1. Creating Your Image
When making your first attempt, you should start with a simple design without a lot of thin lines. A basic silhouette using Photoshop is the easiest way to go. You will need a solid black image, this is because its main purpose is to block off the light. The image you choose will be burnt into the emulsion in the fourth step four. Once you have settled on an image, print out the image on a laser printer onto a transparent paper (if you are not able to buy a box of transparencies, visit copy shops, they can copy the image for you onto a transparency for just a dollar).
2. Coat your Screen in Emulsion
Emulsion comes in two parts: the emulsion and the sensitizer. Mix the two together following the the directions shown on the bottle. Lay down the screen on a large bag. Proceed and pour out a little of the emulsion mixture onto the screen and then spread it out on the screen with the squeegee. A slightly larger area than the area you want to pint will be covered by the emulsion. You can repeat the process again until the screen is well coated and you can’t see through it. You want an even, thin layer across the whole screen.
Leave your screen in a black room for two hours till it’s completely dry.
3. Exposing the Image on the Screen
It’s now the time to expose the screen on to the light. In that same black room (do not turn on the lights yet),just lay down a black board or cloth. The, lay down the frame and the screen with the screen side down on top of the black cloth. Now lay the transparency with your image on it onto the screen where the photo emulsion is placed. You should tape the transparency down with the scotch tape or lay a small piece of glass over it.
Move the lamp so that it’s about one feet above the screen. Angle the lamp with the 250 watts bulb at the transparency with the image on it and leave the room. You should not turn on any other lights. Wait for ten to fifteen minutes then return to the room and carefully raise the transparency. You should be able to see the faint blue lines where your image is burned into the screen. If the image looks good, it’s now time to clean it up. If the image does not look good still, leave it for a few more minutes and then check back later.
4. Clean your Screen
Spray the screen down with some cold water from a hose pipe, shower head or sink. Continue to spray until you can clearly see through your image clearly. Hold your screen up to the light so as to make sure that it looks exactly like your transparency. Now let the screen dry up. Once the screen is dry, cover up any exposed parts of the screen with tape.
Step 5: Print!
Lay your t-shirt out on a clean flat surface. Stuff up a square piece of cardboard inside the shirt, just underneath the area that you want to print on. Lay the screen over the shirt, the design where you want to print it and Print!
Image by anthonycpujol
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Links to everything you need to screen print your own t-shirts: http://www.iliketomakestuff.com/how-to-screen-print-your-own-t-shirts
Visit Casper.com/make and use the code MAKE for off
Here’s what you’ll need:
(purchasing via these affiliate links supports ILTMS)
Photo Emulsion Kit (includes emulsion remover) – http://amzn.to/1JxIf3e
Screen Printing Ink (white) – http://amzn.to/1bzCCTH
Squeegee (multiple sizes) – http://amzn.to/1IiZ5S0
Aluminum Screen (20″x24″) – http://amzn.to/1Fukkzo
Palette Knife – http://amzn.to/1bzDcAY
Blank t-shirts – http://amzn.to/1zjGhAl
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Screen printing is a fantastic way to cheaply make branded items, or even one off custom pieces. Need a silly t-shirt to surprise a friend with? Printing it yourself is the cheapest way to make that happen! Kids can even get the hang of printing VERY quickly and be apart of the entire process, which is awesome!
Here are a few things that I didn’t cover in the video that I think will give you better results.
Use high dpi screens. These provide finer detail, and have significantly improved my prints.
Have someone hold your frame so that you can use two hands to evenly pull the squeegee.
If you don’t have access to a dryer for heat setting, you can cover the print with a piece of paper and iron it for a minute.
If using a dark material, look for an ink labeled “super opaque”. You’ll get a brighter colored print.
You’ll need a screen and squeegee to start.
Also, some photo emulsion for screen printing.
Add water to the sensitizer, then mix it with the emulsion.
Mix thoroughly until it’s an even green color.
Pour just a small amount onto the screen.
Use the squeegee to spread it evenly on both sides of the screen. Try to get even and full coverage by alternating directions and sides.
Dry the emulsion in front of a fan and IN THE DARK.
After it’s dry, quickly lay your artwork, backwards, on the back of the screen. You can print your art on transparencies at most office supplies stores or copy centers.
Tape the art in place, then lay on a piece of glass to hold it against the screen.
Apply a very bright light for 30-45 minutes.
You can also use sunlight, but the time may vary depending on cloud cover and placement.
The areas covered by your art do not get exposed when you remove the transparency.
Use a light spray and soft toothbrush to wash out the unexposed emulsion.
Be careful not to use too much force when spraying it out or you will remove emulsion around your design as well.
Use painters tape to mask any areas that you don’t want to print yet, or areas where the emulsion isn’t intact.
Layout your shirt on smooth, flat surface and remove wrinkles.
Place your design where you want it to be printed.
Lay a thick bead of ink above the art, extended past both ends. Be sure to add extra ink above large areas to be printed.
Even though I’m working alone here, you’ll have better luck to have someone hold your screen, then use two hands to evenly pull the squeegee fully across your screen.
Remove the screen and wash out all of the ink before it dries. After the ink dries, run your shirt through a clothes dryer for 5 minutes to heat set the print.
The screens can be reused by cleaning them with emulsion remover.
Spread a small amount across both sides of the screen.
Then use a hose to wash out the emulsion until the screen is clean. Dark inks will stain the material of the screen, but this will not affect future prints. Just make sure to remove all of the emulsion. Second channel: bit.ly/iltms-2
Video Rating: / 5
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