Speedball Screen Printed Canvas Tote Project

Level: Easy


Tips - If you would like to add some more textures, you can use block printing to spruce up your tote bag.

Wash your screen and squeegee after you have finished using it to prevent the paint from drying and staining your tools.

It's important to use the right amount of ink, too much will cause the fabric to stiffen and this may crack the ink. Too little and the design will look faded.

To ensure you don't hurt yourself, never position or push the lino tools towards your fingers or body. Start slow and never rush the process.

With block printing, the printed image will be the reverse of what it is on the block. If you are adding text, make sure you reverse the text before carving.



Step 1 - Use the Cricut Design Space app to find a design you like or you can upload your own. Once you have chosen one, reposition the design so there is an inch of space around the design. This is to ensure you have space to apply masking tape later on. Do not select mirror, then send the design to print.

Step 2 - Load the vinyl onto the Cricut mat and into the machine to cut out your design.

Step 3 - Once the cut is complete, use the weeding or a tool with a sharp end such as a scalpel to weed your design the opposite way you would normally. You want to remove the areas that have been cut. So when you place it on your screen printing screen, the ink will transfer through the stencil.

Step 4 - To adhere the stencil to the screen, apply the transfer tape so it covers the whole design. Apply the tape to the vinyl side that does not have the backing paper. Use your squeegee to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles.

Step 5 - Transfer your design to the screen by removing the backing paper and placing it in the centre of the frame. Make sure the vinyl stencil is still stuck to the transfer tape. Use the squeegee to smooth the vinyl a few times so it adheres to the screen. Carefully remove the transfer tape by peeling the tape back as flat as possible to prevent the vinyl sticking to the tape. Use masking tape to fill the gaps so the paint does not transfer through.


Step 1 - Place a flat piece of thick cardboard inside the tote bag, big enough to cover the area you will be screen printing. This helps to create a flat surface and prevents the ink from bleeding through the fabric.

Step 2 - You can use the fabric inks as is or create different colours by mixing the inks. Place the ink inside the well of the frame along the top using the palette knife. Apply enough pressure so that it drags the ink across the stencil and transfers onto the fabric. Too much pressure and ink will result in the ink going sides beyond the stencil. This will take some practice to get right.

Step 3 - If you are adding layers of colour, use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process. Just make sure to wash your tools in between with soap, so it's easier to remove the ink. It may take a few days for the ink to completely dry before heat-setting.

Step 4 - Heat-set the ink according to Speedball's instructions to ensure a long lasting application even with washing.


Step 1 - To add some interesting textures, block printing can be used to create this. Draw the shape onto the carving block with pencil and use the lino tools to carve away the parts you don't want to print. Use the fabric inks as is or mix the inks to create your colour of choice.

Step 2 - Use the knife palette to spread the ink onto the plate. Now roll the brayer back and forth until it is evenly coated and starts to make sticky noises, this is when the ink is ready to apply to the carving block. Apply to the whole block by evenly coating it with the brayer.

Step 3 - Position your block where you want it to be on the bag, then press the block onto the fabric and apply even pressure to transfer the ink. Rub the area multiple times. Lift the block from one corner and wash immediately after use.

Step 4 - Leave to dry for a few days and heat-set according to Speedball's instructions.



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