How to Make T-Shirt Screen Printing Screens

Screen printing is a great way to get your designs out there. For some people, this will just be a bit of fun. For others, it can be a way of promoting a business or starting a business. The good news is that screen printing is a fairly simple process. But before you can start making shirts, you’ll need to design your screen. Here are some tips to help you do this. 

What is a Screen Printing Screen? 

Before we talk about how you can make one, let’s briefly define what this element is and why it is so important. Your design will go onto this screen. As a result, when you apply ink, it will seep through the thin fabric. This transposes the design to the shirt. Once you have a good screen, there is no limit to the number of shirts you can print. 

Making the Frame 

The first thing that you need to do is make the frame. This is what the screen will be attached to. How big the frames will need to be depends on the size of the design. It’s always a good idea to give yourself a few extra inches on either side. This allows you to have some buffer room. When building the frame, you want to make sure that you are using heavier wood. Also, give yourself a big lip. This helps absorb any excess ink. When you are happy, screw the screen in place. 

Attaching the Screen. 

Next, you’ll need to use a polyester mesh. When putting it onto the frame, you want to make sure that it is stretched tightly. The ink will pool in loose areas, ruining the print. When you are happy, you’ll need to staple it to the back of the frame. 

Creating and Printing the Design

Now comes the fun part. It’s time to design your print. There are lots of tools that you can use to do this. You might want to use Photoshop. Alternatively, you can hand-draw a sketch and then have it digitized. 

Once you have a design that you like, it’s time to print it out. You’ll need to transfer it to positive transparency, which is similar to the material you use in overhead projectors. You might need to go to a specialist print shop to do this. Alternatively, you can buy a special printer. 

Transferring the Print to the Screen

Lastly, you will need to prepare the screen. You’ll first need to use a degreaser. This removes any dirt or dust from the screen. Then, you’ll need to apply an emulsion. This allows it to absorb light. Once this is done, lay the printed design on exposed yellow lightbulbs. Put the screen on top. 

The dark patches in the printed design will block the light, every other part of the screen will become hardened. This allows the ink to penetrate through some parts of the screen but not others. How long this takes to work will depend. Though it might take around an hour and 15 minutes. It’s best if you do this in a dark room.  


While making a screen isn’t a difficult process, it will require some attention to detail. Hopefully, by this point, you have created a for screen printing tampa. Now there’s only one thing left to do. Start printing and what your designs come to life.  

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