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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • •
Time
30 mins

Cheap and easy silk screen
This is a cheap and easy way to make a silk screen. It actually cost me $0 because I already had all the materials.

Of course this is just the screen, actual screen print projects require just a few more supplies, but is really fun and the possibilities are endless! Enjoy!

Posted by Maggi from U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, United States • Published See Maggi's 8 projects »
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  • How to make a silk screens. Make Your Own Silk Screen - Step 1
    Step 1

    First you'll need to find a wooden frame, this one was just sitting around being useless. They can be whatever size you want. The one I'm using is approx 9 1/2" x 11"

  • How to make a silk screens. Make Your Own Silk Screen - Step 2
    Step 2

    Next you will need to find some good quality mesh. It's best to purchase this from an art supply store because the better the quality the more detailed your prints will come out. There are also several different mesh counts (how many tiny holes per inch) that work well depending on what you're trying to print. The one I'm using is a 155 mesh count.

  • How to make a silk screens. Make Your Own Silk Screen - Step 3
    Step 3

    We now want to attach our mesh as tightly to the back (flat) part of the wooden frame. The method I use is good because it's reversible, meaning if you make a mistakes in attaching the mesh it can always be removed.

  • How to make a silk screens. Make Your Own Silk Screen - Step 4
    Step 4

    I'm using thumbtacks, you want to start on one side and the pull the mesh tightly and place another thumbtack on the opposite end. Then continue working back and forth. Staples may also work, but are harder to pull out. I used a hammer to make sure they were pressed in all the way.

  • How to make a silk screens. Make Your Own Silk Screen - Step 5
    Step 5

    Continue adding thumbtacks where needed until the entire surface is evenly flat and tight

  • How to make a silk screens. Make Your Own Silk Screen - Step 6
    Step 6

    The mesh I'm using is a bit on the wrinkly side (was not properly stored) so a quick iron on a low heat setting did the trick. Be so very careful when ironing~

  • How to make a silk screens. Make Your Own Silk Screen - Step 7
    Step 7

    Cut the excess mesh around your frame.

    Now apply duct tape all around the edges aligned right up to where the border of the frame ends. Press hard and then hammer the thumbtacks again to make sure they're all evenly flat.

  • How to make a silk screens. Make Your Own Silk Screen - Step 8
    Step 8

    Wow that's it! You now have your very own silk screen.

    If the mesh is brand new use a spray hose or big sink to blast any dirt or film that's on the screen, then set in front of a fan to dry and now you're ready to print!

    Because the frame is wooden you don't want to let it soak in water for too long because it could warp the frame and that would be no fun.

    Stay tuned for future silk screen and printing projects!~

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Comments

Mel
Mel · Belgium, Wisconsin, US
I'm a bit confused here. So you've made a screen, but how would you do any printing with it? With some sort of stencil or something? I've done _real_ silk-screening before, you know, where images are burned onto the screen using positives with machines and chemicals and such... I'm rather curious as to what the process for using "silk screens" without images on them is...
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Lucy L.
Lucy L. · 7 projects
Very good tute! Looking forward 2 seeing ur further projects using this! Happy x
Reply
Maggi
Maggi · U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, US · 8 projects
aye aye captain!
Reply
Abi
Abi · San Antonio, Texas, US · 27 projects
Hey Maggs!! This is AWESOME! I will try this for sure and hurry up and do some more print screening tutotials.
Reply
Maggi
Maggi · U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, US · 8 projects
Yes, if you buy a metal frame that already has the mesh glued solid on it, then that will last you forever, but this one will be good for projects on a smaller scale that don't require too much rinsing and re-application of designs. Happy
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Love in a Thunderstorm
Love in a Thunderstorm · 7 projects
I don't really suggest using a "cheap frame" for screen printing, unless you really love buying more cheap frames all the time. Cheap ones are flimsy and warp like hell.

Now, I'm all for budget printing, but I think one thing to invest in is great frames. Good tut though. I never thought of using thumb tacks. I always get the staple gun out.
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manko
manko · London, GB
and when you have no mesh available, synthetic organza or common sheer curtain fabric does the trick. I'm very fond of budget screenprinting.
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