Introduction: Screen Printed Laptop Case
Who hasn’t desperately needed something, and the shelves hasn’t sufficed your DESIRE!!! (Like, seriously, nothing looks like what you wanted)
I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!
Recently I was searching the deep dark depth of the internet (and Woolworths) for a laptop case that actually looked cool (and like the ultimate computer case I had conjured up in my mind)
NO. SUCH. LUCK.
Thankfully my artistic permit had just been renewed and my heart went out to the silk screen that was lay bricked into the catacombs of my wardrobe (I’m not sure if that made any sense – but it sounded good!)
So, the plan was hatched (the plan was to screen print a laptop case, for those who hadn’t caught up on that yet) and the hunt was now to find the world’s most boring and plain laptop case.
LOTS. OF. LUCK.
Supermarkets just seem to be packed with plain and boring things ready for USE!!!
Enter: a (very plain) black laptop case
WALLABARBAM!!! We have our ultimate canvas!
Since pineapple and sunnies look *so hot* together they took center stage. Bring on……A COMPUTER CASE LIKE NO OTHER!!!!! (oh yeah, and stage 1)
Step 1: Gather the Materials
These are the building blocks to your awesome computer case:
- Paper (4 sheets (or more for duds!) ;D)
- Pencil (only 1)
- Rubber (BIG)
- ART scalpel (not surgical)
- Chopping board (I used a green art one)
- Ear buds (hehehe bet you didn’t expect to see that!)
- Tissues (or them!)
- Scissors (for cutting the tape…)
- Silk screen
- Squeegee (don’t you just love the name Squeegee? Sqeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeegeeeeeeee!)
- Fabric screen printing paint (I used Speedball fabric paint)
- Spoon (preferably plastic – anything but your mum’s, mum’s, mum’s silver one)
- Boring laptop case (1 block colour, I used black)
- Butches paper (for klutzs)
- An assistant (preferably someone you are on good terms with)
Step 2: The Sketch
Time to design your laptop case! I chose to do a pineapple with sunnies on, but you can do whatever you feel inspired to do.
To start, choose you subject (in our case a pineapple) and box sketch it. Basically, this means drawing boxes where everything will go and then drawing the main shapes into the boxes as shown.
Next, round the corners so your box starts to become the basic shapes of your design. This step is a little hard to explain so check out the photos (a picture speaks a million words, right?)
After I had rounded the basic shape of my pineapple, I added the crown of the pineapple. As you can see, I have gone over my box lines a bit - that’s OK as the box lines are only a guide.
Erase the box lines and stand back and admire your basic shape! (it should be a silhouette of what you want to screen print) You now have the complete outline of your subject!
Add the main detail – in my case this was the pineapples sunnies. I erased the sunnies line (as shown) because I didn’t need to cut it – may not need to do this depending on your design.
Step 3: Detailed Sketch
Ok, time for the littler details! Here is a HUGE tip that you CAN NOT ignore!
When you cut out your design be VERY CAREFUL. Why? Because anything ‘floating’ – that is, anything not connected to the edges will fall out. This is a very sad happening and you should avoid it by all costs. If you still don’t understand, go to the picture where I have added the criss-crosses on my pineapple and see how some touch the sides and some don’t to avoid forming block which would fall out of the design. Again, this is so hard to explain in words so check out the picture. If you do have ‘floating’ bits, connect them with little tabs that are attached to the edge.
Now that we have (maybe) rescued your design we can work on the ‘parts’. As you can see in my picture the sunnies have divided the pineapple into 2 parts. What this means is that the pineapple will be cut out in two chunks – it may not matter to your design but now you know!
Time to add inner detail. Our inner detail were the criss-crosses. They needed to be attached to the edges, so they didn’t fall out in view of them being laptop case material instead of paint.
Less is more. This is the reason I have erased some of my criss-crosses and made them larger instead. It looks cleaner, more minimalistic/modern and it also looks a lot less cluttered (it’s easier to cut out too!)
X-ing! Mark each part you will be cutting out with small X’s. This will prevent you from cutting the wrong things (which is really sad)
Step 4: The Cut
Booyah! Time for the cut!
