Thursday, 1 September 2011

screen printing tutorial

:a tutorial:

Now before I start I want to make it very clear that I not by any means an expert in screen printing.  I do not know any of the technical terms and processes. 
This is just a little tutorial on how I do it  and what I have learnt along the way.

 Anyhoo, moving right a long,  let's get started.

NB: For this type of screen printing it is a kind of one off.  By that I mean you can not save the stencil to re use it.

Firstly these are my weapons of choice.

 The Speedball screen and ink are readily available in most art supply shops.
I got my screen from Riot Art and the ink from deans art in the city (Melbourne)

Ok, next you want to make a stencil.  Now for this I just use plain A4 copy paper as I don't print loads of the one image at any one time.  You can get about 10-15 prints out of the paper. Just  keep an eye on it as it becomes quite saturated in ink and may tear.
  There is waxy paper also available from art supply stores that lasts longer enabling many more prints.

If you want a design that is symmetrical,
1. take your paper and fold it in half
2. Draw your design remembering you are only drawing half of it.
3. In my design above you see I have only drawn half of the big petal at the top and the stem
4. Cut out the design with either a little pair of scissor or a craft knife.
I use both depending on what the design is and what feels more comfortable
5. Unfold it and there you have it!!!!

You can always just draw a  design and use a knife to cut it out I like have here

Once you are happy with your design, place in down on some newspaper or scrap paper,
1. Make sure you add all your little cut out bits.
2. Carefully place the screen down on top of your design
(I try and line it up as straight as possible with the screen)
3. Check to make sure none of your pieces have moved.
You can see your design through the screen

Are you still with me???????

I hope so because it's now time for the fun part............

Now we are going to load (yes I believe that is a techie term) the screen up.

1. Place some paint at the top of the screen
2. Place your squeegee at the top behind the ink
3. Run the squeegee down the screen carefully trying to stay one the paper area and not the screen.
Now I do this a few times to make sure the screen is loaded.
4. Lift the screen to see your design printed on the newspaper and the paper design stuck to the bottom of the screen.
If the print is a little uneven then repeat this process again making sure to use a clean bit of newspaper each time as you don't want paint where it shouldn't be!
NB: If you do go off the paper design on your screen a little  when you are loading the screen just, tape that area with masking tape so ink doesn't bleed onto your fabric when you are ready to print. Hope that makes sense!

1. Turn your screen over
2. Tape the edges with masking tape to stop any ink bleeding out the sides

Wooohoooo now we are ready to start printing.

1. Place the fabric that you are about to print on, down on some newspaper.
2. Place some ink at the top of the screen and run your squeegee down the screen a couple of times.
3. Lift the screen carefully, and with everything crossed, your design should be printed.
This is when I let out a little scream and do a little happy dance that it has worked

If you need to print your design in a particular spot each time you can tape up a grid (registration lines THANKS Nic) with masking tape like I did here.

Now it's time to sit back and admire your work..

and if you are anything like me and happy that it has actually worked, you will want to print anything you can get your hands on.

Now for all of you lovely ladies that have made it to the end of this post,  how would you like to win the apron that I made and printed???
Well, all you have to do is leave a comment and I will draw the winner on Monday 5th September at 11.00am.
Entry open to everyone.

More creating going on over here


  1. Tanya Thanks so much for this -just what I needed.And your apron is lovely.

  2. Great tutorial! I always wondered how to do that printing - looks easy enough I might even try!

    And what a great giveaway - that apron is gorgeous - I'm about to go on holiday though so would miss the draw! Good luck to all those who enter! Great prize!

    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  3. It looks FANTASTIC!!! Especially love it on the black t-shirt. Job well done, Gold star for you!

  4. Hi Tanya that was great thanks for explaining I still think I will have to have my hand held through it all (you clever lady).

    I love the design, & no 5 on my space how early were you up tee hee mind you I wasn't far behind hee have a great day! :)

  5. Thanks for the tute Tanya! :) I haven't done any silk screen printing since YEAR 7!!! I love your designs (They remind me of the sweet note cards that you send me).
    Hope you are having a great week :)
    S xo

  6. Fantastic tutorial Tanya...I have always wanted to try screen printing and now it seems easy enough to attempt :)

  7. wow what a great tutorial! i wonder if you'd be able to use kitchen paper (greaseproof) to stop tearing?
    anywho you've made this look easy, i always thought it was really difficult!
    may have to give it a try!!

  8. What a great tutorial! The design looks fantastic. I am hoping to give some printing a try, using the freezer paper method (can't seem to find my silk screen!) thanks!

  9. This is pretty much how I do it too :) Lovely design and the prints came out beautifully. Great giveaway idea too :) K

  10. That's pretty much how I screen print too, although I am quite new to it. When a print works well, I'm like you in that I print it wherever I's just so much fun!
    It's a beautiful design, and the white against the darker tshirts looks really fantastic. Thanks for sharing your process!

  11. thanks for the tutorial! love the design and would not mind having that apron in my kitchen! :)

  12. oh tanya, you are so smart and kind and i hope i am lucky !!!! i do need some good kind this week ! xd

  13. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I'm pinning it, because I really want to do some screen printing, but I'm realistic enough to know that its going to be a while!

  14. That is such a great tutorial Tanya, thank you for sharing it with us. I love the idea of printing onto fabric and I was thinking it would be a great idea for Christmas too, giving boys printed shirts. You've done a great job and thank you for the giveaway, I would love a chance to win your handmade creation.

  15. You make it sound so simple...

    The print is lovely.

  16. Thanks for a great tutorial! I might have to give this a go...
    I love the t-shirts that you did for your girls.

  17. Oh wow, I would love to try screen printing, thanks for a great tutorial.
    And the apron is totally gorgeous!!!

  18. Oh wow. Is it really that easy? Thanks for making it look do-able.

  19. Gorgeous Tanya!!
    Impeccable work as yours always is :)

  20. Great tutorial - you make it look so easy. I can't wait to try it.

  21. Just like I remember from high school.... Didn't know you could buy screens, I must keep an eye out...


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love reading them and try to answer each and everyone.Tanya