Saturday, November 19, 2011

Screen Printing with Window Screening Material

Using Window Screening Material to Make a Screen Printing Tool
Background:  After constructing wooden framed screens to cover vent holes on one of my houses, a small rectangular piece of screening remained.  It lay on my kitchen counter for days before I figured that it could be used someway in an art project.  Today a light bulb went off and it seemed like a perfect little piece to experiment with making a screen printing tool with readily available materials.  Here is how it progressed.
I'll start with the completed screen and work backward.
The project began with a piece of 2 ¾” x 9 ¾” screening material.  At first I zigzag stitched a narrow border of self adhesive metallic material around the edge to give the screen stability. 

Then I stuck a few pieces of Scotch™ tape to what became the back side of the screen. These would act as resists when ink was pulled across the screen. After one pull of silk screen ink, I could see that it needed a wider border to reduce the risk of extra ink going over the edges onto fabric and to increase stability.

I used wide aluminum tape on the front and then turned the piece over and applied the same  tape over the sticky side of the tape on the front. A screen printing tool emerged. 

I had a piece of fabric that already had some “smooshed” color on it, so I figured this would be a good piece on which to audition the effectiveness of the new tool.This close-up photograph shows the result of two ink screenings. 

The purple print was done with only a narrow metallic tape border.  Because stability was compromised, the image edges are not crisp.  The yellow print was done with the wider metallic tape border and the edges are very crisp and clear.  The screen grid is visible on both and provides additional visual interest.
Now I want to make a larger screen printing tool for which I will use a wooden frame and staple the window screening material to the frame, similar to the way in which silk screen is attached to a wooden frame. 


  1. Ladyfishfelt, The holiday season seems to bring out the elf in many of us. This was great fun to create. Thanks for commenting. Happy New Year to you and yours.