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Old 12-30-2011, 01:03
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DaisyDee DaisyDee is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: OR
Posts: 755
Default Re: cut outs for cheer bows

Have you thought about screen printing on them? When I was in college I worked in the costume shop in our theater department and did a lot of it. If you can print an image out in black and white from your computer, or photocopy it, you can screen print it. (Which is insanely helpful when you have to turn 30 satin bathrobes into kimonos!)

If you aren't familiar with how it works, the process uses a photo-emulsion chemical that gets painted on the screen in a dark room. The screen is layed flat, and the image -photocopied onto an overhead projector sheet of clear plastic- is placed on top. Then a light is turned on for a set time, and afterwards the screen is taken to a sink where the emulsion that was not exposed to the light gets washed off. What remains is your image. When it's dry, the screen is placed with the image centered over the desired printing area of your project, and ink is drawn over the image with a rubber squeegee. The emulsion prevents the ink from penetrating the rest of the screen, so only your image is transferred. When the screen is removed, the image is left to dry, and finally heat set. When the image is no longer needed, the emulsion can be removed so the screen can be re-used.

I haven't tried it yet, but the new gizmo out there is the Yudu, which is a screen printing set up you can get at any craft store. I think it runs around $90-$100 when it's on sale. From the videos I've seen it looks nice and simple to use.

If you have a silk-screen and want to do small, simple items such as a paw print, there is another option. You can cut your image from a piece of contact paper, stick it to the screen, and simply draw the ink over it instead of using emulsion. The downside is that your image will be only as neat as your stencil cutting abilities.

Another neat feature of screen printing is the ability to use metallic foil. Instead of ink, a base medium is used. Once dry, special sheets of foil are placed over the image and then ironed. When pulled away, the foil only sticks to the medium, producing a metallic image. This would be especially fun for cheer bows.
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