Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Simply Screen by Plaid (article 2 of 2)

Reported by Erika Martin

I’ve always loved the concept of screen printing, and it’s something I’ve wanted to try for a while, but the set up really intimidated me, so it’s something I’ve never done. When the opportunity came along to review the Simply Screen system by Plaid, I was all over it! This system doesn’t take much space or any high-priced equipment. You don’t have to worry about making a screen and expensive squeegies. Plaid has thought of everything and made it really easy to create screen printed projects with just two simple purchases. Seriously, you won’t believe how easy it is to do this until you see it and fortunately for you, I’ve had lots of fun playing and experimenting with the Simply Screen products; I’ll show you how easy it is!
Plaid was so generous to send along two stencils, glitter, paint brushes and paint. They couldn’t have picked more perfect stencils for me, too! The peace sign and the tree are just my style and my daughter loves them, too.
When Craft Critique reporters went to CHA (Craft and Hobby Association), they took a great video demo of the Plaid booth showing how to use the new Simply Screen products.
Each stencil package comes with an 8.5″ x 11″ inch screen stencil, a squeegee applicator, and complete instructions on the inside of the stencil packaging. I created a bunch of projects and tried different fabrics to see what worked best. The packaging states, “Print on tees, tanks, hoodies, andbags, tote bags and most other fabric items.”
First, I started out with a canvas child’s apron that I picked up at the local dollar store. I pulled the screen stencil away from its backing and then put the backing aside to be able to put the stencil back on after it was used and cleaned.
The canvas was a bit bumpy so the stencil didn’t stick down as well as I wanted it to and I used the dry squeegee to try to press down the stencil to the canvas fabric as best as I could.

You can see in this photo here that the stencil had trouble sticking to the canvas.

I applied a line of paint at the top of the stencil, above the design.

I then used the squeegee to pull the paint down and over the stencil. I needed to add a little more paint to fully cover my stencil, but that was really easy to do. Each fabric holds and absorbs paint differently so you might find that something like a raw canvas will need more paint due to its absorbancy, while something like a t-shirt will take less.
Because the stencil didn’t stick completely to the canvas fabric, the stencil slipped and moved a little while I was pulling the paint across it with the squeegee. I resolved to use some masking tape along the edges of the stencil for the next project.
After I was done with the paint application, I pulled the stencil away to reveal the image. The peace sign stencil has a bit of a rough look and grunge to it to begin with so the paint that seeped under the stencil during the slippage wasn’t a big deal and just added to the grunge look. However, if I had used a stencil with a more intricate design, this would have been a problem. Our kitty, Ozzy, always has to check everything out, especially when I’m working on the floor at his level.

I found that the same problem of slippage and not sticking happened on this tidy-up basket that I got at a home-decor shop.

I put masking tape around the edges of the stencil but because the stencil had trouble adhereing, there was a lot of paint leakage under the design.

Next, I screen printed on a t-shirt and used the tree stencil. Because there’s so many fun designs on this stencil, I wanted to try painting the designs with different colors. Due to the paint bleeding through on the apron, I decided to use a piece of the packaging to put inside the t-shirt to keep from any paint bleeding through the back of the shirt.

I had no problems sticking the stencil down onto the t-shirt. There were no gaps between the stencil and the t-shirt. I used different sized Plaid paint brushes and various Simply Screen paint colors to fill in the designs on the stencil.
Here’s a view of the finished paint job before removing the stencil.
And here’s a view of the design after removing the stencil. There were a few spots that needed to be filled in with a paint brush and some of the intricate letter designs didn’t come through as well as I would have hoped, but my friend and I were able to tweak them with a paint brush.

Here’s the completed t-shirt.

And here’s my friend, Angel, modeling the finished shirt for me. The first washing of this shirt turned out just fine. The color stayed bright and vivid and nothing came off of the shirt. Same as with the second go through the washer.

Next up was a shirt for my 11-year-old daughter. Peace signs are the in-thing right now at school and she loves sparkles so we used the Simply Screen Foil & Glitter Adhesive and the Simply Screen Glitter.

I adhered the stencil to the t-shirt and then applied a line of Simply Screen Foil & Glitter Adhesive along the top of the stencil.

Using the squeegee, I pulled the adhesive down the stencil, just like I did with the paint on the previous t-shirt.

I pulled the stencil off the t-shirt and applied the glitter.
My daughter and I liked the look of the four colors of glitter mixed together so we moved the shirt around to mix them.

