Screen printing table-top tutorial

Since we’re getting more and more material from the weavery on which to print our designs, it’s time we had a real surface to print on instead of a folding table! I e-mailed my fibers teacher from college who ever so kindly sent me a great handout for how to make a surface for screen printing. There isn’t space for a whole table at the moment, so I made a separate piece to go on top of a regular folding table that can be taken off and stored sideways while it’s not being used. I did a test run of some prints almost immediately after it was done and it worked perfectly!

Here’s what you need:

a piece of foam 2″ thick, approximately 1 yard long and 1/2 yard wide, give or take, depending on your need

a piece of plywood the same size as your foam

thick canvas or vinyl fabric 8″ larger on all sides than your plywood and foam pieces.

staple gun

Step 1: Place your fabric wrong side up on the floor or on a table big enough to fit all materials

Step 2: Center your piece of foam on the fabric, and place the plywood on top of that so your order is fabric, then foam, then plywood.

Step 3: Wrap one long side of the fabric up and over the edge of the plywood- -there should be plenty of length to have about 4″ of fabric wrap over the plywood

Step 4: It’s good to have more than 2 hands for this, but if you’re doing this alone like I did you should try to stretch the fabric over the plywood while using the staple gun to secure along the longer side. The first side you staple doesn’t have to be tight because you’ll be pulling and tightening as you go along.

Step 5: Once one long side is stapled, you can start on the other long side pulling and stapling the whole length of the plywood. I started at 4″ increments of staples, then went to 2 and eventually had staples almost every inch.

Step 6: I chose to fold my corners in like a gift for the short sides, though I’m sure there are other ways to do this. Staple in the same way, pulling and stapling down the length of both short sides. I periodically turned my foam board over and checked to see if there were any places that could use more tightening, and simply tugged and stapled in those on the back of the board.

And that’s it! I had quite an obsession with HGTV growing up so it seemed like I’d done this process a million times…even though this was my first attempt. If I had to do it again, I’d probably try to iron the fabric first, even though it’s a very heavy weight. There are some fold lines that mostly smoothed out throughout the stapling process but it could be smoother.

And here is some new printed fabric featuring 2 of Kim’s illustrations. The next two screens I make will be two different artists



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