Step by step Guide: Creating Your Stencil
Our step-by-step guide, to creating a Screen Printing Stencil.
We take a sheet of sunlight clear film. We can draw, trace or print our design onto it. The size of the design should be within a 30mm
clear border around the edges of the film.
To draw or trace, use a sunlight opaque art pen. The ink is formulated to block UV light. We can also print our design from a computer-generated design program. The design/image should be at 1200 dpi. We recommend any Epson photo stylus inkjet printer or OKI black and white laser toner printer. Either printer, the settings should be – print BLACK only BEST PHOTO. We must always use original ink as they have better UV-resistant properties.
Now we take our Sunlight Exposure Glass Unit and separate all the parts on a table. Clean the glass and lay it flat. Lay our film flat on the glass, print side down. Now in subdued light, we unseal our Sunlight Stencil protective bag and remove the stencil sheet. Place it flat on top of the stencil film, lining up the edges of the film. We now place the black backing over the Sunlight Stencil sheet, making sure it lines up with the glass. Now using the pressure clips provided, clip the glass and black backing together.
We are nearly there!
Now take the complete sandwiched unit into the sunlight. We need to keep it covered, so we don’t pre expose! (A simple black bin liner or similar will do for this). For us to achieve a quality burnt/exposed image onto our stencil, we need to place our sandwiched unit, directly facing the sun. This can be vertical or horizontal.
Blue sunlight stencil, uncover it, and expose it to sunlight for 4 minutes. If in the shade expose it for 6 minutes. with a UV exposure unit 3 minutes
Red sunlight stencil, uncover it, and expose it to sunlight for 30 seconds. If in the shade expose it for 2 minutes. with a UV exposure unit 30 seconds
When the exposure time is reached, we are now free to dismantle the unit. This can be done inside or outside (wherever our water supply is). Now we remove the Sunlight Stencil sheet and soak it in a bowl of water for 2 minutes. Run the tap water gently over the image to clear the unexposed area. We use the sponge to clean any residue left on the image. Now we hold the stencil up to any light and check that the image is completely clear. If it is not completely clear, we just need to run some more water, direct from a shower tap through our image.
The Sunlight Stencil should feel as smooth as glass. Peg it up to dry, on a radiator or washing line. When it has fully dried, it is ready to be mounted for some serious Silkscreen printing.