This weekend Kat & I decided to silk-screen our wedding invites by hand. Why, you might ask? Mainly we wanted to do something handmade fitting our style, but it was also a heck of a lot cheaper than having someone else do it! One caveat: neither of us have silkscreened anything in the last 6 years and we had no equipment. Minor technicality. Yeah.
We started by making the background design in Illustrator, then dropping it in Photoshop and adding the text. We took a couple days going back and forth to finalize the layout, then saved out the color separations at full size. That was the easy part. The hard part was finding someone to actually burn the screen for us. After calling 9 local shops to no avail, and one that kept flaking on me, Kat found a shop that would do it for only 35 bucks! Super score. We had a lot of small text (size 10 font) so we had to go with a 300 mesh count screen. Anything less and the text might be illegible. We also chose to use oil-based ink because I heard that it might pass through the fine screen a little better. Screen and ink in hand, we got a simple press loaned to us by our buddy Kenny, and we were in business.
Friday we started printing the background design which was definitely a learning experience. Our screen kept drying out when we ran out of space to hang up the wet cards, so we kept having to stop and clean out the screen. By the 5th time cleaning it, we realized the cleaner was starting to deteriorate our design! it was just a little bit, but we freaked and just decided to finish out the printing. It was a major relief to get that half totally done so we called it a night.
Saturday we were reinvigorated and had learned from our many mistakes. We recruited two good friends to help hang cards and added more hanging lines. We were all ready to rock, but when we started printing test sheets, none of the fine print was coming out! We started to freak out yet again, but we couldn’t stop printing for fear of the screen drying, so I just kept printing more tests while Kat kept mixing more and more thinner into the ink. Finally we got the ink thinned out enough to the point where all the small text coming through and so we just started rocking it. An hour and a half later, 350-ish invites were printed and we were done. It was hard work and a real learning experience, but we are super excited for the results and we couldn’t have done it without all our awesome friends helping us out!