DIY Silk Screen Printing
Introducing Blank T-Shirts! 0
We had some inventory of blank t-shirts laying around, so now we're making them available to our customers! Quantities are very limited. Choose between Gildan and Bella brand t-shirts.
View our inventory here: T-SHIRTS
- Lana Simmons
Recent Customer Showcase Additions 0
You can view our full Customer Showcase page here: EZScreen Customer Showcase
Custom screen printed longboard and skateboard decks by Eric
DIY Screen Printed Halftone Portraits by Kim
Custom Screen Printed Ceramic Plates by Pat
DIY Screen Printed Athletic Wear by Brian
- Lana Simmons
Need Help Getting Started? 0
These are our recommendations of what you will need to get started using EZScreen™ silk screen stencils and on your way to create your very own custom t-shirts and crafts!
Complete T-Shirt Starter Kits - Comes with everything you need to make five 8.5"x11" EZScreen stencils and print t-shirts, wood or other fabric projects. These kits include your choice of fabric ink sets.
Basic Starter Kits - Comes with everything you need to make two 8.5"x11" EZScreen stencils. We recommend the basic kits if you only need one or two colors of ink (not included) or if you are printing on a surface that requires specialty inks/paints.
Standard Refill Sheets - If you have several designs, Standard EZScreen™ Stencils are available in refill sheets (optional). Standard silk screen stencils are typically used for fabric such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags and other porous surfaces. Choose from 3, 5, 10 and 20 packs in our regular size screens. Mini and large stencils are also available.
HiDef Refill Sheets - If you have several designs, HiDef EZScreen™ Stencils are available in refill sheets (optional). HiDef Stencil Sheets are intended for artwork with small details, fine lines, or halftones. Typically, used for hard surfaces such as glass, plastic, and metal. Choose from 3, 5, 10 and 20 packs in our regular size screens. Mini sizes are also available.
Mini Refill Stencils - If you have small designs, Standard or HiDef EZScreen™ Mini Stencils are available in refill sheets (optional). Choose from 6, 12, 24 and 50 packs.
EZScreen™ Large Stencil - For larger designs we offer 11"x17" stencils (optional)
Large Exposure Board - Used to expose EZScreen™ 11"x17" large stencil (Required if large stencils are purchased)
Transparency Film - Used to print your high quality design/artwork. Choose from ink jet or laser/copier transparency sheets. Regular printer paper is NOT recommended. Included in all basic and complete kits, but not mini kits.
Plastic Canvas - To support the EZScreen™ Stencil during rinsing and cleaning ink. Comes in various sizes and types. Included in all basic and complete kits, but not mini kits.
Cardboard insert - Used to cover EZScreen™ Stencil in exposure board unit before and after exposure to direct sunlight. Included in all starter kits except mini kits.
Squeegees - Used to apply screen printing ink onto fabric. Comes in different sizes. 9" Speedball squeegees also available (optional)
Plastic Frames - Helpful for multiple printing (optional)
Improve your efficiency with a plastic frame. There is no need to wash the stencil after each print. The number of prints depends on your skill level and practice. Also, helps to prevent the ink from going over the edge of the stencil and onto the shirt. Use tape (masking tape, scotch tape, etc.) to adhere the stencil to the frame. Plastic frames are available in a variety of sizes. Included in complete kits.
Screen Printing Inks - Speedball or Jacquard screen printing inks
Choose from Speedball and Jacquard screen printing inks. Both are ideal for EZScreen™ stencils. They are slow drying for multiple printing and washes off with water. Heat setting is required to prevent fading. Use a heat press or a dry iron set on the highest temperature. Keep the iron moving to prevent scorching. Wait one week before washing. Included in complete kits and also available in individual jars.
Versatex Fixer - Heat setting is not required if you mix fixer into the ink. It can be mixed with Speedball, Jacquard, or Versatex Inks. (optional)
Speedball Exposure Light - If you do not have direct sunlight (optional)
When direct sunlight is not available, expose/burn EZScreen™ Stencil any time, day or night, with our affordable light units.
- Lana Simmons
Use Direct Sunlight 0
One of the most crucial parts of making an EZScreen DIY silk screen stencil is the exposure process. It is absolutely essential that you use DIRECT sunlight to burn the screen. Cloudy weather will not work. Exposing the stencil too early in the morning when the sun is at an angle as well as late in the afternoon when the sun is going down will not produce a quality stencil. It is best to burn the EZScreen stencil when the sun is directly overhead.
NOTE: Per our instructions, please test exposure time with small test pieces provided in the black bag before using an entire stencil. If you encounter any problems, please contact us right away for trouble shooting assistance. Only expose EZScreen™ stencils in direct sunlight; no clouds or shade. If sunlight is not available, use our tested artificial lights.
If you do not have access to direct sunlight, please use one of our tested artificial lights to burn the stencil. Many lights will work, however, determining the exact exposure time and set distance from the stencil during exposure will be hard to do. It is best to use one of the lights provided on our website as it will come with complete exposure instructions.
Choose from two lights:
Speedball Exposure Light Kit for exposing EZScreen™ stencils. Exposes in just 7 minutes with Standard and HiDef 8.5"x11" stencils using transparency film.
Note: Bulb lasts about 3 hours. Replacement bulbs available
EZScreen™ Exposure Light Table fixture comes with long lasting white fluorescent bulbs and legs for exposing EZScreen™ stencils. The fixture adjusts up or down to fit the height of exposure. Exposes in just 20 minutes with Standard and 40 minutes with HiDef using transparency film.
- Lana Simmons
Printing the Transparency 0
When you have picked a design (or created one) you will need to convert it to black & white. Black and white photographs will not work as your design. No gray scale or color. Halftones will work as long as the dots are not too small.
Using photo software, edit the image. Click the ink blot icon and place the cursor over the black part of the design. R, G, and B should all be 0.
Then place your cursor over a white area, and the R, G, and B should all be 255. This image is now ready to be printed.
An actual black and white photograph will NOT work as your design.
Insert your image onto a Word Doc and resize it according to how large or small you want the design to be. This image is stretched to fit an 8.5"x11" with a minimum of .5 inch border around all 4 sides. Make sure you're working with an image large enough to stretch this big before it gets pixelated. If you can see pixelation then it will appear on your stencil as well.
Transparency film will have a smooth glossy side, and a rough/textured side. Make sure when you load the transparency into your printer, it will be printed on the rough side. The smooth side of the transparency will prevent the printer ink from drying and will smear. Tip: If it's hard to tell which side of the transparency is the printable side, lightly dab a corner of the transparency with moisture. The rough side will be tacky.
Remove any printer paper if necessary.
Always make sure to set your printer setting on "Best" or "Highest DPI." This Brother printer settings is under Resolution, and it was set to HQ 1200. Most times, you can print the transparency under regular paper, but in some cases you will need to select "Specialty Paper" or some printers have a "Transparency" setting.
Once the transparency has been printed, allow it to dry for several minutes. Now it's ready to use!
View our video on creating quality artwork:
- Lana Simmons
Techniques for Screen Printing on Glass 0
EZScreen stencils can work on a multitude of surfaces, including curved surfaces like glass, plastic, and metal. After creating glass projects ourselves, we realized that not all glass paints are created equal, and there are certain techniques that help the project turn out better. Here are some of our suggestions when screen printing on glass:
1 - The type of paint matters
- We went through multiple brands of glass paint and came to the conclusion that DecoArt Americana 3D Opaque Gloss Enamels work the best. Other brands will leave bubbles or bleed under the stencil during printing. However, we had the best results with 3D Opaque Enamels. They can be found easily at craft supply stores or online at several retailers.
2 - Use a brush instead of a squeegee
- When applying the paint on a curved or hard surface, we recommend using an artist brush. A squeegee may be too rigid for a curved surface.
3 - Wet the stencil or use spray adhesive
- It is extremely important for the stencil to have complete contact with a glass surface during printing. If the stencil is dry, then the paint will bleed and the results will not be pretty. First, try lightly dampening the underside of the stencil with water and placing it on the glass surface. Remove any air bubbles by rubbing the stencil. If the paint still bleeds, wash off the glass and start over by using repositionable tacky stencil spray. This can be found at craft supply stores or online. Apply a light spray of the repositionable glue on the underside of the stencil and rub away any air bubbles. After printing with glass paint, remove the stencil immediately and place in a bucket of water or wash off in the sink. The stencil will remain tacky if repositionable stencil spray is used.
4 - HiDef EZScreen stencils
We recommend using HiDef emulsion stencils when printing on hard surfaces, especially glass. The higher mesh count in the high definition stencils are less visible than the more open mesh in the Standard stencils. Because HiDef screen print stencils have a higher mesh count, you can achieve more detail in your designs. Choose between our Basic Starter Kit with HiDef stencils, or our Mini Starter Kit with smaller HiDef screens.
- Lana Simmons