T-Shirt Project

The Basic Concept

Make a stock of custom T-shirts; sell them to members and to the public, while having fun doing it ourselves.

More Details

This project would be an event that produced fund-raising objects (as compared to an installation project, which would produce a decorative or functional object installed in our space).

The event would be for members, not for guests (simply because we haven’t held such an event before – we would be learning how to do it – perhaps later we could hold similar events as pay-to-attend workshops for the public).

We would end up with a small stock of custom T-shirts that we could sell to members and the general public. (Tim: I suggest that members would pay just enough to recover the proportionate project costs, while the general public would pay slightly more so that we raised funds.)

In addition, participating members would learn how to silk-screen flat objects such as T-shirts. That would be a big advantage to doing it ourselves. Another advantage is that we should be able to save money compared to ordering custom T-shirts from a vendor.

Time, Effort & Work Site

This is a pretty simple project.

Tim: I would do most of the preparatory work, since I have silk-screened T-shirts and other objects and I have one silkscreen and the necessary tools.

Once the prep work was done, about four members would meet to print, dry, and iron the front side of all the T-shirts; that would take much of one day for several dozen T-shirts. Then we would clean the silkscreen and prepare it to do the other side of the T-shirts. We would meet on the next day to print that side and to finish all the work.

So, this is a one-weekend project (Tim: after I’ve done the prep work). This needs water, so it probably would take place off-site – maybe in Tim’s garage.

  • It might be interesting if this prompted us to find a way to import water from some source near the space…


Very low; just the expenses. There is usually a little waste, but even misprinted T-shirts are still OK to wear; they could be sold at cost as cosmetic rejects.


Tim: I have the tools and one silkscreen, so that is not a problem. The expenses would be in supplies:

  • T-shirts in several sizes — Cost depends on quality and quantity
  • Paper or plastic bags to hold the finished T-shirts — Cost unknown, probably quite low
  • Textile ink — $25.00 per can, enough for several dozen T-shirts (varies with complexity of design)
  • Liquid emulsion (to make the photo-stencil) — About $30.00
  • Miscellaneous supplies for cleanup, etc. — About $20.00

Next Steps

Tim: If we approved the basic idea and design, I would look into supplies and expenses in more detail, then I would get final approval. Next I would call for volunteers and set up a schedule. Then I would do the prep work. Then we would print!

Graphical Design

Feedback and ideas are welcome!

T-shirt prototype front
T-shirt prototype back