Screen printing is a technique used in printing images, artworks and designs onto fabrics and clothing. Using special inks, paints and equipment nowadays produces great results. Screen printing now has limitless designs with colors that last longer and stick longer to the fabrics they have been printed onto.

To help give you a better idea on what screen printing is all about, think of it in an artist’s perspective where you will not only understand screen printing but learn from this very simple guide to make your very own prints. This is one exercise for family bonding and is a great venue to express you or your child’s creativity and imagination!

The things you will need:

To make your prints, prepare these items. You can easily get these materials from local arts and crafts supply store in your neighborhood.

 1. Silk screen- buy this ready made from your arts and craft store. Simply select the right size that fits the shirt that you will be printing unto.

 2. Screen printing ink/ fabric paint- buy the ready mixed one to begin with, like the speed ball range. Read and follow instructions on the label so you will never go wrong.

 3Sponge/ squeegee- buy this along with your fabric ink. Select the square-edged one for better handling.

 4. Thin plain cardboard / Plain paper

 5. Craft knife / Cutter  

 6. Roll of masking tape

 7. Cotton shirt – popular of screen printing t-shirts are those with plain and light  colors.

Now that you have your materials, let’s get down to business!

1.     Make a design that you can easily cut out of paper. Try out with simple designs such as  shapes so cutting them out later will be fast and easy. Cut out your desired layout.

2.      Take the screen and using masking tape, mask off around the edges of the side which will be in contact with the shirt.

3.     Lay your shirt flat on the table and lay the paper stencil where you want your design to be on. Place another thin cardboard inside the shirt to avoid the design from blotting to the other side. Place the screen on top of it and make sure that the screen is at its center over it.

4.      Scoop ink in a line on the top portion of your screen.

5.      Hold the screen firmly with one hand, while using the other to put on the squeegee above the ink and applying some pressure, pull it down the screen. Make sure you are taking some ink when you pull. Repeat this procedure if necessary while making sure not to drip and blot excess ink.

6.      Hold the shirt down with one hand; lift the screen up from the bottom edge all the way to the top.

7.      Move the shirt to a dry place (preferably a sunlit area) and leave it out to dry.

8.    Discard the paper/ cardboard stencil and wash the screen with a light soap and cold water mixture. Scrub it lightly with a sponge to remove all the ink and leave the screen to air dry.

Screen printing is fun and easy to do, but if you don’t have the time to make one yourself or as a unique gift to your loved ones, you can always leave it to the experts who will do the entire screen printing work for you. All you have to do is search online and select the best customized screen printer in your area. Happy printing and wear your customized shirt with pride!