As the holiday season approaches, many people look for unique ways to express their festive spirit. One thoughtful and creative option is to craft your own Christmas cards using the fun and versatile technique of screen printing.
With a bit of preparation and some simple supplies, you can create personalised cards!
In this tutorial we shall be showing you how to screen print your own Christmas cards with a basic yet effective design.
But before we get started we just wanted to share some essential tips on screen printing.
- Practice on scrap paper before printing onto cardstock.
- Work in a well-ventilated area.
- Clean up any spills immediately.
- Experiment with different designs and colour combinations.
Screen Printing onto Fabric vs Paper
While screen printing can be applied to various materials, including paper and fabric, there are subtle differences in the techniques used for each surface.
Fabric, being a porous material, absorbs the ink during the printing process, allowing for a bit more flexibility in ink application. Beginners might find it easier to experiment with screen printing on fabric first, as it offers a more forgiving approach in case of excess ink application.
The Speedball Screen Printing Vinyl Kit provides a comprehensive set of tools and materials to kickstart your screen printing journey.
Unlike fabric, which absorbs ink, screen printing on paper involves the ink sitting on top of the surface. So, screen printing on paper requires careful ink application to avoid bleeding under the stencil.
Here are a few tips on how to avoid your ink from bleeding:
Squeegee Selection and Design Alignment
For fabric printing, a squeegee with a rounded edge is ideal for pushing ink through the screen. However, for paper printing, a squeegee like our 15cm aluminum squeegee ensures a thinner ink layer.
Securing your paper
To prevent paper from shifting during printing, secure it to the board with masking tape. Lift the screen only, leaving the paper in place.
Apply a generous amount of ink along the design’s top, using excess ink for subsequent prints. Sufficient ink coverage is crucial to avoid bleeding. Aim for a single squeegee stroke to print on paper.
- Screen printing kit: This typically includes a screen frame, squeegee, and emulsion remover.
- Screen printing ink: Choose ink colours that complement the Christmas theme, such as red, green, gold, or silver.
- Cardstock: Select high-quality cardstock that can withstand the printing process.
- Design template: Create your own design or download a template from the internet (we have a wide variety of templates you can use).
- Masking tape: Use masking tape to secure the design template onto the screen.
First things first, prepare the screen
Clean the screen thoroughly to remove any debris or residue.
Once dry, place the design template onto the screen and secure it with masking tape.
Printing the Cards
Pour a small amount of ink onto the screen. Using a squeegee, firmly drag the ink across the screen, ensuring even coverage. Carefully lift the screen to reveal the printed design.
Add your Personal Touch
Once the ink has dried, you can add embellishments like glitter, ribbons, or stickers to personalise your cards.
There you have it, how to make your own screen printed Christmas cards. It is that easy!
If you enjoyed this project but want to advance further, our Intermediate Screen Printing kits are great for progressing your screen printing knowledge and expertise.