Paper Stencil Screen Printing

A quick introductory guide to screen printing with a paper stencil. You can download a printable pdf. here!

You will need:

  • Screen
  • Squeegee to fit
  • Paper to cut your stencil – photocopy paper is good – layout paper is better
  • Craft knife
  • Water-based fabric ink such as Speedball
  • A padded surface to print onto – a folded sheet is good
  • A Garment
  • Newspaper

Step 1) Draw the outline of the image you wish to print.

Step 2) Using a craft knife, cut out the image. You want to keep the outline of the image and any infill pieces. 

Step 3) Stuff the garment with a sheet of newspaper to stop ink reaching the rear of the garment. 

Step 4) Position your stencil where you want the image to be, remembering to position any infill pieces. 

Step 5) Lay your taped screen onto the stencil. Check there are no gaps around the outside of your stencil. If there are add an extra layer of tape. 

Step 6) Put a thick bead of ink along the top edge of your screen. 

Step 7) Flood your screen with ink by pulling the squeegee across it lightly at a 45′ angle. Then repeat with a little force, when you have printed correctly there should be no ink on top of the mesh and the noise of the squeegee pull should sound a bit like a zip! 

Step 8) Lift the screen from your garment by pressing on one side and lifting the other (a bit like opening a book). Leave the garment to dry and then iron to fix.