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Learn How to Screen Print With Vinyl in 10 Easy Steps
Screen printing with vinyl has literally changed my life. Since starting DIY screen printing at home with my Cricut just a few years ago, I have launched a screen printing kit with Speedball that is carried by Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Joanns, and Blick. I have also taught hundreds of people how to screen print at my live events, and thousands more with my Screen Printing for Beginners online course.
Like many of you, I started out making shirts for family and friends using HTV. I enjoyed creating shirts with HTV, but I always preferred wearing screen printed shirts. I also really hated how the vinyl would start peeling after only a few washes.
Screen printed shirts feel so much better and when done right, they will last wash after wash. For these reasons, I wanted to try screen printing but I thought it was too dangerous, complicated, and expensive to do in the comfort of my own craft room.
Lucky for you (and unlucky for my husband), I REALLY wanted to try screen printing at home. I researched the process online and started trying a few steps at a time. It wasn’t pretty at first, but I kept trying. Eventually, I perfected the technique that you see me (and so many other crafters) using today.
Screen printing with vinyl using my Cricut (a Silhouette works too) has been great to me. In this article I will tell you exactly how you can get started on your own screen printing at home journey.
This article is written for beginners. If you have mastered the basics but need a little help working out some of the kinks in more complicated projects, check out my Screen Printing with a Press course.
Screen Printing at Home Supplies: Everything you need to get started:
Speedball Screen Printing Frame **
Speedball Squeegee **
Speedball Fabric Ink **
Oracal 651 **
My Favorite Transfer Tape **
Parchment paper **
Cricut or Silhouette Vinyl Cutter
Iron or Heat Press
** You can get all the basic supplies in my Speedball Beginner Screen Printing Craft Vinyl Kit
Optional Equipment to Print like a Pro
1-color Printing Press or 4-color Printing Press
Step by Step Instructions for Screen Printing with Vinyl
1. Cut the Vinyl Design with Your Cricut or Silhouette Vinyl Cutter
Design and cut your vinyl with your vinyl cutter just like you always do, but use Oracal 651 outdoor vinyl instead of HTV. Oracal 651 is an adhesive vinyl that sticks to your screen. This helps keep it from peeling up during the screen printing process.
2. Weed the Design and Apply The Transfer Tape
Carefully weed your design then put transfer tape on top of the vinyl and remove the paper backing.
3. Put the Design on Your Screen
Place the frame face down on a firm surface and apply your vinyl design in the center of the mesh screen on the back side of the frame (the side that touches the shirt). Putting the design on the back of the screen is a little trick I developed to keep the vinyl from peeling up while pulling the squeegee over the design.
4. Peel the Transfer Tape Away
After you get the design smoothly applied to the screen, carefully peel the transfer tape away. If you are struggling with this part, check out this resource. Once you get the transfer tape off the vinyl, use painter’s tape to cover the open areas of the screen.
This is where screen printing becomes more economical (and time saving) than iron-on vinyl (HTV). HTV can get expensive when doing a bunch of shirts. With screen printing, you can reuse the same stencil over and over. I've been able to use the same screen to make 200+ shirts!
5. Place Parchment Paper Inside the Shirt
Wet screen printing ink is just like any other wet substance. It will soak through (bleeding) your shirt if you let it. Placing a piece of parchment paper inside the shirt will stop the ink from bleeding and messing up the backside of your garment.
Don’t use cardboard! Some beginners try using cardboard for this step because they believe it will prevent the bleeding and give them a firm surface to print on. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. Cardboard isn’t one solid piece of material. The ribs it has on the inside create an uneven surface when you press down. This will mess up your design every time.
6. Place Your Design Where you Want it to Print
Getting the design in the perfect spot is a lot about feel and what looks good to your eye.
This is the most frustrating step for many of the beginners I talk to. To help get my designs in the right spot every time, I use my dot method. You can learn all about my dot method as well as all these other steps in my Screen Printing for Beginners online course.
