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How to Silk Screen with a Cricut

Silk screening is a great way to make things like tea towels and t-shirts and be able to reproduce them. Burning silk screens can be a little tricky, and I wanted to share with you how to silk screen with a Cricut (You can also silk screen this way without a Cricut by cutting the stencil by hand, it’s just a little more work).

Silk screen using your Cricut

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Supplies:

Cricut, Clear or white Vinyl, weeding tool, Silk Screen, Masking tape, Fabric ink, silk screen squeegee, scraper tool,towel or t-shirt

 

With your Cricut, you are basically going to create a removable stencil to mimic the ‘burned” part of the screen with vinyl.

Cut out a stencil with a Cricut to silk screen

Silk screening with a Cricut works best by choosing bold fonts and simpler designs. It makes for a cleaner image, and is easier to use.

Lake life design for the Cricut

Size the image to fit inside of the silk screen so there’s about an inch around the text. You’re image should be right side up and not a reversed image. With sizing, I used an 8 x 10 screen, so my image was 6 x 8. Cut your design to fit inside of the silk screen. The closer to the edge the better.

Weed image and use transfer tape to move it to the silk screen

Remove the inside of the images and fonts with a weeder tool. Make sure to keep the smaller inside pieces with any letters, or more intricate designs and only remove what you want to be screened in your image.

Once your image is weeded, use transfer tape to lift your stencil, remove the protective backing, and then  place it on the silk screen. Carefully peel off your transfer tape, making sure you add it so it lays flat on the surface, use the scrapping tool to press the vinyl onto the screen.

Press stencil onto silk screen

Tape all around edges with masking tape to keep screening ink

Once the vinyl is in place, use making tape to tape all around the edge of the inside of the screen  to cover any open areas and seal the edges. If there any open areas, the ink will seep under and ruin your print.

Silk screen prepared for silk screening

Once the stencil is on the silk screen, position it on your material. Give it a little press, the vinyl will stick through the back a little to help hold in in place. If you have any open areas, use small pieces of vinyl to over over the top to make a tight seal.

Press vinyl onto thr screen with a scraper

To silk screen with your Cricut, put a dab of fabric paint or ink across the top of the screen, and use the squeegee to pull the ink down the screen to the bottom. I don’t wear gloves, but you may want to, the ink can stain your hands.

Add ink to the top of the screen for silk screening

If you’re not sure about silk screening, you can see some printing techniques here, and here.

Pull the ink down across the screen to silk screen

The front of your screen will be covered with ink, but don’t worry about that. There is no need to clean the screen until you are completely done.

Silk screen with ink on it

Lift the screen straight up, and before positioning on another screen, make sure the backside  of the stencil is clear of any remnant ink/paint before reusing. Just add ink or fabric paint as needed.

 

Carefully lift silk screen off of fabric

Once your print is complete, let dry flat, and then set the ink according to the directions.

Silk screen using your Cricut

Enjoy your handmade silk screened items! I find each “screen” lasts about 5-8 prints, depending on the prints, before it starts getting a little muddy. To clean the screen, pull off  all of the vinyl, and rinse the screen in a deep tub and let dry to reuse.

I made these towels to sell at the store. While these are sold out, stop in, you can find other designs and artwork I’ve made on towels from my artwork that we have  sold at the store too. We change them every season, so there is always something new!