This is a backdated post.

I wrote this once and my browser crashed and it didn’t autosave and I really don’t feel like writing it all again.

Let’s dive back into the memories of middle and high school – 2004-2006ish when graphic tees were the cool thing to be wearing.

I was going to a lot of concerts and shows at this time but was a little aggravated at the lack of cool shirts out there to wear to support my favorite bands. This brought me to thinking and designing some shirts.

hacker-shirt
The design for my first shirt

My first idea I had for a shirt simply said “hacker” on a grey background. Considering hacking and security is what got me interested in computers when I was 8 and I had already gained the nickname “hack” at school, I felt this was an appropriate idea.
It was printed on a cheap wal-mart iron as well as a $3 wal-mart tee.

I had some church friends who were starting a band and I had offered to make some shirts for their first local show. I set out and got 3 designs made up and went back to walmart for more iron ons and blank shirts. At their show I was able to make 1 of each size for all 3 shirts and sold 3 of them at the show. I had made my money back and had some left over and knew I could sell the remaining shirts to some friends from church.

I had a couple more design ideas and started working on them. I refuse to post pics because all I can find are pics of me wearing the shirts and no one is happy with their high-school self, right? Ha!

I eventually learned about screen printing and realized this is the route I needed to take. I didn’t fully understand every aspect so I started experimenting. I took a picture frame and cut up a mesh laundry basket I had. I glued the material on the back of the frame and cut out a stencil out of a  plastic folder. Of course the print out of this was absolutely terrible. I realized there was more to it than laying down a stencil so I went back to researching to see if anyone has built their own screen press.

At this point I hadn’t found anyone who has made one and posted pics. I started looking at screen pre-made presses online to get ideas and then set out to the garage to start building.
I’m pretty lucky, my step father had a bunch of random stuff and hardware always lying around. From this I was able to build the following:

This was a great starter for me, it taught me the basics of how to print.

Each of the arms has a bungie cord attached to it and an anchor in the middle of the spinning top. They also had a metal arm that would stop it retracting back too far. This all was incredibly ghetto but it worked for me and was all I had access to when I was 14.

The prints were by no means perfect but it was a stepping stone and lasted me through almost the end of highschool.

That’s really the end of my home-made screen press.
My senior year I bought a 4color screen press from Ryonet and by this time I had a decent amount of designs under my belt. I was even lucky enough to print our senior shirts for my chemistry class in highschool.

As fun as it was I didn’t have time to keep up with it and ended up selling off everything. It was a fun run at least!

You can see my old designs at the xStay Truex Clothing facebook page.

Edit 8.31.2016:

I must say I did love sending my stuff out. I ran across these old pics and wanted to add it.
I wanted my stuff to stand out and I used to love ordering from Design By Humans because of how they packaged their stuff, it really left an impression. I designed my labels and invoices to stand out.