7. Spread and Squeegee the Ink
Spread a spoonful of ink across the top of the screen above the design and squeegee the ink over the design by pressing down firmly and pulling toward you. I highly recommend that you don’t use white ink when starting out. Dark inks are more forgiving and easier to work with when you are learning this process.
I use Speedball water-based inks for almost all of my projects. The industrial screen printing process uses harsh chemicals that aren’t safe to use at home. When I was trying to figure out how to successfully screen print at home, finding a safe way to do it was key.
These water based inks are the key to making screen printing at home possible. I don’t have to worry about getting them on my skin (which I do all the time) and I can wash them down the sink when I’m done. They are also fun to mix and create new colors using my Ink Recipe Guides.
It might take some trial and error to get the hang of how much ink to use and how firmly you have to press down. I try to use enough ink to make 2-3 passes across the design with the squeegee. As for how hard to press, you will know when you lift the screen. If you didn’t press hard enough, the ink will not have covered the entire design very well. If you pressed too hard, ink likely bled out the sides.
8. Lift the Screen
There isn’t much to this step but it does take a steady hand. Lift the screen from one side in a steady motion. Don’t slide the screen or shift it when lifting.
Tip – Be sure to wash your screen and squeegee right after you are finished so the paint doesn't dry on your screen.
9. Dry Your Ink
When you lift the screen, the ink will still be very wet. You need to completely dry it before doing anything else. When I started out, I air dried all of my shirts. In fact, I still air dry things when I do large quantities.
To air dry your shirt, lay it on a flat surface in a well ventilated area and let it dry for at least 24 hours. You can use a fan to help circulate the air and speed up the process but you don’t have to.
If you’re looking for a faster drying solution, you can use a heat gun or even a flash dryer. These aren’t required, but they do really speed up the drying process. I use both of them in my crafting these days. Just remember, whatever drying method you use, the key is to not let anything touch the wet ink or you could mess up your design.
10. Heat Set the Ink
One of the reasons I love screen printing over HTV, is how well the garments hold up over time. If you properly heat set the ink on your screen printed items, they will last much longer than those made with HTV.
Heat setting is the final step in the screen printing process when using Speedball water-based inks. Once the ink is completely dry, you must heat set (or cure) the ink to make it permanent. If you don’t heat set fabric ink before you put your item in the wash, the ink will not hold up. You’ll likely see fading or lose the design altogether.
I prefer to use my heat press to cure the ink on my projects because it is so quick and easy to use (about 40 seconds at 320 degrees is all it takes). Don’t worry if you don’t have a heat press yet, any of these methods will work just fine for heat setting your ink.
There you have it. Follow these 10 steps and you will be screen printing with vinyl in no time.
If you’re still a little unsure about trying to screen print on your own, let me guide you through each step with my Screen Printing for Beginners online course.
In this course, I'll explain:
- How to line up the screen on your shirt for perfect placement every time.
- How to use this method for screen printing more than one color in your design.
- What to do if the ink bleeds or you mess up on a shirt.
In this easy to follow video course, I will show you everything you need to know to screen print with vinyl so you can start making better quality shirts at home using your Cricut or Silhouette today!
I had no idea it was that easy! We went out and bought an actual machine and it’s so big and takes a lot of time.
It is so easy, right! It’s been so much fun to make shirts this way. Plus they last wash after wash without peeling (like HTV does sometimes)!
Once it’s dry do you need to heat press it?
Yes! You’ll heat press in order to make the ink permanent and the shirt washable.
If using an iron would you put parchment paper down then iron?
I do. Once the ink is dry, it shouldn’t transfer to your iron. Just to be on the safe side, I would put something over it.
Temp and time?
I heat set at 320 for 40 seconds. I have more tips on 6 ways to heat set here: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2019/07/6-ways-to-heat-set-your-screen-printing-ink/
Thanks for making this simpler with step by step instructions. I’ve always thought these were cool but never thought I could make them!
