So we decided yonks ago to do screen printed bags for our favors.
I wanted the design to be a bit more intricate than a hand cut stencil, which I would normally use, so I had decided to get a screen made.
I found a website by a local artist that made thermofax screens. Similar to an emulsed screen, and I didn’t have to mess around with emulsion and all that stuff.
Like usual, I left it to the last minute to organise this. Annoyingly, the company that made the supplies for thermofax screens, no longer make the materials and the artist could no longer make the screens.
Enter plan B. I found a product “StencilPro” “Eziscreen” at Eckersleys. This is basically a pre-emulsed screen that can be exposed at home. It’s not cheap, but it is fun to play with! And I didn’t need to worry about emulsion.
To start, I made a design. My preferred design program is Adobe Illustrator.
Then you print this out on a transparent film. Using my inkjet printer, it never really dried. I used the tissue paper the transparencies came in to gently blot away some of the excess, but be careful while handling not to smudge. I do wonder how a laser printer would react to the film.
Now’s the fun bit. Exposing the design. Because the “StencilPro” mesh is light sensitive, you need to do this in a dark place. I went into my walk-in-robe, leaving the door open to get the smallest amount of light, so I could see what I was doing. I used a piece of cardboard to sit everything on. On top of the cardboard I placed the mesh, and then the transparency on top of that. I used two bulldog clips to hold it all in place. Be aware though, that this will not expose and an area will wash out from under the area the clips sit. This was not an issue for me, as they were hidden under the frame.
Following the instructions on the packet, I exposed my screen in the sun light for 16 seconds, before curing it in a bucket of water.
Using a paint brush, I gently brushed away the areas which were not exposed, revealing my design. I gently dried it off with a towel. Then let it dry completely for a few minutes.
I attached this to a plastic frame I picked up at the same time as the mesh. I exposed a second one too, and attached it to a cardboard frame, using gaffa tape to seal the cardboard.
Then it was time to print!
Just for the record, the screen product comes with several small squares to experiment with exposure times before using the full sheets of it. I do suggest using them. My first test exposure didn’t work too well, my second did and I was confident to do the full screen. But I ended up exposing the design a second time, as some of the lines were too fine and weren’t printing so well. So I went back into Illustrator and re-did some of the line work.
I have 60 of these bags to make over the next week and a half. I’m doing a few everyday, so they will get done! I have blue, red, yellow and purple paint to play with, and a green on the way! These should fit in nicely with our “colourful” theme for our wedding.
And just in case you were wondering why we went with “Wedding Survival Kits” as favors… “Zombie Survival Kits” are one of Guys favorite things to make for friends and family for Christmas, so this was an extension on his love of making survival kits 🙂
We were umming and ahhing about what to do for a wishing well for the upcoming wedding. I thought it might be cool to do something in a similar fashion to Guy’s BAR sign.
So we ran with the idea. Gathering more rustic fence palings from The Green Shed, and dipping into our paint stash.
Firstly we needed to cut the palings down to size, so we (tried to) cut them in half. We’re not great with measuring, so we didn’t get them exactly in half and ended up cutting a small piece of one side as well.
Once everything was cut to the right size, we painted them in the same rainbow pattern as the BAR sign and left them to dry.
We used a piece of off cut, left over from our poor measuring skills, to screw each plank into a box like shape, and a simple lid.
We left a gab in the middle of the lid so people can “post” their cards and well wishes.
I found a font I liked, wrote “Wishing Well” and printed it off. Then I used my awesome tracing skills to trace it on the side of the box. I have been using a ballpoint to trace over the design, this leaves an indent that I can go back over with a pencil. This method didn’t work for this, the wood was too hard. So I created my own carbon paper by couring in the paper on the back of the design, so when you use your ballpoint to trace over the design, it leaves a line, just how carbon paper does.
I painted in the writing with white paint.
We plan on lining the box with fabric.
