Screen Print Your Own Wall Hanging!

I'd been wanting to make something to hang up on the wall for a little while now, but it's amazing how little time you have when you have a two month old to take care of! Over the weekend though, my wonderful husband watched Isla Mae, so I could zone out for a bit and get something crafty done! It's been so long since I've had any time, and it felt so good to get my hands dirty again!

I've had a bunch of people ask how to do screen printing, so I thought I'd do a quick tutorial on it. I did a post a few months back on my very first attempt at screen printing, which may be useful as I mention where I bought various materials from. Since then, I've invested in a Silhouette Cameo, which is an Electronic Cutter. It's the best decision I've ever made craft-wise! I used to hand cut out my stencils with a little blade, and the curves would never turn out quite right. With my Cameo though, it turns out completely perfect!! And what's even better, is that it cuts out any text or design of mine for me, and it does it within seconds! However, you don't need to own a Cameo for this tutorial, you can make your stencil with a blade, or however you like!

As you probably know, screen printing has become a huge love of mine, as has anything DIY. So lets combine them together and make a screen printed wall hanging! As always, make it your own and feel free to use whatever you like to get the job done. That's what I do!

You will need:

White Cotton Fabric
Silk Screen
Black Fabric Ink
Squeegee
Stencilling Vinyl
Wide Sticky Tape
Iron
Dowel Rod
Hot Glue Gun
Fishing Wire
Sewing Machine
Pins
Thread

Let's get started! Firstly, decide what you want to print! You can make your own design, or use my design template for free! For those who use the Silhouette software, you can import my design template from here, and for everyone you can use the PDF from here.

Cut your stencil out of vinyl. This is where the Silhouette comes in handy!

Tip: Depending on what you use, (vinyl or contact paper etc) it may come out back to front when you screen print it! So always check before you cut your stencil, and keep the following in mind - 
The sticky side is getting stuck to the front side of your screen, and when you stick it down you want it to look back to front, so that when you turn your screen over to look through the back, it will be facing the right way.

Stick down your stencil to the front side of your silk screen. Once that's down, use some wide sticky tape to tape a border around the edges of your stencil, preferably covering the rest of the screen so that no ink will come out onto your fabric in unwanted places! (I learnt this the hard way.) I like to use clear vinyl and tape so that I can see exactly where I'm printing.
Give your white fabric a quick iron. Prints always come out better when the fabric isn't covered with wrinkles! Pop some newspaper down on your table, and lay out your fabric. I cut a piece roughly 30cm x 40cm. Keep in mind that we're going to hem the edges later, so you'll need a little extra for a seam allowance. But at the top you'll need even more length to make a casing for you dowel rod. So make sure your print isn't right to the edge if you want that part to be seen. Lay your screen down onto your fabric, centering it how you like.

Time to get your ink on!! Everyone does this part different. Some people put the ink onto the screen, others put it on their squeegee. I like to put it on my screen, above the cut out part. If it's a larger print like this one, I like to put little dobs of ink above the various cut out parts, that way I know the ink will cover the whole stencil.

Go ahead and ink up! Don't be afraid to use a decent amount of ink. You can scrape the excess back into your container afterwards.
Get your squeegee and run it firmly from the top to the bottom of your screen. Don't push as hard as you possibly can, but keep it firm. You can do it a couple times, but keep it going from top to bottom. If you change directions your chances of the ink bleeding are much higher.
Lift up your screen slowly to see your print! It's as easy as that. You may need to carefully hold your fabric down as you lift your screen as the wet fabric can stick to your board. Do this with care, and make sure theres no ink on your fingers! (Again, I learnt this the hard way!)
Step back and admire your pretty print! You will have time to do this, as you need to wait for it to dry. If the sun is shining through your windows, that's the fastest way! I always try to lay it in the sun, but never outside, as the breeze could make the fabric fold over and ruin it before it's dry. If there's no sun available, have no fear, it will dry by itself! It just takes a little longer. Once dry, you will need to cure it. See iron instructions on the back of your ink container. I use standard Permaset Ink, which I love, and I just iron it for 3 minutes. This sets the ink so that it can be washed.
Once that's done, it's time to hem the edges to make it nice and neat. Turn your print over, and fold the edge in towards you, then fold in again. Do this the whole way around and pin as you go. When you do the top edge of your print, make sure the second fold is folded a little wider so that you can fit your dowel rod through later, and make sure it's folded on top of the two side edges. (As shown)
Stitch the whole way around making sure you don't stitch over the opening of the wide fold. Turn your print over again and iron it.
Get your dowel rod and cut a piece just wider than the top edge of your finished fabric. Slip it through the casing that you just cleverly made! Then turn on your hot glue gun, to get it heating up.
Almost finished! Take your fishing wire and tie it to one side of your dowel rod. Use a dab of glue to secure it. Then figure out how much slack you want for when it's hanging up, and then repeat on the other side. Cut off any excess fishing wire, and it's finished! So simple.
Hang it up and admire it! Then repeat, and make many more, with lots of different prints! I dare you not to!
Have fun with this tutorial, and get creative with it. If you have any questions, just ask below. 

I'd love to see what you make, so send some pictures my way! Or simply tag me on Instagram (@mrsdavisxo) so I can see. Happy crafting!

Have a beautiful day,

8 comments:

  1. What font did you use? I love this and would use your template, but PDF doesn't import into the Silhouette software. I love the phrase and am making wall hangings for my son's teachers using the class fingerprints for the confetti.

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    1. Hi Michelle! Thanks so much for letting me know! I've updated the template so that it's now in a JPEG format. The font is 'BlackJack', and it was a free download from DaFont.com

      Let me know if the link doesn't work, or if theres anything else I can do to help!

      I'd love to see the finished product when you're finished! Sounds like an awesome idea with the finger prints :)

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    2. I actually just changed it again, so for Silhouette users, it's saved as a Silhouette file. Should make the cutting out much smoother. :)

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  2. The new Silhouette file is perfect! Thank you so much. I was killing myself trying to get the trace function to work correctly on the PDF that I converted to an image file.

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    1. No worries at all! I only just figured out how to save something as a silhouette file! So thank you for leading me towards finding that. That will make things like this so much easier in the future.

      Have fun with your project!!

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  3. I just emailed you a picture of the finished products. Thank you again for the idea and the Silhouette file. There's no way I would have gotten my end-of-the-year gifts done without them!

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  5. Coming across this very late :) what is the difference between this technique and the other that uses emulsion? His seems much easier and I'm wondering why anyone would do it the other way?

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