Screen Printing (on the cheap!)
I printed this gorilla shirt myself! I have been printing my own t-shirts for clubs and special events for about 10 years, now I'm sharing my secrets with you in this DIY blog post. (Video is at the bottom of the page)
- Embroidery hoop
- Sheer curtain fabric (the thinner the weave, the finer the detail)
- Something to print on (t-shirt, canvas bag, your choice)
- Screen printing ink, but you could get away with acrylic paint if you're on a super budget
- Mod Podge or some other type of non water soluble glue
- A small paint brush you wouldn't mind dedicating to glue
- Something to use as a squeegee, paper or an gift card
- Wax paper if you're printing on fabric (to put underneath the layer you're printing on)
- A black marker, I used a Sharpie
Put the fabric in the embroidery hoop and pull it as taught as possible. Put the hoop (aka screen) fabric side down on top of your image, and trace it with the marker. Make sure there's at least an inch border of extra space around the image or the inside of the hoop.
Flip the screen over and paint everything you DON'T want to print with the Mod Podge glue. This part is about craftsmanship, so paint slowly and carefully with small brushes. Let it dry, then do a second coat checking for small pin holes. To check for holes, hold it up to a light and look very close.
Let it dry completely (I usually wait overnight, but it probably only takes a couple hours), then stretch out the fabric ready to print. Put cardboard or wax paper under the fabric so it doesn't soak through. Lay the screen on top, fabric side down.
Get a decent amount of screen printing ink (or paint) on the old credit card, and while holding the screen firmly in place, drag the ink at a 45 degree-ish angle across the screen where the image is to be printed. Re-dip as much as you need to get the space covered.
Lift the screen up and marvel at your new t-shirt!
I teach future art teachers at Emporia State University. Here is what is going on in my classes.