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July 23, 2013

Simple Steps for DIY Screen Printing

Screen printing is a simple and cost-effective method for printing your own designs. While screen printing shops are necessary for large orders at a professional level, you can do small projects right at home! Once you start, you won’t want to stop – trust us.

Here are simple DIY instructions for screen printing.

Step 1: Select the design you want to use and print it out. Make sure that it is the correct size.

Step 2: Get out your TWO embroidery hoops and fabric. The embroidery hoop can be wood or plastic. The fabric should be thin woven mesh material, such as an inexpensive sheer curtain panel.

Step 3: Stretch the fabric over one hoop (inner) and place the other hoop (outer) over both the fabric and inner hoop. The fabric should be tightly pulled through both hoops. You may have to cut the fabric to make it fit tight.

Step 4: Position the hoop over the image of your choice; the fabric should be facing down. If you don’t want the image to move around, use a small piece of tape to secure it.

Step 5: Trace the image using a pencil onto the fabric.

Step 6: Paint your image using a product like Mod Podge. You may also want to place something between the fabric so that the paint does not bleed through.

Step 7: Get your item ready, whether it’s a tote bag or t-shirt. (If it’s a t-shirt, place a piece of cardboard in the middle so the ink doesn’t bleed through.) Place the screen – which should be dry – where you want it to be on the item.

Step 8: Place fabric ink on the screen and spread it around so that the entire image is covered. Then slowly peel the screen off of the shirt or tote bag. If there are some spots that were missed, you may go back and touch them up with a paintbrush.

Step 9: Depending on the type of ink used, you may have to iron the print for a couple of minutes. Read the finishing directions on the ink product for more clarification.
Congratulations! You’ve just mastered the art of screen printing, and you can now put your favorite designs on shirts, backpacks and totes!

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