DIY screen printing (success!)

I recently posted about our failed attempts at DIY screen printing, but I also mentioned that everything did actually work out in the end. So the question everyone probably wants answered is: “what happened in between!?”.

Following guides such as (the very loud or excited) “HOW TO SILKSCREEN!” No Media Kings’ “How to Silkscreen Posters and Shirts“, we decided that we had to get ourselves some photo emulsion. I won’t repeat the steps involved in using the emulsion here (as they are explained in both linked articles and in many other places as well), but here is the end result:


Now that‘s a nice screen. Looks great doesn’t it! Much better detail and much less effort than what we tried before! Keep reading for more photos and descriptions of the actual printing process.

We didn’t have a special table or clamps, so it we had one person hold the frame while the other squeegeed. Before screen printing we put a piece of paper inside the shirts (to stop any paint seeping through to the back of the shirt). It all worked out pretty well:


We laid the shirts out for the pain to dry. They probably took around half an hour in the sun.


After they are touch dry, the prints are “heat set”. That means we put a piece of paper on top and iron them for a while.


And we’re done!

Note: I’ll post in future about where we managed to find all the required equipment.

16 thoughts on “DIY screen printing (success!)”

  1. Cool set-up, I was once tempted to buy a whole squid set (several frames in a rotating device to do multi-ink easier) for 80 USD, this is giving me the printing itch again.

    Also, have you heard/been to that new lara croft ride that opened up in perth? Id love to hear something from a local.

  2. Hi Nick
    great feeling to be able to create your own t-shirts and things isnt it!
    I’m a Sydney based supplier of New and Used Screen Print and Heat press equipment.
    If you need to any help or info feel free to contact me at above email address or Ph 02 9482 4999. I certainly know how to save you money on the equipment side of things.


  3. Howard:

    Thanks for the message! We may be looking at getting some more equipment in future. Our multi-layered prints were pretty difficult to do without something holding the shirt flat and in the same shape.

  4. Hi Howard,

    Funnily enough I came across this aricle looking for screen printing equipment in Sydney. I’m a design student that has recently finished a course in screen printing and i cant wait to get my hands on a carasouel or even a single arm jig to print with, i hope you can help, please contact me at

    Thank you,


  6. thanks guys. you really have made it easy for me to start to get my head around where to begin with screen printing. i’ll let you know how I get on. by the way the tee looks great too!

  7. Hi guys Im a screen printer in vic and thats just how I started. hope it goes well for you. If you need any more pointers for starting up on the cheap
    just send us a line

  8. Hey all! I live in the Sydney are and was just curious if anybody could recommend a good short course for screen printing. Just want to learn the basics and it’s much more fun and fast learning with a group than going it alone.

  9. yes pete there are two places 1 of them is in marickville and the other is in padstow 1 is free and 1 is not just email me for more info

    1. Hi sam,

      I know this conversation is a bit old now, but was wondering if you could help me out. I’m looking for a screen printing course in Sydney too, are there any around at the moment? Be much appreciated if you could point me in the right direction.



  10. A few years ago i learned to silkscreen and really loved it. I went on to design and produce T-shirts (never in a great quantity) for a while and with some success, until i stopped due to other work committments.
    Still have a simple ‘single T-shirt’ Registering Frame, a proper Lamp Frame (for exposing screen’s emulsion), a glassed Light Box (to create, copy or modify artwork), and a considerable amount of screens (plus colours
    and other ancillaries). I like to make all these things available, at a
    cheap price, to yong beginners in the craft. ( Will also consider donating the equipment, but in this case preferably in the Illawarra and ONLY TO A NON PROFIT ORGANISATION, such as a recognised School,a T.A.F.E., or a Body teaching skills to the young unemployed or the needy ). You’ll have to come and collect the gear; I live in the Wollongong area, and would like to free the space in my garage A.S.A.P. ! . Ring or e-mail me : Andrea –
    42848082 –

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