Left: A mugshot sketch, which has nothing to do with making a screen print, but actually if I made a transparency of this it might be kind of fun to have it on a T-shirt. Pentel Brush Pen (the fine-tipped, dye based one), on pink stationery. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
In 2009 I walked readers through the conversion of a journal drawing into a screen print. I was using a Gocco Printer. These devices are no longer available, but the steps involved are still similar if you are working with regular silkscreening equipment or if you're using a Yudo (more on that in a moment).
So if you would like to have some fun printing your journal sketches on fabric or paper you might want to look (or look again if you've been reading since 2009) at these posts.
First I take a sketch of a French Bulldog and turn it into an editioned print for a print exchange.
Next because I thought my first post was light on the explanation for why I did certain steps, and why I used an acetate overlay and how to use a toner photocopy, I wrote an additional post where I showed how I made an editioned set of prints from sketches made at the Bell Museum. (Since writing that post I have acquired another toner copier so I don't have to fuss around for some of the things I like to do with toner copies.)
Because Gocco Printers were phased out at this time I also wrote a short post on alternatives to the Gocco that I had recently heard of but not tried: specifically the Yudo. (I'll have more to say about the Yudo in a moment.)
The following year I wrote a post on Fabric Printing at the Textile Center, looking at the line quality possibilities using their Thermofax machine. Fabric artist Karen Wallach walked a group of the MCBA Visual Journal Collective members through the process. You can still rent time on the Thermofax at the Textile Center, but I don't know what the current details are, so please contact them directly for that information.
While I was testing for line quality other members of the group were printing wonderful designs on T-shirts and fabric and you can see some of their creations here.
Now if you don't have access to a Thermofax there is still that Yudo I've mentioned. With a Yudo Personal Screen Printer you can print silkscreened shirts or posters at home. It's a bit of an investment at $349.00 for the machine. Look around for deals on eBay. Also look around for the best deals on consumables that you're going to use for making your prints (screens, transparencies, emulsion, t-shirts etc.) (I can tell you that there are inexpensive but nice t-shirts in lots of different colors available at Michaels in adult and children's sizes.)
While contemplating a purchase of this size it's always good to see the item in action. I still haven't purchased one or even used one. There's only so much time in a day! But I was curious to see how people were using the device, and how it actually could be used. I found two videos that might be helpful to you.
This first video walks you through the process of using "cut-out" pieces (like you would make with a die-cutter or one of those scrapbooking machines that cuts shapes). The woman presenting does a nice job of explaining her steps, but please DO NOT DO THIS IN YOUR KITCHEN SINK, I don't care if the manufacturer says it's OK to do that (and I don't know if they have as I haven't read their material) you just need to keep art tasks out of the kitchen. All paints and dyes and emulsions and such should always be kept away from any food preparation areas.
This presenter does however have a very nice squeegeeing technique!
The second how-to video starts in a very annoying fashion with someone singing off key, but that's just the natural exuberance of youth. Ignore that and keep watching. The two young people on this video walk you through using the Yudo using a TRANSPARENCY. Since I work on the computer and don't have one of those die cutter machines this would be the method I'd use. They do some of the steps in a markedly different way from the woman in the first Yudo video I've linked you to (water use in attachment of the emulsion, squeegeeing, etc.), so be sure to watch both videos in case you do experiment and run into problems. Between the two you'll probably get it right—don't however squeegee like this young man shows you. (I also like the tips they gave for ironing, because you can get into some problems there based on past experience I've had with other printing methods.)
Next, because friends who do things with transparencies, whether it's exposing fabrics coated with photosensitive dyes or making solar printmaking plates, are always complaining to me about the relative quality of transparencies made with different machines I think you really need to watch this short advertisement video of a special transparency film. I'm not recommending this product, but I think the presenter does a great job showing you what your options are, and if you're having problems with spotty printing you might want to start looking for a better transparency product.
If you're someone who likes to READ instructions and see tidy diagrams, I found this rather nice write up on using the Yudo.
It seems to me that there are now small Yudos that are very much like the Gocco; marketed to print "cards" they might be a good way to start your own printing adventure. (I didn't find details on how they worked or the inks they used so you'll have to research that to your own satisfaction; and the link I provided was just to show you the product, I've never purchased from that company.)
I hope that at some point you will look at your journal and see it as a source book for incredible art pieces that you've yet to make—stand alone or wearable pieces. You can of course simply use a quality color printer and treated fabrics to print a journal image as I did to make a bag with this wood duck.
Find ways to bring your journal art out into your life.