We shook off the excess glitter and let the design cure for 24 hours. It’s important to let any designs cure for 24 hours, whether they’re done with glitter, foil or paint; this is also listed in the instructions.
As per the instructions, I heat set all of the designs after letting the paint cure for 24 hours. I used my iron on the cotton setting (no steam) and used a cloth in between the iron and the design.

To get any stray pieces of glitter off of the t-shirt, I hand washed it and let it line dry. And here she is, wearing her new glitter t-shirt. She loves it, even though she looks scared in the photo.

Oooooh, look at the sparkles!

My daughter and I did a couple more t-shirts. This t-shirt was done using three colors and pulling them down over the stencil with the squeegee.

The next one was done completely by my daughter. She chose 5 different colors to use and applied them with a paint brush (we added a 5th color after this photo was taken.)

She got a little bit off the edge of the stencil so we fixed it by turning it into a painted heart. Like I always tell her, “There are no mistakes; only changes in design.”

I’m always looking for something fun to make my daughter when it comes to clothing or accessories. I made an orange t-shirt for her and used the three colors she wanted but instead of squeegeeing them straight down, I used a wave action as I pulled the squeegee down for a cool effect.

She recently asked me to make a skirt for her upcoming choral concert at school this month and she told me she wanted it to be springy and it needed purple, green and yellow in it. I cut some fabric from my stash and decided to turn them into pockets to put on her skirt (which is the Insa skirt from the Sewing Clothes Kids Love book that I reviewed last spring).

Notice how her t-shirt matches her skirt?

She’s so stylin’!

I also created a pillow case for my daughter by grabbing one of the plain cases from the linen closet and dressed it up with a quick screen printing.

My last project is a wall hanging that I did for my daughter’s bedroom. She enjoys color, design and she especially likes it when it’s up on her bedroom wall.
I started out with a piece of Roc-Lon multipurpose fabric (which I reviewed for Craft Critique last summer) and cut it to fit the size of the tree stencil and then pressed the stencil in place.

I used paint brushes to color in the designs on the stencil.

I added some fabric backing and a few embellishments to finish it off. I sewed a sleeve to add a dowel and voila!

So, what’s my take on Simply Screen by Plaid? I had a blast using it, even though a couple of projects didn’t turn out quite like I wanted them to, but that was likely due to the type of fabric I was working with. My stencils got quite a work out but they’re still sticky on the backside and have plenty more uses in them. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more stencils and I’m looking forward to creating more screen printed art. Simply Screen is really easy to use and great for a fun family project.

  • Great price points for stencils and paints (MSRP for paints: $3.00, MSRP for stencils: $6.00).
  • Stencils are self-adhesive and reusable up to 20 times. That’s just 30 cents per use!
  • Lots of paint choices.
  • Paint, glitter and foil effects are all possible with the Simply Screen system.
  • No need for expensive set up. You can make a fabulous screen printing under $10. All you need is a stencil (which comes with the squeegee applicator) and a bottle of Simply Screen paint.
  • You can use paintbrushes for more detailed painting effects.
  • Stencils don’t stick to all fabrics (stencil didn’t stick well to raw/textured canvas and pressed fiber fabrics) and this caused the stencil to slip around while applying paint and the paint seeped under the stencil.
Our friends at Plaid have provided us with $50 prize packs for 2 of our lucky readers. Just leave a comment answering the following question to be entered to win!

Would you try this product? What kind of event would you screen print t-shirts for?

One comment per person, per article, please. Winner will be selected on Saturday, June 4, 2011.


Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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54 Responses to Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Simply Screen by Plaid (article 2 of 2)

  1. Avatar
    Tona May 30, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    This looks fairly easy to use. I would give it a try. I think it would be great to use for a variety of events…family reunions, team boosters, matching shirts for young children to wear on field trips…

  2. Avatar
    Dollie May 30, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    I love the Tree!!! This seems like a super easy project. It would be great for a variety of events, halloween tshirts, birthday shirts. So many ideas!

  3. Avatar
    Brandie Larsen May 30, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    I looked at some very expensive screen printing machines, but this looks like you can achieve very similar results for less money. You might try use a paintable repositionable adhesive to help keep the stencil in place. I’m always making my kids and their friends matching tee’s. This sure would make it easier…lol:) Instead of having to hand paint them all…:)

  4. Avatar
    jjocarlson May 30, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Wow this looks like tons of fun! My kids and I would have a great time using these! I would us it for several different events for my sons school end of the year party! Also use it for my nieces baby shower, have everyone decorate onesies for the baby to be! Thank you for sharing a neat project! going to have to get some for us to play with.

