I have long been a fan of screen printing. The idea of turning a sketch of my own into a shirt, pillowcase, tea towel, tote, bag, etc..has been a dream for longer than I can remember and until recently it seemed like I’d need to purchase some pretty pricey equipment to see this dream to fruition. Not the case!
I did a little research on the YouTubes and the Interwebs & found that there are actually a few different ways to do this whole screen printing thing at home. So I took a look at the supplies I had in my home & opted for this route.
Here’s what I used:
Embroidery hoop (I used a 7in, but use whatever size your design requires..just try not to have too much extra space)
Chiffon fabric (you can also use tulle, I tried both & personally prefer chiffon)
Old Paint Brush
Foam Sponge Brush
Simply Screen Paint (water based screen printing paint)
Image, Sketch, Picture to be used
Here’s what I did:
-Pick an image, a design, something you like & sketch it out
-Pick an embroidery hoop, measure your chiffon & cut it out then secure it in the hoop making sure the fabric is pulled taught.
-Transfer your sketch onto your prepared screen
-Flip your screen over and paint your Mod Podge around the outlines of your image, covering any negative space you don’t want to be printed
-Let the Mod Podge dry! I can not stress this enough! Overnight is preferable, but give it at least a couple hours. Also, make sure your get good coverage with your Mod Podge. The chiffon has holes & if these holes aren’t filled they will show up on your finished product…this is why I prefer the chiffon over the tulle. Tulle has much larger holes making it more difficult to get them all filled.)
-Pick the item you want to print onto (pillow cases, t-shirts, tote bags, tea towels are all great, use your imagination!) & find something to use as a liner (you don’t want the paint to bleed through!) I’ve used both cardboard & poster board, both worked well.
-Lay your screen flat onto your liner on a solid surface, get your paint & sponge brush, and start painting! Be sure to hold your screen in place really well!! You can tape the hoop down if you like, I didn’t find this to be necessary.
-I like to add the paint directly to the screen, but you can easily add it to your sponge brush & apply it that way. Be sure to use enough paint to ensure full image printing (but you can always clean it up after you remove the screen if needed, but be careful)
-When it looks like you’ve gotten full coverage, carefully & slowly remove your screen while holding your fabric down (the paint has a tendency to make the chiffon stick a little)
-Now do any clean up needed (be sure to rinse your sponge brush & you can wipe your screen with a damp towel/paper towel) then let it dry! Follow the instructions on your paint, mine says to let it dry for 24hrs, heat set with a dry iron using a pressing cloth, then after 72hrs hand wash cold.
Try it out if your interested & let me know what you think, share pictures, but most importantly, Have Fun!! I think that’s one of the most important aspects of this DIY movement, make things yourself..with your own 2 hands & enjoy the process!!