Your Biggest Fan Tees

DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine

I've been wanting to make tees with "Your biggest fan" on it since last summer, and I finally figured out the best way to do it. For my collaboration with Pro World Inc, we decided to use their redesigned site, PW Custom. I also invited a guest designer who I have admired for a long time, Jill DeHaan. Her lettering work is amazing, and she also happens to be one of the cutest, sweetest, and hard working mamas I know.

My studio is still not completely set up, but it is working quite well. There are still some piles and boxes, but we are working around them. Here is the little corner with the Pro World heat press.

DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine

I ordered several custom designs from PW Custom - super easy to upload and order and they helped set up the designs on the sheets to maximize and get the most bang for the buck. You'll see the other designs in an upcoming post. I went simple and decided to stick with one color white and black designs. I followed the instructions and printed the designs right on.

DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine

The best part is that it is truly like a screenprinted design. The quality is wonderful and these shirts turned out fantastic.

DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine

We sent out a bunch of these designs to Jill and I just love seeing how cute she looks in it!

Your Biggest Fan design by Jill DeHaan

I also asked her to about the collaboration and here is what she said: What a pleasure it was to collaborate with sweet, lil Amy Tan on this project. As a fellow creative, Amy knew the importance of giving me free reign to explore different mediums and lettering styles to my hearts content. And in the end, I was happy to land on a playful, honest and flowing design that best described how I felt about the phrase, “Your Biggest Fan”. I wear the design happily as a reminder to those I love and as a tribute to the unpredictable, inspiring and utterly enjoyable design process itself. Thanks for the lovely opportunity, Amy!

Thanks for sharing your talents with us, Jill! She has a little shop at Society 6. And thanks to Pro World for collaborating with me on these shirts and post! Have you always wanted something printed on a shirt? Let me know in the comments!

Scripting on a water bottle

DIY Canteen + Mugs Using Pro World Products | Amy Tangerine

Remember the mug press I wrote about in this post? Well it turns out you can use the same press for printing on water bottles! I was really excited about trying a simple black scripted quote/doodle on the aluminum canteen from Pro World. I practiced my scripting with a waterbrush and Adel watercolors in a corner of the paper pad before miraculously only having to script the design just one time. I'm pretty sure that has never happened before!

DIY Canteen + Mugs Using Pro World Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using Pro World Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using Pro World Products | Amy Tangerine

Once completely dry, I took the piece of paper and placed it into my new scanner, which I am really liking, BTW.

DIY Canteen + Mugs Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine

Then I resized the image and decided to put two onto the page in case I messed up on one, mirrored the image, and printed it out on Texprint paper using the sublimation printer from this Pro World starter bundle.

DIY Canteen + Mugs Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using Pro World Products | Amy Tangerine

I cut the design and used the heat resistant tape to attach it to the canteen.

DIY Canteen + Mugs Using Pro World Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine

I placed the silicone heating sheet around it and then followed the instructions.

DIY Canteen + Mugs Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine

Once complete, I carefully removed it using an oven mitt (to be safe!) and peeled off the tape. The design was revealed and looked like I painted right on the bottle!

DIY Canteen + Mugs Using ProWorld Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using Pro World Products | Amy Tangerine

Since the press was already hot, I decided to make a mug for my friend Alisha who runs Goldpress Paper. She sent over the artwork that appears on one of her mama bear cards and it just turned out so cute!

DIY Canteen + Mugs Using Pro World Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using Pro World Products | Amy Tangerine
DIY Canteen + Mugs Using Pro World Products | Amy Tangerine

I feel like the possibilities are endless, especially for customized gifts. Would love to hear from you - what would you put onto a mug or canteen?

This post is part of a collaboration with Pro World. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

2 Easy Watercolor DIY Projects!

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How about two super easy watercolor DIY projects that don't even actually involve any paint or water? It might feel like cheating, but I absolutely love the results. I was asked by GraphicStock to come up with a project to share showcasing something from their website. Typically I am not into the idea of using stock images as I like to create my own, but their library of images is quite impressive. Plus you can get your own free 7-day trial by clicking here. You can download and as many items as you'd like and then once the 7 days are over you still get to keep everything, however, you will be charged. So set an alarm in your calendar if you are wanting to cancel. I am keeping my membership for a while as I think it's a great resource full of unique and fun images.

