Monday, January 17, 2011

Screenprinting a Primer- Part 3

Hi Guys! I apologize for the lateness of this post; I’ve been deep in wedding DIY and planning and haven’t had a second to sit down and write a blog post in a couple of days. Today is my last installment of my DIY screen-printing tutorial and I hope I’ve inspired some of you to set up your own at home screen printing workspace. This post is a hodge-podge of helpful hints cost and resources to hopefully make your introduction into the work of traditional screen printing a bit easier. First up is a cost breakdown!

Some of the everyday craft items such as scissors and printer are not included in the cost since you would have to purchase them separately regardless of if you purchased a YUDU or went the traditional screen printing route.

Cost breakdown-

-Hinge Clamps-$22

· Aluminum or wood screen-$15

-Fee for burned artwork- $10

· Squeegee large enough to fully cover your art work-$15

· Water based ink-$5 for 4oz bottle $10 for $16oz

· Tape-$5

· Pallet adhesive/ temporary spray adhesive-$5

· Ink Fixer (for textiles) - $5.00

· Transparencies/ velum-$19 for 50 sheets

· Opaque black marker-$4


At a total of approximately $110 bucks traditional screen printing will run you about 1/3 of the cost of a Yudu machine and when comparing supply cost traditional screen printing wins out every time. Take for example a new YUDU 110 mesh screen will run you about 18 bucks on amazon about 3 dollars more than a traditional screen.

Helpful Hints-

Screen printing is an art form and like all art forms there is a trial and error period before you truly become comfortable with the medium and each new project will bring with it a new set of challenges that you will have to work through to be able to get a perfect print. Listed below are some helpful tips that I’ve picked up along the way that will hopefully help you with your printing and eliminate some of your beginner frustrations.

-Always buy extra printing material than needed. I like to give myself a ¼ cushion to work with to account for print error and to give me some wiggle room to be able to pick and choose my best prints.

-In order to prevent ink drying in your screen when working with water based ink make sure your working in a cool place if that is not an option ink extenders are available to retard the drying time.

- One of the biggest factors in getting a good print is your squeegee speed and pressure. Experiment with your squeegee speed and pressure to get the best print.

-If while printing you notice your printing material sticking to the mesh feel free to spray your work surface with a light mist of temporary adhesive. Let dry for a couple of minutes, your prints should now stay put during printing.

-work with a buddy! J and I have a system down were one of us prints while the other hands the printer new printing material and removes completed prints for drying. This helps reduce the amount of time printing and will reduce the risk of your ink drying in your screen if your using water based inks.

Additional reading and resources!

For those of you interested in trying out screening printing there’s a lot of resources available online and in your local bookstore. Some of my favorite resources are listed below but I encourage you to do your own Google search and take a look what the World Wide Web has to offer you!

-Printing By Hand by Lena Corwin is the amazing book that first introduced me to the world of screen printing. The book is beautifully photographed and Lena instructions are super simple to follow.

-If you’re the type who learns better by seeing this video from Etsy is for you!

- is a great online source for supplies if you’re unable to find any local suppliers. They also offer a screen burning service and there website is chock full of instructional videos.

- more geared towards entrepreneurs in the business t-shirt forums offers great tips and advice from people in the business.

That’s all I got folks! I hope you guys have been inspired to get your DIY butts in gear!

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