Make Decorative Cushions
Screen printing is an affordable way to personalise cushions and furniture, or create an original wall canvas. The process involves using specialised ink, stencils and a mesh screen to apply a design to a surface.
Buy a screen printing kit from an art shop, or make one using silk mesh and a timber frame. For a budget option, buy a blank 300 x 400mm canvas, about $10, and remove the fabric.
Cut silk mesh to size 50mm larger than the frame. Pull the mesh taut over the sides, then attach it at each corner and at 10mm intervals with staples.
Make your own stencils using contact paper or masking film.
TIP Apply acrylic varnish along the joint to seal the edge and use duct tape to make a neat border.
Decorate storage cube
Screen printing is normally used to apply stencil designs to fabric, but the technique can be used to decorate other surfaces.
Flat-packed storage cubes can be purchased for about $20. Use a wicker basket as a drawer to create a versatile side table.
TIP Screen print the panels before assembling the cube.
PREPARE THE SURFACE by applying primer to the melamine panels prior to screen printing.
PRINT THE DESIGN on the panel by attaching the stencil to the screen printing frame and applying water-based paint with a squeegee.
ASSEMBLE THE CUBE by following the instructions, then seal the surface with clear varnish.
Screen printing can be used to decorate a variety of surfaces like this storage cube
Making pattern stencils
To make a stencil, draw your own design or trace a pattern using tracing paper and transfer onto masking film. If using a printout or a photocopied pattern, no tracing is required. You’ll need a craft knife or scalpel and a cutting mat, about $25, from an art shop.
Step 1. Cut the design
Cut the design by positioning the pattern on a cutting mat, then put the masking film on top, securing both with masking tape. Carefully cut out the areas of the pattern to be printed using a craft knife.
Step 2. Attach the stencil
Attach the stencil to the screen printing frame by carefully peeling away the backing and applying the stencil to the screen on the outside of the frame, lining up the edge of the pattern with the edge of the frame.
Step 3. Paint the stencil
Paint the stencil onto the cushion cover by laying a line of ink along one edge of the frame and pushing it to the other side using a squeegee. For intricate patterns, practise on a scrap piece of fabric first.