One of the things I love most about the Haunted Mansion is the wallpaper that at first glance looks like your run-of-the-mill damask pattern, but upon closer inspection is revealed to be a spooky face and some hungry plants. When we needed to purchase curtains for our dining room, it made sense to buy boring white curtains so I could screen print them with something fun.  Why not the Haunted Mansion motif?  I love a challenge. Many thanks to Lil Blue Boo for her awesome screen printed drapes and pillows tutorial.

I started with a graphic of the wallpaper, and used Photoshop to isolate the two components and print each on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper. I taped the paper to the screen, and traced the outline in pencil on the screen so I could use the Screen Filler Method.  I also built two cardboard trays with elevated sides that could hold the screens while they dried.

Prepping two pieces of the Haunted Mansion damask pattern

Word to the wise — do not skimp on the drawing fluid!  I lightly painted it on, thinking any amount was strong enough to resist the screen filler. Not quite.  Ultimately I had to completely clear the screens and start over because the ink couldn’t get through, and what ink got through did not look how it was supposed to.  This was day 1.  On day 2, the screens were dry and ready for a fresh start.  I lathered on the drawing fluid, let it dry, then brushed on the screen filler.  This time I had no problem rinsing out the drawing fluid and getting a clean image.

I did a test run on a t-shirt, and the print turned out beautiful! I was very excited and ready to get started, but I had to wait until the next weekend so I had enough time to print all four curtain panels in one go.

Screens are ready for printing

I covered my craft table with kraft paper, and secured the rod to each curtain to make it easier to slide along.  The Speedball ink mixture was about 88% black, 2% silver, and 10% extender.  The first time through I marked the locations before I printed, but my patience wore out and I free-styled it the rest of the time.  Excluding setup, printing the first graphic on all four panels took just shy of two hours.  I left them to dry for about 5 hours before printing the second graphic on the panels.  I’ll heat set them once the ink has dried.

Welcome, foolish mortals. Your curtains await you.