screen printing 101

so this is going to be a long post! here's a cheap, neat tutorial on creating a faux screen print! i used mine for printing on paper, but it can easily be put on fabric, plastic, pretty much anything the ink/paint bottle says.

STEP ONE: gather your supplies! here's all the stuff i picked up out of my collection of art things. this was my first time doing thing this so i wanted to be on the safe side, but really all you need is:
-one of those cross stitching frames (i got a nifty wooden looking one so i can hang it on the wall later)
-waterproof glue (i picked up mod podge at wal-mart)
-screen fabric (the best is something like a sheer curtain, the tighter the weave of the fabric the better, tulle works too) -paint/ink (versatex is recommended for fabrics, but i used golden acrylic since it was on paper, just make sure the paint is thick, and not watery or it'll bleed)
-sponge brushes, junky paint brushes,&a pencil.

STEP TWO: put the "screen" fabric onto the frame. remember, you can always remove and cut away excess fabric, but you cant exactly replace it, so i left about 2 or 3 inches all the way around the frame. make sure it's pulled tight too!

STEP THREE: create your design &trace! i recomend not doing what i did, haha, the bigger and more organic your subject is, the better it'll turn out! i didn't have a printer so i placed the frame directly over my computer and LIGHTLY used a pencil to trace the design. you want to make sure you're drawing on it so that the screen is flat to the surface fo which you're tracing.

STEP FOUR: paint AROUND your design! THE INK WILL BE WHERE THE GLUE IS NOT, so paint all the "negative" space with the glue, not the design! it doesn't matter what side you do this on, i just continued using it so that the screen laid flat to a surface. just be careful when sitting it down, the glue will get on everything! this is the hardest part, which is why i say make a larger one! mine was only like 6 inches tall!

STEP FIVE: the easiest way to check and make sure you got the glue over the entire surface is to hold it up to a light or window, i was outside so i just used the sky. as you can see, sharpie pens totally lie! they do bleed!

STEP SIX: i used watercolor paper, sprayed a spot of paint for the background of the rabbit, let it dry, then placed my screen on top. you want to lay your screen so that it's flat to the surface (again!)

STEP SEVEN: paint your image! i originally wanted to try a foam roller, not such a good idea on a small one, so i ended up using a sponge brush and dabbing the paint into the open areas of the screen. make sure your screen stays in the same place and steady! FIGHT THE URGE TO LIFT IT UP TO PEAK, WAIT TILL YOU'RE DONE COMPLETELY! it never hurts to add more paint, you want to make sure you get it all covered as much as possible.

STEP EIGHT: lift your screen up to reveal your print! each one will be unique, and the screen sould be good for a looong time if you take care of it properly! i rinsed mine off after every two prints, COLD water, lightly, then dried it with a paper towel. if it still looks dirty thats fine, you don't want to rub the glue off, just make sure the bulk of the paint is off.

here's one of mine, i like the hand made feel to it. it's an alice in wonderland quote, i was thinking of making them into graduation cards for my friends, it seems suiting.

questions? send me a link to yours if you try it out!

OH &P.S.- if you'd like to purchase one of the prints at the low price of $5.00 (that's including shipping!), send me an e-mail!


  1. Thanks for the tutorial! That's super cool!

  2. Nice tutorial! One day I'm going to attempt to screenprint I always wanted to learn. Thank you for the tutorial!

  3. I have seen this method before, yet never tried it! I will have to try it now :)

  4. hi kristin, thanks for the comments on my blog. i love your artwork. that screenprinting looks like a lot of work but well worth it.

    i love the cool photography quotes...

    i am now a follower too!! :D

  5. That is so cool! =) Thanks for sharing the idea!

  6. What an interesting blog you have Kristina.

    Thanks for stopping by mine. Your book idea is interesting.

  7. what a good looking blog! Well, I am NOT going to do this project (looks like a lot of work) but I sure enjoyed reading about it. I'll be watching to see what you do next!

  8. This is brilliant, and I am so going to try it. Thanks for the lesson.

  9. That is the coolest tutorial ever.

  10. I have been looking around for a cheap and simple tutorial for screen printing. I am so excited to try this!

    I found you via Hope Studios Tutorial Tuesday. You blog is fantastic - I am your newest follower. :)