D.I.Y. Screen Printing




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Once you start screen printing your original designs you won't want to stop.

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Step 1: Pick Out Your Design

First, pick out the design that you want to use and print it out. Make sure it's the right size.

Step 2: Hoops and Fabric

Now, get out your embroidery hoop and fabric of choice. Make sure a thinner woven mesh fabric is used.

Step 3: Stretch the Fabric.

Now, stretch the fabric over the inner hoop and place the outer hoop over the fabric and inner hoop. Make sure the fabric is pulled tight through both hoops.

Step 4: Placing the Image

Place the hoop over the image with the fabric facing down. You'll probably want to tape it to ensure it does not move around.

Step 5: Tracing the Image

Trace the outline of your image onto the fabric with a pencil.

Step 6: Mod Podge Time!

With a paintbrush, take some Mod Podge (water resistant glue) and paint all the negative spaces of the outline with the fabric facing up. Let it dry completely. This may take a while.

Step 7: Prepping the Shirt

After your screen is dry, get out your shirt and place a piece of cardboard in the middle. This will prevent the ink from bleeding through to the back.

Step 8: Placing the Screen

Now, place your screen on the part of the shirt you want to screenprint with the fabric facing down. Make sure you secure the screen with some weights so it doesn't move.

Step 9: Screen Printing!!!

Next, take your fabric ink and "glop" a little on the screen. Then use a piece of cardboard to spread it around, making sure that the image is completely covered. Once covered SLOWLY peel the screen off of the shirt.

Step 10: Iron the Shirt

Once the shirt has completely dried, get out your iron and set it to medium-high heat. Place a piece of paper over the print and iron for about two to three minutes. Be sure to rinse the ink from the screen before it dries.

Step 11: You've Just Screen Printed!

Congratulations! You've just finished your screen printed shirt.

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99 Discussions


6 years ago on Introduction

I'm trying to help a local artisans' group start up a screenprinting business in Africa. This DIY for making the actual screen looks totally do-able with local materials, but I'm wondering if anyone has tried printing on t-shirts with plant-based or other natural dyes so that we can keep it local and not have to import dyes? I've seen the "red dirt shirts" on Maui and thought that might work. Also, there's no Hobby Lobby for several thousand miles. Any advice for a DIY Modge-Podge replacement? Cheers.

2 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

Get yourself on Pinterest! I've seen loads of recipes and homemade tutorials for Modge-Podge on there. Be warned though, Pinterest is very addictive! :-D


1 year ago

I did not understand the basics of how screen printing worked even after watching videos and wow! I really wanna try this


4 years ago

thanks for the awesome and easy tutorial!


Nice Pictures. I really like this pictures. And if any one want more variety of

Screen Printing then visit http://www.gotopnp.com/screenprintings.html


5 years ago on Introduction

Get a non-steam iron - cheaper and more eco than dryer. I wonder if leaving in a closed tincan in the sun all day would do it too, in a hot climate,

Ok. I am trying my hand at this screen printing thing with not much success. I bought the speedball kit and was trying to make prints on those fabric type bags. No luck. It looks as if the bag is too porous but I've seen screen printing on those types of bags before. The print was blurry and uneven. Help! These were supposed to be Mother's Day gifts.


7 years ago on Introduction

*THE* simplest screen printing directions I've seen with the best result. Thank you *SO* much!!


7 years ago on Introduction

You know its not that hard to make a proper frame (if you want to do any kind of volume) with a square wooden frame you take the regular nylon used for silk screening, glue two adjacent sides on the front of the frame then wrap the two remaining sides around and glue/epoxy them to the other side of the frame. Then to get that extremely tight nylon you just drive sharpened pegs down the edges of the frame tightening the nylon, then epoxy the last two edges on the front to keep the tension. glossy water based exterior house paint with extra tint added, I thought lasted longer on my clothes than most store bought printed shirts and was much much cheaper that purpose made silkscreening tint. And usually if you screw up and acidently let it dry on your screen you can take it off with fairly mild chemicals without damaging your original image.

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I should say this method might work for any type of stretchy material..its so important to have a really tight tension so that when you squeegee across the image it only snaps down and touches in a sharp line of the squeegee, because otherwise the ink smudges around like a water color image.


7 years ago on Step 10

Head's up! Make absolutely sure that your iron is NOT on the steam setting. (If you have a built-in steam iron) This makes the design melt/stick to the paper and leave behind a fuzzy paper residue.



11 years ago on Step 2

I like this instructable a lot! Could a 'thinner woven mesh fabric' be something like womens' tights/stockings? Cheers

2 replies
Mel Fischerpoor_leno

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I use old sheer curtains that I find at thrift stores - the tighter the weave of the mesh the better. Gets you a ton of fabric for a very cheap price, and it's recycling an old product!


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

I've found lace with a cool pattern to make a girlie florally pattern. I like it especially when making a picture of a bomb. Atomic weaponry + flowery sweetness = best anti-war tee ever.