  5. Avatar
    Natalie May 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    I really loved this product and would love to use it.
    I think it would be great as a birthday gift for any family member. A custom handmade T shirt is always a great gift! 😀

  6. Avatar
    rush May 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    i would screen print some t-shirts for a quilt store shop hop for my group.

  7. Avatar
    Jan Castle May 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    I have never tried it before…but, your instructions seem easy enough. Would love to give it a try…the grandsons would love a special tee from Grandma Jan!!!

  8. Avatar
    Adiya May 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    I love that!!
    Cool activity for kids!!

  9. Avatar
    Superfan May 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    I have seen the Simply Screen by Plaid products in my local store and thought the finished designs looked fabulous. I hestitated to purchase the supplies because I thought it looked too complicated; but after seeing your reviews, I think it would be fun and easy to make some beautiful shirts.

  10. Avatar
    LisaAnn May 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    This would be fun to try for the entrie family and they already want to make shirts for their BMX Bible study group 🙂

  11. Avatar
    sandyh50 May 30, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I would give it a try with my grandkids! Thet will be here in 2 weeks!

  12. Avatar
    Char May 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    I tried this last Christmas, and made T-Shirts for my Grandson, my son and his lady in Mississippi. They loved them. So, the T-shirts come out real good. I need more. Please enter me in the Giveaway.

  13. Avatar
    Tamara May 30, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Love these projects. I think the tree is my new favourite design. I would love to make some t-shirts for Earth Day.

  14. Avatar
    Kathy May 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    Would I try it? OH YEAH! I love the tree one! Looks so cool! I think it would be cool to do them for holidays, like 4th of July, and for family photo shoots. And my DGD would love these T-shirts with the glitter!

  15. Avatar
    Laura Solkey May 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    Would you try this product? YES!! What fun! And I would even post my results. I would try it out myself but I would also do this with my kiddos as a summer fun project!

    What kind of event would you screen print t-shirts for? I would love to make t-shirts for my friends and I to wear to our next scrapbook retreat!!! And of course this is something I would want to do with kiddos in the summer time. Oh my gosh they would love that! Maybe some t-shirts or pillow cases or hey, a table cloth we could use every summer! Might make a good wall hanging for my son off at college too if I use the letters and numbers and add some photo transfers and other embellishments.

  16. Avatar
    LaceTopDesigns May 30, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    I love the gliiter effects, I’d be printing anything that wasnt moving! I’d use it to make lots of Monkey items for my son, or for Hen nights or for my Boys school uniform, printing the school name onto their jumpers.

  17. Avatar
    Chris Wooten May 30, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    would love to try this. thanks


  18. Avatar
    dorism6220 May 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    I could use it for this weekend – our Girl Scout troop is going on a weekend trip and we could have stenciled matching shirts to keep track of everyone!

  19. Avatar
    Karla Anderson May 30, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    I would love to try this. Screenprinting is on my list of crafts to someday tackle, I could start with this. Thanks for the chance to win.

  20. Avatar
    Shelley May 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    Looks like lots of fun and a great way to make t-shirts for my mom’s group!

  21. Avatar
    Kelly Sas May 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    This looks really interesting and fun! I think this would be great for our family Disney World trip when we wear matching t-shirts one day.

  22. Avatar
    luluvision May 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    I would love to try this product as I never tried it and I love screen printing. I don’t have a particular event in mind except the event of life! LOL

  23. Avatar
    Karen May 30, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    Looks awesome I would love to win!!
    Have a happy crafting day!!

  24. Avatar
    Caroline May 30, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Looks like fun to use! I would try it for sure. Could use it for my geocaching group’s events!

  25. Avatar
    nopinkhere May 30, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    A birthday party or a school event. You make it look so easy!

  26. Avatar
    Melanie May 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    I so want to try them out! I would make custom tote bags for my MIL … she is a realy bag lady (in a good way) and I could give her really unique gifts!

  27. Avatar
    Sandy May 30, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    Heck yes I would try this! I would be thrilled to use these products. I figure, if it’s more colorful than what I started with – it’s ok with me:)

  28. Avatar
    broadwaydiva May 31, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    I did an afternoon of crafting for my birthday once a couple years ago. It would be fun to have one of the projects to be for everyone to make a shirt and maybe use a regular stencil or fabric marker to put the date of the party on the back or have everyone make aprons… I am brainstorming LOTS of fun ideas. (I love the chandelier screen!!!)

