Easy at-home Screenprinting Tutorial

Screenprinting is a wonderful technique and style of printmaking. Easily one of the most versatile techniques, screenprinting can be used to achieve quality artwork for applications ranging from fine-art prints to the everyday t-shirt. It is used in a variety of industries (did you know that many early computer motherboards had their circuitry screenprinted on?!) and lends itself to being one of the mediums that is most easy to adapt to your purpose.

Today, I want to share with you my at-home strategy for screenprinting in a safe, practical way. In the videos below, I share how I do screenprints on textile (shirts) using things that you can pick up from your local hardware store (with the exception of the screen and ink). So follow along as I drop some knowledge...

What you'll need:

  • Screen (you can pick up one from a local art store, or go to www.screenprinting.com for a large variety of the items you'll need for screenprinting) It's a good idea to start off with 110 mesh, which is your typical standard mesh you'll find in an art/hobby shop. I know Michaels and Hobby Lobby both carry simple screens.

  • Squeegee (also able to be picked up at your local art store. Speedball sells fairly simple and cheap ones for hobby use that are good to start with.) I personally would NOT recommend getting a "fabric" squeegee, which has a rounded end, but use a document squeegee that is squared off.

  • Ink (available at your local art store. I personally use water-based fabric ink)
  • Photo Emulsion OR Screen-filler (depending on whether you want to block out the screen by hand, or use photo emulsion technique as I show in the videos)
  • Halogen work lamp -available at your local hardware store.
  • (optional) hinge clamps (typically found in an art store, you may have to search amazon or dickblick.com for a set) This will make multiple or large print jobs go faster.
  • (optional if using water-based ink) dryer with drying rack
  • Masking tape
  • transparency paper
  • Permanent/Transparency Marker OR printer set on highest detail setting for black ink
  • Dark Room to dry screens in
  • Shirt/fabric/paper to print on

Without further ado, enjoy the videos!

How did this work out for you? These videos are a bit older, and I've updated my process since they were made. Back then, I was working straight out of my bathroom, and using a scrapped together set-up for printing. It worked, and was fun, and led to me searching and learning more about screenprinting and the processes involved. I do plan to do an updated intro to screenprinting video in the future. This is just where I started.

Ask any questions or leave any feedback in the comments below!