I've watched a couple of videos, but I cant quite catch the materials and exactly how to do this and that... so I was wondering if anyone around here can give me (and whoever wants to know how to) a simple and DUMMY-PROOF how-to?
Depends what you want to do. There are two main ways to create a screen (that I've used, anyway).
1. Screen filler method - you basically paint your design onto a screen. Tough for small details, but pretty forgiving and good to start out with.
2. Photo emulsion - this allows for more detail, but is a more complicated process that requires more equipment (light bulbs, plus you need a totally dark room or closet to allow your screen to set).
I would highly advise you start out with a Speedball printing kit, they generally come with everything you need. I hadn't screened anything in a few years until I did the covers of my new zine, and just went out and bought a Speedball Original Screen Printing Kit for about $45. It comes with a screen, screen filler fluid and drawing fluid to draw your design on the screen, a squeegee, and enough ink for me to make about 1000 zine covers.
Or if you're cheap (or broke), I found this pretty good guide on quick and dirty screen printing online:
what you will need:
photo emulsion (any will do but make sure its not too old)
Silk screen ink
a screen (aluminum is better than wood since wood warps after washing)
a light source (I strongly recommend buying a special bulb like a 250W flood light. Its not necessary but it will make the process faster and you will have crisper details. I have used normal house lights before and it worked fine too)
1. Make your design on a piece of paper at 100% contrast (all black and white, no greys)
2. Photocopy your design onto clear acetate (like for an overhead projector) at the copy shop
3. Prepare a dark room. I usually just tape off all the cracks that let light into the bathroom with painters tape. You want as little light as possible, sometimes I work at night to make it simpler.
4. using the squeegee apply a generous layer of emulsion to either side of the screen. The emulsion will squeeze through the pours in the screen so be sure to use the squeegee on both sides until it looks to be a pretty even thickness.
5. Lay the screen down in your darkroom with your light source directly above it so that the light covers the screen evenly. *TIP - put a dark colored cloth under the frame because it will prevent the light from reflecting off the floor which can ruin the screen.
6. Depending on your light source you want to let the screen sit under the light for a while. with a powerful light source (250W~400W) I recommend about 40 minutes or so. With normal house lighting a while longer, maybe an hour or an hour and half.
7. Take your screen out and using a hose or a faucet wash all the emulsion away. This part takes the longest because sometimes the emulsion is pretty stuck in there. I typically use my fingers to pick at it. The emulsion that has been exposed to light will not flake off so dont worry about scrubbing it hard. Pretty soon you should see your design coming through in the negative space. Be sure to wash thoroughly and for a long time.
8. After all the emulsion is gone you are ready to print. Place your screen where you want it, apply some ink directly to the screen, and slide the squeegee back and for, pressing firmly on the screen to push the ink through. I think two passes should be sufficient. Any more than that and you might push too much ink through and make the design blurry. This part is the only part that requires finesse, because the right amount of pressure and the right amount of ink is all up to you. After one or two tries you will probably find the right balance for you and get the hang of it.
9. If you are printing on fabric that will be washed you will need to treat the ink with heat. I have used two methods. One is to simply put it in the oven on a medium heat [about 250º F (120ºC)] for about two minutes. The other is to use a hotair gun (used for drying paints on dolls and model airplanes and whatnot). Keep in mind that in both cases its possible to catch fire if you do it too long! I have burned many t-shirts during this phase!
Hopefully this explains it in a little bit more clear english. If not, just buy freezer paper at the supermarket and cut your design out of that! Happy printing!