Firstly, cut out the easier part. Don’t ask me why – because I don’t know (it might make you feel more confident to do the rest or something) Make sure you stick to the lines. I will give you a tip. This is a tip for getting out of a maze, but it works with cutting too. Before you start cutting run your finger from the start of the design, along each line and make sure you can go around the WHOLE design and back to the start without taking your finger off the page. If you can you are ready to cut. OK, here goes, don’t cut yourself.
Now start the harder part (if you have two parts in you design). Use the same trick that use used before and then cut out the design.
Now you have finished cutting you can stand back and admire. Good job, you have just completed one of the hardest, most boring and tedious part!
Step 5: Colour Preview
This is the easiest step, but it can prove to be a great help. Get a piece of coloured paper and place your design on top. You should be provided with an insight as to how your design should turn out.
Step 6: Preparing the Print
In the step we will prepare our screen in view of printing your final design (and trials). Firstly, get your design and lay it on the OUTSIDE of the screen centre it and tape it into position covering all gaps in the screen for the edge to the paper to the wood on the screen. Now turn the screen over so you are looking at the INSIDE of the screen and cover the screen where it meets the wood with tape. If you miss this step, paint will get under the screen and is hard to get out.
Now collect 3 plain white A4 papers (you can use Printing paper or Cartridge paper). Number them 1, 2 and 3. These will be used as trials so if you have made a mistake in your design you will can pick it up on the paper not the computer case. Now you can get your plain boring laptop case.
Step 7: The Print
When I get to this step, I get excited because its always fun, without fail it satisfies you greatly EVERY SINGLE TIME! (only if you do It right)
Lay out your trial paper one on you butches’ paper. Place your screen on the Trial paper and line it up. Make sure your screen is up the right way and the OUTSIDE is touching the trial paper and the INSIDE is facing you. Add paint in a line onto the screen above you design. Make sure the paint is applied evenly and reaches both far sides of your design. Now grab your Squeegee and place about 1cm above paint. Hold the Squeegee on a 45-degree angle. When I get to this stage, I am all excited and my heart goes fluttery. Press the squeegee firmly against the screen. You assistant will be needed now to hold the screen down firmly as you perform the next part. Now pull the Squeegee towards you with about the same force as you would use opening a heavy door. Make sure paint has covered the WHOLE design.
Now, here comes the REALLY COOL part. Get your assistant to start lifting the screen. The paper should go with it so don’t stress if it does. Now peel the paper off the screen. I hope that it worked for you and you came out with a perfect print and you can experience the same joy that I experience when I get a good print.
Now repeat the whole process 2 more times on your other trial papers. If there are small smudges in the painting like I have in the pic, don’t panic. This can be easily fixed. Just turn over the screen and look for places where the paper has creased. Then press them down and the paint won’t be able to seep into it again!
NOW… ARE YOU READY???
Time for the cool part. (which is kinda scary at the same time)
Time to do what you did on the paper, just on the laptop case.
So, lay out you laptop case and repeat what you did with your trial papers.
Once you have put a strip of paint on, ask your assistant to push the screen down harder than usual. Don’t ask me why but for some reason it helps. As you pull you will notice that you use more force than usual. That OK. I do that too and it still works!
Now. Wring your hands, take deep breaths, try control your heart beat and wipe the sweat off your forehead. ITS TIME for the SCARY part.
JUST HOPE LIKE CRAZZZZZY THIS WORKED!!!!!
Now peel the screen off the laptop case with as much care as possible (try do it nice and slowly so that you build up the suspense, its great but it nearly kills you!)
Now admire your work.
Now leave it to dry overnight and DON’T TOUCH IT until you KNOW its dry!
Now the question is, has it smudged. This happened on mine as you can see, and this is when the earbuds and the tissues come in handy. If it is a smudge in an open space, wet a small part of the tissue and run the paint off (while it is still wet). If you have the same problem as me and you smudge is in a tight space and if you use tissue you will do more smudges, Use an earbud. Just wet one end and then wipe off the paint.
Now you can show off your awesome laptop case.
#allyours #personalizedawesomeness #jealousfriends