Garrett Shirts

Inky Bears – a One Off Stencil-Flipping TShirt Experiment

For the live tshirt printing at DesignBox I had to research a new method for printing… I didn’t want to use a screen because they clog quickly and have to be cleaned soon after you’re finished. Not great for one offs. I chose to use stencils, spray mount and these little roller brushes used for trim painting in houses.

While printing that night I thought of flipping the stencil and using 2 different colors. Every time you flip the stencil you’ll get the ink pressed on from the side you just printed. Make sense? So here’s an inky bear (my newest little critter) printed using this method:



Obviously the print right before that I did a red inky bear.

So… the night I printed the inkybears I got so excited I ended up printing a whole shirt. Here’s one row:

Here’s the front of the shirt:

Here’s the back:

I’m not sure I’ll wear it that much – it’s a little busy, even for me. But still, it was a blast making it and I can’t remember having more fun printing! I’m normally so concerned about smudges and spills and what not but this method lets me lean the other way into happy smudgery.

For the DIYers out there, here’s the stencil and the little trim roller that I used for printing. That little roller works sweet, and it comes in its own little plastic tray at HomeDepot. They’re way too expensive for what they are but they work perfect.

Here’s a closer view of the roller I used:

I haven’t made shirts for “fun” in a long time… I mean, it’s my hobby and everything and I love the process I’ve developed over the years but this process allowed for spur of the moment decisions and an engagement with the medium that I haven’t felt for a long time. Yay for stencil flipping!

Let me know if you’d like more detailed process info – I may write up an instructable. G. Also – sorry for the weird blueness of the photos. Not sure why that happened, by photogurphy isn’t my thing ;P


Categorised as: Inspirations, One Offs


One Comment

  1. [...] got really excited after the inkybear stencil flip experiments… I thought how cool it would be if the stencils ended in some kind of “texture” [...]