So glad you found this helpful! It took my vinyl cutting obsession to a whole new level when I realized I could make professional looking shirts right at home 🙂
If you making multiple shirts with the same design do you have to wash your screen out after each one?
No, you’ll just lift the screen off the first shirt and place it on your next shirt. Repeat the process as many times as needed. Then when you are all done with that design, wash your screen.
Can you Wash the screen with the stencil and store it for another future date To print more of the same shirt
Sometimes that works if you are really careful. If you have any small detail pieces, those tend to come off as soon as it gets wet!
Do you use a heater or heating element to dry shirts after design has been applied?
You can use a flash dryer if you have the space for additional equipment. I usually let mine air dry then use my heat press to set the ink.
What do you do when you get bubbles in the vinal that won’t stay down?
I usually just keep working the vinyl down with my scrapper tool until I can work out all of the bubbles. I’ve noticed that I tend to get bubbles when my screen isn’t super tight. Keeping the screen really tight helps me get the vinyl on much easier!
If I’m doing collapsible koozies is it safe to heat each side at 320 degrees for 40 seconds to heat set ink?
I’m absolutely loving this new found craft!
Hi, you are making me feel less overwhelmed at the idea of screen printing. What I am curious about though is sizing. I know that you mentioned that with screen printing, you can quickly make multiple shirts or projects with the 1 stencil….but my question is, is that only if every shirt is the same size?? So for a family for example, mom, dad and siblings all have different size shirts/ onesies, so would each shirt need new stencils made for each size?? Or for a team, would you have to have multiple stencils for each size shirt throughout the team???
Thanks so much!
I’m having a hard time getting my vinyl stencil to stick to the screen, is there a trick to this?
Make sure your screen is really tight. Then, use a transfer tape that will let go of the vinyl easily. Here’s the one I use and sell: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/product/the-best-transfer-tape/
Which design last longer when you wash it, screen print or htv.
I’ve had mixed results with HTV. Some of my shirts last many washes, but most start to peel up a bit after washing. With screen printing, the ink is permanent so you don’t have to worry about it peeling up. I’m sure different types/brands of ink will have different results. So far, I haven’t noticed any fading after several washes using the Speedball inks. Screen printing is definitely my go-to way for making shirts now.
I absolutely love it! I tried (much less successfully, haha) my hand at adding a stencil paint layover onto a tank top for Halloween last year and ended up with a splotchy mess. Clearly now I see that I didn’t have the right for or tools for the job!
Haha. We’ve all been there! The screen and squeegee are the key to getting professional looking results. Hope you’ll try it again sometime. It’s a fun hobby 🙂
This is Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing, can’t wait to try it!
This is a great tutorial and awesome idea! What happens to the screen when your done with a particular design? Can it be washed and used again? I would love to try it.
Yep, just peel the vinyl off, wash it off with cold water, and you can reuse it tons of times. I’ve had the same screen since I started!
What about a design with multiple colors? Would you need multiple screens, a separate one specifically for each color, to mask over the already printed colors as each section/color is printed, or just peel each vinyl stencil, and then wash screen and reuse with next color stencil after first color dries?
If you want to avoid buying multiple screens, you can clean and reuse the same one for each color. You’ll need to let your shirt dry between colors anyways, so that gives you time to wash the screen.
Did you have to cut your stencil backwards to get it to stick to the screen correctly?
I cut mine mirrored so I can apply the vinyl to the bottom of the screen. That way I don’t have to worry about pulling up a piece of the vinyl when I squeegee over the screen.
Love it. I always have so many quotes that I would like to see on my t-shirts, but didn’t know how to do it. Any other tips for beginers?
Thank you very much
Be sure to follow me on Instagram: @pigskinsandpigtails. I’ll be sharing more tips and tricks there. You can also keep in touch by signing up for my newsletter if you haven’t already. Happy crafting!
