Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How To Make Your Own Silkscreen

Of course there are many, many tutorials online for how to do this, but I just have to add my own.

I wanted to make my own screen because a 24" x 24" screen is ridiculously large and impossible to use when you're working on a 1" x 1" scale.

You Will Need:
1 Picture Frame (with a flat surface ideally)
Screen Mesh or a Gauzy Curtain
Staple Gun
A Helping Hand

Step One

Take your picture frame apart, being sure to take out any metal bits. If there are any broken splints of wood they'll tear the screen, so cover them with some electrical tape.

Step Two

Place the frame over your mesh and cut an at least one inch border around it.

Step Three

Like when you stretch canvas, you want to put a staple in the very middle of one of the picture frame sides. Then you flip the frame over, pull the screen taut, put a staple in the middle of that side, and continue on to the other two sides. As you repeat this process you staple out towards the edges, pulling as you go. This assures the screen will be as taut as possible.

Step Four
Trim the excess fabric if it's in the way, but don't cut too close to the staples, or it will end up fraying out.

When your silk screen is complete you can apply pictures to it in many different ways! Click "Read More" to see them!

1. Vinyl / Contact Paper

Using an exacto knife you can carve your image out of either vinyl or contact paper. You then peel the back off the paper and stick your vinyl/contact paper on your screen wherever you'd like. If you have a vinyl cutter you can use that too, of course.

2. Hot Glue

You can also put a picture underneath your screen and then use hot glue to apply a design - this, of course, is permanent.

3. Emulsion

Finally, you can always screen print with emulsion like the pros do! I'm lucky enough to have access to a silk screening studio for the next two months, but you guys at home will have to make do! You can buy emulsion and expose it using either a 40 Watt UV light bulb, or the sun!


On my third screen I did have issues getting the creases out of the fabric, they didn't pull out. Chris suggested steaming them out, which did work, but since our steamers are for wax, we got wax on our screens ): Oops!

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