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:
Using Contact Paper to Create a Simple Design:
Step 1: Start with a blank screen printing screen:
Step 2: Cut a piece of contact paper slightly larger than your screen…..
….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:
Step 3: Cut out your design using a razor or Exacto knife.
Step 4: Adhere the contact paper to the bottom of the screen (on the non-recessed side).
Step 5: Lay the screen down on the fabric you want to screen the design onto (recessed side up):
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).
So easy a 2-year-old can do it!
Step 7: Carefully lift your screen off and you have your finished design!
Let your design dry and then use an iron to heat set the ink.
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!
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.
Step 2: Place the screen down onto the fabric either diagonally or straight depending on the angle of stripes you want.
Step 3: Place a small glob of screen printing ink on your screen…..
……and using a squeegee pull the ink across the stripes.
Step 4: Carefully lift up your screen and move it to the end of your stripes to start another set.
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 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.
Step 2: I screened my first set of stripes….
….then turned the screen 90 degrees to create new stripes perpendicular to the old ones. Then I set the fabric aside to dry.
Step 3: I cut new strips of contact paper to create smaller sets of stripes……
….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.
A distressed plaid design! So easy…I didn’t even measure the stripes…just a rough estimate.
This one was perfect for a plaid dress!
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!
Oooooooh!! My husband's gonna be mad at you!! Lol 🙂 (where do you get your supplies?)
What a cool technique!! I'm so trying this!
Love it! I think we are going to see some Vday dresses soon!
Happy Together says
That's a cool technique. PS..my daughter has the same candy pj's! 🙂
sofia's sketchbook says
fun i'm having w/ my dharma screenprint kit…..
fun thanks ahsley fun!!!!
I love this! What a simple, well-explained, and helpful tutorial. Can't wait to get my craft on! Thanks!
TUTU Monkey says
Love this….thanks so much!!! Can't wait to try!
Thank you for the tutorial. I'm going to have to get all the supplies together so I can try it. Nice job!
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!
Ash, that is BRILLIANT!!!!! will definitely try it….1 fine day 🙂
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.
Carol B says
cool thanks, hope my contact adhesive holds once it's wet
Oh this is great and so much fun! Thanks for the how-to, I'll be linking.
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!
Awesome!! I featured your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:
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.
I have given you an award…you can go here to check it out
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!
Hi Ashley, Another great tutorial. Thanks. I featuring it today over at my Blog. Go check out the other fun features and grab your featured button there too.
Have a wonderful Tuesday! Tara
Thank you! This blog post will be advertised on CraftCrave in the Handcraft category today (look for timestamp: [08 Feb 04:00pm GMT]).
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!
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!
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!!!!
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.