  29. Avatar
    Anonymous May 31, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    this is just to amazing. I love all the floral patterns.

  30. Avatar
    Vitoria B May 31, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    great products for Halloween events I guess.
    Thanks for the chance to win

  31. Avatar
    PauloMarque May 31, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    Birthday party for example, love to win this pack, so much fun to create tee-shirts with this technique

  32. Avatar
    la zaz May 31, 2011 at 7:57 am #

    The tree is so so cute, love to create a tee-shirt with this beautiful design. Thanks for the chance to win this incredible pack

  33. Avatar
    Angel May 31, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    I would definately use this! I have also always wanted to try screen printing, but the price of the supplies, and storage space are a stopper. I love that this is simple, cost effective, and requires minimal storage space. This is perfect for all ages.

  34. Avatar
    red carousel lion May 31, 2011 at 8:42 am #

    like the tree – would use at a kid’s birthday party as an activity to do

  35. Avatar
    Sherri May 31, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    Wow!!! This looks like a superfun projects for the kids and I to do this summer. In addition to clothing and bags, I would try it out on some cabinet doors and some old purses.

  36. Avatar
    GreenScrap May 31, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    That is super fab!! I love the tree image!! I would use it on shirts but i think that it could work on a canvas. TFS!! Take Care!!
    Jennie @

  37. Avatar
    Tanya May 31, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    This is soooo cool! My daughter and her friend are always painting matching shirts, they would love it. They could make matching canvas bags too! Would be really fun for family reunions or large family get togethers at theme parks.

  38. Avatar
    Carole RB May 31, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Yes I would try this product!

  39. Avatar
    Gale May 31, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    My husband and I actually own a screen printing machine, but I am not “trained” on it! This would be great for quick projects that I need to get done in a hurry. (Since there isn’t a “training session” that I have to go through!!) I have t-shirts to do for our parent group at my daughters school and this product would work perfectly!

  40. Avatar
    Scrappin' Mama May 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Sure I’d try it! Looks like fun 🙂 I’d probably screen print T-shirts for our son’s friends when they all go together on a class trip – otherwise, I think screen printing on ladies bags would be nice (maybe even a nice ‘teacher’ thank you gift for the end of the school year). Thanks for the give-away opportunity 🙂

  41. Avatar
    {VICKI} May 31, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    sure I would try it.
    maybe some holiday shirts or just let my kids go at it

  42. Avatar
    Sue May 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    I would love to try this! My dd and I would have a blast. These would be awesome for a birthday party project or school camp out. Even end of the year teacher gift. Definitely going to check out and see if Michaels has these. Thank you so much for sharing – love the metallic foil too

  43. Avatar
    McStamper May 31, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    I would love to give it a try. The little banner is so cute and it would be great of make t-shirts for my 4 grandsons when we get together.

  44. Avatar
    Sue D May 31, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    I think it would be good for family trips to theme parks.

  45. Avatar
    Karen Smith June 1, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    Yes, I would try this. I actually have been wanting to try screen printing but I didn’t know it was so easy. Once a year we get involved in a community service project. This would be great for that!

  46. Avatar
    La Zaz June 1, 2011 at 4:19 am #

    The ECOLOGY tree is amazing, love to try this paint and use it for birthday’s tee-shirts

  47. Avatar
    isabel scrap June 1, 2011 at 4:20 am #

    this seems easy to use. Perfect for halloween deco or birthday banners.
    Thanks for the chance!

  48. Avatar
    huntla1 June 1, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Great Review! These stencils look like so much fun!

  49. Avatar
    AShu93 June 1, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    I would love to try this! I think it would make some cute summer shirts. I especially like the tree stencil.

  50. Avatar
    rudie2shoes June 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    This looks so much fun. It would make a great activity at a kids party.

  51. Avatar
    Lori June 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    I would love to use it as a craft project with our girl scout troop in the fall–plus they could wear it to events and they’d be easier to spot.

  52. Avatar
    aimee June 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Wowwee. Yes I would give this a go! My girls would have something glittery printed on ALL of their shirts.

  53. Avatar
    Alexandra M June 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    Love to create cute tee-shirts for my 2 little boys.
    Thanks for the chance…

  54. Avatar
    Beatrice B June 4, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    The tree is so cool, love to cusomize some tee-shirts.
    Thanks for the chance.