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Thermofax How-To

Since I got some questions about it, I thought I'd share a bit more information about the Thermofax printing process today.

You can take any image you want.  For this example, I painted a quick quote with some watercolor and then photocopied it.  (You need a toner-based image in order to burn the Thermofax screen.)

I cut the copy down to size...

...and then cut a piece of Thermofax screen to match.

I created a sandwich of cardstock, photocopy, and mesh, and fed it into the Thermofax machine.

When it came out of the machine, the screen was attached to the photocopy in the places where the toner was.

I peeled the screen off of the photocopy and you can see that the design has been burned into the screen.


I used duct tape to frame my screen.

When I print, I like to use a padded surface.  I have a piece of quilt batting with some fabric on top of it.  Then I simply use acrylic paint and an old room key to pull the paint through the screen.

You can usually make more than one print from a single application of paint.  So, I grabbed my art journal:

When you're done with a screen it's a good idea to get it into water immediately because you do not want the paint to dry on the screen.  Later you can take it to the sink and get rid of any excess paint with an old toothbrush.

I made two other brand new screens yesterday.  One from an image in a National Geographic magazine:

Kind of creepy, but fun.

The other from a photo of me:

You can see how easy it is to get great images to play with!

Some Resources:

  • If you're interested in purchasing Thermofax supplies, I buy my stuff from Welsh Products.
  • Ebay also has many sellers who are offering Thermofax machines.  Just be careful that they actually work.
  • You can buy pre-made Thermofax screens on Etsy (just do a search for Thermofax).
  • You can even buy custom made Thermofax screens on Etsy!  You simply e-mail in your image and you get a screen back in the mail!  And it's cheaper than you'd think -- maybe $10-$15!

Thanks for stopping by!


P.S. Thanks for all of your nice comments on my collages.  I have to say that my favorite is #3, mostly because it's so minimalist -- not my usual style!

P.P.S. Several people e-mailed me asking if you could buy prints or cards of the collages and the answer is yes!  Find them here.  You can even get an iPhone case!


There's FREE shipping through Sunday!  

If there's artwork of mine that you've seen and would like to purchase as a print or a phone case, do let me know.  I'm just starting to fill my shop!  :)

P.P.P.S. Don't forget!  My webinar on "Building a Better Blog for Artists" is happening tomorrow at 2pm EST!  See you there!