Today I am here to show you just how I screen printed my swag bags for FriendsGiving! It was super easy to do, and something that I know just about anyone could use to make a simple project- such as a bag or t-shirt. It can be a bit more time consuming than just paying someone else to come up with the design + print them for you, but its about 150% cheaper to just D.I.Y. it!
To order 30 blank pink bags and have them shiped to me, it cost UNDER $40. The supplies to screen print myself, cost me about $20. To order 30 bags printed with my custom design, it would have ran me between $250-$300. YIKES. So instead, I printed about 5 bags a night- until I had done them all. And once you make your screen, it goes fast! Heres what I did...
First I situated my screen into my hoop. Once I had it centered + pulled as tight as I could get it, I hot glued it all in place, and cut off the extra fabric.
I traced the hoop, and on a seperated sheet of paper sketched out my design. Once I had my design just right, I placed the hoop on top, and using a sharpie marker- traced my design onto the screen. Since my design is just using words, I outlined the shape of the letters- as you are going to need to fill in each letter with the drawing fluid [next]- so each letter needs a distinct thickness to it.
Now you are going to use the drawing fluid to paint over your design. Where ever you paint the drawing fluid, that is what is going to show up when you print- so be careful not to get it anywhere else on your design. If you do, just use soap and water to wash it off asap! You'll want to put this stuff on super thick- I suggest two coats. Ohh, and this will feel a lot like you are painting with jelly- its not the easiest of materials to manipulate the way you'd like because of its stickiness.
So after the drawing fluid dries [ALL THE WAY], you then are going to apply the screen filler to all the areas that the drawing fluid is not. At this point, your screen should either be blue from drawing fluid, or red from screen filler.
After the screen filler dries, use an old toothbrush, hot water and a wee bit of soap to clean off the drawing fluid. Dry your screen off, and your ready to print!
Since we are printing on fabric, you want to use an oil based/fabric ink to print with. Just squeeze some ink out at the top of your screen. Hold the screen down with one hand, and using the squeegee in the other, pull the ink across the screen completely. I have a screen printing squeegee, but honestly- I don't care for it as much as I do the 'squeegee' I ripped off the top of my spatchula! [Whatever works!] AND Viola'! You've pulled your first print!
Super easy screen printing process! Like I said, this is a method that I would teach to my ELEMENTARY school students, so don't be afraid to try it out! AND feel free to e-mail me with any ?'s if you do!
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