October 3rd, 2009
Hi, Mr Project here. You may know me from the website idsketching.com, or from the occasional layout my my wonderfully talented (and beautiful) wife – JenAllyson, the project girl. In any case, I’m lucky to be a guest blogger today on theprojectgirl.com
Earlier this summer, we were contacted by Provo Craft and given the opportunity to test out their awesome silk screening machine, the YuDu. I must say, it’s simple enough to use and we had a great time using it. We tried to think of what our first project would be and decided to use the YuDu to create some nifty shirts for our then upcoming family reunion. I tried to design them, but ultimately, the project girl won out, and we went with her awesome “vintagey” design for the silk screening process.
The yudu comes in a box (LARGE) with everything you need to get started – some water based ink, emulsion, two screens, transparencies, a squeegee and instruction card. I highly suggest searching for a video online of how the process actually works before you dive right in. it certainly helped prepare me for the heartache that lie ahead.
First things first, find yourself an assistant. Mine happened to be the project girl, and I was in good hands. We signed up to do about 30 shirts. Looking back, I would have tried to find three or four assistants to help with the process. Jen took care of the design and we printed it on our Epson wide format printer at home. Things didn’t go too well with the first design (sordid details of which I will forgo discussing); needless to say, we rethought things and settled with a much simpler design.
Printing the design was fairly easy. All we needed to do was make sure we printed on the right side of the provided transparency. There are two sides to it, so just be sure the side you print on (especially if you have an inkjet printer) is the sticky side.
Once your design is finalized and printed, you can step into the yudu process.
The yudu comes with a few sheets of emulsion. Emulsion reacts to light so it comes in a black bag. You want to make sure you don’t leave it out TOO long when working with it. It starts out green and changes color to blue when exposed to the light. So . . . What we did is cut the emulsion to the size of the design to save as much of it as we could (it’s super expensive for new sheets)
1. We wet the screen with a damp paper towel so that it’s not drenched, but moist.
2. Apply the emulsion with the squeegee. In this picture, you can see the first application of the emulsion that we tried. Be SURE to take the plastic film off the emulsion before putting it on the screen. Te next step will also be critical as well.
3. Dry the emulsion. The yudu comes with a nifty tray below the lighted surface that has built in fans., In our first attempt to get the emulsion to stick to the screen, the fans didn’t do enough for us, so this time, we used a BLOWDRYER. I highly recommend it if you have a yudu or are thinking about getting one. It’s definitely one thing they could improve in the next version of the yudu. A heated drying compartment would be ideal for making sure the emulsion sticks to the screen.
4. Place the design on the reverse side of the screen. Packaging tape works great for masking the rest of the screen from the ink application as well as securing your design in place. Where you place your cut and cropped design is where it’ll show up on the tee shirt once you center it on the included platen. The top of the yudu comes with 4 indexing pegs that let you keep the screen in the right place when exposing the screen to set the design. Once we placed our design as outlined by the instructions, we put a jar of rice on top for weight and set the timer and let the screen expose for around 15 minutes. It needs to be exposed long enough to have the screen go from bright green to a deep blue color. The parts that aren’t exposed will be green and will be removable with a light rinse of water.
5. Once the emulsion has set, rinse the screen with warm water (I think! ) and the green areas should rinse away. Be sure to rub it gently. We tried with a rough sponge at first and it ended up destroying the emulsion and also the design and had to start over.
6. Once the emulsion was dry, would start applying the design to our 30 shirts. We masked the exposed screen area with saran wrap and packaging tape so that the ink wouldn’t spill over to other areas of the shirt. When applying the ink, be sure to have enough. We had trouble the first few times with splotchy application simply because we didn’t have enough ink, or “flood” the screen first. You can read about that in the instructions that come with the yudu or check out videos of others using it online.
7. Squeegeeing was the hardest part. Man it was a workout. It was also challenging trying to figure out the right pressure, amount of ink, and how fast to apply the ink. I suggest getting a test shirt and trying it out a few times before you commit to that final stroke. From what I hear as well, the “super” squeegee with rubber blade works much better than the one included in the box. Jen handled the drying of the shirts with a blowdryer and placing them on the platen, and I took care of all the squeegeeing. Like I said before, It might be worth getting a few assistants to help out if you plan on doing more than 5 shirts. It’s a chore!
8. Once the shirt is done, you can hit it with a blowdryer, set it to the side, and repeat. Be sure to not let the ink dry on the screen. One thing we learned from the first run was that waiting too long between applications caused the screen to clog up a bit, resulting in a splotchy and uneven application. One way to avoid this is to “flood” the screen with ink while you’re removing the t-shirt and replacing it with another.
All in all, it was a great experience. i’d never screen printed before and we made some awesome shirts together, mostly due to Jen’s awesome design skills and assistance.
