Custom sublimated birthday shirts made with an environmentally friendly gel based printer to coordinate with digital birthday invites.
Hi! My name is Rachelle. I am a full time elementary reading teacher by day, super mommy by evening, and a digital invitation designer after my toddler goes to bed. I started selling digital invitations on Etsy in September of 2010. My Etsy site has grown since then and I now have over 200 items for sale in my shop. They range from digital invitations, thank you cards, and complete digital party packages. I keep my prices low so that everybody has the opportunity to have a unique party experience. I have received so much positive feedback that I want to expand this to the last step in a completely coordinated party package…the matching birthday t-shirt! This is where Kickstarter and this project come into play.
My project is to design and create custom sublimated birthday shirts with an eco-friendly gel based printer. I want to be able to use equipment and materials that are environmentally friendly and free of hazardous materials (since mostly wee little ones will be sporting my products). These shirts will coordinate with birthday invitation designs already in my shop.
How is this environmentally friendly?
I’ve researched a bunch of different sublimation printers trying to find the one that is the most environmentally sound. I have found one that does the following:
* Uses a gel solution free of hazardous materials.
* Some internal components of printer are made using non-toxic, plant-based plastics
* The company provides a recycling program for used supplies from the printer
* The printer is Energy Star Version 1.1 compliant so that it uses just a few watts when printing so I can print with zero ozone emissions.
May I see some examples? Please?
Of course! Here are some examples below of invitations I currently have listed in my shop and their coordinating t-shirt design I would like to create. All designs would be customized for each recipient with their name and age and birthday theme.
Iron on Transfers vs. Sublimation Printing
Iron On Transfers:
With iron on transfers you create a design and print it on a transfer sheet then iron it on a shirt. Iron on transfers leave a hard plastic like surface and a conspicuous border between the ink and paper on your shirt after you transfer your design. You can trim as close to the design as possible, but the border and stiff feeling is still there. This hard stiff surface is what washes off and fades and cracks away after washing.
Sublimation printing is different from iron on transfers. Images are vaporized colors that permeate the surface of the special transfer paper. The images are printed on coated heat-resistant transfer paper and then transferred onto fabric with a heat press. Under high temperature and pressure from the heat press, the dye turns into a gas and permeates the fabric and then solidifies into its fibers. The fabric is permanently dyed so it can be washed without damaging the quality of the image. There is no hard stiff surface left behind…just a beautiful, soft design!
What is the money going toward:
Here's a list of things the money will go toward buying:
· Gel Based Sublimation Printer
· Heat Press
· Sublimation Ink
· Sublimation Paper
· First round of t-shirts to get started
All or Nothing?
That's right! Kickstarter has rules, and the biggie is this: Get it all or Get nothing. If my project doesn't have $850 USD in pledges by the deadline, I get nada. That means you won't get charged, but I also won't get to start this cool, new birthday project! Please consider a pledge to help me make birthday parties for kids and their party planning moms a little more awesome. :)
When you do make a pledge, your card isn't charged that very second. Your card will only be charged if the project succeeds.
Pledging - What Rewards Can You Get?
Everything helps! If you're able to donate, please do! And if you aren't, please pass this on to anyone and everyone who might be interested.
Every dollar counts and I appreciate any support :) For a $1.00 donation you will get a heartfelt thank you and your name immortalized on my facebook, etsy and invitation website as a wonderful patron of the crafting world!
For $5, you will receive a digital pdf file of six 2 inch printable happy birthday circles, as shown below. You can punch these out as confetti or print on stickers and affix to birthday card envelopes. Your name will also be immortalized on my facebook, etsy, and invitation website as a wonderful patron of the crafting world!
For $10, you will receive a half dozen printed and ready to stick 1 ½ inch happy birthday stickers in the colors pictured above, perfect for sealing birthday cards. These will be mailed to you with a personalized thank you note. Your name will also be immortalized on my facebook, etsy and invitation website as a wonderful patron of the crafting world!
For $25 you will receive a half dozen happy birthday stickers pictured above, and a half dozen happy birthday gift tags with ribbon. The tags pictured below are for you to get an idea of what you will be receiving. The actual tags will be in the scalloped shape in the six different colors but will come pre-punched with ribbon so they are ready to tie to any bag! These stickers and tags will be mailed to you with a personalized thank you note. Your name will also be immortalized on my facebook, etsy and invitation website as a wonderful patron of the crafting world!
For $50 you will receive a half dozen happy birthday stickers and a half dozen happy birthday gift tags pictured above, PLUS a 13x13x3 white reusable gusset tote bag personalized with your choice of one of the limited edition kickstarter designs below (or you can choose any birthday party theme design in my shop). Your name will also be immortalized on my facebook, etsy and invitation website as a wonderful patron of the crafting world! Best of all, the bags will be printed with the new equipment YOU helped make possible!
For $80, you will receive a half dozen happy birthday stickers, a half dozen happy birthday gift tags, and the 13x13x3 white reusable gusset tote bag that were all pictured above. PLUS you will receive a white tshirt below personalized with your choice of a limited edition kickstarter design. (or you can choose any birthday party theme design in my shop) Your name will also be immortalized on my facebook, etsy, and invitation website as a wonderful patron of the crafting world! Best of all, the shirts and bags will be printed with the new equipment YOU helped make possible!
For $150, you will get the birthday stickers and tags pictured above PLUS you can send me a custom image and/or wording and I will create a set of TWO personalized white reusable tote bags and t-shirts for you…and your name will still be immortalized on my facebook, etsy, and invitation website as a wonderful patron of the crafting world! Best of all, the shirts and bags will be printed with the new equipment YOU helped make possible!
*The t-shirt and bag designs for pledge backers are a limited edition and only available to kickstarters who back this project. They will not be sold on my etsy site…that will be reserved for the birthday shirts!
**You can substitute a birthday design from a theme in my shop for either the t-shirt or bag in any package.
All pieces will be finished by May 2012 at the latest, depending on delivery of the needed equipment.
What if I have more questions?
Message me! I'd love to answer anything, even stuff not related to this project.
Video music credit: Alex Alcyone
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.