As someone who can't resist a bargain or a new crafting toy (or a bargain on a new crafting toy), I recently purchased a Yudu Cardshop. Okay, I confess, I purchased several of these. I first purchased two from the Cricut.com website when they were on sale for $3.99 with free shipping. As usual, I was less-than successful on my first few screenprinting attempts. But that didn't stop me from purchasing 5 more of these from Cricutmachine.com when they had a buy-one/get-four-free offer. I'm not insane. Well, at least my insanity played no part in my decision...
I reasoned that I could use the extra mats, screens and inks that came with the kits. I also bought some multi-packs of ink (another buy-one/get-four deal), which came with emulsion remover. I hoped that I could use the remover to reclaim the pre-burned screens that came with each Cardshop, and I would then have several to use with vinyl designs (instead of needing to burn emulsion-coated screens, which isn't possible with the smaller Yudu system without purchasing or making a light box). Even after paying a rather high shipping rate, each item came to less than four dollars. And I now have a lifetime supply.
After successfully cleaning one of the pre-burned screens, I cut a stencil from vinyl with my Cricut using the Mickey and Friends cartridge. (There are several Youtube videos and blogs that explain how to use vinyl in screenprinting.) The most difficult part of the experience for me was getting the vinyl to adhere to the screen completely. Also, it was frustrating that each vinyl stencil can only be used once since water breaks the bond with the screen, and with each failed print it was necessary to cut another piece of vinyl. (Luckily, I have a lifetime supply of vinyl.)
I had heard from a couple of different sources that the inks can be washed out if done so prior to heat-setting. This was just the information I needed to get the courage to try my first fabric project. The project was a fail. So was removal of the ink, even though I immediately put the shirt in cold water. There was still a dark stain from the ink. Not willing to give up, I then soaked it in Oxi-clean and ran it through a wash cycle. Still there. I finally soaked it in bleach for a full day, to no avail. Eventually, I made a second attempt at printing and just made sure I lined up my design to cover the remains of the first one. And this time it was a success. The shirt has a slight pink tint and a few faint smudges, but overall I was pleased with the results.
As a side note to further prove I have an obsessive need to collect a small stash of supplies for every type craft known to humankind, I finally used my heat-setting tool (that I just had to have a few years ago because everybody else was buying one) to affix a few crystals to the jeans that came with the t shirt. Two crafts in one project. Yeah, I'm ambitious like that.
(As of today, Cricutmachine.com is still offering the BOGO deal on the Yudu Cardshop and inks. I am in no way affiliated with them except to the extent I shop the website way too often.)
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