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PhotoEZ™ and StencilPro™ DIY Silk Screens                                    
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How to Make StencilPro™ Silk Screening Stencils

     

StencilPro™ silk screening kits allow users to silk screen at home.  The instruction below specifies how to make DIY stencils to print on t-shirts.  The same method applies to making silk screening stencils for all other surfaces as well.


stencilpro silk screening stencil


Instructions:   StencilPro Stencils
 

Step 1:

Design your artwork using Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft word or a similar program leaving at least a 1" around the artwork.  Artworkmust be black and white only, no gray, not even a very dark gray.  The butterfly on the left has some gray shading.  The butterfly on the right was converted to a black and white image in Microsoft Word.  Consult the owner's manual of the software in use for specific details on how to convert images to black and white.  There are online tutorials that explain how to convert images.

Original artwork can be drawn directly on transparencies with a black sharpie.

stencilpro gray butterfly          stencilpro black butterfly
Step 2:
Print your design on paper and edit if necessary.  When satisfied with the results, print your design on Waterproof Inkjet Transparencies.
Step 3:
Gather your supplies from your StencilPro™ silk screening kit and these additional supplies in a dimly lit room away from any bright light source:
  • StencilPro™ silk screening sheet
  • Artwork or test pattern printed or drawn on Waterproof Inkjet Transparency
  • Exposure Frame
  • Darkroom Box filled with water
  • Scissors or paper trimmer
  • Timer
  • Plastic Washout Screen
  • Soft Brush or Sponge
  • Paper Towels
Step 4:
Run a test first, especially if this is your first time making StencilPro™ silk screening stencils.  There are test patterns located on the back page of the instruction booklet included with the StencilPro™ silk screening kits.  Or choose and area on your image with the most fine details.

Working in a dimly lit room cut StencilPro™ silk screening sheet to size if necessary.  Make sure there is at least a 1" border between the silk screen edges and the image.

  1. Center the StencilPro™ sheet either side up on the black foam board of the Exposure Frame.
  2. Place transparency face down on top of the StencilPro™.
  3. Place the clear acrylic of the Exposure Frame on top of the transparency, pressing firmly together to insure a tight contact.
  4. Place the lid of the Darkroom Box (or use cardboard) over all the items to protect the StencilPro™ until ready to expose.
 place stencilpro on exposure frame stencilpro transparency
 
 place transparency on stencilpro
 4.1 Artwork design
from Microsoft Word
and printed on
transparency

 
4.2

 

Step 5:
Exposure times will vary depending on the time of day and brightness of the sun.  The following times are guidelines and based on a sunny day between 10am to 2pm.
  1. Set your timer for 25 seconds for StencilPro™ Standard Grade, 16 seconds for StencilPro™ High Resolution Grade.
  2. Position the Exposure Frame perpendicular to the sun's rays.
  3. Remove the protective top and start your timer.
  4. Replace the protective top when the time is up.


Step 6:

A combination of correct timing, opaqueness of the image on the transparency and tight contact between the StencilPro™ sheet and transparency will result in easy and complete removal of the emulsion with just a water sprayer.
  1. Remove your StencilPro™ silk screening sheet and place in the Darkroom Box filled with water for a minimum of 10 minutes.  The silk screen can be left in the container for hours or days without harm.
  2. Use a kitchen faucet or garden hose on spray mode and the Plastic Washout Screen for support, remove emulsion.  If a water sprayer is unavailable, gently use a soft brush or sponge.  Check for any blockage (emulsion left on the image) by holding your silk screening stencil up to the light before proceeding to the next step.

place stencilpro in darkroom box   wash off emulsion from stencilpro  check stencilpro for any blockage

Troubleshooting:

  • Emulsion was soft and too much came off the silk screening stencil (under exposed):  Increase exposure time in increments of 10 seconds until the emulsion washes out easily.
  • Emulsion will not wash out of the image (over exposed):  Decrease exposure time in increments of 10 seconds until image washes out easily without being too soft.
  • No image on the StencilPro™ silk screening stencil:  The transparency was placed under the silk screen during exposure allowing the sun to expose and harden the emulsion on the whole screen.  Start over placing the transparency on top of the StencilPro™ silk screen.  Transparency should be between the sun's rays and StencilPro™ during exposure.
Step 7:
Pat your StencilPro™ silk screening stencil dry with paper towels.  Place your stencil on the Plastic Washout Screen and re-expose to sun for 5 minutes. 

pat stencilpro dry     re-expose stencilpro to sun

Step 8:
Dry your StencilPro™ custom silk screening stencil completely before screen printing.  You can use a hair dryer to speed up this process.

* Note: Unused StencilPro™ silk screening sheets are light sensitive and have a shelf life of at least 2 years.  Once developed, the silk screening stencils are no longer sensitive to light.  Store flat at room temperature.  Properly developed stencils can be used hundreds of times to screen print.


stencilpro t-shirt

Screen Printed T-Shirt with StencilPro Standard Grade sheet