Amy Tangerine Graphic Stock 7 Day free trial
Amy Tangerine Free Fall Favorites Banner

You can see how I made my new mousepad (it was kind of a happy accident) as well as the Fall Favorites banner in this video. The Fall Favorites I created is a free download here! Hope you enjoy seeing how I used watercolors without getting at all messy thanks to GraphicStock!

DIY YAY Tee Shirt!

DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine

As most of you probably know, I have been designing tee shirts for many years. Since 2002 to be exact. I was 24 years old, working as a freelance stylist and cocktail waitress. When I first started my line of tee shirts, I had no idea what I was doing. But I did have mentors who I trusted and I used the resources that I had available to me. At that time it was mainly hand stitching and embroidery, along with a cool reverse applique technique. Since I didn't want to only silk screen shirts, but wanted the ability to print some designs and my own custom labels, I invested in a heat press (similar to this one). It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made and paid for itself quickly. I was able to sample garments easily, and then if I had a big production order, I always had the option to fulfill it through having it silk screened instead of heat sealing it all myself. I found great joy in creating garments by hand that people liked to wear. Cindy Crawford even wore one of my designs while working out and it appeared in Glamour Magazine. I met some wonderful people and traveled to trade shows and experienced a lot of what it was like working in the garment industry. It was fun for many years. And then it wasn't. For many reasons.

Looking back, I recognize that one of the reasons was because my time was spent doing the things I didn't really love - the business side of running a small business. The yucky money side of things when a boutique's check bounces or their credit card doesn't go through. And then they don't answer their phones and move out in the middle of the night. Yes, that happened. And more than once. I had friends in the industry with full on collections that were owed tens of thousands of dollars. All of those things amounted to a lot of time and energy spent doing things I didn't enjoy, and only 5% (maybe even less) was spent designing. Much of the reason I fell in love with scrapbooking in 2007 was because I could just create freely and it was only for me. I didn't have to mass produce it, ship it or feel like a collections agency. All I had to do was create and document my life. Plus I got to use super cute supplies to do so! I found the passion once again for hand made goodness and since I hadn't won the lottery, I had to put much of my energy into figuring out how I could turn another hobby into a business. And through a lot of hard work, a bit of luck and the support of some amazing and inspiring people, I was able to go back to doing what I love - designing. Since we switched to only making custom designs for tee shirts, I have enjoyed the flow and process a lot more. I've collaborated with brands and taken a more behind the scenes approach with consulting, as opposed to having my name on the label. And I like it. A lot. 

The reason I am sharing this long, drawn out story with you is because I am super excited about sharing even more behind the scenes with you all. And because my working studio seems to always be in disarray, I am going to be putting more effort into showing you more of what actually goes on among all the chaos. My business has evolved and there are many aspects that equate to several revenue streams. And I plan on sharing more insights with you about what I'm learning and loving through all of this. I'm especially looking forward to my new set up where there is a corner for creating anything that isn't paper related. It will be a dedicated area for fabrics, tee shirts, mugs, mousepads, my sublimation printer, heat press and all kinds of goodness. The sewing machine will remain where it is now, mainly for sewing on paper, but that may soon change too. 

Although completely embarrassing, I snapped some before photos, and then chronicled the rearranging and set up of the new corner.

Amy Tangerine
Amy Tangerine
Amy Tangerine
Amy Tangerine

The sublimation printer is something I am so excited about. You can read more about the first project I made using it (really cool mugs!) right here

Amy Tangerine's Sublimation Printer
Amy Tangerine

So that is the set up - super basic, but I am so happy with it! Also, if any of you have your own business and want to make cool promotional stuff or expand into a business where you sell custom tee shirts, a heat press from Pro World is a good way to get started. Something I have always wanted to do is be able to print white onto a garment. Pro World also offers a custom transfer option where you can design your own silk screened transfers that can be applied with just a heat press. You can put them onto all different colors and styles. You can put them on tote bags and tee shirts - pretty much any fabric. Think about all the possibilities! I was so excited to get started that I just did an easy tee for me and one for Jack. This simple and cost effective tee was whipped up using heat transfer letters. The longest part of the process was waiting for the heat press to get to the right temperature. Other than that, both of these shirts were done in under 5 minutes. 

DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine

I simply followed the Warm Peel Application Instructions:

  1. Pre-press garment; 5-7 seconds.
  2. Set pressure at high.
  3. Set temperature at 385 deg. Fahrenheit.
  4. Print 8-10 seconds.
  5. Peel warm (wait about 5 seconds), in one continuous, smooth rapid motion.
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine
DIY T-Shirts | Amy Tangerine

I'm excited about the potential of making fun sayings and phrases on shirts. And sharing more of what goes on in the studio with you! YAY!

Want to play designer - what word or phrase would you put on a shirt? Leave a comment below and one winner will get a shirt with their word/phrase of choice!

 

DIY Photo Mugs!

DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine

I can't even tell you how excited I am about a little thing called a mug press. For my collaboration with Pro World, I started to dream up ideas for making custom items and felt giddy. It reminded me of when I was 23 years old, thinking about starting a tee shirt line back in 2002. One of my mentors referred me to someone who advised I invest in a heat press. Back then internet shopping had really only just begun for me, and I scoured eBay to try and find a heat press (similar to this one) that was gently used. Then I realized that if I am going to purchase a piece of equipment that would be a business expense and an investment, I should consider buying a new one. It was so long ago and such a crazy time in my life working as a freelance stylist, part-time cocktail waitress, and then dabbling in tee shirt designs, I can't remember how I actually even obtained the heat press. But I sure do wish I had a resource like Pro World back then. I started off just experimenting. I would print designs onto scrap pieces of fabric. I used heat transfer paper similar to this and my home printer. I printed the design (in reverse) and then cut it out by hand. Once heat pressed onto the scrap fabric, I would then hand sew them onto a tee shirt or tank top. The process was so much fun and I felt like the potential to create was limitless. When I decided to take things to the next level, I decided to print by own labels onto muslin that would then be hand stitched into every garment. By that point I had found seamstresses and local hand sewers (in Atlanta), and I had a little business going. It was enough to allow me to quit working in the restaurant and forced me to take it all more seriously rather than just doing it for fun. While I don't think I have the desire to start making mugs for a side business, it sure is fun and someone should do it! Perhaps one of you out there?

Using the sublimation printer that came in the Pro World Mug Starter Package, I printed multiple designs onto the special paper in reverse (flipped horizontally). Not wanting to waste space on the paper, I experimented with several types of images and made sure to fill up as much of the sheet as possible. I trimmed around the design - the coolest thing about sublimation printing is that you don't have to worry about trimming so close to the design to avoid anything white. When using regular iron on transfer papers and an ink jet printer, you typically have to trim as close as possible.

DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine
DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine
DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine

Using heat resistant tape, I attached the design face down to the mug while the mug press was warming up.

DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine
DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine
DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine
DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine

I recommend using something like an oven glove once the machine has done it's job, as the mug is still pretty hot.

DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine

Once cooled off enough, peel off the heat resistant tape. It comes off easily, but I would recommend not getting too excited about peeling it off that you burn yourself, as I almost did.

DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine
DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine

Ann-Marie and I were laughing and dying over how cute our little ones look on these mugs!

DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine
DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine
DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine
DIY Photo Mugs | Amy Tangerine

As a small business owner, I think the possibilities would be endless for promotional products. These would make great giveaways or even add-on's as part of a line. I could totally see people adapting card designs or tee shirt designs onto these mugs! What would you like to see on a mug? Comment below and I just might make one of the designs and send it to you!

This post is part of a collaboration with Pro World. As always, all words and opinions are my own.