It’s very rustic and colourful! It is going to look amazing with the rest of our decorations!
The weekend just past, my lovely sister and sister-in-law threw me a hens party.
As much as I told everyone I didn’t want to have one, and as much as I stressed about it right up until people started to arrive, I had so much fun, and glad it went ahead.
I organised a bit of a stitching project. I had to keep it really simple, as most people in attendance don’t sew all that much.
Everyone was given this information:
“This is going to be a collaborative project, where everyone has the opportunity to design and sew their own square. These will then be stitched to a larger backing cloth to become a wall hanging, and a way for me to remember this time of my life for years to come and all the amazing people here to help me celebrate.
I want every ones piece to be their own, but I understand not many people sew. To keep it simple, I’ve set up a few things for you. I’ve chosen to work with felt as it is a non-woven fabric, which means it doesn’t fray and is super forgiving during the sewing process.
I have cut squares which are six inches in size, so anything you do, it must fit on these. You can make as many squares as you like, but I anticipate most people will only make one tonight. If you find it an absolutely awful experience, don’t stress, enjoy some food and beverages and ask one of the super sewers to help out.
I’ve provided some basic shapes as a starter. Use these as your base to build upon, either with stitching, embellishment or layer the shapes together to create your own image.
For inspiration Google, or Pinterest “wool applique”. Anything with a simple shape can be made!”
And sheets of simple shapes I had prepared earlier :
And a stitch guide…
Mum bought mountains of embroidery threads, buttons and felt. I cut 6 inch squares for every one, and the rest was pretty much left to every ones imagination!
I was really impressed how everyone took the concept and came up with their own square! Of course, it couldn’t be a hens party without at least one adults only patch! (and if we’re honest, lots of typically themed hens party games, but I’ll spare you the details!)
My lovely friend T organised some games for us to enjoy. One of which was using remnant fabric to make “wedding dresses”. For this one we split into two teams, me being the “model” for one team and my sister-in-law for the other team. Everyone else had 5 mins to use the fabric to create a dress for us.
T also organised some flower crown making. With some lengths of plastic, leafy, vine, and colourful napkins. The flowers were made in a similar fashion as the ones I made here. We made different sizes by cutting the serviettes down.
And my front yard isn’t looking as sparse as it was when I showed you all the copper trellis I made for it. We have since put in grass, an apricot tree, two passion fruits, a corn field and a gravel path. The “corn field” was/is meant to be a temporary garden. We had a lot of dirt left over from laying the grass, and have always wanted to grow corn in my front yard, and I somehow convinced Guy it would be a great idea. So I planted approx 90 corn seeds, and I’m hoping they all grow. I believe the deal I made was “as long as we can build a scarecrow for it”. So I’ve added a scarecrow to my to-do list.
The back yard is all planted up now too. We are keeping the tomatoes covered for the next couple of weeks to try and avoid any late frosts. We’ve planted so many different things, I couldn’t tell you right now what I’m expecting to pop up in the coming weeks! It will be full of surprises!
Somehow a hens party got organised for me, after being very clear that I did not want one, and last week I had to make decisions about stuff (which is what I was trying to avoid). Anyways, I decided for an “activity” we should do a collaborative wall hanging. It’s this Saturday and I still have no idea where this is taking us. I’m thinking maybe applique and embroidering felt shapes together in a kind of felt medallion kind of style. This should mean those who don’t sew can keep it really simple, and those that do can go nuts on the embellishments.
It’s just over four weeks until the wedding. My to-do list looks like this :
Design and buy all the stuff for a “hens embroidery party”
Finish dress (finish beading, sew together, hem)
Put bouquet together (flowers are finished, just need to arrange and secure)
Paint a bunch of glass jars
Sew approx 20 covers for milk crates
Finish designing, then have made, then print, a screen print design for the favors bags. Then assemble bags.
Finish the LOVE sign (figure out supports and paint)
Make little tables (Cut circles of plywood and attach to cable reels)