Screenprinting in Brooklyn

[excuse the clutter of my laundry]

This past Saturday I drove to Brooklyn for a t-shirt screenprinting workshop I signed myself up for. Back in high school I did a lot of stenciling on t-shirts, and when I was in college I started getting into screenprinting after majoring in graphic design & was getting better at designing. I asked my dad to help me make some wooden frames, bought some emulsion, ink, etc and would develop screens in my dorm room and shared bathroom. I was hooked! I made some t-shirts for myself and printed a couple designs on shirts and bags for my Etsy shop at the time. (When I mean a couple, I mean literally a few– I was doing this very small scale!) I eventually even printed t-shirts for an on campus club I was a part of.

Since college, I haven’t done too much screenprinting and I’ve been itching to get back into it. I thought about how I could be taking more advantage of my surroundings since moving closer to the city–I did some research and found a couple screenprinting studios right in Brooklyn.

Here’s the process of my design — initial sketch, finished digital version on transparency film, and pushing ink through the screen.

When I got there the folks at Gowanus print lab had our screens developed so we could just go ahead and print print print! I wish I could have taken more photos when I was there but my hands were busy handling the ink and squeegee!

I was able to print on 5 shirts, a tote bag, and some poster paper. Also, i’m super glad I picked the silver ink. I learned a lot and loved being able to print in a professional place instead of the hard way I was doing it before.

I can’t wait to go back and do some more printing. When I do make more, this is likely to be the first screenprinted design in the shop. I’ve been planning on putting shirts & bags in there sometime soon and this was just the kick in the ass I needed :)

Quick DIY: Desk Drawer Makeover

Once upon a time I made the mistake of lending my brother a set of drawers from Ikea that I wasn’t currently using. He used it when he moved off campus in college, and when he returned the furniture came back a little beat up. You can’t totally blame him though, Ikea stuff is cheap and not meant to be permanent.

I thought of ways to cover up the dings, but I felt that strategically placed stickers wouldn’t look too classy. I remembered I had some vintage contact paper i’d been saving and thought i’d be a perfect & easy solution.

All you have to do:
1. Take out one of your drawers and trace around the front of it on a large piece of paper or a couple paper bags taped together. Cut a little past the line (towards the inside) and you have a template.
2. Cut a piece of contact paper for each drawer using your template. Peel the backing off the paper and press onto the drawer surface starting at the middle (make sure the drawers are clean!) I wasn’t sure if it would stick too well since my contact paper was old, it did for awhile but started peeling back a bit so I used some spray adhesive to keep them in place. Worked like a charm.

Easy, cheap update. (I have to replace my leopard print chair now because it clashes!)

Make Your Own External Hard Drive

Recently my portable external hard drive kicked the bucket. Like anyone would, I immediately felt panic by not having any backup of my things besides some important files I had in Dropbox. So, I needed to buy a new one pretty quickly. I remembered my brother showing me that hard drive enclosures exist (big props to him) and I removed the perfectly working drive from my old Macbook to turn it into an external one, instead of buying something new. This is especially good if you already have an old hard drive like I did! Saves a lot of money. Here’s a quick how-to.

You will need:
– An internal hard drive, brand new or used
Hard drive enclosure
– Small screwdriver

If you have a SATA hard drive (most are) make sure that you purchase an enclosure that supports it. Also, be sure it is the correct size (2.5″ is usually laptop drive size.) I bought a cheap enclosure off Amazon–most come with the USB cable as well. You may not even need a screwdriver as some cool enclosures are tool free. The hard drive I used is a 360GB Seagate. When I removed it from my old Macbook I had to unscrew it from a piece of metal casing so it was totally freed.

If you don’t have an old drive and are buying a new one, I would recommend a laptop drive if you want it to be portable. If you get a desktop drive you will need to connect it to a power source.

The rest is easy peasy. It varies by what you purchased–in this case you match the connecter with the hard drive and slide it in the enclosure. Screw it in & you’re ready to connect via USB.

Now it’s time to format it!

Too Short Dress Makeover

I bought this adorable used handmade dress on eBay. It was a bit long for my liking so I took the scissors to it. The dress has a circle skirt so it was challenging to hem & I ended up taking too much off leaving me with too short of a dress. The solution? Eyelet lace trim!

I bought the widest trim I could find to give the skirt the extra length it needed. It worked out perfectly! I was afraid the white would stand out too much but it looks nice with the tiny white contrast stripes in the plaid. I really love the color combo.

The dress is a bit big for me size wise but a belt definitely helps. The person who made it even included belt loops :)

Crafty: Modcloth DIY Dress Challenge // + Tutorial

I wasn’t quite sure what to call this post– but here goes anyway!

I luckily snagged this dress when it went on sale on Modcloth probably a year ago: Record Store Sweetheart Dress made by YA Los Angeles.

record store sweetheart dress

I love the cute casual summer dress, but I wished I could have another one in different, darker colors and a not-so-sheer bottom. That didn’t exist, so I decided to challenge myself to make my own! This is how it came out:

finished dress

I documented the process of figuring out how to make the similar styled frock and wrote up a tutorial. It has quite a bit of steps so I put it up on Flickr as a set.

6- Elastic casing

Plaid & Ruffle Front Summer Dress Tutorial on Flickr

9- Final, hem bottom

Let me know if you make one!