HOW TO SCREEN PRINT AT HOME
How to screen print at home can denote passion, attitude, moods, and perceptions among others. This is one of the major reasons why T-Shirt screen printing is increasingly becoming a popular hobby.
Most people want to feel attached to a certain occasion, sport or corporate when they wear screen printed T-shirts. Accordingly, everyone has been the liberty to put on the kind of T-shirt they want.
Basically, the entire process of screen printing involves several easy steps. This means that you can easily screen print your own T-shirts at home or start a small home business.
Before you get down to working on your T-shirts, it is essential to first understand the type of equipment you need, the general procedure or steps to follow, the space required and finally the benefits that you can reap from T-shirts screen printing; if you are in it for business.
What you need to get started
To begin with, you should start by gathering the necessary equipment that you are likely to use throughout the screen printing process. This is not a hard task at all. Practically all the equipment you may need are cheap and easily available in every store, besides none of this is equipment is specialized, so you can make this stuff at home too.
Without further ado, grab a piece of paper and a pen and write the following equipment down: photo emulsions, a frame, ink, a cheap light, masking tape, screen printing press and a squeegee.
Essentially, you do not have to shop for everything in this list. Some of these materials are easy to make at home and will cost you even much less.If you need to make frames for example, you can simple use lumber which will just serve the purpose right.
For the screens, you can use fabric from an old dress or any material as long as it is in good shape for use. If you wish to start a small T-shirt screen printing home business, then you might consider adding some more advanced equipment later as the business grows.
Categorically, if you have your own screen printing machine at home, then you won’t have to bother taking your T-shirts to the store in order to have that image, Logo or anything else you prefer, put on.
To spice things up even for the better, you don’t have to worry or begin to scratch your head as to whether you can afford this kind of a machine.
In just a few steps, you can easily make your own printing machine, or basically screen print your own T-shirt at home, without necessarily using any special skills or techniques. Here are those few steps you need to follow:
- To begin with, start by getting all the supplies you actually need for the job; i.e. screen and frame, Squeegee, silk screen fabric ink, latex gloves, small piece of cardboard, photo emulsion and sensitizes and obviously a T-shirt that you wish to screen print. Basically, you can easily buy either of these supplies, which you don’t already have, from your local art store.
- Systematically choose the graphics, images or words you wish to print, either from a ready made image or by designing your own using a computer. Ensure you print the image or your design in the size you want. For a starter, it would be best to start with just a simple image that won’t give you a hard time to design.
- Gently coat the screen in emulsion. Thoroughly mix the sensitizes with the emulsion before spreading the mixture over the screen with a squeegee. Essentially, this emulsion should cover a wider area than the image you wish to print.
- Next, expose your image to the light. In order to do this, lay down the frame, with the screen facing down, on a black board or cloth. Then use a scotch tape to tape down the transparency with your image.
- Clean the screen by spraying it with cold water preferably using a horse pipe. By now you will have noticed some sections on the screen where your image is flaking off.
- Finally, print your design by laying the screen over the T-shirt you wish to design and pouring just a little amount of ink across the top of the screen in a horizontal way. You can use a squeegee to make a smooth movement down the screen. In any case, always make sure that your T-shirt is at a suitable place so that the ink can quickly dry. Once it has dried up, place a piece of paper on top of your image or design, and iron over the paper for about three minutes. Then lift the paper; and “boom” you have just finished screen printing your own T-shirt right at your home.
- If you wish to re-use your screen on another T-shirt, wash it thoroughly before the ink dries up and make sure there aren’t any stray splotches of ink.
- Add more ink as necessary when you get to designing your next T-shirt.
Remarkably, the entire process just requires a just small, flat working space where you can lay your tools and spread your T-shirt.
This means that, you can easily screen print as many T-shirts as possible inside your bedroom, table room or any other room in your house.
Interestingly, once you make just a few designs on a number of shirts, you will realize how easy it can get to design scores of T-shirts within a very short time. This might get you into contemplating starting a small home business. The big question that may wonder through your mind however is; what kind of benefits would I reap from this business?
What are the benefits?
Screen printing for business purposes? Considerably, these are questions that you cannot fail to get the right answers to. The good news is that indeed there are some benefits that may come along; these include:
- Ability to make larger Designs: Basically, you are at liberty to select any screen size or frame size for your T-shirts’ designs without compromising with the images and texts you want to capture.
- It is very economical and cheap: Essentially, you can use the same screen over and over hence cutting major costs enormously.
- It is quicker and easy: The entire process of screen printing is faster and easy; the ink and colors dry very fast hence giving you an opportunity to make more and more within a short period.
- Tough and Sturdy: This is certainly the greatest advantage of T-shirt screen printing. The colors do not seem dull or weary even when you expose the fabrics to very harsh conditions. In fact, it would take a longer period before the texts and the colors begin to fade away.
Making your own t-shirts is such an amazingly easy process to do. It only takes a few items to get up and going. Whether this be for fun or for profit. You can certainly scale this process even higher once you get going, that’s the beauty behind this. You can get started for very cheap and make your money back in the first month. Go get your setup and start printing!