How to Screen Print T-shirts at Home or Small Business
How to stretch your own screens on a DIY budget:
You can buy pre-stretched screens for about $25 - $30. To get a frame restretched costs about the same amount! I had about 10 or more screens I needed restretched, but I couldn't justify having them professionally done when I could just buy new ones for the same price. So here's a way to do it on your own.
NOTE: I do NOT suggest stretching screens initially. It's worth the money to buy a few prestretched and then add more as you get more funds.
Supplies: screen mesh, scissors, glue and glue activator (purchased at a screen printing supply store), cheap paint brushes, utility knife, large-mouthed wrench, NEWMAN roller screens with clips for pre-positioning (there are several online dealers). What you're doing here is stretching a screen on a NEWMAN roller screen, which is made for repeated restretching. But instead of using it to print, you will stretch it, place it OVER the screen you want to restretch, glue it on, and then cut it out, thus making it possible to use for repeated restretching.
You can watch various Youtube clips to see how to do the initial stretching on the roller frame. I'd suggest starting with a lower mesh count (110 or less) as these will be less likely to tear and make for good practice. The initial cost of the mesh and roller frame is a bit steep, but in the end you will pay much less for each stretched frame. If you are just starting out and don't have access to unstretched frames, I would suggest skipping all of this and just buying them pre-stretched. Don't make it harder than it needs to be!
Bonus Content: As an aside, here's a video from PrintingPlans.com on how to make a DIY squeegee holder for about $3: