7 June 2013

Home Screen Printing with Ella

This was  blog post I wrote way back in 2011, I have been asked a lot recently if I do any of my screen printing at home and to save a lot of people searching I thought i would search my archive and find it for you all.

So after a few request from my readers and a friend on facebook, here is how i use my screen print kit at home. First off there is no exposing the screen, which would be alot quicker but i can't afford that type of equipment right now. So i bought this system 3 Acrylic screen print and i often buy extra screens off ebay.

this is what comes in the kit, 
1 Screen
Acrylic Printing medium
textile Medium
5 acrylic paints
Screen blocker 
A squeegee
screen drawing fluid
Apron
How to book
You can buy all these separately but as this was on sale & my first time printing at home i wanted to get the kit so i could follow instructions and get it right. I have screen-printed before, I did it whilst on my Fine Art degree at Falmouth you can see the work here and here oh and by no means am I an expert.

So heres the process i go through when screen printing.
I make sure the screen is clean and ready for the screen drawing fluid to be added to the screen. Also make sure there are no holes in the screen.
Please wear an apron, it might get messy.
Now you will need to add the image to the screen this is pretty simple take the drawing fluid, start drawing directly onto the mesh. The best images to use are simple bold images, mines a little detailed but I've use this process before its really a trial and error.  If you do get the kit that I have, it tells you to water down the fluid...Don't! I did this before and it ruined a screen that i spent two days on, because  it was too fine you need it to be thick, be confident with application.
Once you have drawn out your image remember what ever you paint blue will be washed off later and it will be the image you will print. This process can take a while but i love doing it all by hand, this will take about 30 minutes to dry.
Once this has dried you will need to take the Removable Screen Block, i don't actually have a picture of me doing this as it can be very messy, Take a stiff piece of card and spread it across the entirety of the screen.
Now you have to leave the Screen block to dry, depending on the fineness of the mesh this may take 30 minutes to 3 hours. I leave mine in a warm room, DO NOT use a hair dryer yo speed up the drying process this could ruin the screen.
NOW TO WASH OFF THE DRAWING FLUID.
Once your screen block has dried you will need to wash off the drawing fluid that is your image, I do mine in the bath, just use cold water NOT hot because this will get rid of the screen block, also DON'T use any shampoos or soap on the image to wash it, because this also removes the screen block.
Your screen should look like this. The screen block will block out the ink when you go to print it.
Now time for the fun bit.
Now depending if you are printing on fabric or paper use the specific medium as i am printing on fabric i used the textile medium, take what ever colour you have chosen (paint) put a good dollop on a mixing pallet  then put the same amount of medium in as well so 50% paint 50% medium mix together
The paint will just be a normal acrylic paint you add the medium so the paint doesn't dry quickly.

Normally you would lay the line of ink along the top and go downwards, but my squeegee doesn't fit that way so i am going right to left. Put a substantial amount on the screen i use a cotton but for this.
I your not sure just follow the image bellow.



You are now ready to print (remember if you are printing on fabric put some paper under the fabric) take your squeegee and flood the image, this mean cover the image with the ink, do it in one motion you can do this slowly if you want. Once you have flooded the image, i normally run the squeegee across 3-4 times.


I normally double check to see if the ink has covered the entire image. You don't have to use all the ink on the screen. Now slowly take the screen off. You can re-use the ink left on the sides for your next print. You will have to iron the image once its dry to set the image so its ok to wash.




And there you go its pretty simple, but please remember to wash your screen (with cold water) so not to clog up your image so you can re-use it over and over again.
I hope you find this tutorial simple to understand.
Tote bags & Prints will be available to buy later today or tomorrow.
I have added a bit of the music i was listening to whilst printing. Enjoy.






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11 comments

  1. Amazing :) i built my own exposing unit in the garage and it used to take so so long, this was looks really good though, i didn't think you'd get such good results using this method. Tempted to get some and get back into printing x

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  2. I love seeing how screen-printing works - I know I'd be terrible at it myself! - these are awesome prints :) xoxo

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  3. This post is SUCH an incredible resource, thank you so so much for sharing this with us Ella! <3

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  4. Wow! This is by far one of my favourite posts. I can't tell you how long I've been looking for an at home screenprinting kit that works! I'm defintely getting this! Thanks so much for posting this!
    FashionProject x

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  5. these are amazing ella! i can't wait to see them on your shop!

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  6. so pretty! I love screen printing. I used to do it with my auntie loads xx

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  7. Thank you so much for posting this, I've been intrigued by screen printing for ages but never had a go. I'd love to try it :) yours has come out so well! xx

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  8. This is such a great post, most sources for home screen printing are really over-complex. Adding the photos made it even better, fabulous!!! xx

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  9. Thank you for posting this! I've always wanted to know how to do it, I'd really love to try it out :)

    Charlotte xx
    http://charolivia.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. This is amazing! I do it at college exposing it and that on a massive scale but this is PERFECT! I've been wanting to do small prints at home for ages. Thank you for this :) xx

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  11. Just recieved this kit in the post! I cant wait to try it! It may sound dilly but what did you use to draw on your image? A brush or stick? xox
    FashionProject x

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thank you

Ella
x

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