Summer is officially over for us. My 5 year old started kindergarten and it’s going to rain all week. Here’s what I have to say—Hallelujah! I loved this summer but I’m super excited for the fall. My kids have been getting really bored at home so I’m sure that going to school will just help everyone be a little happier.
We had some great memories this summer, from lots of trips to swimming pools and splash pads, to our family trip to San Diego, to the family reunion up at Bear Lake, Idaho. I wanted to share the little reunion craft ideas that we made this year, even though I know summer reunion time is probably done with. However, you can always be inspired for next year or any other group gathering where a craft is in need.
This project was a simple screen printing project. I say ‘simple’ here because it really is simple. Once you get the hang of using the screen printer, it’s easier for me than using a craft cutter (because seriously, no matter how many times I use it, it always ends up taking me at least an hour or more just to cut out one design.)
I’ve done another post on this a couple years ago but here’s the run-down of how it works:
MAKING A SCREEN:
1) Buy the screen printing kit at Hobby Lobby. It’s called Simply Screen or something. Get a few of the screen paints as well and maybe some extra screens. The kit itself is $40 but you can use your 40% off coupon. And if you want to make a whole bunch of screen printed custom tee-shirts then it’s worth it.
2) The box is kind of a weird shape but don’t throw it away, it’s the actual screen printer. Set it up according to the instructions so that the lightbulb is set in the top of the box. Then take the glass out of an old frame.
3) Create a design that you want to screen print…just design something on the computer (or have your super talented niece do it) and print it out, that’s all. No reversing the paper or anything, just print it out. Then you pull out the screen, it’s blue. You put the paper on the screen and put the glass on top of them inside the box. The glass will hold it down firmly so that the light can burn through the screen.
4) Put the box in a dark room (I use that bathroom) and set the timer for 25 minutes exactly. Don’t forget to turn on the light bulb! Once the timer goes off, go turn off the light bulb and take out the screen. Use the provided emulsion tub and sponge to scrub off the screen in the areas that were burned…this shouldn’t be too hard but make sure you get all the blue out because you will have a much cleaner print that way. And once you’ve created the screen, you can use it over and over again.
PRINTING A SCREEN:
1) Tape your dry screen onto the material you want to print on…just a piece of tape across the top is best.
2) Squeeze a line of paint across the top of the screen.
3) Use the squeegee to drag the paint down through the screen. Use as much paint as needed to cover the entire screen.
4) Lift off the screen and let it dry.
5) Once it’s dry, cover with a thin cloth and iron the print to set.
(This picture is called Kid Forced to Turn to the Wall So Mom Can Take Picture of Backpack)
I’ll be honest here…this was a project I thought the older kids would be able to do, but they still struggled a little. So unless there is plenty of adult supervision, this might be a stressful project for kids. But it was fun to do with my sisters in law and everyone was happy to have a cute little screen printed backpack (which I purchased on Oriental Trading.)
For the littler kids I purchased some of those wooden snake thingies that can slither around and they just colored them with markers. It was the first time I’ve done a reunion craft that didn’t end up with me bent over a glue gun for four hours. Hooray! (I also bought these on Oriental Trading.)