Some things I liked were the indexing pins for the screen, the storage bay for your screens, and the teeshirt platen. I think I forgot to mention is has a slightly sticky surface so that your shirt or application surface stays fixes when the squeegee party starts.
I’d like to see a heated drying area in the next iteration, and perhaps a way to lock the screen in place when opening the top door of the yudu. We found that sometimes the screen would fall off when we opened the door to change the teeshirts. Also, beware of rogue ink. We had to quickly wash a teeshirt and let it dry because of some stray ink on our worksurface.
All in all the yudu is a great product and helped us make our family reunion tee shirts, which EVERYONE absolutely loved. I look forward to the next version and hope some key improvements will be made as well.
Mr Project out!
March 5th, 2009
I have the cutest little pantry in my kitchen. It is about 4.5 feet tall and has a little glass door and a nice wide ledge. Ever since I moved here, I have been wanting some fabulous and large glass canisters to put on top. I was so happy a few weeks ago, when I found these beautiful 2.5 gallon canisters at Amazon:
My birthday just happened to be this week, and I asked for three of these puppies (I put a few more on my wedding registry because I love them so much. I want to do one for Rice and one for Bread Flour).
As soon as I got them, I filled them up with flour, sugar, and rolled oats. But what I really couldn’t wait to do, was to make labels for them! Here they are looking adorable on my pantry:
The glass on these jars is a little wavy and imperfect, and I love the dark lids – they definitely have an antique feel. So I made some cute distressed labels (available for download at the end of this post). I printed and cut them out and they were super cute…
… but I really wanted them to have an older feel than just flat printed paper. So I pulled out some supplies:
> a moist/wet paper towel
> distressing ink – Tim Holtz Antique Linen & vintage photo
> emry board – fine sand paper will do
> A flat clean work surface that can get wet/messy.
I printed my labels on regular bond paper. I recommend testing your distressing process on some test paper before going at the printed items. Also if you get water on an inkjet print, it will run, so if you want to get really down and dirty, print your labels with a laser printer. I didn’t worry about the ink running on the lighter parts of the design, but I did try and keep the paper away from the letters since they are so dark.
Step 1: Crinkle your labels. I recommend bigger, deeper folds and creases. As long as the paper is dry, you can be pretty rough with it. I bent and tore and creased quite a bit so that the ink would have a lot of fun detail to hold onto:
Step 2: Wet your labels. I used a wet paper towel to dab water around the edges. You definitely want the paper soaked, but not so much that it tears or bleeds into the center. You have to work fast at this point because it needs to be pretty wet for the next step. You may want to do step 2 & step 3 to one side at a time to keep your paper from drying too fast.
Step 3: Once you have a wet edge, go ahead and use the lighter ink on the wet parts. The ink should bleed as soon as it hits the water and create a “dying” effect as opposed to an “inking” effect. This will make it look aged and not just inked. After a little light inking, I applied just a tiny bit of dark inking on some of the edges:
At this point your paper will be pretty wet and your wrinkles will have disappeared, but they will come back. Just finish each label and set them aside to dry. I let mine dry about 30 minutes. Here is how they looked after I let them sit for a bit:
I love how aged they look and how stiff they feel after drying. I will definitely use this technique on more projects in the future.
If I had printed them on a laser printer, I would have made the entire label more “dyed” looking, but I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.
Attaching the labels was really easy, I used a large glue-dot in each corner. I don’t recommend this if you have a lot of people accessing your canisters, but I know its enough adhesive for my uses with the upside being that I can change them out pretty easy when I get bored of the look. You could use spray adhesive or run them through a larger xyron after they have dryed completely. If you printed on a laser printer, I imagine you could use Mod Podge, just test it on the glass first to see if it drys clear enough.
Here is a before & after shot. I really should have taken a before shot when the pantry was covered in half-empty flour and sugar bags, paper plates & food boxes.
I love how they look, how big the labels are, and just the overall vintage styling with the large black lids + the aged labels. So yummy.
You can really see the variety in the glass from this photo. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!
As promised, here is the label file. I did have to make it just a smidge smaller than the one I used in order to fit all the labels on one 8.5×11.
Download this label file and enjoy (for personal use only ). Please tell your friends to come visit the site and download their own labels. I would love a comment if you do download!
Each of these files are a 8.5″x11″ PDF. Use Acrobat Reader to open the file and print as many as you like! Happy project-ing!
If you are another blog or crafting site and would like to link this project to your site, please contact me. Thanks!
xoxo Jen Allyson
February 7th, 2009
I am sure there are some of you out there who have a big binder or recipe book full of disorganized recipe cards. I know I have been planning on organizing mine for the past 7 years. I decided a few weeks ago that I would design some cute tabs and cards and just get it done. I was talking to my friend Carina and we decided to design a few different sets and sell them as digital kits in our Two Peas in a Bucket stores.
