Screen printing with paper templates

24 March 2012

I was up with a lark on Saturday morning and as it was too foggy to set off to walk the dog  I decided to have a go at a bit of screen printing using paper templates, though someone wasn't particularly impressed by the delay of his walk.

I saw a video on this on U Tube last weekend - it looked like a fascinating technique.

So I folded and snipped away at pages from the Guardian Weekend magazine (I did this earlier in the week)  and then stuck them to my screen with masking tape.

Then I used Textile Medium mixed with acrylic paint as the printing ink.  The medium slows down the drying time of the paint so making it a bit more user friendly for screen printing. You mix it with paint using a 1:1 ratio of paint to medium.

I used a decent System 3 paint, and a cheap acrylic from The Works.  They both worked just as well.

I used newspaper to pad the work surface and then a piece of calico as a new drop cloth.  The first pull adheres the paper to the screen.  The video reckoned about 8 -10 pulls per screen with paper.  I used it 7 times, after which the edges were beginning to get a bit 'soft and raggedy' and I was loosing the crisp out line of the images.

But I think this technique has real potential.

The last image shows a print done on a piece of previously dyed Evolon fabric.

And just as a contrast, earlier in the week I used cut paper as a stencil and used a markal paint stick on a piece of dry powder coloured paper (the dry powder was applied while the gesso was still wet)


  1. Thanks for your comment on my blog - I do sleep, but my house is a bit of a tip! Isn't the indigo bath great? I really like your prints as well.

  2. Just wondering - if the Evolon doesnt fray and presumably it folds well - if you produce a really interesting design using newspaper can you copy it using the Evolon for the mask. Then you could print loads..............

    1. That's a really good idea. I guess you could also wash it to keep it fresh ( if you use an acrylic base printing ink the edges could get a bit clogged making the definition a bit less clear). I have never tried this but it actually sounds like a really good idea. Thanks for the suggestion.


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