Introduction: How to Make a Friend Happy.

Picture of How to Make a Friend Happy.

...with a silk-screened tee. 



I took TechShop's silk screening printing basics class and vinyl cutter class! So much fun! (http://www.techshop.ws/)

Step 1: Your Materials

Picture of Your Materials

Ink: Blick's great...yay for student discounts.

Shirt: bought at American Apparel...they have a two for $30 deal!

Vinyl: for your stencil. You can buy this at TechShop, online, at art stores...

Squeegee: supplied by TechShop...if you're purchasing one at an art store, make sure to consider the size and stiffness of the blade.

Silk screen: I bought one at Blick but the frame was too small for the graphic I wanted to print...luckily TechShop had one I could use!

Step 2: Your Stencil!

Picture of Your Stencil!

Select your graphic! I used Adobe Illustrator to design the snake and traced a picture I got online for the other image.


Pick your vinyl! I used vinyl from TechShop's vinyl scrap bin. You'll only need vinyl that's the size of the image, not the entire silk screen.



Step 3: Vinyl Cutting

Picture of Vinyl Cutting

Print away! Just upload your illustrator file to the computer and use TechShop's FlexiStarter program which links up with the vinyl cutter. (Make sure to select Cut/Plot, not print!)

Weed weed weed! Remove any vinyl where you want ink to run through. 




Here's the kit of tools that TechShop provides! Really helpful to get all the little pieces out.


And the beautiful vinyl cutter!

Step 4: The Moment You've Been Waiting For...

Picture of The Moment You've Been Waiting For...

Now get ready to silkscreen. It's exciting.

Here's your station: 

Your hinge clamps: here's where you secure your silk screen when you're ready to print! 

Your silk screen: as you can see I covered the screen with more vinyl. You can also use transfer tape..it's pretty clear why this is important.

Your squeegee: I bought the wrong type of squeegee at Blick so Liz, the silkscreening guru at TechShop, gave me one to borrow for my project. 

Step 5: Practice Makes Perfect!

Picture of Practice Makes Perfect!

...almost.

That's the awesome part about silk screening your own shirt!

I had a lot of trials and errors before I got the result I was looking for...but that's ok! Just use some old tee's and print away...



Remember that your main areas of control are pressure and speed. And don't forget to flood coat!

Step 6: The End.

Picture of The End.

Now that you've printed, lay out your shirts and let them absorb the ink.


and yay! You're done.


Happy silk screening...


-eef

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Bio: MIT MechE student and intern at TechShop SF http://www.linkedin.com/pub/emma-feshbach/46/275/18b
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