I designed the cute bird set that you see above as well as as adorable pink and red cherry set. Here you can see all the items:
As you can see, each set has 4 tabed cards (4 with labels and 4 blank for you to customize), 1 3×5 recipe card (one with lines and one without), 1 kitchen note design, 5 large canister labels and a background pattern that you can print on the back of your items.
The first step to make the organized recipe box is to print out the background paper image for as many recipe cards and tabbed dividers as you want. Then flip the paper over in your printed and print out those tabbed dividers and recipe cards. I set all mine up in photoshop on an 8.5×11 canvas size so that I could print out 4 per paper. Once they are printed, go ahead and cut each item out. I used scissors, but a nice paper trimmer would make pretty short work of the job.
Note the background paper is now printed on the backside of my items. So adorable!
If you are pretty computer savvy, you can fill out the blank recipe cards in a photo editing program such as photoshop or photoshop elements, otherwise you can just print out the lined recipe cards and write on them by hand.
Even if you print your cards with the recipes already on them, its probably a good idea to have some extra lined cards for new recipes.
Once you have all your recipes written down, go ahead and place them in your recipe box and organize! See that wasn’t so bad – and it looks so good!
This kit and other “Kitchen 1-2-3″ kits (Carina has 3 other styles for sale as well) will be available for purchase on Tuesday February 10th from Two Peas in a Bucket!
January 15th, 2009
My First Project! And hopefully the first of many.
I did something unthinkable to me just 6 months ago… I set out to start AND finish a personal project and I actually did it! I do so many projects for work and if I do have any free time, I usually spend it on facebook or surfing the internet. So first of all, I’m so very proud of myself. Secondly, I can’t believe I successfully used my sewing machine! About 13 months ago I bought an amazing sewing/embroidery machine and have yet to sew something completely by myself on it.
So I wanted to start with something fairly simple… ya know a good warm up to this uncharted territory of actually completing a project. About 6 months ago I bought a sewing project kit by Amy Butler. It has patterns of neat stuff AND even came with some fabric.
The box that I bought from Barnes & Noble
This is what the pattern shows is the "Final Product"
What you’ll need for this project:
1. Fabric – The pattern specifies wool. In my project closet I found 1 fat square of wool and a few bits of felt. I think this project would be fun in all felt — and no frayed edges.
2. A few basic sewing items: scissors, ruler, chalk pencil, seam ripper, thread, needle, pins . After having completed the project, I would recommend a rotary cutter for the squares.
You can see why I need a new pin cushin...
3. A Sewing Machine
4. Apparently it is necessary to have an iron to sew… But I don’t have one… So I used my Flat iron to get the fabric flat.
After you have wrinkle-free fabric, you need to measure and cut it. I couldnt find my fabric ruler, so I used a tape measure… My mother would be mortified, but it worked! I marked 3.5″ along a straight looking edge of fabric and then cut the whole strip.
After I cut out one strip, I layed it on top of the fabric and cut out an identical strip.
I then layed the two strips on each other but at a 90 degree angle to get the perfect height for my pieces. Once I had a 3.5″ x3.5″ square, I layed it on the other 3.5″ fabric strips to cut squares.
You will need 6 squares for this project.
Once you have the squares, you pretty much start sewing. If you are using a loose wool, you should sew a “stay stitch” which is basically a stitch close to the edge so that it does not frey.
After you have done the stay stitching, Start with 2 squares and sew the 4 squares to each other in a row. Keep the right sides facing inward/toward each other, because you’ll want the raw edges showing on your pin cushin.
After you sew the squares to each other, you’ll want to sew the row ends together to make an “open” cube like this:
Okay now for the tricky part… The pattern instructs you to pin the remaining squares on the top and bottom of your cube. So i pulled out my trusty pins and started…
This proved fairly difficult and after sewing the first square, I found it fairly unnecessary so I took out all the pins and just held one edge to another while sewing. Please note that all raw edges are on the outside of the cube.
sewing with the annoying pins
Next I had to do the same thing to the bottom — but only on 3 sides. This I did completely without the needles and it worked just fine.
the bottom sewn on three sides… waiting for stuffing
So I don’t have any stuffing in my closet, so when I got to this point I thought I would just walk 2 minutes to the local quilting shop… Well I walk in and ask for batting and they are all sold out! What was I to do?? I had to get this post out for my readers! So I did what any crazed crafter would do…
I found a pillow!
and some scissors!
Hehe I totally cannibalized a pillow… hopefully Mr. Project won’t mind! I don’t recommend it, but I had no other choice!
The pincushion with incriminating pillow stuffing. Note: you'll need about 2.5 times more than you think you will
Okay to the hardest part… sewing the last panel while smooshing a 3.5″ cube through your sewing machine:
But… once that part was over! I had a fabulous cubic pincushion! Just trim all the loose threads and stick in some pins!
Sooooo… there’s my new fabulous pincushion! However, because I am crazy, I couldn’t stop at just a pin cushion… tomorrow I’ll post the other very cool item I made from this same pattern!