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Low Budget Screen Printing (With Pics!)

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will comet fuck up the screen or the emulsion?


also no real updates YET as comp is still fucked but im working on it i promise

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Hmmm well Ive never had the problem of my ink drying. I always have a hose handy the minute I finish. I guess give it a try. Using a needle or nail that was mentioned does help scrape out some mess but it might be more trouble than its worth.

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Finally got some photos and a good comp. So here's what Ive been doing lately, and the run down of whats new.



Here are some newer designs....










(on this one, I ran over the screen waaay too much with the paint/squeegie. Notice how the lines are bleedy. The screen got TOO flooded with the paint, resulting in a shitty image :( )

as you can tell by the original line work:








This is my fave. thus far. But I ran out of GOOD t shirts by this point, and i managed to BLEED all over the shirt. lol




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Anyways. On to more tips.


Turns out, the screen I bought is good because the screens themselves are REPLACABLE! Yay!






there is a foam running all along the edge of the frame in the gutter. I used a chopstick to pull it out, and voila! New screens available.


I checked out the local art store, and they sell just the mesh, by the foot. I ended up paying a little over $20 for 6 feet! That got me 6 new screens! Had I bought another frame + mesh, I think I wouldve been paying around $30 a screen/frame!


Here are some of the screens when pulled out.








Its KIND of tricky putting back screens that have been used already. They are slightly stiff, so they dont look great initially. Its kind of tricky to stretch them properly too. But after some washing and usage, they get better somehow.



The really black one on the left is the church design. I think ive used this one a lot more than all the others, so its getting really dark, but when held up to the light, you can still see the design.


On washing:


Ive also discovered another important thing. After each print, the ink can be rinsed off with just water. BUT, using soap and a paper towel gets the BEST clean.




This is the first screen I washed with soap after using it. As you can see, its relatively clean, considering how many times Ive used it.


Thats all for now.


OH yeah, the sale of meshes/screens by the foot is DOPE. They have all kinds of mesh available. Mine is in the middle as far as mesh count goes. I cant remember exactly the number, but I know its inbetween the super detail one (which is the most expensive, though still cheap if bought by the foot) and the not so detailed one.

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I actually worked as a professional printer for several months, prior to that I had several classes in printmaking where I specialized in serigraphy (silk screening) so if any of you have any questions go ahead and send them my way. The best bet for getting rid of photo emulsion is stencil remover, you can get the stuff at the same place where you get all of your other screen printing supplies, the stuff is called sodium meta-peridate, diluted with water. let it soak for a minute and it will wash out with a good pressure water. Use greased-lightning after that, and it will make your screen easier to coat when recoating it.


Also when making teeshirts, its best to flood once and then aply the right amount of pressure when pulling your ink. that should help with bleeding or over flooding.

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yea with water base always flood your screen (keep it flooded) otherwise you run the risk of having ink drying up in your screen. (exp if its a hot day)


Removing dried ink from a screen?

you should be able to get all this stuff at your local screen supply shop.


three steps to reclaiming a screen.


1. emulsion remover (scrub and blast)

2. haze remover (ghost remover) removes the stains on the screen of your last job

3. degrease (takes off the grease and shit so your screens good to re-coat)


these things are all fairly cheap. get them, your printing experience will become alot better.


you can cut some corners for example, the guy who wanted to get the ink off his screen with out removing the emulsion, just use the haze remover and that removes all the ink and leeves the emulsion. just don't rub/blast too hard. (and ware gloves, that shit burns)


Also Haya, i am loving that humming bird design mate!

very nice.



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printing on jerseys (hoodies?) is similar, just really rub it down to your platen and use a little more off contact. =)

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newest design

went out and bought more emulsion, but I think I fucked up on the mixing, so its not as good.

Also now im getting fucking lines where my transparencies over lap.




I found out you can use nail polish? to cover up unwanted holes on the screen (But you wont be able to reclaim it afterwards) as nail polish goes on liquid and dries solid







so far I like this one the most

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yeah i used to print this way in high school.. nothing like the feeling of spending a weekend buying shirts cheap,printing, then taking a duffle bag full of shirts and having $300+ in your pocket after school.. good ol days.

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30 shirts at $2 each

Quality Ink at $30 a pint

sell for $10 a print.

easy money and profit after the first batch to make your money back on supplies

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Nice one mate, ah, with the "pin holes" (holes in the emulsion) get some emulsion from your bulk, and get a tomato sauce (ketchup) bottle a squeeze one and put it in there, put a drip on the screen (platen side) and use something flat and flexible to smooth it out (i use a bit of ice cream container i cut out) over all your holes, before printing otherwise you will go though a heap of sticky tape on the back of your screen :)


not that nail polish wouldn't work, just another thing you don't need, know what i meen,

Over the past fre years i have done heaps of experiments and had a lot of fun!

dont hesitate on trying something new!!

i think printings about getting dirty @ the start, but in the end its about being as clean as you can :) (no one likes fingerprints on shoulders)


I made a good as wash bay the other week for less than $100 (AUS) ;)

keen to see more prints soon!!


hope i helped. =)

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i really want to get down on some screen printing any idea how i would get started. like i know how to draw and stuff but i just need photoshop to make it all clean and what not, but i guess what im asking is. after i clean it from photoshop where would i go from there?

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Yo Vulcan,


You gotta do a film output, (your image on clear plastic).

then burn your image into a screen with emulsion and light. from there its on you :D


eerr lotsa typing.. umm just have a browse about the net.


Tshirtforums.com is a good one for starting. (google tshirt forums)

move on to screenprinters.net/forum for some more serious print heads.


Here is a image of how its done in the simplest way.



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You Print on a Transparency. set up your printer so it knows that it is printing on it.



i would suggest using a one color image to start, so you learn how it works.


example, but this is a really shitty choice, could be bumped up a little..



buy one of these kits or you can buy a screen with emulsion on it already.


(put emulsion on in the dark or with a red light(its like film)


you can buy one of these for about $25

500 watt min!


place it about 12-15 inches above the screen


Get your image, a piece of glass ( out of a big picture frame will work,bigger than the screen)

and turn the lamp on for 11minutes above your image/screen.


This will burn your image onto the screen. what it does is keep whatever is in the shadow (image) wet while everything else dries up.


Spray off the wet emulsion off in an outside sink or on your concrete if you dont care.


Once cleaned, check for holes in the emulsion by putting it up to a regular light.


If you see any, you can use tape or nail polish to cover them up.


Bring your screen to your printing area, set up 1 nickel on each of the 4 corners of the frame.(you need a little space between the frame and the shirt so it bends down as you put pressure on it)


Make sure your printing station is stable and screen wont budge with movement. i used to put C clamps on the table.


Put a some ink on the top of the screen about the width of your image.


keep the sqeege at a 45 degree angle and push down and towards you with the


swipe maybe 2 times down. never bottom to top when the shirt is still under!.


once you lift up the screen after the pressing, Swipe the ink backup towards the top, this is called "Clearing" check your print, should be good, and dry it.


When i first started it used a blow dryer and it honestly took a while. i ended up going on craigslist and buying a dryer for like $120





That kit i posted was $50 at amazon.com, but i used to go to art stores and they would have just the screen for $25 and the ink was about $10 (not the best quality but works)


If you want to start out, just to see and have fun, you should be spending about $60 so i would go with that kit. pretty much has everything you need. but PAY ATTENTION to the directions on mixing the emulsion and remember to keep it in the dark when you put it on the screen. you can used a cereal box and bend it a little, maybe add some tape to keep it in a scoop form


these are the real ones, you just need a thin layer of emulsion and it should be somewhat transparent not opaque like its paint


^^ with the emulsion applicator, you hold the screen up 80-90 degrees, and lean this^ thing towards it so the emulsion that is inside the scoop slides onto the screen. you slowly pull up the screen (bottom to top) applying the thin layer of emulsion.\\



i might be missing out some things out but it is pretty much the basics.


use gloves and remember to take them off whenever handing your apparel.


good luck. you can find stuff on youtube too.

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you can find them all at an Art Store. just ask for Silk screen supplies. if not, then search online, amazon has some and you can find a lot on ebay

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ive been screening here and there...I cant seem to get this thing poppin off. Im in a bit of financial trouble. any ideas on how to really get on the ball and sell?


no idea

have lots of artsy friends

go to shows wearing your gear

make it appealing to the masses who buy this shit (ie NOT hip hop kids)



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ive been screening here and there...I cant seem to get this thing poppin off. Im in a bit of financial trouble. any ideas on how to really get on the ball and sell?


i don't know where you're at but if you've heard of 'buffalo exchange' those places tend to work with local printers like that.

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