Easy Silkscreen

A few years back, while I was still trying to figure out what sorts of things I might create, I found a very simple and very cheap technique for making silkscreens.

It must have been on a crafter’s site online. It’s probably still out there in cyberspace. It may even be easily intuited by many but I’m going to share it here.

MayanwBowlI’ve made a few of these embroidery hoop silkscreens. Large and small.

This first picture is a Mayan image.

This second image is also Mayan. It’s a little more difficult to see. I made it from a silk scarf and I must have used gloss-lustre Mod Podge.

VisionSerpentHeadVisionSerpentThe third image is from that crappy looking silkscreen. It doesn’t look like much but it works great.

Here are the steps:

1) Find or create an image you like.

2) Get an embroidery hoop large enough to fit around the image.

3) Find some old-school sheer curtain material. Fit it snuggly into the embroidery hoop.

SilkscreenPatches 011

SilkscreenPatchBolan4) Lay the hoop over the image so the material lays flat against the image.

5) Trace your black and white areas with a dark pencil.

6) Flip the screen over so the drawn image is not touching your work table.

7) Mod Podge all white areas, all the areas you Do Not want ink to penetrate. Be generous with the Mod Podge so that you really seal up the material. It will then hold up when you rinse the ink out.

8) Let it dry a good 24 hours. Once dry, hold your screen up to the light and make sure that there are no holes in your covered areas. If there are just cover them with with more Mod Podge.

You have now created your cheapie silk screen.

You can lay it over the surface on to which you will print it, leaving it in the hoop or taking it out.

I am applying the image onto cloth so I take the screen sheet out of the hoop and pin it to the material. Make sure to place the pins out of the range of your image. so that when you take them out you don’t carry ink onto a spot where you don’t want ink.

I use Speedball Fabric ink, applied with a stiff round paint brush, stipling it or dabbing it onto the open areas of the silkscreen. I go over the open areas thoroughly to make sure the ink has been pressed through the screen.

Once I’m sure the ink is on the cloth I remove the pins and very carefully pull the silkscreen away from the material leaving behind the image.

I take my hair dryer, which gets very hot and I blow dry the wet ink for about 4 minutes to heat set it. Make sure the cloth won’t blow away if it’s a small patch peice instead of a whole T Shirt.

I pretty sure if you leave the screen in the hoop and place it face down on a good peice of paper you can pull an image in this same way, stipling the ink onto the paper. I guess you would just use regular screen printing ink instead of fabric ink.

I share the finished Marc Bolan silkscreen when it’s done.


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