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  • I'm Kristen, a clumsy but determined home cook and crafter living in the Boston area with my husband, B, and I have an interest in all things food and craft.

    This blog was created to keep track of my various projects and adventures. They may not all be successes, but my goal is to remain unintimidated by whatever engages my curiosity.



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Retro Kitchen Print

Screen printing is something that I’ve wanted to learn for years, and I’ve finally gotten up the nerve to take my first little steps. I wanted to start slowly, using a stencil and sponge to create my print, instead of jumping ahead immediately and burning screens and all of that.

In this project, I took my inspiration from retro prints and drew some fun retro utensils because I had my kitchen in mind when I came up with the project. I’m a huge fan of retro illustration, and I wanted to get the same grainy, sponge-y texture that I see so much in my favorite illustrators’ works. A small sea sponge was used to create this effect. The print came out so well that I just had to share it!

Retro Kitchen Print

What you’ll need for the project:

watercolor paper, cardstock, or another surface on which to print
flatware template (download the PDF)
Xacto knife
small sea sponge
various colors of acrylic inks/paints
masking or painter’s tape
plastic spoons (for mixing and depositing the paint)
plastic cups (for mixing paint, if you’re making a custom color)
paper plate (to hold the paint)
newsprint or newspaper (to protect the surface that you’re printing on)

Retro Kitchen Print

Instructions

1. Print the template onto cardstock and cut out with an Xacto knife.

2. Place newsprint under your paper and prepare the background for your print (sorry, I didn’t take photos of this part of the process): If you’re using a custom color, mix your paints together in a plastic cup and, once mixed, deposit a small amount of the paint onto a paper plate using a plastic spoon. Wet the sea sponge and squeeze out any excess water before using. Take the sponge and dip it lightly in the paint, then sponge onto the plate a few times until any excess paint has been removed and the paint is more evenly distributed over the surface of the sponge. You won’t need a lot of paint on the sponge to get good coverage on your paper. Rinse the sponge thoroughly after you’re finished.

I sponged teal colored acrylic paint onto watercolor paper in an uneven rectangle, but you can use any color and shape that you’d like. You don’t even need a background color if you’ll be making the print in a darker color. Allow background to dry.

3. After the background has completely dried, you’re ready to create your print. Center your template over the paper and, using masking or painter’s tape, attach the template (see photo above). Following the same sponging technique as in step 2, sponge your foreground color onto your stencil. Depending on the desired coverage, you may need to sponge over the template shapes more than once. Again, rinse the sponge thoroughly after you’re finished.

4. Gently remove the masking or painter’s tape, remove the template, and allow your print to dry. You now have your very own retro flatware print!

Retro Kitchen Print

If you have fabric ink, you could also use the template in this project to create matching tea towels, an apron, or whatever else you can think of for your kitchen. What fun! I highly recommend Lena Corwin’s book, Printing by Hand, for many great techniques for printing on fabric.

Posted in Craft, Tutorials | 10 Comments »

10 Responses

  1. Rachel says:

    Oh this is FABULOUS! I would love to link to this if you don’t mind!



  2. Kristen says:

    Thanks so much, Rachel. So glad you like the project, and I’d love it if you linked to it! :)



  3. Anne says:

    Love the look of this!



  4. Cath says:

    It looks amazing! Love the look :) I’m thinking in doing some paintings for my room and I might actually do this :)



  5. Kristen says:

    Thank you, Anne and Cath. So glad that you like it!



  6. Traci says:

    Hi Kristen! I just found your blog let’s see by way of… haha… too much internet surfing but I’m glad I found you! Your blog is gorgeous and so many fun projects! I look forward to visiting often!



  7. Kristen says:

    Thanks so much, Traci! I’m glad that you found me, too. :)



  8. Jenna Z says:

    ooh, I stenciled this for my kitchen last week and LOVE it! Thanks so much for sharing. You can check out my version at:
    http://corgipants.blogspot.com/2009/03/also-in-birthday-news.html



  9. Kristen says:

    That looks wonderful, Jenna! Thanks for posting the link.



  10. Adrienne says:

    This is awesome. We used this to make placemats for our kids’ table for Thanksgiving. The kids did the stencils and we covered it with clear contact paper. They turned out great!



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