Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Silkscreening Made Easy

Silkscreening Make Easy

April 27, 2011
by Wendy Switzer


·         Fabric Paints or markers
·         White sticky backed Vinyl
·         Transfer Tape
·         Craft Knife
·         Tweezers
·         Craft Mat
·         Silk Screen (optional)
·         Cardboard or poster board
·         Duct tape, masking tape AND pkg tape
·         Pencil
·         Tracing paper
·         Rolling pin
·         Sponge or sponge brushes
·         Paint squeegee or stiff cardboard
·         Hair dryer
·         Parchment paper/vellum


1.     Decide on the design that you would like on your shirt.
2.     Draw or print out design from computer on tracing paper.
3.     Tape tracing paper/design, UPSIDE DOWN, to your piece of your vinyl.  (Cut right side UP if you do not have a silk screen to use).
4.     Use craft knife and craft mat to cut along the design edges.  Make sure to only cut out those areas which you want to show up on your shirt.  (You can also use a die cutting machine to complete this step if desired)
5.     Next, place a piece of transfer tape onto your design.  Peel vinyl from the protective backing so that it is now on the transfer tape (vinyl sticky back should be exposed…do not touch sticky back; you need all the stickiness possible).
a.     Press onto the BOTTOM side of your silkscreen (the side that will lay against the shirt)
b.    Rub firmly. Remove transfer tape.  Image should look right side up when you look at it
c.     Press any lifted edges down again.
d.    Place cardboard or poster board inside the shirt so that the paint will not bleed through.
e.     Tape the shirt down to your work surface.
f.     Position silkscreen over the shirt so design is exactly where you want it.  Use duct tape to tape down the TOP edge of the silkscreen ONLY.  This will allow you to lift and lower your design over your shirt but keep the image in the exact same place.
g.    Use masking or packaging tape to tape off any areas that might be open and allow paint to seep through.
h.     Squirt out a fair amount of fabric paint (or use markers) and use the squeegee to pull the paint across the silkscreen creating the image on your shirt. 
i.      Remove any excess paint from the squeegee and replace in bottle since it can be used again and again.
j.      Lift off silkscreen and wash screen immediately and peel off vinyl and discard. 
k.     While you wash the screen, keep the shirt laying flat to give it time to dry a bit.
l.      SKIP TO STEP #13
7.     Decide where you would like your design to be on your shirt and press firmly in place.  Be sure to rub all of the edges down VERY good.
8.     Carefully peel off the transfer tape.  Firmly use a rolling pin over the vinyl to secure any lifted edges.
9.     Use masking tape or packaging tape to tape off any areas that might be too close to the edge and perhaps have paint run off the vinyl.
10.  Use the sponge or brushes to begin to dab paint inside all of the open areas in the vinyl.
11.  When finished, let sit for 10 minutes to dry a bit.
12.  Use the tweezers to carefully peel back and discard vinyl.
13.  Use a hair dryer to dry the image. 
14.  Use a piece of parchment paper to cover the image and iron over.  Press for 5 minutes on a very warm/hot setting. 
Your shirt is now ready for

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