Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yudu Cardshop Custom Screens & Tea Towels

My first round of tea towels with Yudu Cardshop
A couple of months ago, I saw some incredible designer tea towels in a little gift shop in Florida. I instantly LOVED them, but not quite enough to part with $17.00 USD each!! And so... having so many excellent play toys work tools at my disposal, I decided to customize some of my own!

This one was done using images from the screens that come enclosed with
 The Shopping Channel and HSN bundles
Yudu Cardshop

Gathering all of the materials for the tea towels was almost as much fun as finishing off the projects as I was able to pull out all of my tiny bits of materials and ribbon. The floral materials that I used, were leftovers from a quilt that I made for Quin, and the ribbons chunks included pieces that have been in my stash for years as well as antique lace that my Aunt sent to me from Italy!

It didn't take me long to go from using the pre-made screens that came with the Cardshop system, to wanting to customize the tea towels with a name (or should I say MY name!!). I decided that rather than burning a new screen on my full sized Yudu silkscreening system (which was a good option) that I would instead make a screen with vinyl! It turned out SO good! After I showed my tea towels to a couple friends, and had them drooling over their beauty, I went to work to make a few more towels as gifts. Here's your almost step by step guide to making your own beautiful tea towels!!

Make a visual plan for each tea towel. These ones are for my daughter. 
Step 1.  Begin gathering all of your supplies! I found really nice and reasonably priced tea towels at Walmart. I liked the solid colors best but you could do the project on a subtly patterned towel as well. You'll also need some plain cotton fabric to silk screen onto (prewashed) as well as a nice printed fabric. Several scraps of coordinating ribbon will finish everything off! It is really fun to pick trims and ribbons that match the personalities of the people that you are making the tea towels for. I used 'Travel' ribbon for my wandering sister, 'hugs and kisses' ribbon for a good friend, and 'love, trust, family' ribbon for my daughter!

Planning the towels for my baby sister! 
All finished... good thing her name is on them or
I'd be tempted to keep them!
Step 2.  Time to make your screen. This is SO easy!! Pick a font from your Cricut collection, type your name and then cut in in the 'Mirror Image' mode. Once the vinyl is in place and stuck on to the BACK of the Yudu Cardshop screen, it will read correctly again. No Cricut?! Maybe you can borrow one, or buy one (it really is time!) , or if you want to take a million hours longer you could even hand cut a name in vinyl... but really, you'll want to use a Cricut! Here's a quick video on how to make your screen....

Step 3. This is the fun part!! It's time to 'pull' your design! Here are my tips to ensure your success:
      - Be sure to secure your screen in the top lid area before you begin screening. This ensures registration accuracy if you need to pull ink onto the design a second time.
     - Screening fabric requires more ink than screening onto paper. For fabric designs, you need to 'flood' the screen with ink before pulling the ink across the surface of your design. 'Flooding' is when you put the bead of ink onto the screen and use the squeegee to pull it across the surface of your design BEFORE your screen is on top of the fabric. THEN, when you place the screen on top of your fabric and run the squeegee across again, more ink gets pushed through the screen. Clear as mud? Here's another video that will make things easier!

Step 4: Iron your finished screened fabric to heat set the ink and make it permanent.

Another set finished! They are SO FAST to do!! 

Step 5: Get out your sewing machine and sew all of your ribbon and fabric into place on your tea towel. I liked working from the bottom of the towel up, using a small zig zag stitch for some of the trim and a straight stitch for the fabric and flatter ribbons. Be sure to iron ALL of your trim before stitching things together, it makes it much easier and much faster to finish everything off.

So pretty and so fun to create! 

Step 6: Be prepared to make more!! Once you show these to people they are going to want to be on your gift list. These would also be the PERFECT project for a craft sale! Oh... and Yes... being prepared does mean that you will have to go out and buy more ribbon and fabric!! lol


  1. OMG!! That's me!! I can't wait to get it! Thank you Heather, your the best!!

  2. Lol! I thought I could sneak it to Toronto before you saw it here!!

  3. Thank you soo much I hate the emulsion stuff with the yudu, I can not wait to try this with both my big and little yudu!