Screen Printing Using Contact Paper

This technique is super easy and great for designs that are not too detailed. You can cut a simple design into contact paper (you know, the adhesive vinyl used for lining shelves and covering text books!) and start screening in a matter of minutes. For more detailed designs and small lettering I recommend the Photo Emulsion Method. Below I've put together 3 tutorials for the following three designs using contact paper and screen printing techniques:

Let's get started!

Design ideas

Using Contact Paper to Create a Simple Design:

Step 1: Start with a blank screen printing screen:

Grab your screen

Step 2: Cut a piece of contact paper slightly larger than your screen.....

Make the paper a bit bigger all the way around

....and draw out your design on contact paper. Note: either draw your design on the front of the contact paper or make sure you reverse the design if you are drawing it on the paper backside. I made this heart design for Valentines day dresses:

Sketch out that idea

Step 3: Cut out your design using a razor or Exacto knife.

Look at those clean edges

Step 4: Adhere the contact paper to the bottom of the screen (on the non-recessed side).

Sticky the paper to the back of the screen

Step 5: Lay the screen down on the fabric you want to screen the design onto (recessed side up):

Find that shirt and lay out that screen

Step 6: Place a small glob of screen printing ink on your screen and using a squeegee pull the ink across the design. (I used Versatex ink for these prints because there are more colors available).

Inky goodness!

So easy a 2-year-old can do it!

Smearing is what kids do best

Step 7: Carefully lift your screen off and you have your finished design!

Slowly remove the screen

Let your design dry and then use an iron to heat set the ink.

Go crazy on all the fabric you have!

Cleaning: I use a sink sprayer to make sure all the ink is removed from the screen....and as long as the contact paper remains on the screen you can reuse it!

Wash off the ink quickly and you can reuse this one!

Using Contact Paper to Create Stripes:

Step 1: Cut strips of contact paper and adhere to the bottom of the screen. Note: I actually used electrical tape for this project because it was the perfect size.

Here's another idea on simple setup: Tape!

Step 2: Place the screen down onto the fabric either diagonally or straight depending on the angle of stripes you want.

Lay out the screen where you want the stripes

Step 3: Place a small glob of screen printing ink on your screen.....

Glob on that ink

......and using a squeegee pull the ink across the stripes.

Squeegee the day away!

Step 4: Carefully lift up your screen and move it to the end of your stripes to start another set.

Looking good!

I like the distressed look so I did my stripes a little haphazardly, but you can be as careful and tedious as you want to be in order to get them perfect.

Don't stop there!

Using Contact Paper to Create a Distressed Plaid Design:

You can also use different sizes of stripes and screen separate colors to create a simple plaid design.

Step 1: First I started with the large stripes. I cut 3" strips of contact paper and placed them on the bottom of the screen as shown.

Use your imagination

Step 2: I screened my first set of stripes....

Layer your screens...

....then turned the screen 90 degrees to create new stripes perpendicular to the old ones. Then I set the fabric aside to dry.

... for added effects!

Step 3: I cut new strips of contact paper to create smaller sets of stripes......

Go in for a third layer

....and screened them in the exact same way using a different color. I used the size of a small plastic ruler as a "mini" squeegee.

Lay down that ink

A distressed plaid design! So easy...I didn't even measure the stripes...just a rough estimate.

Pick up the screen slowly and admire your work!

This one was perfect for a plaid dress!

Finished project

Customer Comments
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