Screenprinting

Equipment Needed

I learned how to screen print back in college during a semester-long Printmaking class that covered a variety of printing techniques. I recently picked it up again, and realized that all of the equipment is pretty pricey! You can screen print in your own home if you have the right materials.

 

You’ll need the following supplies:

1. a frame and screen material (I made my frame myself out of wood, and I bought the screen material on amazon)

2. photo emulsion and sensitizer (you can buy both at Blick’s art supply)

3. a 250 watt bulb (you can get this from Home Depot)

4. some rubber gloves just for handling the frame when wet

5. a squeegee that fits the size of your frame (I bought mine on amazon)

6. and some fabric ink for on your t-shirt (from Blick’s)

How I Made the Print

First decide on the design you’re going to print on your material. I went with a few cocktail recipes printed on a kitchen towel.

 

Get your design printed out on transparent paper. You can get this done cheaply at your local printing store. I went to Office Depot.

 

Then when you’re ready to start, mix the elusion together with the sensitizer. It will turn green/blue when mixed. Just follow the directions, and make sure to store it in a dark area. Lay the screen down on the floor with a garbage bag underneath protecting the floor. It doesn’t matter which side is facing up because you’re going to coat both sides. Coat the emulsion mixture on both sides of the screen with the squeegee. Make sure you have a thin, even layer. When you’re done, put the screen in a pitch black room for a few hours until it’s dry.

 

When it’s completely dry, keep the screen in a dark room, but lay the transparency on the screen with the screen touching the ground. Tape the transparency down so it doesn’t move. Make sure to put a dark surface underneath. Angle a lamp with the 250 watt bulb at the transparency and wait 15 or so minutes. The transparency should have burned the image into the screen.

 

Once you see faint blue lines, you’re ready to spray screen with cold water. The emulsion will flake off and you’ll start to see the image come through. Let it dry then, and when it’s completely dry you can start printing!

 

To print, simply lay your t-shirt down under the screen, put a small amount of ink across the top of the screen, then spread it down with the squeegee. Wash out your screen quickly after and you’re done!

 

I followed the instructions in this Lifehacker post: https://lifehacker.com/5886483/simple-guide-to-screen-printing-your-own-shirts.

Resources

I followed the instructions in this Lifehacker post: https://lifehacker.com/5886483/simple-guide-to-screen-printing-your-own-shirts.

sideprojectsAndrea Hock