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At home silk screening on the cheap!

Picture of At home silk screening on the cheap!
Silk screening can be fun, but it can also end up costing you a fortune. If you want to print your own clothes and bags, but are a poor starving student like I am, this is an easy and cost efficient way to add images to your clothes.
 
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Step 1: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started
Although there are a handful of things that you do need for this activity, most of them are everyday items that can be found around the house.

What you will need:
- Black and white image (printed or drawn)
- The t-shirt (can also be used on a bag, pants, whatever your heart desires)
- Fabric screen printing ink (I used a brand called speedball. Highly recommended and not a mission to find. Available at fabric and craft stores)
- A thick glue (mod podge is my favourite and is cheap and available everywhere)
- Embroidery hoop ($2.05 at Fabricland)
- A sheer material (I used an old pair of nylons that had a run in them)
- Pencil
- Paintbrushes (various sized depending on how detailed your image is).

Step 2: Finding an image

Picture of Finding an image
Find an image that you would like to use.

Remember that you are going to be tracing this image down the line, so if it is your first time doing this, you may want to chose an image with less detail.

Open it in Photoshop/MS Paint and convert the file to a black and white image.
When you've drained the photo of any colour, print it out and let's get started.
Anna Logg1 year ago
Um. Where did/does the dried up glue go?
reddoor5453 years ago
Would tulle be a good substitute for nylons?
raven755 years ago
excellent! great job have to try this. thank you for sharing!
Love this screen printing technique - I do it the same way myself ;-)
kit-kat5 years ago
Thank you I really hope I can do it. Kat
dchall86 years ago
I am sure Ingela found the other Instructable on this topic. I think it would at least be the polite thing to do to acknowledge the fact that you did your research first and still thought you should post another Instructable because you have something to add.

I did this based on the earlier version. For an image I took a picture and created a black and white image. Getting that right was the hardest part of the project, and it still came out wrong. Have patience and step back from the final image to make sure there are no problems. I tinted my Mod Podge with food coloring so I could see it. My table top was white and white Mod Podge was just too hard to see. I used inexpensive acrylic house paint (custom color from Home Depot) instead of the expensive Speedball paints. Acrylic house paint Never comes off a shirt. For a sheer material I got some cheap, not stretchy, lace at Wal-Mart. It was reasonably sturdy to transfer the design. To spread the paint quickly and evenly across the stencil I dumped a load of paint and spread it with an old credit card. As I recall all these hints came from Threadbanger's Instructable and the comments.

You can reuse the stencil if you clean the paint out quickly. You can make several prints at one time, but the paint (or ink) will start to dry and fill the holes, so keep the process moving and be ready with a hose to blow the paint out as soon as you are finished. If the paint dries, it is permanent. For that matter, you could probably use acrylic paint instead of Mod Podge to create the original stencil.
Kiteman6 years ago
Nice idea - can you re-use the screen at all, or is this strictly a one-off process?
gmoon6 years ago
What a cool technique! And much easier than typical silkscreening...
Babyshoes6 years ago
Cool! I would imagine that using a VERY soft, slightly blunt pencil for your tracing would be helpful in preventing rips in the nylons. Would a marker run with the paint, d'you think?
Wowzerz, that's awesome! It came out great too, and that's pretty funny. (The shirt, of course). Great job, hopefully I can do this!
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