Wednesday, April 18, 2012

DIY Screen Printing 3 Ways - Part 1

Know what I'm not a fan of? Paying $25 for a graphic tee. I'd much prefer to use that money for supplies. Supplies to screen print multiple shirts, bags, hand towels, and whatever else pops up in my brain pan. 

For part 1, we're going to screen print using two simple methods: stencil and trace. Part 2 will be more of a hold on to your hat situation involving light sensitive chemicals! Let's get this party started.

Gather materials: item to print on, organza (or similar sheer fabric), embroidery hoops, a stencil, an image, fabric paint, gesso (or modge podge), paint brush, putty knife, pencil, tape, and cardboard.

Step 1: Cut a piece of organza a bit larger than your embroidery hoop. Insert the organza. Pull it tight!

Step 2 [Stencil]:
Tape your stencil to the organza. (Hint: taping both sides help the tape stick better.)
Step 2 [Trace]: Place your image beneath your hoop and use a pencil to trace the image directly onto the organza. (Hint: Make sure the lip of the hoop is facing up. This keeps you from needing to reverse the image.)

Step 3 [Stencil
]: Skip ahead! 
Step 3 [Trace]: Paint around your traced image with gesso. This will block the fabric paint from transferring to your finished project. Let it dry completely.

Step 4: Place a bit of cardboard between layers of your finished project. Example: If printing a tee shirt, place cardboard between the front and back. This keeps paint from bleeding to areas you did not intend to print.

Step 5: Place a line of fabric paint above the stencil/image. You don’t need as much as you think.

Step 6:
Use the putty knife to draw the paint down over the stencil/image. Apply some pressure to make sure the paint pushes through the organza but doesn’t bleed. Be sure to hold on to your hoop – you don’t want it sliding around.

Step 7:
Carefully lift the hoop off your finished project.

Step 8 [Trace]: Wash out your screen and use it over and over again!

P.S. This is not an announcement. The baby items are for a baby growing in someone else’s belly.


  1. I just bought cloth napkins from an estate sale....let the screen printing of cephalopods commence!

  2. "Know what I'm not a fan of? Paying $25 for a graphic tee" LOL! That's funny. Awesome post and I'm a fan of how you did it yourself, keep up the great work and feel free to post more articles like this : ) loved reading it!

  3. Good post....thanks for sharing.. very useful for me i will bookmark this for my future needs. Thanks.