Make Greeting Cards With a Silk Screen

A young reader describes the silk screening process she used to make greeting cards.

| November/December 1981

My sister Katie and I first tried making silk screened cards for Christmas gifts back in 1978. They were very popular, so we started giving them as birthday presents and as gifts to special friends. (One of those friends is my piano teacher. She likes her cards so much she doesn't even use them!)

Not long ago, when Katie and I went to a church fair and saw other people selling their handmade products, we decided to sell our cards. So we rented a booth and "went into business."

It can take a long time to make greeting cards with a silk screen, but the results are worth the effort. You may want to make some yourself. It can give you a chance to be creative and an opportunity to make some money for extra expenses, such as skating and bowling.

How to Do It

First of all, you'll need a screen for printing your cards. My dad made ours. You can also buy one at a good crafts store.

Second, you'll need to create a card design. Make the drawing the exact same size that you want it to turn out on the note cards. And keep your design simple (don't use any small lines or little details). This will make it easier for you to do the next step: transferring your design to the screen.

To do this, put your drawing under the screen and then lightly copy the entire pattern on the screen with a pencil. Next, go over the pencil marks with silkscreen drawing fluid. (We buy a brand called Speedball.) Use the smallest brush possible when you do this.

Aggie Janicot
7/13/2009 9:27:49 PM

I'm an art teacher and I want to suggest linoleum block printing too. You can use water based inks from Speedball, and they have nice metallic water based inks for both linoleum and silk screening too. They are safer to use with children, and many of the Speedball water based inks are certified Non-Toxic for the classroom and children. In the past, I've used cheap acrylic craft paints for both, just make sure you clean up your screens/linoleum blocks well. You can do the basic screen printing/block printing in a black or brown, then use water colors to hand color them in. Aggie

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