How to Screen Print Multiple Colors

Learn how to create multicolored prints with ease! Our step-by-step tutorial shows you how.

Embrace the screen-print trend with a pretty project you can make at home. This three-color screen print is simple when you follow our step-by-step guide. Keep your handmade creation or give as a gift. 

Materials List

Printouts of artwork and each screen layer from BHG.com/ScreenPrint

Cardboard

Three 10×14-inch screen-printing screens

Masking tape

Screen drawing fluid

Paintbrushes

Old toothbrush

Squeegee

Heavyweight (at least 40#) paper: light blue

Screen filler

Polar fleece

Plastic spoons

Water-soluble screen-printing paper ink: ivory, green, dark red

Step 1

Gather your materials. Center artwork on cardboard, and mark corners with a pencil. Center screen with flat side down on top of artwork; mark corners. Remove screen and artwork.

Step 2

Place printout of screen 1 on cardboard; align with marks. Place screen on top of artwork with flat side down; align with marks. Tape small strips of cardboard at opposite screen corners to hold screen in place. Trace design with pencil. Repeat with each printout to make three screens.

Step 3

Paint screen drawing fluid inside penciled lines onto the back side of the screen. Note: Only paint areas where ink is to come through screen. Let dry overnight. Repeat on each screen.

Step 4

Tape off outer edges of screen. Using the squeegee, apply screen filler on the back side of screen onto all areas where ink should not come through the screen. Let dry overnight. Repeat on each screen. Note: If you make a mistake, dissolve 1 cup washing soda in 1 gallon of water and scrub the screen with a nylon bristle brush to start over.

Step 5

Rinse screens with cool water to wash away blue drawing fluid. If needed, use an old toothbrush to remove stubborn areas. Let screens dry. Reapply tape to the edges, if necessary.

Step 6

Place heavyweight blue paper on top of a folded piece of polar fleece. Place first screen, flat side down, onto paper. Lightly mark corners.

Step 7

Use a plastic spoon to drop small amounts of the first ink color across top of screen. Have a partner hold the screen in place. Using firm, even pressure, pull squeegee down the screen, beginning at the top taped edge and ending at the bottom. Pull squeegee across screen only once. Lift screen straight up. Let artwork dry. Rinse screen or run multiple prints. Note: Work quickly; the ink will dry on the screen within 15 minutes.

Step 8

Repeat Step 7 for each screen. Use ivory ink for screen 1, green for screen 2, and dark red for screen 3.

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