Introduction: StencilPro - PhotoEZ: DIY Screen Printing at Home
I love to screen print with StencilPro™ and PhotoEZ™! It's soooo versatile, economical, and fun. You can screen print t-shirts, fabrics, cards, glass, woods, metals, plastics, clay, ceramics, polymer clays ... for yourself, organization and for gifts. StencilPro™ and PhotoEZ™ are flexible pre-coated silk screen sheets that are developed by the sun. I love this product so much that I've started my own online business from home!
I hope to inspire you to visit my website at sunsilkscreens.com for additional information on how you can DIY screen print at home!
Step 1: Design
Design your artwork using Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word or a similar program leaving at least a 1" border around your artwork. Artwork must be black and white only, no gray scale, not even a very dark gray. I used Microsoft Word and pasted a cute bee clip art to design this t-shirt.
Print your design on paper and hold it against a t-shirt. When you're satisfied with your design print it on transparency.
Step 2: Set-Up
All the pictures shown in these instructions are of StencilPro Standard Grade.
StencilPro™ and PhotoEZ™ silk screen sheets are light sensitive and should only be taken out of the protective darkroom bag when ready to develop images onto the silk screen.
- Gather your supplies in a dimly lit room away from any bright light source. Center StencilPro™ either side up on the black velvet board of the magnetic Exposure Frame. For PhotoEZ™, peel the plastic protector off then place the shiny side up on the Exposure Frame.
- Place your transparency face down on top of the StencilPro™ or PhotoEZ™.
- Place the clear acrylic of the Exposure Frame on top of the transparency, pressing firmly to insure a tight contact.
- Place the lid of the Darkroom Box (or use cardboard) over all the items to protect the unexposed silk screen.
Step 3: Expose to Sun
Exposure times will vary depending on the time of day and brightness of the sun. The following times are guidelines and based on a sunny day between 10 am to 2 pm.
- Set your timer for 25 seconds for StencilPro™ and 30 seconds for PhotoEZ™.
- Position the Exposure Frame perpendicular to the sun's rays.
- Remove the protective cover, and start the timer.
- Replace the protective cover when the time is up.
Coming soon - Ecological, Economical, Environmentally Friendly ECO Exposure Light!
Step 4: Soak and Washout
- Remove your stencil and soak in the Darkroom Box filled with water for a minimum of 10 minutes. The silk screen can be left in the box for hours or day without harm.
- Use your kitchen faucet on spray mode and the Plastic Washout Screen for support; remove the emulsion from your image. This is the best method to remove emulsion. If you don't have a faucet with a water sprayer, gently use a soft brush or sponge.
- Check your stencil for any blockage (emulsion left on the image) by holding the silk screen up to the light before proceeding to the next step.
Step 5: Re-Expose and Dry
Pat your silk screen stencil dry with paper towels. Place your stencil on the Plastic Washout Screen and re-expose to the sun for 5 minutes. Dry your stencil completely before using.
Your StencilPro™ or PhotoEZ™ silk screen stencils are no longer light sensitive at this point.
Step 6: Screen Printing Set-Up
These steps insure that your t-shirt and stencil will not move while screen printing. This prevents accidentally smudging and running paint under the stencil.
- Spray your Plastic T-shirt Form with a multipurpose adhesive. You can also use cardboard. Make sure there are no ridges or dents on the cardboard. Place it between the t-shirt with the adhesive side against the back side to be screen printed.
- Apply restickable glue stick to the back of your stencil around your artwork.
Step 7: Screen Printing
- Apply screen printing ink across the top with a plastic palette knife. I'm using Jacquard screen printing ink shown in the picture above.
- Spread the ink down your stencil with a squeegee at a 45 degree angle. Lift your stencil without removing it and check for ink voids. Lay the stencil down and re-print if necessary.
- Lift your stencil and place on another t-shirt and keep going until you're done.
- Clean your silk screen immediately after screen printing with water and sponge. Do not let the ink dry on your silk screen stencil. Dried ink will block the screen and hard to remove without solvents.
I hope these instructions were helpful and have motivated you to start screen printing with StencilPro™ or PhotoEZ™. I especially hope you will visit my website at sunsilkscreens.com !!!