Hey guys! I apologise for my absence recently, basically finished college for this year now (so I've had tonnes of work, it's been a bit too busy for me!), just got a couple of weeks now where I've got to be in working on stuff, so I'm going to take advantage of the printing facilities and get on with some of my arts award - and TALKING ABOUT PRINTING. Tomorrow is fathers day, as I'm sure you're all aware, and I wanted to make my dad something special - so this is what happened! I'll put a little how-to later in the post, but basically I made a huge stencil, then just printed over it with my screen - he loves polar bears, so I thought it might make a cute design!
It can go a little messy, but I think that adds to the charm really!
How to Screen Print with Stencils at Home:
You will need:
- A Screen! (if you haven't got your own, you can make one by stapling screen material to a screen printing frame or even, if you're feeling a bit DIY-y to a canvas frame (which you can get from the works for about £2, then just strip the canvas from, easy peasy!))
- A squeege - can't print without it!
- Lots of paper, card, etc
- Printing inks, or, if you're like me and haven't got any hanging about, some paints you can mix up to the consistency of yoghurt - I used a mixture of blue and white poster paints and blue and white acrylics.
- A scalpel and cutting mat
- Pens, pencils, rubbers and rulers
- Lots of newspaper, a bin bag and tissues
1. If you're feeling a bit unsure, plan your design out on some scrap paper - keep it simple, you're going to have to cut everything out easily, and it's near impossible to keep text with gaps in the middle - hence why the r's and a on my prints are filled in.
2. Draw it out precisely onto the size paper (or card - in hindsight I think that would have worked slightly better as it's a bit thicker - cereal box cardboard or just normal card) you want to print with - anything cut out will be printed, and anywhere there's still paper won't. You can use the things you cut out to print with after, so if you want to do so make sure you cut it out in one!
3. Making sure to use a cutting mat, and being super careful, cut out the pieces from your stencil.
4. Tape the stencil (if it's one large piece) down to the paper you're printing onto, or if you're using lots of pieces just back them with a bit of rolled up masking tape so you can pull them off once you've printed.
5. Mix yourself up some ink with a brush or spatula, and lay out some newspaper for putting anything that gets messy onto - also open up a bin bag.
6. Place your screen on top of the stencil (if it wasn't obvious, the mesh should be touching the paper, and the wooden frame should be facing upwards) , dollop some ink at one edge, and then drag it across using your squeegee - repeat and move the screen if necessary until you've printed all the areas you need to.
7. Put your squeegee on the newspaper, and lean the screen up somewhere where it cant get ink everywhere.
8. At this point I personally started drying the paper with the stencil still on it with a hairdryer, but you can peel the stencil off first - then put the stencil in the bin bag, unless it's re-usable - if you used paper, it probably won't be!
9. If you've used non solvent based paints, take it to the bath/sink/out in the garden and wash off your screen and squeegee.
10. Leave your print to dry, and voila!