Screen printing might seem hard, but it’s easy to do it at home. You can buy everything you’ll need for around $/€30. And what’s everything? Well?
- Screen printing fabric ink. Large industries mix their paints. For your first try you want a ready-mixed ink. Follow the instructions on the package to not let it run in the laundry.
- You can build your own screen with a cheap canvas frame and thin mesh stapled to it. Get 43T mesh for start.
- A squeegee. Preferably a large industrial one. You can use any hard, straight piece of plastic, but a squeegee is comfortable and stable.
- Some durable paper, knives, masking tape.
- Cheap wholesale t shirts to print on, naturally.
- You’ll also need a room that’s dedicated for printing - a work station and somewhere to dry your shirts.
Prepare your design on the computer. Remember, each screen equals one color so at beginning you’ll have to print a simple monochromatic pattern. A catchy slogan, a simple logo or a pattern would work. Print it on clean paper, cut it out.
Blob some ink at the screen and spread it with the squeegee, holding the screen firmly down. Lift the screen up, holding the fabric down. The paper stencil sticks to the screen. You should now be able to repeat this multiple times. If you want to print many copies, leave the paper there - it will dry and create a permanent stencil. If you want to reuse the mesh, wash it with cold water before the paper sets. For your next try, you can build two screens - don’t be afraid to print on the wet ink, it shouldn’t run.