Silk Screen Printing: Part 1

Silk Screen Printing: Part 1

Hope you have all had a great week and have some spare time for crafting this weekend! Today's post, and a couple more to feature, are focusing on Silk Screen Printing. A few months back I got a massive haul of adhesive vinyl and one purpose I had in mind for it was to use it as stencils for screen printing. However, I don't know about you, but when I looked around for silk screens they don't come cheap! So I decided to do some research, looked on Youtube and various sites and found a much cheaper alternative way to screen print by making your own! Don't get me wrong, the ones out on the market are probably very good quality. However, as I am starting out I wanted to keep my costs down. 

Materials required for Making your own Silk Screen:

  • A box picture frame. This can be the size of your choosing. 
  • Small grain voile material - enough to cover your frame with excess overhang.
  • Staple gun - alternatively you could use a hammer and nail but it will take longer to make.

And that is it! You only need these three materials and you can source these quite cheaply!

As you can see from the picture above, I used a Ribba frame from Ikea. This frame is ideal as the box frame has a good enough depth without being too shallow. In addition, you can get this frame in different sizes. Therefore, you could create a selection of screens to print with. I think I paid £7 for this frame.

I got my staple gun from Homebargins - I think it was £5 and it works well, but you need a strong arm to get it to punch your staples out. Or if you are like me, you need to use both hands!

The voile I got from a normal fabric shop and cost under £2 a metre. So all in all, it has cost me under £15 to make this decent sized silk screen. 

How to assemble your Silk Screen:

To start to assemble my silk screen, I removed the cardboard inner and glass window, so I was just left with the frame. 

I placed my voile over the front of the frame, and cut down the fabric making sure I had plenty off over hang on each side. 

I then flipped the frame over and pulled the voile over the top edge in the middle of one side. To secure this in place I used the staple gun. I apologise for the state of this photo, but as I mentioned before this was quite a stiff gun for a weak arm like me, and really required me to use both my hands. However, not possible when you are trying to take a photo at the same time. 

Before I placed any more staples along that side, I repeated the step on the opposite side. I pulled the voile over the top edge in the middle of the side, and made sure I pulled the fabric tightly. This is important as you need to get a nice tight screen to print with. I repeated this step once more of the top and bottom edges. After I had secured the voile in the middle of each side,  I continued to staple the remaining fabric around the frame - again making sure I got a nice tight screen!

I trimmed any excess fabric off and voila! One DIY silk screen which took less than 15 minutes and less than £15 to make! Who can argue with that?! Let me know how you get on making your own screen by posting a picture below or use #prettylittlebutton. 

For the next part in silk screen printing series I talk about and try out different paints for fabric silk screen printing.

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Till next time,

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