Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial)

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) via lilblueboo.com

 

This technique is super easy and great for designs that are not too detailed. You can cut a simple design into contact paper (you know, the adhesive vinyl used for lining shelves and covering text books!) and start screening in a matter of minutes. For more detailed designs and small lettering I recommend the Photo Emulsion Method. Below I’ve put together 3 tutorials for the following three designs using contact paper and screen printing techniques:

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) 2 via lilblueboo.com

Using Contact Paper to Create a Simple Design:

Step 1: Start with a blank screen printing screen:

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 1 via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: Cut a piece of contact paper slightly larger than your screen…..

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 2 via lilblueboo.com
….and draw out your design on contact paper. Note: either draw your design on the front of the contact paper or make sure you reverse the design if you are drawing it on the paper backside. I made this heart design for Valentines day dresses:

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 2a via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: Cut out your design using a razor or Exacto knife.

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 3 via lilblueboo.com
Step 4: Adhere the contact paper to the bottom of the screen (on the non-recessed side).

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 4 via lilblueboo.com
Step 5: Lay the screen down on the fabric you want to screen the design onto (recessed side up):

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 5 via lilblueboo.com
Step 6: Place a small glob of screen printing ink on your screen and using a squeegee pull the ink across the design. (I used Versatex ink for these prints because there are more colors available).

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 6 via lilblueboo.com
So easy a 2-year-old can do it!

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 6a via lilblueboo.com
Step 7: Carefully lift your screen off and you have your finished design!

Screenprinting Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 7 via lilblueboo.com
Let your design dry and then use an iron to heat set the ink.

Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) step 7a via lilblueboo.com
Cleaning: I use a sink sprayer to make sure all the ink is removed from the screen….and as long as the contact paper remains on the screen you can reuse it!

Techniques: Using Contact Paper (Tutorial) cleaning via lilblueboo.com

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes:

Step 1: Cut strips of contact paper and adhere to the bottom of the screen. Note: I actually used electrical tape for this project because it was the perfect size.

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 1 via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: Place the screen down onto the fabric either diagonally or straight depending on the angle of stripes you want.

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 2 via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: Place a small glob of screen printing ink on your screen…..

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 3 via lilblueboo.com
……and using a squeegee pull the ink across the stripes.

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 3a via lilblueboo.com

Step 4: Carefully lift up your screen and move it to the end of your stripes to start another set.

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 4 via lilblueboo.com
I like the distressed look so I did my stripes a little haphazardly, but you can be as careful and tedious as you want to be in order to get them perfect.

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes step 4a via lilblueboo.com

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design:

You can also use different sizes of stripes and screen separate colors to create a simple plaid design.

Step 1: First I started with the large stripes. I cut 3″ strips of contact paper and placed them on the bottom of the screen as shown.

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 1 via lilblueboo.com
Step 2: I screened my first set of stripes….

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 2 via lilblueboo.com
….then turned the screen 90 degrees to create new stripes perpendicular to the old ones. Then I set the fabric aside to dry.

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 2a via lilblueboo.com
Step 3: I cut new strips of contact paper to create smaller sets of stripes……

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 3 via lilblueboo.com
….and screened them in the exact same way using a different color. I used the size of a small plastic ruler as a “mini” squeegee.

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 3a via lilblueboo.com
A distressed plaid design! So easy…I didn’t even measure the stripes…just a rough estimate.

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step 3b via lilblueboo.com

This one was perfect for a plaid dress!

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design step plaid dress via lilblueboo.com

This tutorial is part of a series for the Lil Blue Boo / Dharma Trading Challenge running this month. If you haven’t checked it out yet please do! All levels of design/sewing/printing encouraged to enter!

Comments

  1. sofia's sketchbook says

    fun technique!!!
    fun i'm having w/ my dharma screenprint kit…..
    fun thanks ahsley fun!!!!

  2. Caroline says

    I love this! What a simple, well-explained, and helpful tutorial. Can't wait to get my craft on! Thanks!

  3. Dena says

    Thank you for the tutorial. I'm going to have to get all the supplies together so I can try it. Nice job!

  4. ForeverYou says

    WOW Ashley, you are sooo talented!!! I wish I had all supplies at hand place so I can explore my creativity! But for now I ma stuck with appliques an some other simple embellishments!

  5. Shelly K says

    Duh, how did I never think of contac paper. I use it for EVERYTHING. Nice work. This might be solving my dilemma (for my first entry… I posted what I've got going so far on my ILTWYD blog…asking for some help but now I just sparked a thought)
    I'm so jealous of the weather there. It is ONE degree here. Count it. ONE. Wanna come hang out? LOL.

  6. Rachel@oneprettything.com says

    Oh this is great and so much fun! Thanks for the how-to, I'll be linking.

  7. angela | the painted house says

    Thanks for the comment, Ashley! Let me just say that I'm not worthy…scrolling through all your recent projects! You a all talent!

    I'll warn you, though, it will be a slow start back to blogging for me…ha!

  8. kleiosbelly says

    Saw this on Craft Gossip…Great idea! I really want to get into altering fabric but was a little daunted by full-on screenprinting. This seems like a nice intro into the process.

  9. Kaela says

    Great idea! My husband just saw an infomercial for the Yudu(sp?) screen printer, but we also have a commercial vinyl cutter. I think we will try that way first. So clever you are!

  10. Nikki@KreativeKnack says

    Wow! Thanks for this, my hubby bought me the Yudu, and those emulsion sheets are so figgen expensive…this is much easier, and better for simple designs! Thanks so much!

  11. Lorie says

    How did I miss this one! I saw a post from Not SO Idle hands where she used your tutorial and this is amazing! I am going to blog about it tomorrow!

  12. jgentry says

    You are brilliant!! This totally solves my stenciling problem. I have had two roles of contact paper sitting around for years. Now I can put them to good use. Thank you!!!!

  13. Katie says

    Can you make that screen-printing board? I have been trying to figure out how to screen print for years but I am still confused.

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