Golden Birthday Shirt, DIY Silk Screen

Do you know what a golden birthday is? I didn’t until my neighbor explained that her daughter would be celebrating her golden birthday this weekend. Apparently, your golden birthday is when you turn the same age as the day of your birth. Perhaps I didn’t know this because I would have celebrated my golden birthday at the ripe old age of one. At any rate, my little neighbor is celebrating her golden birthday and I am helping her mom put together a glittery golden sparkly rollerskating rave and slumber party to celebrate. (I helped with her karaoke birthday celebration last year as well). My daughter will be a guest at the party, so it seemed like the perfect time to bust out the Silk Screening Kit that Plaid Crafts sent me, to make the perfect glittery shirt for her to wear to the roller-rink (along with her newly-gold glitter spray-painted roller skates. SHHHH….don’t tell! It’s a secret).

Since I wasn’t really sure if I knew what I was doing, this first time around, I didn’t take pictures for a step by step tutorial, but I have several more projects in mind, so if I get more screens, I will likely do a video tutorial and take you through the process of working with this DIY silk screen kit.

I have always wanted to try silk screening! So this was fun for me. It was exciting to see a DIY kit that is reasonably priced, as well! This Simply Screen Silk Screen kit by Plaid that comes in the funny shaped box above is available at Hobby Lobby for around $40. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous to attempt my project, because it is my understanding that not following the directions precisely can lead to a #craftfail. I’m most comfortable in projects that don’t require precision, so I can chalk up all errors to creative expression. But luckily for me, several talented craft bloggers had tested this product out before me and by studying their posts and following some additional tips from Plaid, I got a great result on my first (semi-ambitious) project! I found Rhonda’s video to be particularly useful, since I am so visual.

The first thing I did was create my design on  the computer. I used the fonts, Channel, Chocolate Box, and Century Gothic in my design. Since I wanted it to overlap, that meant I needed to create two screens.

I started with my solid #10 (as in 10 years old). You attach the printed paper to the lightly adhesive side of the screen and put them inside the box the kit came in to develop. It is a cool design that the box functions as the light box (just don’t destroy it while opening your kit). Here is the tip from Plaid that I think made all of the difference in the world: While exposing your screen, place a piece of glass (like from a picture frame) on top of your paper and screen! This allows the light through, but keeps the screen and the paper close together to create a clean line.  Also, try and use the correct weight of paper and expose for exactly 25 mins, as the directions state. Under or over-“cooking” the screen even by 5 mins. will lessen it’s effectiveness. You can imagine my relief, when my number 10 came out so clearly after some gentle scrubbing, with the tray and sponge provided. Hooray!

I had a little more difficulty scrubbing out the fine lines of the font in my 2nd screen, but with a little persistence, was still able to get a pretty clean design. I was excited to paint on my #10 as soon as the 1st screen was dry. I found this black t-shirt at the dollar store and thought it would be the best color to compliment the sparkle we were going for. Initially I painted the “10” white. You position the screen where you want it on the shirt. I placed a barrier inside the shirt to be sure no paint would go where it wasn’t wanted. I also taped the edges of the screen down. Then I squirted a line of white paint just above the design on the screen and used the provided tool to push the paint down and through the screen.

This was my first reveal! Beautiful, right? As it dried, the color became a bit less opaque on this black back ground I decided it would need another coat or two of paint, and thought it ought to have a bit of glimmer instead of plain white.

In a moment of spontaneous crafting insanity, I squeezed alternating globs of silver and gold paint on the side of the 10 design this time. When I drug them over the screen, I was surprised to see how clear of a striped design they created. A little too clear for this design, so I went back over the top with a little more gold to tone down the effect. I did think it was cool to discover how I could create designs by playing with the colors like that! These paints are quite shimmery on their own, so I debated a bit about the need for glitter or not, but since this birthday is about bling and I was having fun playing, I decided to go for it with the second part of the design.

I wasn’t sure how opaque the glitter would be, so I used the gold paint first. Since I was screening right on top of the 10 I had to wait a while and make sure that was completely dry before proceeding. When the gold layer was set, I re-positioned my screen and applied the adhesive medium over the top of the gold. After removing the screen, I used the cute little glitter tube to squeeze glitter all over the design (it has a little nozzle that helps you direct where it goes, so you don’t get it all over the shirt in the process–nice!) Removed the excess and let it dry.

NOTE: At the time of this posting, I have not yet heat-set the glitter, nor tried to wash the shirt, so I cannot report on how well it lasts. But I’m sure it will be great for the most important event this weekend!

I was pretty stoked about the finished product and called my own 10-year-old out to be my model for a quick photoshoot, before we wrap it up!

Doesn’t she look glam?

I had a great time working with this kit and have several other projects in mind! The screens are reusable, so this will be perfect for family reunion t-shirts for the big reunions I have going on this summer. I can create one design and maybe change out the colors or the types of shirts for the different families. So many customization options!

I am all about homemade Christmas gifts and I this could be a great way to create several. You could make bookbags, onesies, wall hangings. Other bloggers made pillows or home decor items. Especially if you came up with a design that could be used for several different gifts. If you do use this kit, I strongly recommend reading through the posts of the other bloggers that have used it and watching the video tutorials first. There is also a test strip in the kit that you can experiment with first, so you don’t waste your screens. I am told that Plaid is working to improve the directions and provide more resources to help you out. Once you’ve mastered the learning curve, there are so many projects you could do that make this kit very worthwhile at this price point!

I hope you like my glittery gift! Now I’m off to attempt to make a 3D golden roller skate cake and officially earn the title of worlds’ nicest/craziest neighbor. Wish me luck!

DISCLOSURE: Thanks to Plaid Crafts for sending me this kit and compensating me for my time in posting this review. As always, all opinions, ideas, craft hits or misses, and cute kids, are my own!

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  1. This is amazing, Kendra! Great job!


  2. Really cool shirt! You will make her golden birthday even more special!

    I love the stripe effect. The stripes really do look precise! Can’t wait to try that myself.

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  1. […] You can see the shirt I screened as her birthday present here. […]

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