- 1 Always wanted to learn to screen print your own T-Shirts?
- 2 What are the advantages of owning a silkscreen printing kit?
- 3 How to choose the best screen printing kit for you:
- 4 Equipment terms just for beginners:
- 5 Ready to pick the best diy screen printing kit? Consider these 5:
- 6 1. Speedball 4526 Intermediate SilkScreen Printing Kit
- 7 Pros
- 8 Cons
- 9 2. Jacquard Products JSI9001 SilkScreen Print Kit
- 10 Pros
- 11 Cons
- 12 3. Screen Printing Consumables Techtongda Kit
- 13 Pros
- 14 Cons
- 15 4. Silhouette Cameo Screen Bundle
- 16 Pros
- 17 Cons
- 18 5. EZScreenPrint At Home Screen Printing Kit
- 19 Pros
- 20 Cons
- 21 Final Thoughts on selecting the best silk screen kit:
Always wanted to learn to screen print your own T-Shirts?
Have you been eager to learn the ins and outs of silk screen printing? It’s easier than you think, which is why so many beginners take to it like a duck to water.
There is a learning curve—-but you’ll also have a blast. Just ask Bob Mongiello whose YouTube video has been kicking around since 2011, becoming a screen printing for beginners must-see:
Your first investment for your maiden home screen printing voyage? Supplies made especially for the screen printing for beginners set.
We’ll introduce you to 5 diverse kits, one of which is bound to appeal to you once you read the reviews below.
What are the advantages of owning a silkscreen printing kit?
- You don’t have to rent or borrow equipment to learn this art form
- By owning your equipment, you can learn at your own pace
- You can start out small and if your interest grows, upgrade your space and supplies
- You get everything you need to start your projects with a kit rather than buying individual items
- You’ll do your screen printing at home, so your tools are handy when you want to work(No fair keeping your spouse up at all hours, though)
- Schedule your screen time around kid’s activities and other obligations
- If you find this hobby irresistible, you won’t be the first to turn it into a business
How to choose the best screen printing kit for you:
Like all equipment, you’ll run into outrageously priced silk screen printing systems and ones that can only be called “basic.” Whichever avenue you choose to take, these are 9 questions to ask yourself as you browse products profiled in this review before you launch your screen printing at home enterprise:
- Do I have a budget that can’t be stretched?
- How much space can I allocate to my new hobby? Remember, you’ll need storage!
- Do I have my heart set on a manual screen printer or an automatic one?
- When it comes to color, how many are enough? Most screeners use between 4 and 8.
- Do I plan to get serious about building a business or is this just for fun?
- Will the kit I pick allow me to create oversized graphics?
- Am I “features crazy”? If your answer is yes, we refer you to question #1!
- Am I capable of the labor required to push and pull a squeegee? (YES)
- Must I learn to use these tools on my own or are instructions included?
Equipment terms just for beginners:
It’s one thing to get creative. It’s another to speak the lingo. As you venture forth, it helps to know a few terms as you grow from beginner to skilled crafter.
A is for All heads down, a process that allows you to print multiple plates in concert.
C is for Clamps: Talk about essentials! Must the unit you seek have pneumatic clamps? You decide.
M is for Micro registration: This feature gives you the ability to produce crisp, multi-color designs.
O is for Off contact, the “vertical distance” from screen to surface that impacts the finished project.
P is for Pallets: These come in myriad sizes and allow you to produce all sorts of treasures.
S is for Spring tension, the control that gives you the ability to lift the screen head effortlessly.
Ready to pick the best diy screen printing kit? Consider these 5:
1. Speedball 4526 Intermediate SilkScreen Printing Kit
Use this kit to customize t-shirts, produce décor and make gifts. This product is especially handy for anyone who used a stencil in the past and wants to master the photo emulsion process. Speedball produces a video that will take first-time users through the entire project, so if you hate written instructions, this will delight you. This kit is our pick for the best screen printing kit for beginners.
- You get paints, screen filler, fluid, photo emulsion and remover, Speed Clean, sensitizer, squeegee, print screen, round brush and craft sticks.
- System employs the photo emulsion process rather than stencils.
- Paints are made to hold up to years of washing and drying, so art remains crisp and vibrant.
- Quantities of items you need to churn out projects are so tiny, you’ll need to restock soon.
- Some users have complained that kits have been delivered with dried up fluids.
- Build quality of the screens isn’t always the best and might not last for a lot of printings.
2. Jacquard Products JSI9001 SilkScreen Print Kit
Use this kit to customize t-shirts, produce décor and make gifts. This product is especially handy for anyone who used a stencil in the past and wants to master the photo emulsion process. Speedball produces a video that will take first-time users through the entire project, so if you hate written instructions, this will delight you. This kit is another great option for the best beginner screen printing kit.
- Paints have been safety tested and found nontoxic.
- Hobbyists who haven’t mastered silk screening using other kits have found this one a breeze to use.
- A great starter kit for kids interested in screening because of the safety of the chemicals involved.
- Opaque paints don’t show as well on dark textiles as they do on light colored fabrics.
- If you’re not careful with color applications, you could have alignment issues.
- Kit doesn’t include photo emulsion remover; you must buy separately.
3. Screen Printing Consumables Techtongda Kit
- Includes a pre-stretched screen framed with metal, 2 butterfly cramps, squeegee and emulsion coater.
- State of the art kit is new to the market and already getting rave reviews.
- Priced modestly, this kit sells out fast because it’s a step above basic.
- You’ll have to buy your paints, emulsion cleaners and other necessities separately.
- Because these sell so fast, availability could be a problem.
- You may want a kit that’s got more supplies rather than just the basics.
4. Silhouette Cameo Screen Bundle
- Save time, money and avoid using chemicals once you master the non-emulsion printing process.
- Paints are water soluble so they’re kind to the planet and the screening can be re-used.
- Given the upgraded technology, you can expect more detail in your finished products than with other kits.
- You must first purchase the machine, which adds to the overall cost of pursuing this screening method.
- If you’ve an inventory of supplies for manual kits, you won’t be able to use them.
- The silhouette method can be a bit limiting and you won’t have the necessary tools to use photo emulsion.
5. EZScreenPrint At Home Screen Printing Kit
- Ideal for folks just getting started who seek a simple method for producing projects.
- Comes with 8-1/2- x 11-inch ink jet stencil creation sheets and transparency sheets, a 10.5- x 13-inch exposure unit, small test pieces, plastic canvas, mini-squeegee and bristle brush.
- Turns your ink jet printer into a crafting machine.
- Your results depend on the quality of your printer.
- Requires being computer savvy to churn out designs or retrieve copyright-free art.
- Direct sunlight can be tricky, it’s easy to over or under expose your screen.
Final Thoughts on selecting the best silk screen kit:
We picked 5 DIY screen printing kits around the same price range to show how diverse these kits can be. While the Speedball 4526 comes with a pedigree of sorts, there’s nothing unique about their system and we eliminated the Techtongda Screen Printing Bundle because availability could be problematic.
You’ll have to own an ink jet printer or a silk screen machine to put kit supplies to work for you if you opt for either the EZScreen system or the Silhouette kit, so in the end, we like the Jacquard most of all because it’s made in the U.S., meets ASTM standards and like that the non-toxic paints are safer for consumers who are unfamiliar with the process. Will your be able to turn the Jacquard kit into a business empire? Probably not—-but it’s a great place to start if that’s your ultimate goal!
Doug has been an entrepreneur for years, starting several businesses. Doug is a web developer, father of 2 great kids and husband to the best wife ever. I’ve been working on building my custom tee shirt business for 3 years.