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My grandmother never threw anything away, and kept all of her possessions in pristine order. As a child, this was a little hard to deal with — don’t sit on the bedspread, no shoes on the couch, fold the towel after you dry your hands — but as an adult I’ve come to appreciate her fastidious care of her items, some of which I now possess and thoroughly enjoy.
This WWII Army Housewife bag is one of my favorite hand-me-downs. Apparently, it included a sewing kit back when it was issued, and these kits were issued by the Brits and the Swiss as well. Nowadays, this little Army Housewife bag holds my jewelry on overnight trips. And it makes me smile every time I look at it.
When I started to think about making gifts for my family, I decided that I wanted to try and capture that same smile-inducing nostalgia for my relatives. Since we’ve got a few silkscreen-type machines in the office, I thought I’d beg one friend to make me a design and another friend to show me how to use the Yudu machine (I’ve used the Gocco printer before, but wanted to try a new device).
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I’m loving the results! So much that I’ve now screen-printed about 12 bags and 8 dish towels, and am wondering if I can get away with giving nothing but self-branded textiles for all my gifts. (And thanks to Daniel and Brookelynn for helping me out, not to mention everyone else who helped with the manual labor in the name of learning!)
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shawnconna

Sometimes helpful editor and digital media director at MAKE and CRAFT.


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Comments

  1. Tammy says:

    I just find this hilarious… I was just, I mean JUST looking all over at reviews and prices for the YUDU machine.. then I got tired of looking and figured I would head to craftzine for a little inspiration to infect my brain.. when Lo and Behold… you put this article about screening the bags for xmas… LOVE it.. Thanks.. :) I guess I know what I’m buying myself for xmas.

  2. Venessa says:

    Where did you get the cute bags that you screenprinted on…
    Thanks!

  3. Shawn Connally says:

    We got the bags at Uline — http://www.uline.com/BL_202/Cloth-Parts-Bags. The minimum order is 200, so maybe get friends to go in with you? We ordered the 6×8 size and are using them for lots of projects around the office and as gifts. We’d love to see pics if you make something!

  4. Ren says:

    Hey, I’ve got a question about the Yudu – do you still need a dark room for burning the design to the screen, or does it do it internally?
    I’ve been looking at one for ages, but no one at Michael’s can answer my question, and I’m not going to spend 300$ on a machine that’s not any more convenient than the screen+table hinges I already have.

  5. Shawn Connally says:

    It does it internally, which is neat, and you can reuse the screens; you just scrub off the etchings with some soap and a little elbow grease. Please let us know how it goes if you get one!

  6. Erin Bassett says:

    Your bags turned out fantastic!! I’m sure your family will LOVE them!
    I have a Yudu & love that I’m able to personalize things…it really makes gift giving special. :)
    erinbassett.com

  7. elizabeth lawlor says:

    this is probably way random, but how did the towels wash up after being screen printed on? did you have to do anything special to the ink?

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