Screenprinting Made Simple

Thanks to my friend, Laura, I learned an easy way to screenprint simply and cost effectively!

Here's the supplies you need:

  • Printed or drawn image of desired print
  • T-shirt or other item
  • Fabric paint in your desired color
  • Paint sponge/brush
  • Freezer Paper
  • An Exacto Knife
  • A mat or surface to cut on
  • Tape (optional)

For my t-shirt, I decided to screenprint the crest of my sorority, Kappa Delta, so I blew up the image to the size I wanted and printed it out. If this is your first time, I would suggest starting with an easier print! This was difficult and time-consuming to cut out later on!

Step One: Trace your design on to the freezer paper (shiny side down).  I taped my paper to my design to make sure it wouldn't move.

Tip: Make sure your design will be dark enough to see through the freezer paper to trace.  

Step Two: Cut out all of the areas that you want to paint using an Exacto Knife on a mat or safe cutting board to create a stencil. IMPORTANT: Keep all INSIDE pieces neatly in the proper shape. Set them aside. You will use them later as part of your stencil. (Example: I kept the smaller pieces that were inside each letter so that it would not just be a silhouette of the letter. Δ instead of triangle! )

Tip: If you are cutting out bigger areas, but don't want to color them in completely, mark them with an "x" so you know to cut them out.

Step Three: Iron your stencil (again, shiny side down) to your t-shirt or item, placing it exactly where you want your design. Don't worry, you'll be able to peel it off easily later! At this time, carefully iron on the smaller pieces inside your design to create the proper stencil. Make sure there are no peeling edges.

Step Four: Using a sponge brush or paint brush, paint over your stencil. You may need to do multiple coats, depending on the color of your paint and t-shirt.

Step Five: Allow to dry for about five minutes, then carefully peel off your stencil to let it finish drying. 

Tip: Use tweezers to carefully remove those tiny pieces inside the design.

Step Six: Enjoy your finished product! You should be able to wash your garments normally, but I would suggest turning them inside out, just in case.

I'd love to see some of your final products! Share them by uploading to my flickr pool!