Silk screen print projects are SO much fun and it is way easier than you may think using your Cricut, Silhouette or other cutting machine. Canvas bags are super popular right now, so what better way to make use of these eco-friendly bags than to put a cute design on it and this Bee Kind bag is adorable and fits the bill perfectly.
Get your silk screen print supplies together
Start off by getting everything you need to use together and ready to go.
- Screen printing frame
- Speedball screen printing ink
- Popsicle sticks (or other scooping utensil)
- Canvas bag
- Vinyl and transfer tape
- Painters tape
- Parchment paper
- Have your design picked out or make this Bee Kind bag pictured!
Where to begin
Start off by picking your design, if you’d like to use this Bee kind file its free. Get your design cut and ready to go. Make sure you don’t do it I did the first time around and use the full 12 x 12 sheet of vinyl, the frame is only 10 inches wide so I had to make the design 9 1/2 inches wide to make it fit properly. Use your Cricut or Silhouette to cut the design. Make sure that if you are making your own file that you check your grammar, nothing is worse than a completed project with incorrect grammar.
Once your design is cut and weeded use transfer tape and center it inside of your screen printing frame. Any exposed screen that is left cover it with painters tape so as not to get ink on other parts of your design.
Use a heat press, or iron to flatten your bag. Check out my review on this amazing heat press. My canvas bag came with heavy fold lines. If your bag is not as flat as you can get it you run the risk of the ink building up somewhere unintended. Thus ruining your project.
Once you’ve got most of the wrinkles out, put a piece of parchment paper inside of your canvas bag. Screen printing ink does bleed through the fabric. So, if you don’t have some kind of a barrier between them it can leak through to the other side of your bag. Then center your design in the middle of your bag. I kind of just eyeballed it, but there’s probably a better more professional way to do it.
Time to ink it up!
Using a popsicle stick scoop a few large dollops of ink at the top of your design. There’s virtually no waste here. You can scoop it up and put it back in the jar of ink so don’t hold back. Once you’ve got your ink on the top of your design pull it down with your squeegee. With a few smooth even swipes, you’ll be done.
Now that the ink is set in and you’ve returned the extra gel to the container, It’s time to peel up the screen. I like to pull it up from top to bottom. Hold the top of your canvas bag down while you peel the screen off from top to bottom.
Use your design again, it can be used multiple times in a row! I’ve made 6+ shirts with the same design before. Just make sure that when you put it on a new blank you center before you set it down. Otherwise it will get some ink in places you don’t want it. Thats all there is to it!
It is recommended to let it dry completely and then heat press (or iron) for a few seconds to cure it. I like to just leave it overnight and press it the next day at 320 for 20 seconds if I am not in a rush to get the project done, otherwise I just leave it until it dries then press.
Clean your screen
I recommend that you clean your screen right after you finish. Today I found out the hard way that if you wait too long, it makes it more difficult to get the ink off. A quick rinse will get it off. Today however I set it to the side (since the sink was full of dishes). Now I will have to use a little elbow grease with a toothbrush and Dawn dish soap. It wont hurt future designs it being on there but I like a clean slate each new project.
If you need some project inspiration check out these Crafting Blanks! Another resource that may come in handy is these SVG Subscription Plans. The subscription plans include thousands of SVGs for a great price. A subscription is the best way to go if you do a ton of crafting. But if that isn’t your cup of tea, check out these Free Commercial Use SVGs. Or these Free Commercial Use Fonts to get the inspiration flowing.
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