Success! My first screen print. with a little DIY

Over the past couple of week I have been trying to figure out how to screen print and the stars aligned today and I was able to pull a somewhat successful photo emulsion screen print. :) Is that angels I can hear singing? WOOHOO! I want to first say I hate following directions.. I never read the instructions.. I am a horrible baker because it relies on measuring.. :) I finally read the directions and after several failed attempts- SUCCESS! 

What s photo emolsion screen print? It's were you put the image you are burning on a transparency film and burn the image into the screen.  If you buy a screen printed something- they usually use this method because it's the best way to get the details of your image on the screen.

Supplies:  Screen, Screen Base, ink, Squeegee, 250 watt photo flood light bulb, black cloth or paper, piece of glass or plexi glass, photo emolusion mix, and photo emolusion remover
Step 1.  Apply a really thin coat of photo emulsion on the screen in 1 swipe.  The thinner the better.    My problem was my photo emulsion supplies were old- they are supposed to have a shelf life of 3 and I think I had mine for a couple years before I used it.  I think it was too old. When you mix the chemicals for the photo emulsion- make sure you completely dilute the activator before putting it into the photo emulsion.
Step 2.  Put the screen in a drawer or a dark place to dry.  Make sure it drys completely.

Step 3. Your screen is dry.  Place a black cloth/paper underneath the screen.  Place your gorgeous transparency design on screen and place glass on top.  Take a 250 watt photoflood light and have it 12 inches from the screen- turn on for 10 minutes.
 Step 4.  You screen should have a your fantastic design on the screen.  Turn off the light and take your screen to your kitchen sink and spray with cold water.  The area with your design. 

Step 5.  Let your screen dry flat.
 Step 6.  Tape a blank piece of paper down on the base for your test print.

Step 7.  Attach your screen to your base unit and put ink on the top and take your squeegee and pull the ink over the design while holding your squeegee at a 60 degree angle.
 Step. 8  OMG YOU Are a amazing you completed your first screen print. :)
Conclusion:  :) I know it's not perfect but it's my first try or at least making it to where I could pull the print.  I was so mega excited that it somewhat resembles my drawing.  I intend to buy a scoop coater, so that the photo emulsion is evenly coated in the screen. 

Want to learn more? Here are some  helpful links.
Screen Printing T Shirt Video - They make it look so darn easy.
Step by Step Screen Printing Instructions.


Mandy Crandell said...

Great job! I need to try this.

Lesley Myrick said...

Love it! I haven't done screen printing since high school, but it's something that I'd really like to explore again. I love your feather design!

Traveling Distances said...

Congrats on the successful print! It looks so cool and fun- I wish I had the patience and skill to do it too.

Tamara said...

i love the feather. fantastic idea for a print -- and kudos for keeping at it!

Unknown said...

Dang, girl! Nicely done! Do you just pick up anything and make it beautiful? Sure seems that way :)

Anonymous said...

Looks good! Now you're hooked...there's no going back!!

My wife and I went to the Cincinnati Art Museum's exhibit of circus posters...huge lithograph prints! Here's a printing technique I'd love to also learn!!

rachel june* said...

i just came across your blog. how cool to try screen printing yourself. envious of the possibilities you could come up with and your ambition to do it. beautiful!

Unknown said...

that's really great! i love feathers...must be the Chippewa in me?

Laura said...

Great work! I'd love to properly screen-print but the process has always seemed a bit too involved for my impatient self! I'm far more familiar and comfortable with the most simplistic printing methods (ie. potato stamps and iron-on freezer paper stencils) - thanks for sharing this little tutorial all about real screen printing techniques!

TSD Magazine said...

woahh that came out nice!
thanks for sharing!

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Awesome! Looks great. Can't wait to see more.

Jenn @ Live Love Life Now! said...

How did you know that printmaking was my favorite art class in college? :)

I loved my screen printing project in school but produced my prints with a stencil and not by burning it in by photo emulsion.

I recently bought a silkscreen kit and watched a few videos on how to do this very thing but never invested in the chemicals and was a little intimidated by the process.

But you have renewed my faith and I can't wait to try it myself!

Where is the best place to buy the emulsion chemicals??