At “From Scratch” Summer Camp, we made everything ourselves: our journals, our snacks, a bench for the host school, and our very own camp t-shirts. Thanks to Evan from Evan Webster Ink, we learned all about screen printing and turned our design ideas into an awesome wearable camp souvenir. Check out how we did it:
On our second day, once we’d gotten an idea of what From Scratch Camp was like, we all sat down to draw. We illustrated our favorite part of camp (so far) using dark markers on small pieces of white paper. We would be using one ink color, blue, on a bright green shirt. Evan, our printer friend, needed a black and white image to create our screen. We also wrote out our names so they could be included in our final design.
That night, I scanned all of our illustrations and assembled them into one black and white image using Photoshop. Each camper’s name and illustration can be found in the composite image to the left! Evan then took that image and burned it onto one of his screens. On the last day of camp, Evan came with ink, tools, the screen, t-shirts, and a dryer.
We all watched as Evan showed Joe how to print his own camp shirt. First they put a hard board inside the shirt for a nice flat printing surface. Next they put the screen down perfectly straight. Then, Joe took the squeegee and pulled the dark blue ink down over the screen. Evan did it a second time to make sure the print was perfect. When they lifted the screen off the shirt, we could see our printed camp design! The shirt was then laid out under the dryer to harden the ink. In less than five minutes, Joe’s camp t-shirt was ready to wear!
Throughout the morning, we each took a turn screen printing with Evan. Every camper – from our shyest to our most active, and from our youngest to our oldest – LOVED making such a professional shirt all by themselves.
At the end of every day, each camper added an entry to their camp journal. T-shirt making rose to the top for everyone that day! Before saying goodbye on our last day of camp, we all put on our new t-shirts and wore them with pride for a group photo. Thanks so much Evan and Evan Webster Ink for making this activity possible!