I see you put the vinyl on the underside of the screen hence the mirroring the image. I just bought a kit and thought I would put the vinyl on the top side instead of the underside, because I thought that this way the ink might make the sticky part wet and then the vinyl would fall off. Does this not happen? Why do you like putting it on the underside over the top side?
I put it on the underside so the vinyl doesn’t come up when you run the squeegee across the top. Sometimes with little pieces, it could catch the squeegee and come up. It also makes taping off the edges a little easier. I haven’t had any problems with the vinyl coming off during the process. I recently made 12 shirts with the same stencil!
Excellent thank you!! I hadn’t thought about the squeegee pullin up the small vinyl. This is why I love when people do videos and blogs we can all learn from!
I’m all about jumping in a trying things to figure out what works and what doesn’t 🙂 Follow along and I’ll share more tips here. If you figure out any along the way, I’d love to hear!!
I have a screen and have tried this method, however I can’t get my vinyl to stick to the screen, it just stays on the transfer tape. I don’t know how to fix this.
It can take some patience working the tape off without losing your vinyl. You can try different types of transfer tape that aren’t quite as sticky or maybe don’t press the transfer tape on quite as much so it will release easier. I will sometimes reuse my transfer tape and after the first use, it’s not as sticky and will come off a little easier the 2nd time. I hope that helps!
Jennifer, may i ask what type of transfer tape you use? I’m having the same issue with my design not wanting to stick to my screen! I’ve been using contact paper and it just seems way to sticky esp for little pieces?
The transfer tape is key to getting the vinyl to stick to the screen! I sell a transfer tape in my shop that is perfect for screen printing: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/product/the-best-transfer-tape/
So happy I ran across this! I usually make shirts with the freezer paper method and it’s so time consuming. Can’t wait to try this. Do you think acrylic paint would work still for this method? (That’s what I use for freezer paper method). Thanks!!
I have never tried acrylic paint on shirts. I would imagine it would work just the same with the screen. If you try it out, let me know!
Hello, first thank you for simplifying the majesticly difficulty of the screen printing world, I have a vinyl plotter and have been trying to get into the htv or screen print world but it has seemed so costly with the fear of thousands of dollars invested and no sales or just a lack of nope this is to difficult for what it’s worth in profit.
What is the type of “fabric” or “screen” that is used to apply the stencil vinyl too? Does color matter? Would a lace flower decorative silk pattern work to fad out fabric design onto shit giving it a even more custom screen print apreance? Is a screen Templet ok for one shirt clean and dry and reuse again down the road or only good for a product run at one time till vinyl or screen fails? Clean with soap and water or only water? Thank you in advance.
This is a great way to screen print for beginners or hobby shirt makers. If I were starting a screen printing business, I would consider a different technique that would allow you to save your screens and reuse them. Using vinyl on your screen allows you to make one or multiple shirts at a time, but you do need to wash the screen off and remove the vinyl after you are done. I just peel the vinyl off and wash my screen in cold water. You don’t want your ink to dry on your screen so washing immediately after use is important.
It doesn’t matter what color Oracal 651 that you use. The color of ink that you choose to use will be what shows up on your shirt. If you try it out, let me know how it works for you!
Can the screen be cleaned while keeping the vinyl on it for future use?!
Sometimes it works, but usually the vinyl will start to come off when you wash. If you’re looking to make a screen you can use over and over, check out this tutorial about using HTV on your screens: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2019/06/make-a-permanent-screen-printing-stencil-with-htv/
Do I have to wash the screen in between making multiple shirts with the same design? Does it run or smudge if I pull it up and then try another shirt?
No, only wash the screen when you are all done with that design. The vinyl will come off when you get it wet. After you make the first print, lift up the screen and put it on the next shirt. I try to be careful not to move it around, just set it down and go.
Do you heat press after it dries?
Yes! You need to heat set the ink after it has dried!
what heat setting do you use if you use an iron? Low? High? Cotton? I don’t own a heat press.
