Simple Screen Printing

Today was an adventure.

I read a tutorial by Lotta Jansdotter about screen printing fabric with simple supplies and picked up the needed supplies last night and. So, after church today, I set out to print my own fabric. During the sermon, I had doodled Jerusalem crosses, the details on the organ, and the patterns on the lights hanging from the ceiling. Once home, I sketched a little more and vectorized some of the patterns in Adobe Illustrator. The first pattern seemed more suited to block printing, so I switched directions and went for teetering rows of semi-circles.

Here is a simple tutorial:

embroidery hoop
acrylic paint
fabric medium
masking tape
paper or acetate

First, I stretched the organza across the hoop and masking taped it to the edges.

Next, I printed out the drunken circles and made a template. The paper ripped at the little spots between the semi-circles, so I put a layer of masking tape across the back. 

Once they were cut out, I taped the template to the organza. After the time intensive template cutting, I realized why Lotta used acetate instead of paper. That way you can easily rinse it off and re-use it. 

After creating my screen, I thinned some white acrylic paint and tried out my new stencil on gray paper. I scientifically globbed the paint onto the bottom edge and squeegeed it up to the top with an old student ID. Each try was more successful than the last. Tips: Only squeegee across once. Keep the ID at a 30˙ angle with the screen. Make your template small enough so as to easily squeegee in one stroke.

Then it was time for the fabric. I wrapped one of my handy dandy design boards in a grocery bag as a padded surface to stamp on, laid out the fabric under my hoop, and went to town. I printed a fat quarter, and learned something each time I printed it.

As you can see, my stencil is a little too tall to squeegee evenly to the top, and slightly wider than my student-ID. However, I have now printed my first fabric design, and I am über excited to try again!