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How to Make your own Silk Screen, The Easy Way!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Many times, when I have a project in mind, I’ll spend hours searching online to find the perfect fabric or just the right complementary clothing item. And sometimes, it ‘s just not out there.   I created my own fabric in these projects with stencils and stamps:  Woodland Creatures skirt, Polka Dot Leggings, and Star Fabric.  But what if you can’t find just the right stamp or stencil?

How to make your own silk screen, the easy way!

I was researching on-line about how to make my own silk screens and all the tutorials just seemed too complicated  (or too expensive…)
When I searched for “Easy Screen Printing Methods” I found this little silk screen making kit on Amazon.

I ordered the kit and couldn’t wait to try it out!  I use Photoshop Elements to edit my photos and with this software, you can turn almost any image into a stencil/screen print.

Steps for turning almost any image into a stencil/screen print in Photo Shop Elements:
1.  Use the magic wand to extract the image if needed and paste into a new blank file.
2.  Go to Enhance  –>> Convert to black and white
3.  Turn up the contrast and adjust brightness
4.  Create a new adjustment layer for the threshold.  Move the slider until it is closest to the way you want the image to look.
5.  Clean up any crazy areas with the black/white paint brush.  If you have the look you need, great…  If it needs a bit more adjustment, move to step 6
6.  Flatten image, Go to filter –>>  Artistic –>> cut out.  Play with the sliders until you are happy with the look

Not every image will work as a stencil, but it’s a lot of fun playing with them.  These are just a few I’ve made.

The flower I used on the pillow was a photoshop brush I bought on Etsy and you might remember the pineapple print from this top.  I also have a great collection of images in this stencil round up.

This kit would be perfect for any project that you might want to make several of.  Like family t-shirts or gifts, a girl scout craft or even something you’d like to sell.  (Like these adorable hand towels.)   The screen print refills are sold at Hobby Lobby too- and yes, they are coupon eligible!

The process really could not be any easier!    

Print out your image, place it face down on the blue silk screen.  (It’s recommended you work in a darkened area and weigh down the image with a piece of glass.  I just used a piece from a near-by photo frame.)

Place the silk screen/image/glass sandwich in the box (glass side up.)  Turn on the light and let it “cook” for about 25 minutes… 

Rinse the screen in the provided tub and use the sponge to remove excess blue stuff from your screen.  Lay flat to dry.

I added a bit of painters tape to the edges of my screen to give me more room to work with the paint.  (It also keeps me from wasting too much of the silk screen.)

Add your paint to the screen and spread it on with the paint spreader, just like you would a stencil.  I have used both the simply screen paint and regular fabric paint.  Possibly the screen printing paint was a little better, but not so much that I would buy it instead of regular fabric paint (unless it was on sale…)

Rinse the screen after every 3 or 4 applications to make sure the paint does not dry in the silk screen.

I love my new pillow, it coordinates perfectly with my outdoor furniture.  I just need to make a second, coordinating pillow.  I can’t decide between making another one exactly the same or using a different flower screen print, but in the same colors. (I have these four flowers to choose from)  What do you think I should do?

How to make your own silk screen, the easy way!

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  1. Can artist portraits be done using this tutorial?

    1. Jamie Sanders says:

      I am not sure what you mean but sure why not.

  2. It’s stunning. Did you need to complete each flower before starting the next or is there a simpler method?

  3. Kimberly Lewis says:

    This looks so fun and beautiful at the same time! Pinned. Lou Lou Girls

  4. Ashley @ 3 Little Greenwoods says:

    Oh! I want to try this! thanks for sharing on SHOWLicious!
    ~ Ashley

  5. Jillian @ Hi! It's Jilly says:

    Wow! How interesting! I've done freezer paper stencing, but this looks way cool, too!

  6. The Gray Barn says:

    I love the creativity of the placement of the flowers! I had this screen print kit in my cart while shopping in Hobby Lobby and 40% off coupon in hand, changed my mind and put it back. I should have bought it. Thanks for sharing, your pillow turned out great!

  7. Ginger Bergemann says:

    Interesting! You could make a ton of fun projects with this process.