Most of our friends are all somewhat nerdy about one thing or another — and two in particular introduced me to the glories of Star Trek the Next Generation; another loves the Original Series; another introduced me to Doctor Who. Most of them are total Star Wars fanboys (they would all have movie nights and watch the Original Trilogy together).
SO we’ve decided to DIY screenprint a symbol for each person that refers to their specific nerdy thing onto scarves: Next Gen, Original Series, Dr. Who (Tardis), a symbol from the comic Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (which my best friend and I used to read together years ago), symbol for the Rebel Alliance and the Imperial symbol.
That’s the story, now here’s the DIY screenprinting tutorial:
- Embroidery hoop
- Screen printing ink (I got a kit of Jacquard’s basic colors a while ago, but you could just get one jar if they’ll all be the same color)
- Mod Podge
- Paint brush
- Old stockings/cheap stockings (these will be the screen)
- A pencil
- Some parchment paper or wax paper
Get your design: Print out your design. I found the symbols via Google, then put the images into a document in Microsoft Word and just scaled each one down to close to an inch, the size I wanted them.
Make the screen. Once you have your image, cut out a piece of the stocking and put it in the embroidery hoop–be sure to stretch it very tight. (The first one I tried, the symbol was big and I didn’t stretch enough. The screen allowed the ink to smudge because it was a bit loose.)
Trace your design onto the screen with a pencil outline.
Next, fill in the negative space with Mod Podge, making sure no tiny holes appear in the Mod Podge by making it relatively thick. Be very careful at the edges of the design. The unpainted area will be your screenprinted design.
Let the screen dry.
Do a test run of your screen, following steps 7-9. I used a tea towel. It’s a good thing I did, because the first few came out pretty poorly. (That smudgy blue is where I tried watering down the ink a bit, which I did not like at all; I ended up just using the thick ink straight from the jar.)
Put down parchment paper or wax paper underneath the fabric in case of bleed through, so you don’t ruin your surface OR accidentally glue the project to the table. I tried newspaper, which became stuck to the bottom of the fabric. THEN I used wax paper, which worked well.
Carefully place the screen face down on the fabric and paint the ink onto the screen. Be sure to push the ink through the screen without accidentally moving the screen around to prevent smudges (this is why doing a test is such a good idea!). You can use a card to push the ink through the screen if it’s pretty thick, or if your brush is stiff that might do the trick.
After the ink dries, iron the design on high heat for one minute from the back of the fabric.
When you’re happy with the tests, follow steps 7-9 on your real fabric.
Here’s how mine came out: