How do you make silkscreen stencils?


Quick Answer

Make simple silkscreen stencils by selecting a design, cutting out the shape and placing the stencil in the press. Time to complete the stencil depends on the complexity of the design. Wax paper stencils require replacement after about 15 prints.

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Full Answer

  1. Select the design

    These stencils work well with simple designs that include straight lines or gentle curves. Fold the paper to create multiple repetitions of the same design. Transfer the design to the wax paper by tracing gently over the lines to create a white cutting line on the wax paper.

  2. Cut out the design

    Cut the design using scissors or a razor knife. Tear the design from the paper to create a feathered edge. Keep in mind the print is the negative image of the stencil.

  3. Place the stencil in the press

    Single piece stencils adhere to the silk screen with the first pass ink. If the design includes small pieces such as the dot for an 'I', apply rubber cement to the back of the piece, and place it on the stencil. Allow the glue to dry before proceeding.

  4. Make the prints

    Follow the silkscreen manufacturer's directions for applying ink and making prints. Watch the stencil for wear. If it begins to leak ink, clean the press, and apply a new stencil.

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