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Topic: silk screening stickers  (Read 836 times)
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capitanjen
« on: March 21, 2007 06:18:17 PM »

i was looking around on-line, and there are a lot of companies that silk screen shirts, vinyl stickers, window clings, etc. and that made me wonder if i could make stickers too... does anyone know how?
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latenightartist
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2007 06:22:48 PM »

Good luck with that. I know there's some art supply stores that carry sticker paper on rolls that you can by by the foot. However, if the surface is slick, you're going to need a special kind of ink that will stick to it. I know it's possible, but if you don't know where to get the right inks and the right papers, it can be troublesome and expensive. Why not just go with one of those sticker machines that you can get at Michael's? Wait till there's a nice coupon in their sales flyer and it might make it affordable. Because then you can print if off the computer, on whatever paper you like, and run it through the stickermaker. It's a lot less mess, and probably faster.
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capitanjen
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2007 06:38:26 PM »

Good luck with that. I know there's some art supply stores that carry sticker paper on rolls that you can by by the foot. However, if the surface is slick, you're going to need a special kind of ink that will stick to it. I know it's possible, but if you don't know where to get the right inks and the right papers, it can be troublesome and expensive. Why not just go with one of those sticker machines that you can get at Michael's? Wait till there's a nice coupon in their sales flyer and it might make it affordable. Because then you can print if off the computer, on whatever paper you like, and run it through the stickermaker. It's a lot less mess, and probably faster.
yah i have one of those! but a mini one. its a xyron. its so cool! but as for the vinyl stickers, i knew i was out of luck anyways. i was just curious to see if anyone else had any success. how about for stationary? do i need a special kind of heavy paper?
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latenightartist
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2007 06:44:31 PM »

Depending on how heavy the ink is, you would want a paper heavier than notebook paper. But something else to remember, it might be easier to do stamps on the stationary unless you're planning on doing a lot of them.
As for the vinyl stickers, why not order them? I know it would cost to have it done, but you can choose your colors, without having to buy the ink. And because of the learning curve involved in screenprinting, you'd have a few minutes.
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entriq
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2007 07:40:12 PM »

I have printed thousands of decals and stickers (actually millions, I guess - since a typical job will be a thousand or more).

In my opinion it is easier than printing shirts, and I have done plenty of both.  Decal and sticker films are available at commercial screen printing supply houses all over the world - I have bought most of mine over the years from places like McLogans.  There are hundreds of films, and there are countless specialty films.  The easiest thing to start with is bumper stickers.  These are typically printed on cheap vinyl film.  You need inks that are specifically for printing on vinyl, which of course need their own specific thinners, cleaners, retarders, and so on.  They are odorous, so you will want to have ample fresh air supply.  There are now water based inks that work well on vinyls, but I haven't used them.

One thing you have to deal with when printing vinyl stock or other light weight materials (including paper) is to keep from having the substrate (that is, the sticker stock, paper, or whatever) from sticking to the screen when you lift the screen.  The best way to deal with this is a vacuum hold-down table, but you can also use a light dusting of repositional spray adhesive. 

If you have any specific questions, please ask.  I will be happy to help if I can.  Over the years I have printed decals and stickers of all sorts, although I haven't done any in the last few years.  I used to own a shop with 8 or 10 employees and we printed decals and stickers from the smallest sizes up to 3 x 8 feet.  A lot of them were used for televised sporting event signage, but also fleet lettering, nautical safety marking, bumper stickers, and all sorts of other things.  However - when I first started I just had a few screens, a hand-made exposure setup, and simple hand tools, so anybody can do it.

Same thing with paper - I have printed a number of fine art prints and all kinds of signage and posters on paper.  Nothing to it.  There was a time when almost all billboards where screen printed.  Nowdays it is common for them to be digitally printed.  Anyway - you can print very cool stationary on almost any paper.   You just need appropriate inks.
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entriq
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