Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How to Make Screen Printing Frames with Embroidery Hoops

It's a morning to play. While making some simple embroidery hoop "silk screen frames", I took pictures along the way for those who may never have tried this technique. Embroidery hoops of various sizes may be obtained reasonably at craft and yardage stores; however, they are often abundant at thrift stores and yard sales and the prices in these venues cannot be beat. All of the hoops used for the frames in the pictures were discovered in thrift stores. Even the one that shows a $2 price tag only cost 50 cents at the thrift store. Bonus!! At this price, cost does not need to figure into the joy of experimentation and discovery of a new form of art expression.

Materials:Wooden embroidery hoops of any size
Sheer window curtain

1) Lay sheer window curtain material over the smaller, inside hoop of a two-part embroidery hoop and then place the larger hoop over this and push down to secure the sheer material inside the hoop.
2) Locate the tightening screw on the embroidery hoop.

3) Tighten the screw.

4) Turn the hoop over and pull the screen fabric from the back side of the hoop to make screen side tight. Go around the entire circle, pulling as you move the hoop.

5) Continue tightening the screw

6) If you happen to have several embroidery hoops, you may use this time to make more than one screen. Various sizes of hoops determine the size of the screen printing images that can be made, but these can be very handy for smaller designs.

This hoop was a very inexpensive one that was originally sold for $200 but was purchased at a local thrift store for 50 cents.

7) Repeat the process from #1. (Lay sheer window curtain material over the small, inside hoop of a two-part embroidery hoop and then place the larger hoop over this and push down to secure the sheer material inside the hoop.)

8) The less expensive hoops have a small tightening knob that may initially be tightened between the thumb and forefinger, but effective, full tightening needs to be done with the aid of pliers.

9) Repeat the process from #4 and #8 (pull from reverse to make fabric tight in the hoop and continuously tighten as you pull fabric taut).

10) Cut the assembled hoops away from the main panel of sheer curtain fabric.

11) Lay the prepared hoops flat on the work surface.

12) Separate the assembled hoops. Leave a generous margin around the hoops. This will allow enough fabric to make tugging and retightening easier, should the fabric become slack in the hoop.
13) Even small hoops may be used.

14) Here are examples of various sized hoops that have been prepared for screen printing.

15) ...AND oodles of curtain screen fabric remains. Ahhh, the potential is invigorating.

And always remember...


  1. OK, this was interesting--but you didn't show us exactly how do use the hooped fabric to make an actual Screen printed item.

    1. Thanks for your question. Here are links to two other of my posts that illustrate how to make a screen print. The first shows how to apply the paint mask and the second one shows the actual printing process and examples.
      #1. (May 29,2010 post)
      #2. (May 31, 2019 post)