Trying out Ikonart Stencils
As you know, I have a passion for screen printing with vinyl, but sometimes there are designs that are too detailed for adhesive vinyl on a screen. Rather than add emulsion and expose a screen (I'm just not set up for that... yet), I decided to try an Ikonart Stencil.
This product is pretty cool and I've tried to use it in the past, without success. This time I was determined to make it work.
You take your artwork and print it in black on a transparency, and then expose the stencil sheet to make a stencil of your art.
I did not purchase the Ikonart kit. Upon researching, the kit comes with a UV light on a stand, pack of stencils in a resealable blackout envelope, transparency sheets (available for both inkjet and laser printers), and a clipboard.
Since I already have a UV light (this one), I decided to make my own set-up.
The hardest part of this was getting a good, dark image of the artwork. I ended up uploading the image into Canva and then using one of their filters to make the artwork as dark as possible.
I then used my laser printer and printed it onto a regular piece of transparency film.
I mounted my light, using a binder clip, onto a tripod (which I already had), and measured to make sure my light was 18" above my table.
I then followed the directions on the Ikonart website and exposed my Stencil Film for 35 seconds.
After that, I rinsed my screen in my basement sink. Following suggestions from Ikonart, I soaked the stencil film in warm water for 1 minute, and then rinsed it while on a screen I already had. You don't want to rinse too much, and you don't want to rinse too little. It takes about 3 minutes to get the screen ready.
Here's a video of the rinse process.
Once it's rinsed, you pat it dry and let it fully air-dry for about 45 minutes. I used a binder clip to hang it in my closet to dry.
Once completely dry, you post expose it for 2-3 minutes and its ready to use! The beauty of this is that you can reuse the stencil several times before it starts to break down.
I'm really excited at how well these shirts turned out. Follow along on Instagram as I share my journey.
This takes practice - the screen pictured above is my 3rd try, and the stencil film is expensive. That said, I'm really happy with the end result and am looking forward to making more stencils in the near future.
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