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Winter is Coming! 0

Winter is coming, and that means less direct sunlight to expose your EZScreen™ stencils. But that doesn't mean you should put your project on hold!

There are other options for exposing your screen print stencils. And while we don't recommend using an artificial light source that may be laying around your house, we do offer two light kits on our website. They have been tested extensively with our stencils, and both lights will come with full exposure instructions.

Here are our recommendations when deciding which artificial light to choose from:

1 - Speedball Light Kit

The Speedball light kit is inexpensive and we stock the photoflood replacement bulb. Exposure is just 7 minutes with this light, and the bulb lasts around 3 hours. It may not seem to last a long time, but you can burn around 20 stencils on average. We recommend using this kit if an artificial light is just a temporary option when direct sunlight is not available.

2 - EZScreen™ Exposure Light Table

This double tube fluorescent light kit takes 20 minutes to expose Standard stencils and 40 minutes to expose HiDef stencils. The 24" bulbs can last several years, and while it is more expensive than the alternative light kit, we recommend using this light if it will be your main source of burning the EZScreen™ stencils. We do not carry replacement bulbs at this time but may in the future.

Quality Artwork Examples 0

I will go over a few examples of proper designs and images to be used with EZScreen stencils.

1 - Black & white designs, meaning monochrome (not photography)

Black & White Design for At Home Screen Printing

The image above (by Eric Casper) unfortunately will not work to expose EZScreen stencils. Actually, it wouldn't work with any form of screen printing. Because of all the shades of gray, the exposure light or sunlight will go right through and over expose those areas of the stencil. The only color that will properly block UV light is black.

DIY Silk Screen Printing Quality Artwork

Instead, the black clipart flower image above would work great. The only colors in this image is black and white. The black parts of the design will block sunlight from exposing the stencil and will render a perfect silk screening stencil.

2 - Quality of the image (jagged edges/pixelation)

Design Quality for DIY Silk Screening

It is extremely important to have a quality printout. The design should be solid black, without any jagged edges or pixelation from enlarging. The example above will produce a quality stencil; the example below will not work.

At Home DIY Screen Printing Artwork

3 - Some detail is too much

Our stencils can hold a surprising amount of detail, but they are not meant for precision screen printing or super detailed designs, either. There should not be any pencil thin lines in the design or it may not come out well.

DIY Screen Printing Stencils Artwork Detail

The image above would work great with EZScreen stencils. It is detailed, but the details are clear and visible.

DIY At Home Screen Printing Kits

This design unfortunately will have some problem areas in creating a good stencil. Some of the lines in the boat railing is too thin, and the small squares of the windows in the buildings will not be readable. The thin squiggly lines in the mountain may also be too thin to produce a quality screen printing stencil.

These are some basic examples of what quality artwork and design should look like when making an EZScreen stencil. Please contact us or leave a comment if you have any questions.

Need Help Getting Started? 0

These are our recommendations of what you will need to get started using EZScreen™ silk screen stencils and on your way to create your very own custom t-shirts and crafts!
 
Complete T-Shirt Starter Kits - Comes with everything you need to make five 8.5"x11" EZScreen stencils and print t-shirts, wood or other fabric projects. These kits include your choice of fabric ink sets.
 
Basic Starter Kits - Comes with everything you need to make two 8.5"x11" EZScreen stencils. We recommend the basic kits if you only need one or two colors of ink (not included) or if you are printing on a surface that requires specialty inks/paints.
 
Standard Refill Sheets - If you have several designs, Standard EZScreen™ Stencils are available in refill sheets (optional). Standard silk screen stencils are typically used for fabric such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags and other porous surfaces. Choose from 3, 5, 10 and 20 packs in our regular size screens. Mini and large stencils are also available.

HiDef Refill Sheets - If you have several designs, HiDef EZScreen™ Stencils are available in refill sheets (optional). HiDef Stencil Sheets are intended for artwork with small details, fine lines, or halftones. Typically, used for hard surfaces such as glass, plastic, and metal. Choose from 3, 5, 10 and 20 packs in our regular size screens. Mini sizes are also available.

