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Make a rainbow Pride shirt using a simple screen-printing technique

What’s the idea?

Make a rainbow Pride shirt using screen-printing and get your Pride on! Be out loud and proud or show your support for the LGBTQ community.

What’s the story?

If you’re taking part in a Pride event, why not make a rainbow Pride shirt using this easy screen printing technique?

Every June, during Pride, over a million people around the world participate in marches and other events in support of LGBTQ rights.

This aims to promote dignity, equality and show support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) people.

Many people around the world are still being bullied or discriminated against due to their sexual orientation.

These events are an important way for everyone to show how important LGBTQ rights are, whatever their own sexual orientation.

The six-colour rainbow flag and rainbow-themed clothing and accessories have been LGBTQ symbols since the 1970s – perfect for getting your Pride on!

People should do this because…?

Whether your part of the LGBTQ community, or you just want to show your support, Pride is THE LGBTQ event of the year – so take part!

Screen printing is fun and inexpensive and you can get really cool results;

If you’re looking for a way to educate children about LGBTQ rights, this could be a fun and creative way;

By the way, if you enjoy crafts and you want to celebrate the glorious rainbow, try some of these other ideas…

Make a rainbow paper bead necklace – it’s great fun for kids!

Make a rainbow stained glass window

Stuff you will need

  • A wooden frame or embroidery hoop
  • Mesh, voile or chiffon (to stretch over the frame or hoop)
  • Fabric paint
  • T-shirt
  • Paintbrushes
  • A squeegee or plastic gift card
  • A template of your design – you can find a rainbow template here
  • Masking tape
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Newspapers
  • A clean cloth and iron to press your design

How do you do it?

  1. Start by picking out your shirt. I’d recommend a plain white shirt or a plain-coloured shirt that will make the design stand out.
  2. Sketch out or trace your design onto the paper and cut out using the craft knife.
  3. Assemble your screen by stretching the material tight over the frame or embroidery hoop and securing it.
  4. Trace your design onto the screen and place tape over all the open space. This will prevent paint from leaking through.
  5. In the case of a traditional rainbow design, you’ll need to tape over five of the rainbow’s lines.
  6. You’ll then paint the first line, wait for it to dry, tape over it and uncover the second line. Repeat the process until you’ve done all six colours.
  7. Place some newspaper between the two layers of your shirt. This will ensure that the design is not transferred to the second layer (the inside back of the shirt).
  8. Put the screen onto your shirt, taking care not to move it while painting, or else the design will blur.
  9. Dab a blob of paint onto the top edge of the screen or your design. Using your squeegee or credit card (held at an angle), pull the ink down to cover the design.
  10. Take note: If you’re using more than one colour, wait for each colour to dry before applying the next.
  11. Once you’ve completed your design, hold the shirt with one hand and lift the screen carefully away.
  12. Wait for the paint to dry, then place a paper or clean cloth over the design and press down onto it with an iron.
  13. Be sure to check at which temperature your iron needs to be so that your t-shirt is not damaged.
  14. Wear your rainbow shirt with pride!

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