Ahhhh, screen printing, how we love you so! Often there are things we want to make and do with this incredible process, but studio time and the cost of materials can often hold us back. Most importantly, sometimes you have the urge to make it RIGHT AWAY - often an issue here at Vivid HQ :)
Fret no more, here is a quick way to make your own one at home. Made with cheap and easily come by materials, it may not be as perfect as the real thing, but it has great character and still works a treat...
You will need:
Old tights (stockings/hosiery)
Modge Podge glue
Fabric paint or normal paint depending on what you're printing onto
An embroidery hoop
A paintbrush for your glue
And a paintbrush for your paint
.... and whatever you want to screen print onto of course
Ready? Lets go!
First up you will need to make your screen. Unscrew your embroidery hoop and put the smaller circle into one of the legs in your tights, leaving a little excess material at each end. Then chop it off! Screw it back into the larger hoop and pull it taught on one side of the circle. You will need it to be as tight and stretched out as possible for printing or it will go all wonky. Then slice the back (baggy part) in half and trimm off the excess material. Pretty sexy screen, huh!
To get your image onto your screen you will need to start by using the sharpie marker and tracing it right onto your tights. If this is your first try, I would recommend starting with something simple so you can get the hang of it. As you will be lying the side of the hoop with the material stretched out directly onto your image for tracing and then onto your material for printing, you don't need to worry about backwards letters or anything. Hooray! So pop down whatever you want to print and go round it all with that Sharpie marker...
It doesn't matter if it is a little bit scrappy as you will just be using this as an outline. Thank goodness ;) Next, you will need to apply your Modge Podge glue...
Apply the Modge Podge wherever you don't want your paint to go. For instance, I only want colour in the speech bubble, so I have used my paintbrush to put the glue all around the outside of the bubble and I have used it to carefully fill in those cute letters. The glue creates a waterproof seal which will stop the paint from seeping through. Brilliant, right?! So, make sure you take your time to fill in your gaps, then let it dry till it goes all clear.
All dry and good to go? Winner! So get your material out. You can use fabric paint if you are printing onto fabric, or just normal paint if you are using paper or canvas etc. To set it up, all you need to do is put it underneath your screen; remember, you will be applying your paint inside the hoop. To print, you will be scraping your paint straight across the tights in one smooth, straight movement. Using a piece of card, apply a thick layer of paint at one side as shown above...
When you turn it upside down and pull it across the screen, the paint will roll down from the card and create a block of colour where there is no glue.... Like MAGIC!
Look at that! Isn't it awesome? I think I could do this all day long :D Just remember to take your time and have enough paint ready to cover the print in one movement as you don't want to try re-applying. The more you touch it when working with it, the more likely it will move and get smudged. When you're done you can give it a wee rinse with cold water and either use a different colour or save it for another print-a-thon. How great is that?!
Hope you enjoy experimenting with your new homemade screen printing kit :D We'd love to hear how you get on!