DIY DIY Screen Print

Published on April 1st, 2013 | by Rachel Budke


DIY Screen Printed Sweatshirt

I’ve seen quite a few tutorials online for how to make a DIY Screen Print, and the method I chose to use is the tutorial I found by Calico Skies.  This project does take some time and planning, but it was definitely worth it because the results are super cool!


  • Embroidery Hoop, big enough to fit your design
  • Nylon panty-hose
  • Design of your choice
  • Mod Podge
  • Sharpie
  • Paintbrushes
  • Fabric paint (I used Martha Stewart’s Multi-Surface Paint, color: Wedding Cake)
  • An old gift card/credit card
  • Paper grocery bag
  • Shirt/Sweatshirt (I used the Champ Sweatshirt by Alternative Apparel, Eco Black)


  1. Stretch the nylon panty-hose around your embroidery hoop, making sure that it is tight.
  2. Using a sharpie, trace or draw on the design of your choice.  Make sure you trace it with the side of the hoop with the nylon touching the counter/floor/work surface.  You do not need to reverse your design.
  3. Carefully paint the nylon with Mod Podge on the places that you do not want the paint to go through.  The places that you leave unpainted will be printed onto the shirt.  I would recommend laying down paper or newspaper, because it can get kind of messy! Make sure you do this step with the nylon side facing you, and not touching the table.  Otherwise, it will get stuck to the paper and won’t properly cover the nylon.  As you can see from my pictures, I started doing this the wrong way. ;)
  4. After the first coat of Mod Podge is dry, paint on another coat.  I waited until the next day to paint my second coat.  It helps to hold your embroidery hoop up to a light or window in order to check for places that you may have missed.  Remember to be meticulous when it comes to this step! Let the second coat dry completely.
  5. Place a paper bag inside your shirt or sweatshirt so the paint does not bleed through.  Place the embroidery hoop on top of your shirt, with the nylon directly touching the surface of the fabric.  It helps to have an extra set of hands to hold the hoop steady.  Squirt the paint onto the surface and carefully spread it around using an old credit card or gift card.  Carefully lift the embroidery hoop straight up and off of the shirt.
  6. Using a small paint brush, fill in any places that did not get covered with paint.

A few notes:
This project turned out really cool and it has sort of a distressed/vintage feel.  If you want something to be perfectly crisp, this probably isn’t the right method for you.
I have not had any problems when washing my sweatshirt. However, I do wash it inside out, just to be safe.  The paint will crack a little bit as a wears, but I think that it just adds character.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I was not paid to endorse any of these products. All opinions are always my own!

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About the Author

Rachel is a senior at Kansas State University, where she is studying Bakery Science. In the fall of 2013 she studied abroad in Florence, Italy. She loves cooking, photography and DIY projects.

12 Responses to DIY Screen Printed Sweatshirt

  1. Gemma says:

    Thank you so much!!!
    I was planning on sewing a load of tote bags and personalising them for my family for Christmas instead of stockings and this is perfect, hoops and tights are cheap so I can make plenty of templates.
    I’ve found that if you put grease proof paper over the paint and iron it it’ll set the print and you can wash it at ease, might depend what paint you use though.

  2. Tenielle S says:

    Nylon is a great idea! Too bad I didn’t see this earlier but I will be using this method next time!

  3. marianapdesousa says:

    I am head over heels in love with this tutorial!!! Never knew it could be so easy and I LOVE that it comes out with a distressed feel. Deffo pinned, deffo need to do this!

  4. Katharine says:

    Can you use the same nylon design over again? like if you want to do multiple shirts.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Katharine,
      The nylon would most likely have to be washed…so it may come loose from the frame. But, it might work great! If you try it, let me know how it goes!

      • Jenn says:

        Hi! This post is a few months old, but it’s still popular on pinterest it seems, so I thought I’d share my experience! I rinsed mine using the spray nozzle on my kitchen sink, making sure to turn the water on very slightly until I achieved a decent pressure. I held the frame vertically and hosed at a downward angle on both sides, and the nylon stayed nice and taut :) just make sure the outer hoop is secure and that you rinse both sides!!

  5. This looks like such a neat project! I’ll have to try it!

  6. Julieta says:

    OMG this is pretty awesome! I love the vintage feeling of the sweatshirt, I will have to try this ASAP!!! Thanks for sharing ;D

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