Some Basic Information About My Site and My Files:

First a note about my files:

All my files are for personal use. I do not charge for any files I create. I share them here for others to use for personal use only. Please do not use them to submit for contests, etc. without getting my permission first. Please give credit where credit is due. I will try to do the same. This means I will try to identify where I got an item or a project if I didn't create it myself and there is an identifable source. Sometimes however I use basic clipart or coloring pages. You may however share these files with others for their personal use (you may not charge for them - you may pass them on for free) or you may point them here to my blog to get the files themselves. If a download file is available, it will appear at the bottom of the post and will be in a different color text.

PLEASE NOTE: I reside in the USA where we use the MM/DD/YYYY date format on computers (and in everything else we do!) If you are outside the USA where they use the DD/MM/YYYY date format on computers, you MAY experience an "Unhandled exception" error when you try to open one of my Cricut DS files. It is an error related to the date format. An easy fix is available at SusanBlueRobot's Blog. Susan has a simple HexEdit program and directions which will allow you to alter the date so you can use the files. Note: This is only an issue if the save date of the file is after the 12th of the month! It is also only an issue with DS files. I have never seen this issue with MTC or SCAL.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More Screenprinting with the Yudu - Using Paper Stencil without Emolsion

Here is a sample t-shirt and small bag that I screen printed on with my Yudu. Instead of going through all the "steps" to burn a screen using the emolsion method, I created one using a "paper stencil". The mascot at my children's school is Spartans so the image is a Spartan head. I scanned one of the school's logos into my computer, saved it as a .jpeg, and imported it into Inkscape (a free vector graphics program available on the Web). I then converted the image into a .svg (scaleable vector graphic) file with Inkscape and then imported it into SCAL (Sure Cuts A Lot). I then cut the image out on regular cardstock and removed the pieces I had cut out. For screen printing purposes, you want the negative image (the "stencil" that is left behind when you remove the cut pieces.)
I took the negative image or "stencil" and adhered it to the screen with packing tape. I then used more packing tape to mask off a large area around the stencil on the screen to prevent ink from going through other portions of the screen (I didn't do the whole screen - just a big enough area to cover where the squeege would go as I pulled ink across the screen area). Masking tape also works for taping the image on and masking off the screen. Once I had the image adhered to my screen, I loaded my paint as directed with the Yudu instructions. You then keep your screen lifted up off your project while you "float" the paint on your screen. This simply means that you pull the ink down across your image. This helps the image to "stick" to the screen around the cut out image so that you don't get any "leakage" under the stencils. One reason this works is because the paint that you are using is very thick. Once you have your screen floated, you can then lower it down onto your plantin holding the image you wish to print on.
In this instance I did a small t-shirt and small green bag that I had. I used black ink on both items. Since both were very small "objects," I taped them down on the plantin ((t-shirt holder). (Later I discovered that the plantin has a covering you can remove to reveal a sticky surface!) The bag is a dark green, but the black image does show up better on it then it appears in my pictures. The bag has very crisp edges to it around even the smallest areas that were inked. The T-shirt, while acceptable, does appear to have a little more bleed in those areas. However, I think that may be more due to the "materials" then the method its self. The bag is a coarse material while the t-shirt is much softer with more "give" to it. The picture makes it look like there is more "bleed" then there is. In the picture, it looks like there is no "white" between the small areas in the middle, but in fact there is. I'm pretty particular, and would have found the image acceptable.
I only did the two items with this "stencil" so I can't tell you the "limit" on how many times you could use a paper stencil before it started to break down. I do think I could have used it a few more times, just didn't have anything else to try it on at the time!! I think this would be a great and much less expensive way to create one of a kind or very limited run items. However, if I were going to do something that I need a pretty good quantity of, or something that I thought I might want to do over and over (like a school logo) then I would probably use the emolsion method.
Ironically, one of the reasons I tried this method was because I had tried to create the image along with the school name on a screen using the emolsion method. Although I followed the steps for "burning" an image onto a screen, when I went to wash out the emolsion on the screeen to show my image, there were problems and I ended up just having to clean the whole screen off. I'm wondering if there are some bad emolsion sheets out there! So, in frustration I thought, hmm . . . well before I waste another emolsion sheet (which are expensive) and more time, I' m going to try this the old fashioned way! Also note, the t-shirt here looks really wrinkled, I had ironed it before I tried to screen print on it but I did this several weeks ago and had never gotten pictures taken so it got wrinkled in between!
To learn more about SCAL go to Craft Edge's website or to their forums.
To find out more about Inkscape go to their website.
I'm going to try to post more info. on the Yudu hopefully later this week. I haven't had a lot of time to use it lately and I am waiting on my DH to finish building my "cart" for it to set on. Hope someone finds some of this useful! Happy Easter!