Home Silk Screen Hack

It is almost time to prepare for the holiday season. Creating a simple “silk” screen is a great way to create fun holiday themed t-shirts for personal wear or gifting. It is not as difficult as it sounds but does take some time to develop. What you will need for this project is:

  • 1 embroidery hoop.
  • 1 pair of panty-hose or knee-hi hose, appropriate to the size of the hoop.
  • 1 permanent marker pen.
  • 1 bottle of Mod Podge.
  • 1 print-out of your graphic.
  • Straight pins
  • Fabric paint.
  • Paint brushes.
  • Old credit card, plastic putty knife, or similar
  • News paper
  • Clothes hanger

Choose an image or phrase such as Smith Family Christmas 2017. Print it out on paper. You do not need to print a color image, but it must fit within the embroidery hoop.

Stretch the hose over the embroidery hoop and place outer hoop on and secure. Using a paint brush apply Mod Podge on the hose along the inside of the hoop. This will keep the hose from running once you cut them. Wait until the Mod Podge dries and cut the excess away from the embroidery hoop. This is now your “silk” screen. You will be working from the inside of the hoop keeping the outside flat against the fabric when you apply fabric paint.

Affix your graphic to the underside of the hose with pins. This is the side that will touch the shirt fabric. Trace the image onto the pantyhose using the permanent marker.

Once you finish tracing lightly paint the Mod Podge along the outside of your trace marks. This is to seal up the edges. You want to leave the design’s inside spaces open to allow your paint to get through. Using a larger brush seal the entire area outside the design. When you are finished the only part of the screen that is not sealed with Mod Podge is the portion you want fabric paint to go through.

Turn the embroidery hoop over so that the screen is not touching anything. Allow it to completely dry. Then you are ready to print.

Working on a solid surface, insert a few layers of newspaper inside your shirt to prevent paint bleed-through. Place the screen on the shirt so it is flat against the fabric. Apply fabric paint to the screen in the areas NOT sealed. Using your old credit card, putty knife, or similar spread the paint across the screen. Gently lift the screen from the shirt. Slide the clothes hanger into place, remove newspaper and hang to dry.

I’ve used my screen on several types of fabrics. Some took the paint well, some did not. Try it and send me your photo to the email below. I’d love to see your work.

Robin’s Upcycle is located in Kanawha County, WV. Open by appointment. Phone 304-460-5NEW (5639). For info, visit facebook.com/robinsupcycle or email robinholstein@gmail.com