Screen printing T-Shirts

Hi, I am back from my trip and ready to dive back in to screen printing.

Some have expressed interest in doing a run of T-shirts, either just to just have for the members or to have on hand as merchandise. I think that is a great idea, not only as a project but also as a good starting point to see what screen printing can do. I figure I will create a new thread for this project.

So each T-shirt will cost about 4-5 dollar, once setup and tear down costs are included. The more we make, the lower the cost. This will also be a good teaching material for workshops.

So now the questions:

How many Tshirts are we thinking of making?
How will such projects be funded?
What is the design? (or what stuff do we want on it?)

I hope this peaks your interest. I look forward to working with you all.


Thank you for your initiative in Screen Printing, a workshop is an awesome idea!

Hopefully we can use the knowledge for “Screen Etching/Masking” for Printed Circuit Boards (PCB), Solder Paste application, etc.?

In theory it can it can be done. but i am sure in practice everything will be very different. Once we have a basic Tshirt making setup ready, we can explore in that direction.

What are the limitations? As in, am I correct in assuming:

  • Single colour
  • Large / well-defined lines and shapes
  • Stencil-style shapes with no “islands” so that stencils can be cut on the vinyl cutter / laser / exacto-hands?

Never done this, so I’m just taking a stab at requirements :slight_smile:

Single colour for now, eventually growing to multicolour as we get more established and comfortable.

I fair bit a detail is possible. This is something we made with the same equipment at the hackspace right now. This is actually pretty rough as screen printing goes, but as you can see a pretty good start.

Also as you can see, island is fine. So that should really open up the design possibilities.

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Is it one design that everyone uses or is each person doing their own?

A single design, Screen printing set up is the most effective for between 20 and 1000 T-shirts. Any less you might as well use heat transfer vinyl. Any more and it becomes cost effective and labour effective to simply order from a large manufacturing plant.

For design can I suggest the classic VHS t-shirt but updated with the new web address.
Like the ones Dan Royer initially did, the same as what I got done for Maker Faire a few years back.
Black t shirt with white print.
Gilden t shirts are very reasonable off amazon

Ok my amazing partner has made some mock ups
Tell me what you guys think.

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One more revision.


Hey Yeung, I love the initiative here, but being as the VHS tape logo trademark is still actively maintained by its owners, may I suggest an alternative graphic that we own instead:

We did a vinyl cut version of this for the Makerfaire volunteers, and it went over well.

edited to update picture with a better one.

I can ping you the vector in whatever format you like if you want it.


Yeah… i was wondering about that…

That design looks great. Let me get the rest of the set up together and we should be good to go in a week or two.

Funding, how does thing like this get funded. again they will be about $4 dollars per shirt. So how many do we want and where does the money come from.


Here is a good link to some info about running workshops -> You should run a workshop!

As the person giving the workshop you can charge attendees whatever you want and you get to keep 100 percent of the proceeds of your workshop. Folks have used Eventbrite for signups and collecting payments. Other folks have used Paypal, eTransfer, cash as payment options. Whatever you prefer really.

Past workshops have shown that lower costs usually mean more participants.

One thing to keep in mind is that VHS is in no way responsible for any costs associated with any particular workshop. It is up to the person giving the workshop to manage all aspects of the workshop including scheduling, financing, teaching, etc. You can usually find someone to be a bottom liner for your event if you’re not yet a key holder.

If you are planning just a screen print run of VHS t-shirts (i.e. no workshop) then perhaps just make a Talk post to find out interested folks and ask them to eTransfer you $$.


The plan was the have the work shop be the run of VHS T-shirts, as in the attendee will help finish the T-shirts. The best way to learn is to do right.

I will put something together when I get things a little more set up.

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I’ll help design a logo we own if that’s an issue.
Also I have a little screen printing experience and could be of help if you need it

What about using a “glitch” font if the BoD (or members) are concerned using the original “Lee” font?

glitch_font hacked_font


While those actually looks really good, but this is a much bigger conversation that we are not ready for. For now I think we will use designs we have already used in the past.

Brand identity and a brand guide is much more then just about having a logo, it is also a political process that requires members of the community to be consulted, so that the final logo is authoritative, and have broad based support. (As an minor anarchist, I threw up in my mouth a little typing that). That discussion is too big to be had in a “let’s print some T-shirts for fun” thread.

We might want to take that on especially as the community grows. But for now I think using a pacman design is good enough for the purposes of getting people started on screen printing.


Sounds great @yeungx. I totally agree. Looking forward to the screenprinting. Cheers!