boo boo!! Remember only you knows what that flower, start, heart is covering up!
Don’t be scared! Grab an old tea-towel or old shirt to practice on before you move onto your final project. Give yourself plenty of time, relax and enjoy the process.
Making the shirt!
- Set up your work area in a space with good lighting.
- Insert ink mat or cardboard inside the shirt. Make sure that all areas that you are planning on inking are protected underneath. If your ink mat is small you may need to ink a portion and then move your mat.
- Position transfer on shirt. If using multiple components I like to play with the layout before I remove the backing sheets. However if you stick your transfer down and change your mind they are easy to pull off and reposition. Make sure transfer is stuck down well without any wrinkles or bubbles as this can cause the ink to bleed.
NOTE: When using transfers on fabric you generally don’t need to fuzz just remove from the backing sheet and position directly onto the surface.
- Start to apply ink with applicator tool of choice. I try to work from one side to the other with ink as going back and forth can increase the chance of the ink bleeding.
- Once all areas of transfer are covered remove and clean in sink or bowl of water.
- If you are using a transfer with multiple layers ensure the first is completely dry before applying the second. You can even heat set in between layers if you wish.
- Once ink on t-shirt is completely dry heat set with an iron or heat press. Both work well however heat press is much faster. See temperatures and times below.
- I also like to funky up some of my standard shirts by cutting off the collar and cutting a slit at the bottom so I can tie them.
Rock that shirt!
All there is to do wear your shirt with pride and get ready for all the compliments you’ll receive!
Ready to make your own shirt? Send me a message or visit my Chalk site to purchase your supplies.
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