Mini Refill Stencils - If you have small designs, Standard or HiDef EZScreen™ Mini Stencils are available in refill sheets (optional). Choose from 6, 12, 24 and 50 packs.
  
EZScreen™ Large Stencil - For larger designs we offer 11"x17" stencils (optional)

  • Large Exposure Board - Used to expose EZScreen™ 11"x17" large stencil (Required if large stencils are purchased)

Transparency Film - Used to print your high quality design/artwork. Choose from ink jet or laser/copier transparency sheets. Regular printer paper is NOT recommended. Included in all basic and complete kits, but not mini kits.

Plastic Canvas
-
To support the EZScreen™ Stencil during rinsing and cleaning ink. Comes in various sizes and types. Included in all basic and complete kits, but not mini kits.
 
Cardboard insert - Used to cover EZScreen™ Stencil in exposure board unit before and after exposure to direct sunlight. Included in all starter kits except mini kits.

Squeegees - Used to apply screen printing ink onto fabric. Comes in different sizes. 9" Speedball squeegees also available (optional)
 
Plastic Frames - Helpful for multiple printing (optional)
Improve your efficiency with a plastic frame. There is no need to wash the stencil after each print. The number of prints depends on your skill level and practice. Also, helps to prevent the ink from going over the edge of the stencil and onto the shirt. Use tape (masking tape, scotch tape, etc.) to adhere the stencil to the frame. Plastic frames are available in a variety of sizes. Included in complete kits.
 
Screen Printing Inks - Speedball or Jacquard screen printing inks
Choose from Speedball and Jacquard screen printing inks. Both are ideal for EZScreen™ stencils. They are slow drying for multiple printing and washes off with water. Heat setting is required to prevent fading. Use a heat press or a dry iron set on the highest temperature. Keep the iron moving to prevent scorching. Wait one week before washing. Included in complete kits and also available in individual jars.
  
Versatex Fixer - Heat setting is not required if you mix fixer into the ink. It can be mixed with Speedball, Jacquard, or Versatex Inks. (optional)
 
Speedball Exposure Light - If you do not have direct sunlight (optional)
When direct sunlight is not available, expose/burn EZScreen™ Stencil any time, day or night, with our affordable light units.

Use Direct Sunlight 0

Direct Sunlight

One of the most crucial parts of making an EZScreen DIY silk screen stencil is the exposure process. It is absolutely essential that you use DIRECT sunlight to burn the screen. Cloudy weather will not work. Exposing the stencil too early in the morning when the sun is at an angle as well as late in the afternoon when the sun is going down will not produce a quality stencil. It is best to burn the EZScreen stencil when the sun is directly overhead.

NOTE: Per our instructions, please test exposure time with small test pieces provided in the black bag before using an entire stencil. If you encounter any problems, please contact us right away for trouble shooting assistance. Only expose EZScreen™ stencils in direct sunlight; no clouds or shade. If sunlight is not available, use our tested artificial lights.

If you do not have access to direct sunlight, please use one of our tested artificial lights to burn the stencil. Many lights will work, however, determining the exact exposure time and set distance from the stencil during exposure will be hard to do. It is best to use one of the lights provided on our website as it will come with complete exposure instructions.

Choose from two lights:

DIY Screen Printing Speedball Exposure Light

Speedball Exposure Light Kit for exposing EZScreen™ stencils. Exposes in just 7 minutes with Standard and HiDef 8.5"x11" stencils using transparency film. 

Includes:

  • One (1) - Lamp
  • One (1) - 250 watt photo flood bulb

Note: Bulb lasts about 3 hours. Replacement bulbs available


OR

DIY Screen Printing Exposure Light

EZScreen™ Exposure Light Table fixture comes with long lasting white fluorescent bulbs and legs for exposing EZScreen™ stencils. The fixture adjusts up or down to fit the height of exposure. Exposes in just 20 minutes with Standard and 40 minutes with HiDef using transparency film. 
 
Includes:

  • Two, 20 watt fluorescent bulbs
  • Two lamp 24" fixture
  • 17 inch tall aluminum legs
  • 3 wire cord (International customers must use appropriate adapter)
  • Light slides for easy adjustment
  • 17”h x 27”w x 10”d
  • Easy adjustment knobs