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Prepare yourselves! From here on'll be seeing lots of these shirts!

You know we love Utah...why it took us so long to get our own Utah lover shirts, we'll never know. It doesn't matter now, because we HAVE them!

We teamed up with local Ogden shop The Sign Garage, who agreed to let us bring all the kids to their shop and help us screen-print our OWN shirts!

The night before, I got the crazy anxious feeling. You know the feeling right? When you realize you are about to unleash 18 kids upon an unsuspecting soul!

Luckily, Elizabeth and Nate have LOTS of nieces and nephews. (I think they handled it better than I did.)

We've spent months (really) trying to come up with designs for these shirts. I can't tell you how many times we've talked about it and then did nothing.

Finally, we made a deadline and got an awesome designer. (Thanks Zarin!)

Screen Printing kind of blew my mind. Literally.

See, I didn't realize the whole key word was "screen." So when Elizabeth did a test run and ink suddenly appeared on the shirt, I just couldn't believe it.

Luckily, Camille patiently explained that it's actually a screen with tiny holes that only lets the ink on the design.

Pretty sure that light bulb above my head just exploded. (Honestly, I still feel like an idiot, it's kind of hilarious how I didn't connect the whole process very well. Ha!)

Everybody had a chance to screen print their own shirts.

It's definitely a labor of love. You really do have to press quite hard to get the ink through the screen. (I mean it wasn't hard, but it does take effort.) It doesn't take long at all do actually do the "inking." (If that is even a word.

Elizabeth must have guns of steel from all the screen printing.

I'm super glad Elizabeth and Nate were so patient, because I'm pretty sure we took five times longer than their duo team would.

After each shirt was inked, we carefully carried each shirt to the massive belt heater. I was a little concerned that some child would somehow melt their hands off, but really, no one even came close. The heater took less than a minute to dry the ink.

Even one of our tiniest Salt Project members did his own shirt. Little Jefferson was very serious about it.

We're about to add a few more tiny Salt Project members, so of course, we had to do shirts for them.

The Sign Garage even showed us how their automatic screen printing (behemoth) machine worked! Corbin thought it was pretty awesome to push the button.

This machine could pump out 1,000 shirts in an hour!

Pretty cool right?

You can buy shirts through them (pretty cheaply) or bring your own. (We brought our own because of all the tiny kid sizes in our group.) The Sign Garage even had some shirts that we could buy right there in case we forgot something, which, we did. 

Want to do your own screen printing too? Contact The Sign Garage and set up your own field trip! Our kids loved it and it was a good learning experience for everyone. Really, anyone can do it, plus The Sign Garage is amazing to work with. (Just check out tips on how to make it successful below.)

Thanks for having us Elizabeth & Nate! Don't forget to check out The Sign Garage Shop on Historic 25th Street in Ogden! (We were at the warehouse, a separate location.)

Want your own Salt Project Shirt? Never fear, we are going to do a pre-order soon! We want everyone to wear Utawesome shirts!

Helpful Tips

How to make this process super easy.

  1. Get your design early, like a week before you go.
  2. Make sure to send the vector file format to The Sign Garage a few days before. (Just to make sure the file would work...we had some last minute scrambling that was pretty stressful. Luckily, The Sign Garage is amazing and corrected our mistakes.)
  3. You can buy shirts from The Sign Garage, just go in to the shop and size everyone correctly. They ended up being cheaper and easier than us bringing in our own shirts. ($4-$8 if you buy from Sign Garage.)
  4. It may be best to leave your littlest kids home. I actually ended up sending my 3 and 2 year old home. But Jefferson (2) stayed and he did fine, but he does have older siblings. There is also a grassy area outside the warehouse that we let the older kids play on. The street is a dead end, so it wasn't very busy. We did have a little movie playing on the iphone for the kids too.
  5. Plan for a few hours. If you do a little party and bring in kids like we did, you'll find that it does take some time.

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