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?
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.
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.)
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?
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About the Author
Jamie Sanders is a wife and mom of 2, located in the heart of Texas. She founded Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom in 2011 as a place to share creative ideas and family friendly recipes. Her work has been featured on Martha Stewart, Woman’s World, HuffPost, TODAY, Pioneer Woman, HGTV, CNET, Good Housekeeping, Yahoo, Oprah Daily, and Redbook, plus many other publications. To date, she had given away just under a million free pdf sewing patterns.