DIY :: Silk Screen Printing

I am obsessed with my Plaid Simply Screen Silk Screening Kit.  I've used it to make our St. Patty's Day shirts, shirts for 2 bachelorette parties, and this Kate Spade inspired shirt.  Here' the simple how to on creating a custom silk screen shirt using the kit.  The kit comes with a rinsing tray, sponge, bulb, light, screens, squeegee, and silk screen paint in black, blue, and red. 

Step 1.   Print out your design in black and white.  It's important to note that thin lines or little details might not burn through the screen as effectively.

Step 2.  Remove the appropriate size screen from the black plastic envelop, you'll want to do this in a dimly lit area as to not expose the other screens.  Also feel free to cut the screen to the appropriate size.

Step 3.  Peel off the white backing and place the screen, sticky side down, on your printed design.  Use the squeegee to remove any air bubbles.
Step 4.  Now it's time to expose the screen.  Assemble the box with the light bulb inside and plug in your light.  Place the screen face down in your box, I also use a sheet of Plexiglas on top of the design to help the more detailed images burn through. Turn on your light so that the screen is exposed.
Step 5.  After 25 minutes you're ready to wash your screen.  Remove your paper design and soak in room temperature water.  Using the sponge provided start scrubbing to remove the adhesive.  You'll want to make sure that your screen is completely clear of any residual adhesive.
Step 6.  Pat dry your screen with a paper towel.

Step 7.  Place your screen on your shirt.  Secure with tape, I'm using painter's tape.  And place a magazine or cardboard between the layers of your shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding through.

Step 8.  Place a thick line of silk screen paint above your image.  Place the squeegee at a 45 degree angle to the screen, and pull down so that your design is completely covered.  If you're using a ribbed shirt or tank, I would pull the paint down, back up, and across to make sure all surfaces are covered.
Step 9.  Continue this process till your entire design has been covered.
Step 10.  Remove the design by peeling back your tape.  If you're using the same screen on multiple items, it's a good idea to wash the screen after the third or fourth use to ensure the design transfers perfectly each time.

Step 11. Allow your design to dry for 24 hours.  Then heat set using an iron on high (non steam) setting and place a cloth or parchment paper between your shirt and the iron hold for 30 seconds.  And voila you're done!

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