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How To Make Wallpaper With 'Print Play'

How To

Jess Wright and Lara Davies are the brains behind Home-Work, a design studio in Brunswick, where they run screen printing classes and create their own standout creative projects.

Having spent more than a decade working together, collaborating with clients such as the NGV, designlovefest and Rollie Nation, Jess and Lara have finally pooled their combined knowledge to manifest a book of 24 step-by-step projects that give everyone the power to get creative with screenprinting.

3rd June, 2018

Jess Wright and Lara Davies, who run Home-Work studio in Melbourne, and recently authored ‘Print Play’, published by Hardie Grant. Photo – Martin Reflect and Jessica Reftel Evans (Amorfo).

Jessie Wright and Lara Davies.
Sunday 3rd June 2018

After so many years hosting screenprinting classes and teaching people of all ages, we still LOVE everything about it! In all this time we have not come across a book that is “THE” book we can recommend to our students, and we had always talked about one day writing such a resource.

In this crazy, modern world we live in, we frequently have people from across the globe asking us if there is a way they can learn what we teach in our workshops. In one of our late night planning sessions together, we decided it was time to finally make the book we had always wanted, and pitched the idea to Hardie Grant who immediately jumped on board!

We both love pattern and colour and design, and to make the perfect print all these elements need to come together. Screen printing is a mix of process and design. The process is so immediate and satisfying, and there is nothing like the magic that comes when you lift the screen to reveal your print!

Want to have a go yourself? See below for our step-by-step guide to DIY wallpaper!

You will need

  • pencil
  • stencil paper
  • scalpel
  • cutting mat
  • A4 screen
  • tapes
  • squeegee
  • ink
  • spatula
  • hair dryer
  • ruler
  • paint and paintbrush
  • tape measure
  • 55cm wide roll of wallpaper lining paper
  • ink in one colour

Method

1. Draw a rectangle onto paper that is slightly smaller than the depth of the wallpaper and the width of the printable area on your screen. Our rectangle measures 28 x 42cm, which means we’ll be using a 28cm width as the basis for all of our measurements when printing. Fill your rectangle with pattern, making sure you don’t design beyond the boundaries of the rectangle. We’ve used a brush and paint to design our pattern of thick squiggly lines.

2. Using a window and pencil, transfer your design onto stencil paper. Carefully cut out your pattern on your cutting mat using a scalpel.

3. Lay a tape measure along the length of your work surface. This will help you determine where to place the screen when printing. Put some double-over tape on the back of the tape measure to hold it in position. Line up the edge of the wallpaper with the edge of the tape measure. Use masking tape to hold the wallpaper in place.

4. Place the screen onto the wallpaper, lining up its outer edge with the start of the tape measure – at 0cm. Get your squeegee and ink ready! Then use a spatula to spread a generous amount of ink above your design. Print using to firm pulls – you don’t need a flood stroke. Carefully lift up the screen.

5. Line up the edge of the screen to the 56cm point on the tape measure, then repeat step 4. Repeat again at 56cm intervals for as long as you’d like your wallpaper to be. Use a hair dryer set on cool to dry your prints as quickly as possible – you don’t want the ink to dry in the screen!

6. Once the first set of prints is dry, line up the edge of the screen to the 28cm point on the tape measure. Print as per step 4. Continue this process at 56cm intervals until your length of wallpaper is filled in. Remove the stencil, then wash the stencil and screen. Allow your printed wallpaper to air-dry completely before hanging it up – you can speed up this process with a cool hairdryer.

Find a detailed break down of instructions for this project and MANY others in Jess and Lara’s new book, Print Play, out now at Hardie Grant. 

This is an edited extract from Print Play published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $24.99 and is available in stores nationally.

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.