17 June 2010

screen printing

For YW camp this year I thought it would be a great idea to do screen printing as one of the crafts. I found instructions on: lilblueboo's blog - and didn't think it looked too hard. Mom got me 40 donated pillow cases to print on ... so all I needed was the kit and a design.

A coupon for Hobby Lobby at 40% off and I bought this screen printing kit. You _definitely_ need a coupon.

After reading the instructions several times, I procrastinated - fearing that I would screw up the screen, run out of supplies, and the craft would be ruined. (Yes, I'm aware that waiting really doesn't help any of that ... but such is life.)

I designed the logos (um, yeah - the project doubled in size when "we" decided to DIY the t-shirts. gack!) in publisher using free fonts that I found on-line. (My favorite source for fonts: Amanda's Fonts for Peas and Amanda's scrapbooking fonts. Awesome, fun, unique, and FREE fonts!)

Last night I turned the spare bathroom into a "dark" room and with the help of a green glowing night light, smeared photo emulsion on two screens - hoping for thin and _even_ coats. It's surprisingly hard to do this by night light. I was paranoid this morning and put another thin coating on them.

A trip to Kinko's for transparencies (3 copies, taped together in the corner with double stick tape), glass taken out of a picture frame on the wall, a black t-shirt, and the lid of a plastic bin, and I had a screen sandwich that I put outside at 12:30ish for 3 minutes to expose.

It didn't look "done" so I left it for about another 2 minutes. I took it apart and sprayed it with water at the kitchen sink. I now _totally_ understand why some people do this part in the shower. I started getting really nervous because the un-exposed, slime green photo emulsion didn't seem to be washing away, but finally one letter started to clear up and then the rest followed. It took about 15-20 minutes of spraying for the design to clear up.

Here's what the t-shirt screen looks like:
(it looks small because I could only by a 12x16 frame. The design is 9.5" across.)

And here's what the pillow case screen looks like:
(and this one looks big ... but it's in a 10x14 frame. Yes, it is crooked. You try lining up a transparency on a screen in the dark.)

I'm pretty excited. I think they turned out _fantastic_. Tonight I'm going to try screen printing on some fabric scraps and find out how easy/hard that step is.