For several years I have been intrigued by screenprinting. Of course we all know a shop that screenprints 100's – 1000's of tees but there's so much more that can be screen printed. I've seen some mind blowing fine art screen prints that were out of this world. Crazy! This was one from a visiting artist…pretty cool.
So finally I a few weeks ago I decided I had to try this. It's simple– but there's definitely a learning curve. This particular tutorial is what made me think, "hey, I can do this!" I saw it in Molly Makes, totally fun magazine.
I had purchased a screen, inks and squeegee at Michaels. They had closed out the inks so they were cheap. I didn't want to burn a screen or mess with emulsion yet so I created a stencil with my Cricut. Folks are using embroidery hoops and panty hose/sheer fabrics, etc. for their DIY so don't think you have to buy everything.
This is the art I wanted to create a screenprint of-
The first step was to convert my art to an SVG file (Adobe Illustrator can do this) – a file that can be cut by the electronic cutters. I have the SCAL (Sure Cuts Alot) software so I can cut any file/font with my computer hooked up. (I don't think that you can purchase that software anymore due to a lawsuit.) Anyway–
Bear in mind with this method any small details are difficult to work with when using a stencil/vinyl…I actually dumbed this design down quite a bit to a much less detailed version.
You can see the screen there (back side) the orange is the vinyl stencil. I tried cutting contact paper (clear) but it just isn't as sticky. I did however use the contact paper to protect/mask the screen around the stencil –that's why it looks normal (clear paper).
The first print I pulled was actually on this tote bag…
It's a bit difficult to figure out how much pressure, how much ink (doesn't really take a lot), etc… I think there's a lot of tutorials that give more info on this — of course I am too impatient and I just went at it.
The second time I had a better idea of the feel of pulling the print– I seemed to figure out the right ratio of ink/pressure. I plan on doing some more shirts or bags and putting them in my Etsy. Isn't this darn cute!
What's fun is that its a great way to make many prints! I made each of us girls a shirt…we are all Makers, of course. There's a great How To on this blog as well where the artist made an apron…be sure and check it out.
Good luck if you try!