How to Stretch a Silk Screen

Now that you’ve got your screen printing frames made, it’s time to stretch the silk screen fabric. This is a project best done with 2 sets of hands, so grab a helper and lets get started!

How to Stretch a Silk Screen

You’ll need:

Silk Screen Fabric – I used 110 mesh (3yds will make about 26-30 frames)
Staple Gun
Xacto Knife or Box Cutter

1. Cut a piece of screen a few inches larger than your frame.
2. One person pulls the fabric taunt along one side of the frame while the other staples a straight line.
3. Now pulling tightly across the frame, staple along the opposite edge starting from the center and working your way out.
4. Pull the fabric towards one of the remaining sides and add 4-5 staples in the center.
5. Repeat on the opposite side with 4-5 staples in the center.
6. Work back and forth from one side to the other until both sides are stapled completely.
7. Lastly, stretch the fabric out diagonally from the corners and staple any remaining openings.
8. Tap in any raised staples, and then trim rim off the excess mesh with your knife.

Remember – The screen needs to be VERY taunt. Be sure to pull tightly to remove all the ripples and bubbles in the mesh or you will not have a nice crisp print.

In the end, I spent $26 to make 8 large screen printing frames, and have enough mesh left over to create at least 20 more. How awesome is that!?

mini silk screens for screen printing

I also used this tutorial from Little Blue Boo to make a few tiny silk screen frames that I can use to screen print size tags into my shirts.

Now I’m curious, what design would you screen print first?

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