advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums » » Creating Tiki » » Other Crafts » » Make your own tiki shirts!
Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )
Make your own tiki shirts!
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4284
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2005-05-15 6:30 pm   Permalink

I have written up a guide to creating your own tiki shirts. Full step by step guide with photos and all. However, the photos are having a problem migrating from the camera to the computer.

In the mean time, i will post this pic of my shirt to get you interested


 View Profile of hewey Send a personal message to hewey  Email hewey     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 1513
From: calgary
Posted: 2005-05-15 6:35 pm   Permalink

Thats cool .
You really need to tell us more.. how much ? How long ? where? how hard ?
Just kidding , looking forward to the info.

View Profile of rodeotiki Send a personal message to rodeotiki      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 181
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-05-15 9:03 pm   Permalink

cool dude....

View Profile of beachin Send a personal message to beachin  Email beachin Goto the website of beachin     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 04, 2005
Posts: 1600
From: SoCal
Posted: 2005-05-15 9:15 pm   Permalink

its cool but it realy should say kirbys tiki bar . fo real tho i have this stuff you load into your printer and then iron on to a shirt. its pretty durable too, accualy i have some shirts with the iron on stuff that have lasted like a year of washing just a lil faded and wrinkly . halla...kirby

Kirby's Island.com****Facebook**

 View Profile of kirby Send a personal message to kirby  Email kirby Goto the website of kirby     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Aaron's Akua
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Posts: 1596
From: Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Posted: 2005-05-15 10:17 pm   Permalink

Hey, Hewey. I'd love to do a couple of tees without investing in a silkscreen setup. Any info you can provide would be much appreciated.




"Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness."
-Pablo Picasso

[ This Message was edited by: Aaron's Akua on 2005-05-16 12:30 ]

View Profile of Aaron's Akua Send a personal message to Aaron's Akua      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4284
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2005-05-15 10:40 pm   Permalink

I will post the instructions to help out those who wanna know how i did it. When I get the pics sorted I will edit the post and paste them in. Ask if you got questions.

Rodeo - difficulty is medium. Takes a few hours? Depends on the design. Did it in my backyard. Paint roller was $2.50, ink was $10 (I reckon I could do 10 of these shirts with how much I used on this one). Most people will have a knife, and if you use paper or cardboard for the stencil itself, it will cost you bugger all.

Kirby - seen the stuff you talk about. Good for photos, complex pictues etc. I'm not big on the quality myself, a bit rough and looks "homemade".

Aaron's Akua - This methods gives you top quality results with bugger all outlay (cost me $30 including shirt, and have plenty of ink left). If you get proper screen printers ink it will fade as much as any shirt you would buy in a store. This was only my 3rd attempt at a shirt, and only the second time I have used proper ink and a roller.


I am gonna run you through the basics of printing your own custom shirts using a stencil. It is relatively quick, easy and inexpensive way of making some cool threads. What’s more, once you have made the initial stencil, it is damn easy to reproduce. Most of the labour is in designing and cutting out the stencil.

However, this approach has the drawback of not being able to have “islands” in the design. Say What? An island is a free floating part of the design that you don’t want ink on. For example, the middle of an “0” is an island as it fully disconnected from outside the letter. Therefore, it cannot be supported unless to put something across the body of the letter itself, to support it. Follow through the process and this will be a bit clearer.

Design your logo/design you want on your shirt. Sketch it out and get a feel for the design. I have gone for what will be a simple single colour logo. Notice how the lines of the design don’t meet up? This prevents the formation of islands. Be aware that the more design you have, and less bridges between it, the more unstable the stencil becomes. This may result in it moving when painting, or being damaged when moved.

I then copy the design onto an overhead sheet (or transparency) to cut the stencil from. These are available from your office supplies shop. Acetate from a art shop also works well apparently, but I have not used it. Paper and cardboard can be used, but these have their drawbacks. It doesn’t cut cleanly with a knife, and when the paint or ink dries, they tend to curl up at the corners of the design. Use these if you are just mucking around, and want to have a go with no real outlay of cash.

Cut out the stencil. I use a nice sharp scalpel. Just make sure your knife sits nicely in your hand and is sharp. I personally move the stencil around heaps to try and make it easier. Be careful of the already cut stencil catching on stuff. A good stencil will have consistent line thickness, generally be balanced, and have consistent corners (either all sharp or all rounded). Text can be one of the hardest things to do as it needs to be really consistent, and the letters such as q, e, o, p, a, d, g, and b all have islands in them, and it can be hard to make these look good. Also, try not to put the design too close to the edges as you need a bit of room to tape it down, and this will also make it more stable.

Once you have cut the stencil, test your stencil out. I just grab a piece of paper, and use a cheap spraycan. Get critical, as this your last chance to modify the stencil before you put ink to shirt. Unfortunately, it is difficult to remedy if you have cut too much. You can tape up holes, and then recut, but the tape pulls the stencil into tension and it then curls up.

Bring on the shirt! Use a nice thick shirt. Wear it and wash it a few times preferably to stretch it, make sure the colour doesn’t wash out etc. Tape the stencil down with masking tape, making sure it sits flat on the shirt. Put a large flat piece of cardboard in the shirt to give you a firm surface to work on.

