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DIY Screen Printing – Try Something New Every Month

Think screenprinting has to be hard? I tried it at home, using an embroidery hoop and pantyhose! Check out the other materials I used, and how the shirts turned out. Such a fun and easy printmaking technique.

Think screenprinting has to be hard? I tried it at home, using an embroidery hoop and pantyhose! Check out the other materials I used, and how the shirts turned out. Such a fun and easy printmaking technique.

I screenprinted! September is here, so I’m sharing another Try Something New Every Month (TSNEM) project- this month’s ‘theme’ was printmaking. You can see more about the year-long adventure and what else I’ve tried in this post.

I have done a lot of the more common printmaking methods – most recently experimenting with block printing for this book review, but I thought of screen printing as something expensive and complicated. I couldn’t get it off my mind and started Googling, and was surprised to find several different methods that seemed simple and cheap.

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dinosaur screenprint

There are a lot of tutorials out there; I used this one from the I Love To Create blog. I created my own file using free vector files offline; if you want to recreate it, the t-rex is here & the other dinos are here.

embroidery hoop screenprint mod podge

You basically draw the design on the pantyhose, and paint Mod Podge around the drawing as the resist. I used leftover Mod Podge Pearl* from this doll crib makeover and then screenprinted it with leftover fabric paint from this stamped blanket.

screenprinting

I usually save empty gift cards for my kids to play with but I sacrificed one for this craft!

yudu ink

I also tried out specific ‘screenprinting’ ink that I found at Goodwill Outlet (best place ever, see what I mean here!) on a fifth experiment shirt, but honestly I couldn’t tell much difference! It was a little thinner, but felt the same once it dried.

diy embroidery hoop screenprint

You can see that the edges aren’t super crisp, I think I could’ve gotten a much cleaner design with freezer paper (tutorial on freezer paper stenciling here!). However, I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to cut four different stencils, so I need to figure out how to have a cleaner screenprint edge for any future big projects!

screenprinted raglan shirts

How much fun are they! All upcycled tshirts, all See Kate Sew’s Recess Raglan with a few tweaks for each kid.

tshirt upcycle

I hope the kids like them! Right now my son & daughter are 3.5 & 18 months and both really like matching, I’ll be sad whenever one of them starts protesting.

Have you ever screenprinted? What method did you use? Can you imagine using this tiny miniature machine?

This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. I used to do free hand customization on t-shirts but a few months ago I went to a silk printing workshop and I love it. Now I have my own little silk printing kit at home and things go quicker! Terrific t-shirts you made!!

  2. What a great alternative if you don’t have all the screen printing equipment. It works really well when you need to make several of the same design. That’s so cute that your kids like matching 🙂

  3. How to get cleaner edges in a screenprint project …

    Make a test print. It will help you find ‘problems’ you want to fix.

    Tiny fine art painter’s brushes are perfect. Use a flat bristle brush to remove areas, & a pointy watercolor brush with thinned resist to add areas.

    Use a tiny squeeze bottle of the resist to outline the shapes prior to filling the rest of the screen. Let it dry completely! Do it again if you want to be extra sure.

    Speedball sells a ‘resist’ & a ‘wash-out’ pair of products for screenprinters. Paint the ‘wash-out’ to hold the spaces you want to print through. Paint ‘resist’ around the dry ‘wash-out’. I’ve used this & it was a great help in fiddly spots. It was easy to clean up & worked great.

    Final Note – Paint does work. The downside? It clogs your screen quickly & can start to ‘set’ in the print space while you still have what appears to be workable paint. I have tried both, & the printing ink is better. Professional Grade Acrylics can be used if you are willing to invest in the accompanying line of dry-time extenders, etc. Cheap acrylics can be used if you are only going to use the screen 2-3 times.

    1. Hey Linnea! THanks so much for reading and taking the time to leave comments. I never thought about that aspect of paint vs. ink, but it makes total sense. I will be consulting these before the next time that I screenprint again, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge!

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