DIY Screen Printing Set-Up

Screen printing is a new hobby of mine, but I don’t always have the time to drop in on studio time. This setup was easy to do and only took a few materials for a total of $25 (equivalent of ~2 hours of studio time). It was also important to me that I had something portable and that wouldn’t damage any existing furniture. This is what I did:

Materials needed:
Speedball hinge kit (Blick Art Materials, purchased with a 40% off coupon in stores)
~24×30 inch board, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick (IKEA, ~$8)
four #10 x 3/4 inch screws (Home Depot, ~$1)
poster board
blue painter’s tape

Picking out the board was the hardest part, because there are a few factors to take into consideration. The board has to be big enough to fit the screen both horizontally and vertically after the hinges are installed so you can mount the screen that makes the most sense to your screening needs. It has to be thick enough so that you can drill in the hinges. Also, something I realized as I was looking for this board was that I’d opt for a finished surface, to avoid splinters and just to have an even surface to print on.

I began my search for the perfect board at Home Depot, where they have unfinished plywood in various sizes and thicknesses. However, the sizes I found in the right thickness were either too small (could fit the screen horizontally but not vertically) or too big (no good for storage in a small home). I then checked out the As-Is section at IKEA and found a door to a storage unit that was the perfect size and thickness, only $8, and the surface was finished! They also have a lot of single kitchen cabinet doors and closet doors that would be neat as decoration or a headboard, but that’s another project for another day.

(thanks for the manpower, BF!)

The hinges were easy to install. Align the hinges to the top edge of the board. Space them far enough apart so that it would fit the screen both horizontally and vertically, about 7 inches between the two hinges. Drill ’em in and you’re set! I taped down a sheet of poster board to mark the alignment of paper for specific prints to make the next run a lil’ bit easier.


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