Tutorial: Lovin’ my Thermofax Screens

January 12, 2017
It’s my turn!
Artspark’s heARTfest tutorial blog hop
Let’s make a sweet little valentine postcard
Valentine by Lyric Kinard
I’d like to show you how my little love affair with my Thermofax screens can be put to good use. 

I’ve had these collage backgrounds ready to go for a while. They are old watercolor studies (and I do mean old – like from 20 years ago!) that I’ve collaged with some worn out sheet music. I stuck them on with gel medium and then painted over them with some watered down acrylic paint. Gesso would have worked just as well. I just wanted to knock back the colors and the strong printing just a bit.


 Next I took my favorite black pens and doodled random hearts on paper, scanned it and printed it out in three different sizes. I was thinking of creating an overall background texture with this doodle. Nothing too regular or controlled or overpowering.
I send each print of the doodle through my wonderful Thermofax machine along with that green mesh fabric. The heat rollers burn the carbon in the toner through the emulsion coating on the screen.
It’s almost magic how that happens. It’s a little addicting.
I usually tape my larger screens to a frame to make them easier to deal with. When I’m printing yardage I like to be able to lift the screen with one had while it still has big glops of paint on it and move it to the next paint location.
Smaller screens are simply “bound” with duct tape to keep them from curling. 
I mixed up some pink acrylic paint – ProChem’s ProFab textile paint, since it was within easy reach. I pulled out some cloth to play with while I was at it and printed away. I ended up only using the medium and the large screens for the collage. I got a little lazy and let the screens smudge on some of the prints. No worries.

Next comes some focal point imagery. I doodled some more hearts and then got sidetracked for MUCH too long – playing with funky new fonts (dafont.com) and words. I don’t always have a plan in mind before I begin a project. 


Time for some more thermofax screens. I cut out words and arranged them on a piece of paper in order to maximize my screen material. The stuff isn’t cheap so I hate to waste it. I made sure to leave enough space around each word or doodle so that I could cut out and tape them.

By the way – if you find yourself needing these screens, I’ve added them to my thermofax shop.

This time I chose a medium contrasting color instead of a lighter color. Purple just happens to be one of my favorites so purple hearts it is! When a screen is taped instead of framed. I like to use a foam brush and just mush the paint through the screen like a stencil.

Lynn Krawczyk has some fantastic video tutorials for how to do this – and she sells some pretty awesome screens!
Last step? Choose which fun message you want to share with our valentine. These are cut into 5×7 cards. I can write on the back, stick on a stamp and drop them right in the mail. 
Super SWEET eh?
Valentine by Lyric Kinard
And yes, dear readers, I do.
Valentines, Lyric Kinard
I love you!

Life is too short not to just say it out loud.

If you are in love with any of these screens you can purchase them here.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this fun little project.
Keep your eye out for

(my mouth is watering already)

1/30/2012 Kelli Nina Perkins
Felted Heart Soaps

(Is it just me or are they too gorgeous to actually USE?)

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  • Reply
    Creative Soul Juice
    January 31, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Love the music notes in the background… Thanks for another great tutorial! ~Hobby

  • Reply
    Barbara L.
    January 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Beautiful valentines! Fun to play, isn't it?!

  • Reply
    January 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this, Lyric. What a great idea! Also, thanks for passing along the font site — I've been looking for something like that for a while now!

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