Guest blogger: Indigo Bunting, gift for the groom

Categories   DIY Projects


When I got married, I enjoyed giving a lot of thought to what I could give my husband on our wedding day. I wanted it to be something personal, something different, and something handmade. We aren’t very traditional, so a watch, money clip, cufflinks or your standard fancy present wasn’t for him. What I made for him was this screen-printed shirt, and four years later, he’s still wearing it!


The shirt has little bits of handwritten text and some small drawings (places and things that have held a lot of memories and special meaning for us)


If you want to make something similar, what you need is an 8.5×11” sheet of white paper, a black ink pen and a scanner. On the sheet of paper, you can write or draw anything you’d like. Consider the layout of the things you draw and write and think about what part of the shirt you’d want the image printed on. Scan your sheet of paper at a high resolution (at 100%, at 300 dpi) and save it as a JPG file.


Then you need to find a local printer who can either screenprint or transfer your design onto a shirt. Screenprinting will be more expensive for a single shirt since there is a fee to create a screen for each color you print with. Transfers are more affordable and the turnaround is faster, but I think the quality of screenprinting is much nicer if you can afford it and find a printer who is willing to do a single t-shirt print for you. The printer I used was a place in Seattle called B-BAM! (link: (They used to do screenprinting for single shirts, but their website currently says that for short runs, only transfers will be used for the shirts.)

In addition to B-BAM! here are some other custom-printing places that might be in your area:

Hello Fretto, Florida

Fresh Pressed, Los Angeles

The T-Shirt Deli, Chicago

Blue Collar Press, Eudora, KS

Social Love

Album Boutique Team on Apr 28, 2010

What a fun and great idea!!! I love that it's unique and heartfelt. Thanks for sharing :)

nicole b. on Apr 28, 2010


Jessica on Apr 28, 2010

I love this idea! I think I might have to steal it!

beth maher on Apr 28, 2010

I've made custom t-shirts for my husband on a regular basis, and I know they are one of his favorite gifts to receive. I have to admit, I used transfers myself, and while they don't last quite as long they aren't so very bad (especially if you want to use lots of bright colours in your design - which is prohibitively expensive to do with screenprinting - let alone for only one shirt).

Holly on Apr 28, 2010

HOW CREATIVE! i love this! i might have to steal this idea for my groom :)

Sarah on Apr 28, 2010

What a great idea!! I may have to do this...yay for another YUDU project :)

jacqueline on Apr 28, 2010

This is truely such a wondeful idea. My fiance isn't very traditional too...and this would be a perfect gift for him on our day! Thanks so much for sharing! Have a lovely merry happy day and love to you!

Danielle on Apr 29, 2010

Great idea! One idea: I'm a fan of ... While I've only used it for printing up individual shirts with wording, you can use your own design if you make it a vector graphic (which they include instructions for in the FAQ.) They also have their own graphics you can use if you're less artsy and more about getting your idea onto fabric :) Very high quality print jobs, not screen printing, but much more durable than transfers. Not sure if it would work for something like this but worth checking out!

vanessa - everything gardens on May 2, 2010

love this great idea! my partner also runs a shop called grow your own media in los angeles and he'll teach you how to print your own shirts, bags, posters or invitations!

Laura on May 17, 2010

Also, Young's Screen Printing and Embroidery is a wonderful screen printing shop in North East Ohio that does single shirt screen print orders. Their customer service is AWESOME.

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