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Screen printing on paper bags

Here is a tutorial about screen printing on paper bags. Por que, you ask?
Aside from designing and blogging, I’m also a working artist. Nights and weekends are devoted to making merchandise to sell. Here in Arizona these days, the weather is gorgeous, so we are in peak art fair season!
Scroll to the bottom of this post to read all about screen printing 101!
My husband and I set up an art booth at an event almost every weekend and I love to think of new ways to promote my brand at these types of shows.
Many of our items are smaller and I love using classic brown bags as the shopping bags. At first I tried the stamping  method but it was limited to the stamp I ordered. This way I can change up the design whenever I want, and it is affordable.

Brown sandwich bags are a classic

This is the standard brown paper bag, and they come in various sizes. If you vend, they are great to hold a t-shirt, a mug, jewelry, etc. Seriously, they are perfect for screen printing!
Here are some other options!, the sandwich bag. Great for stickers, greeting cards, patches, etc.
I realized that I couldn’t just send them out blank when I could imprint a cool, positive message on each one, right? Come up with cute quotes or even a personalized thank you!
We have a huge festival this weekend and I thought it would be perfect to try out this idea.
IKON Art screen printing system
IKON ART screen printing system I use.
NOTE: I originally used a different screen printing method, but these days I’m devoted to the Ikon Art system (use CRAFTYCHICA at check out for a discount!). 

Supplies for screen printing on paper bags:

IKON Art system
White printer paper
Brown paper bags
Design what you want on your bags. Make sure to lay them out on an 8.5×11 size, don’t rpnt and cut them out like I did here. You want to print them out in one whole sheet.

Make your design.

Create a design either hand-drawn or digital. No shading, no super fine lines. I found the thicker the lines, the better. Not too small either. 

You can even use phrases and make them in Canva or PicMonkey. BE ORIGINAL. What will make your work special is if you come up with something new that reflects your personality! You can do family names, family quotes, etc. I spent time brainstorming on the designs I created and plan to use them to create a line of Crafty Chica merchandise. It was hard and time-consuming, but worth it!

Make sure the designs are at the blackest level, this will help you achieve a crisp burn on the screen.

Use PicMonkey or Canva to layout your designs on an 8-12×11” template. Leave enough room between each design so you don’t have bleed when you apply your paint later on in the process.

Follow the directions on the package to burn the screen. It’s super easy.
Here is a video tutorial I made:
TIP: Use strong bold fonts and graphics. Because the end design is small, you’ll have better results with thicker lines.

Print your design.

The kit comes with a package of printing film for both Inkjet and laser printers. I used Inkjet. Remove one sheet, make sure there are not two stuck together, and feel for the duller side. That is the side to print on. I have an HP printer, so it faced it, dull side down for printing. 

Insert the transparency in your printer and print it out. 
To burn the screen, plug in the lamp and place your transparency on top of the emulsion sheet for 40 seconds. Watch my video though, I share all the little details ot make sure you have a successful outcome!

Screen printing time

Cut your designs. Eeek, mine barely have a border. I used blue painter’s tape around the edges to give me more work area.
Set down your bag on a flat surface. You can use blue painter’s tape to secure it if you want. 
Add a line of paint along the top of the design and use the squeegee to sharply drag the paint in one direction.
You can drag it a second time, but do not go in the opposite direction or your print will blur.
Remove tape and screen, let bag dry. Rinse your screen.
 And that’s it, keep making more bags! It’s a cheap way to promote you business. I’m thrilled at the thought of my customers carrying around their goods in one of my bags, maybe it will bring more people my way!
Thanks for checking out my post about silkscreening on paper bags!

Screen Printing 101: What Is Screen Printing and How Does It Work?

Screen printing is a versatile printing technique that can be used to create a wide range of printed products. In its simplest form, screen printing is a process of transferring ink from a screen to a substrate, such as paper or fabric. The ink is then dried to create a permanent image.

It uses a mesh screen to transfer ink onto a substrate, such as paper, fabric, or plastic. A screen is made of a thin piece of mesh stretched over a wooden or metal frame. The mesh is tightly stretched over the frame so that the ink cannot pass through the holes. A stencil is placed over the screen, and ink is applied to the screen. The ink is forced through the holes in the mesh and onto the substrate.

The screen is covered in a thin film of photosensitive emulsion. When the emulsion is exposed to light, it hardens and becomes insoluble. The areas that were not exposed to light remain soluble and can be washed away with a stream of water. This leaves a negative image on the screen that can be used to print onto a substrate.

The different types of screen printing

There are a few different types of screen printing. The most common type is manual screen printing. This type of printing is done by hand. The other types of printing are automatic and digital. Automatic printing is done with a machine. Digital printing is done with a computer.

Screen printing is a process that has been around for centuries. It is a method that was first used in China to print textiles. Screen printing was later introduced to Europe in the early 1800s.

Benefits of screen printing:

-Produces high-quality prints.

-It is a process that is very durable.

-It’s affordable.

-Allows for a wide range of customization options.

Challenges of screen printing:

-The process is slow and can take a long time to produce prints.

-It’s difficult for large-scale production.

-It’s not suitable for printing extra large images.

Screen printing tips and tricks

If you’re new to screen printing, or looking to improve your technique, then you’ll want to read on for some tips and tricks!

1. Get a good screen printing frame (unless you make smaller crafts then you don’t need one). This is probably the most important piece of equipment you’ll need. Make sure to get a frame that is sturdy and well-made.

2. Use high-quality screens. A good screen will give you a much better print, so it’s worth investing in a quality screen.

3. Use the right ink. Not all inks are created equal, so make sure to use an ink that is designed for screen printing.

4. Make sure your screens are properly aligned. If your screens are not properly aligned, your prints will not be accurate.

5. Apply even pressure when printing. If you apply too much pressure, your prints will be distorted. Apply even pressure to ensure accurate prints.

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31 Projects in 31 Days!


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