Paint! The best stuff to use is proper screen printers ink, using a craft roller. Again, consult your arts/crafts stores. There is also a spray on shirt ink available, but I have not used this. Put some ink on your roller getting a consistent coverage. Like any good painting, start light and build the colour. Lightly roll the roller from the middle of the design out. This can be a pain at first, but you will get the feel of it quickly. Practice is the key, like anything. Keep going till you have full coverage of the design. To give the shirt an aged appearance, water down the ink (assuming it is acrylic). You don’t need much water, just a sprinkling. I learnt this by accident, as I found the ink too thick and watered it down. When it dried, it had a cool aged effect (unfortunately, this doesn’t show up in the photos).

Peel the stencil off and bask in your creative glory! Give the stencil plenty of time to dry. Most inks will require “setting”. Grab an iron and iron the inside of the shirt (the back of the stencil). This will ensure the colour will not run or fade. Hand wash the first time or too just in case the colour runs.

Wear. Enjoy.

If you want more info, go to
www.stencilrevolution.com and poke around. I learnt all my stencil knowledge from there and experimentation. There are some great tutorials, that go into more depth on designing stencils, making shirts etc. There is some awesome stuff in the galleries, even tiki stuff! In the galleries go to search and put in “tiki”.

Hope to see your tiki shirts soon!

NOTE: Drinking rum may aid the design stage of the process. However, it may inhibit the printing of the shirt and is definitely not suggested for the cutting out of the design J


 View Profile of hewey Send a personal message to hewey  Email hewey     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Apr 25, 2005
Posts: 74
Posted: 2005-05-16 05:24 am   Permalink

Great resource Hewey!!! and Awesome shirt!

View Profile of theartcoach Send a personal message to theartcoach  Email theartcoach     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 140
From: Little Rock, AR
Posted: 2005-05-16 08:30 am   Permalink

I love it! Very resourceful of you. I can't wait to try it out.

People sometimes ask me how I learned to do some craft project & I always tell them to just buy a book and dig in. This time I don't have to buy the book, you just explained it real nicely. THANKS!
Where am I going? And how did I get in this hand-basket?
Tiki Tammy

View Profile of tikitammy Send a personal message to tikitammy  Goto the website of tikitammy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2003
Posts: 992
Posted: 2005-05-16 09:03 am   Permalink

Fantastic site! Thanks for posting the link.

View Profile of SES Send a personal message to SES      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 09, 2004
Posts: 3683
From: The thumb !
Posted: 2005-05-16 3:43 pm   Permalink

hewey, are you saying that I can be something other than a walking billboard??

View Profile of teaKEY Send a personal message to teaKEY  Email teaKEY Goto the website of teaKEY     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4284
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2005-05-16 4:15 pm   Permalink

Thanks for all the positive feedback. I was stoked to be able to make good looking shirts of my own design, so I figured people on here would be as well.

teaKEY - yes you are a billboard, but use it for good and not evil! Pimp yourself, your bar, etc. on your shirt and defy the system! Want more exposure to the general public - wear your shirt on TV, doing something stupid (and dangerous) will probably get you there. I have given you the tools of mass advertising, now use them! Don't fight the system, use it as tool against itself!

 View Profile of hewey Send a personal message to hewey  Email hewey     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10397
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2005-05-16 4:23 pm   Permalink

hewey, I love the shirt and the step by step is what makes TC Tick. Excellent job. Thanks for taking the time to prepare and post this lesson.

 View Profile of Benzart Send a personal message to Benzart  Email Benzart     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
purple jade
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 19, 2003
Posts: 1450
From: New Orleans
Posted: 2005-05-16 4:31 pm   Permalink

If you really like stencil-cutting, invest in a hot-knife, about $20. Makes it SO much easier!

View Profile of purple jade Send a personal message to purple jade  Email purple jade Goto the website of purple jade     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote

Joined: May 16, 2005
Posts: 1
Posted: 2005-05-16 4:47 pm   Permalink

I found a great product that actually creates silk screen stencils without chemicals or a lot of effort. It's called PhotoEZ. (www.photoez.us) Basically, you print or draw out your design, cover it with their screen paper, secure it in its frame, and expose it to the sun for 4 minutes. Soak it in water for at least 10 minutes, and then spray off the stencil with a little water pressure. Set it out to dry and you're ready to go. Easy and professional looking. I've already made several designs for my bar t-shirts. Hope this helps.
-Trader Wally
Trader Wally's VooDoo Lounge & Dive-In Theater

View Profile of TraderWally Send a personal message to TraderWally      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Trader Woody
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2301
From: Tiki Manor, Forest of Bowland,UK
Posted: 2005-05-17 09:07 am   Permalink


On 2005-05-15 22:40, hewey wrote:
I will post the instructions to help out those who wanna know how i did it. When I get the pics sorted I will edit the post and paste them in. Ask if you got questions.

Thanks for posting this Hewey - I've always wanted to make my own t-shirts, but previous attempts haven't worked out at all well. (The iron-on crayons were by far the worst!) Definitely a post to go back to.

Trader Woody

View Profile of Trader Woody Send a personal message to Trader Woody  Email Trader Woody     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Goto page ( 1 | 2 Next Page )

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2018 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation