Screen printing on the cheap

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uptownmaker
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Screen printing on the cheap

Postby uptownmaker » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:58 pm

I gave it a shot tonight. Not as good as I'd have hoped, but not as bad as I'd feared.

It's cool in a lo-fi kind of way. I'd have settled for a little less cool and a little more legible, but whatcha gonna do?

I'll try again later this weekend. I think the problem was that I just didn't get the mask smoothed down enough onto the screen, so too much paint (um, I mean, ink) was able to seep under it. Also, there's a lot of detail there- that may be a problem. And, I squeegeed the side with the transfer on it (i.e., the paint was poured on the the mask), which meant that, as I drew the squeegee over it, I was effectively trying to peel the mask off of the the screen.

I'll try again- I think next time I may try thicker lines, and put the mask on the side facing the shirt, so I'm not constantly rubbing it off the screen by dragging the squeegee over it. I may water the paint down a bit, but it worked fairly well, so that's not for certain.

PS- what do you think about the logo?

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Theo
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Re: Screen printing on the cheap

Postby Theo » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:04 pm

How'd you do this? Was your "ink" just bleach?

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Theo
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Re: Screen printing on the cheap

Postby Theo » Fri Mar 06, 2009 9:07 pm

Hmm, you must've edited... OK, it's paint then? Yeah, definitely don't want to be squeegeeing (?) the, uh, mask. I've silkscreened, but it was when I was a teenager at summer camp, and I don't remember if we ever learned the terminology.

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jtbarclay
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Re: Screen printing on the cheap

Postby jtbarclay » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:37 am

looks awesome! the design on paper doesnt look that great but from the failed attempt at the shirt it looks pretty good, if you get this down I definitely want one

uptownmaker
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Re: Screen printing on the cheap

Postby uptownmaker » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:39 pm

I think I might try it again today. I've kind of over-committed myself to projects for this weekend- I want to get that shirt done, make myself a table-top foam cutter AND a mini-lightbox, and work on the laser game a bit. I had wanted to go visit the spoonapult-alooza, but I think that's going to be the loser in all of this.

Oh, and it's just as well that it didn't work the first time- I realized after I'd already done it and screwed up that my transistor symbol is missing the cross-piece that makes it a more logical "T". I was rushing.

uptownmaker
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Re: Screen printing on the cheap

Postby uptownmaker » Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:14 pm

Okay, how's this?

My idea of putting the mask on the shirt side of the screen worked beautifully- with one minor exception. The hole mask chad for the R stuck to the shirt on the first go, rather than staying with the screen. I'll take it, though.

I also noticed that the newer shirt (the lighter red, with the middle of the R masked off) didn't take up the paint as well- or maybe took it up too well. At any rate, it's fading and won't be as bright as the other two (which, for the record, are at least four years old)(I pulled them out of my closet when I realized how well it was working and felt I should make more than one). I have some theories about that- maybe due to fabric type (although I THINK they're all 100% cotton), or wear from repeated washing, or some chemical treatment on the new shirt that's not present on the old shirts. I also think I might just try doing this with the shirts slightly damp, to reduce the amount of paint that soaks into the shirt. And perhaps diluting the paint slightly, so it goes through the screen better.

Sorry, Theo, I didn't really take any pics for photo documentation. As far as I'm concerned, however, I'm still dialing this process in, so it would be premature to try and make it too formal yet. Perhaps I'll make a page on the wiki documenting it- or on my personal project web page. I promise I will photo-doc this up at some point, though.

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noise
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Re: Screen printing on the cheap

Postby noise » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:06 pm

Those look great!
Make it happen.

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Nicholas Lee
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Re: Screen printing on the cheap

Postby Nicholas Lee » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:19 pm

heck yea!
those tshirts look great.

what sort of paint did you use?

uptownmaker
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Re: Screen printing on the cheap

Postby uptownmaker » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:52 pm

Nicholas Lee wrote:what sort of paint did you use?


Behr Premium Interior.

It was left over from when we moved in and painted last year. Standard issue latex interior wall paint. Total cost for the entire project was about $20, including the two shirts. I cheated like crazy though, because I have a small stash of used artist's canvas frames that I found in the alley a few years ago. One of them was just the right size for this; another one became the lightbox I used to trace the pattern from printer paper to the contact paper, and the third one is well on its way to becoming a desktop hot-wire foam cutter.

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Theo
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Re: Screen printing on the cheap

Postby Theo » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:06 pm

uptownmaker wrote:Sorry, Theo, I didn't really take any pics for photo documentation. As far as I'm concerned, however, I'm still dialing this process in, so it would be premature to try and make it too formal yet.

The rough drafts & revisions are part of the process too... but as you please. Your results are improving dramatically & rapidly.

You're using the same paint we used on our bedroom. :D (well, maybe not the same color)
Do you thin it down beforehand? Do you need to heat-set it after? Have you put any of the shirts through the wash yet?

I wouldn't say that using parts you had on hand already is cheating. If they work, they work; good on you for having the foresight (and storage space).


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