Homemade Screen Printing Ink

Written by jeffrey brian airman
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Homemade Screen Printing Ink
Screen printed designs allow you to wear the art you made. (angel's T-shirt image by sminx from Fotolia.com)

Homemade screen printing ink lets you leave a design on clothing that lasts through cycles in the washer and dryer. The costs of screen printing supplies can add up quickly and make it difficult for you to afford the number of print jobs you want to complete. Making homemade screen printing ink keeps costs low by allowing you to make only the amount of each colour you actually need. Mix up a few homemade batches of screen printing ink to start customising clothing at home.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Permanent fabric adhesive (Fabri-Tac, Fabric Fusion)
  • Glass baby food jar with lid
  • Acrylic paint
  • Popsicle stick
  • Scrap cloth
  • Make-up wedge

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  1. 1

    Squeeze permanent fabric adhesive into the baby food jar until it looks like slightly more volume than what you think you will need to print the individual colour in the design. Keep in mind that lighter colours may require more than one layer of application to stand out.

  2. 2

    Add a few drops of the acrylic paint or paints of your choosing, and blend them into the fabric glue with a Popsicle stick until you achieve your desired colour.

  3. 3

    Test the colour of the homemade screen printing ink by smearing a small amount on a piece of scrap fabric with a make-up wedge. Make adjustments to the colour by adding more fabric adhesive or acrylic paints. Keep track of amounts that were added to successful batches so the recipe can be duplicated in the future.

  4. 4

    Screw the lid onto the baby food jar securely, and store the homemade screen printing ink in a cool and dark place.

Tips and warnings

  • Mix a small amount of metallic glitter into the homemade screen printing ink to add sparkle to the printed designs.

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