An iron will work just as well. I would put your settings on whatever type of material you are using (cotton for a cotton shirt, etc.). You’ll want to put a piece of parchment paper or newsprint between the design and your iron. That’s just so your iron doesn’t get any ink on it. I would iron for about 1 minute, making sure to move the iron around to cover the entire design.
Hi where can I buy the ink that you use
You can get it on Amazon in a variety of colors: https://amzn.to/2IGsQUV
I just followed you on Instagram. Thank you for sharing your technique’s.
I just got a cricut to make my own vinyl designs and want to do some screen printing with them. When you have finished doing multiple shirts/bags or whatever can the vinyl be saved for a future project (how?) or is it only good for so many?
Thanks for the follow! So glad you are excited to give screen printing a try. I’m obsessed 🙂 Unfortunately, you can’t save the vinyl/screen using this method. You’ll want to wash the screen right after making your prints. When you wash it, the vinyl will come off. I tend to make one or two shirts of any design and wouldn’t want to tie up my screen with an old design anyways, so removing it isn’t a big deal for me. Plus, the Oracal 651 is pretty cheap so when I want to remake one of my designs, I’ll just cut it again. If you are looking to do this commercially and want to save your designs on the screens, you can use the more traditional method of screen printing with emulsion which would allow you to wash your screen and reuse it. Keep in touch and let me know how your projects go!
After 6 shirts my large stencil started to have a pooling issue. How did you combat this?
I would try using a little less paint and make sure the screen is pressed firmly against each shirt. Any little gap can cause ink to seep under the design. If it does happen, you can try to gently wipe the ink off with a paper towel. Just be careful not to wipe too hard and remove your vinyl design!
What advice do you have on washing the shirt after printing on it?
You want to make sure the ink is completely dry then heat set it. You can use a regular iron or heat press for this. Then, you can wash it like normal. Ideally, you want the ink to dry for 5 days before washing. I’m not always that patient and have washed it sooner without any problem.
Hi! Just watched some videos out of curiosity as I am preparing to create family tees for Disney and think I want to give screen printing a try(I have time to play/experiment before i need the shirts)…quick question…have you ever used Cricut stencil vinyl…you’re supposed to be able to cut and reuse the stencil numerous times…and how did it work for you? Are you able to reuse your stencils when cut from Oracal? Excited to try this versus HTV and see how it works!
I use Oracal 651 because it sticks to the screen really well. Stencil vinyl may stick too, but I think 651 is a cheaper! The beauty of screen printing vs HTV is that you can cut the design once and make multiple shirts. You’ll attach the vinyl to your screen, ink the first shirt, lift if off and put it down on the next, ink and repeat. You’ll wash the screen right after you finish your last shirt so the ink doesn’t dry on your screen. In the process of washing it off, the vinyl comes off. I’m assuming the same would happen with stencil vinyl….plus once you have ink on the stencil, you probably can’t save it and restick.
Do it matter what side you put the design on? I see that you have it underneath. When I make mine, I have it on too.
When you have it on top and run the squeegee over it, there’s a chance some of the small pieces could come up. I cut the mirror image and put it on the bottom so I don’t have to worry about it coming off when I squeegee.
What brand of transfer tape do you use?
My favorite transfer tape is Conform Transfer Tape. Available on Amazon here. It is sticky enough to transfer the vinyl but still comes off easily when it’s time to peel away the tape.
What heat press do you use?
To piggy back on this question: at what setting and for how long? TIA
This is the one I use: Heat Press on Amazon
Hi Jennifer. What temp setting and for how long do you set your heat press for?
Hi Rachel, I have my press set at 320 for 20 seconds.
How many times can one use the screen on different projects? How can we get the paint out of it.
With the vinyl attached, you can use the screen to make multiple prints of the same design. You’ll just want to make sure you make all of the prints while the ink is still wet. As soon as you are done, you’ll remove the vinyl and wash the screen.
Thank you very much for the response
I did as you said, but I haven’t been able to wash away the paint from the screen, I even soaked it for days, please is there anything I can use to clean out the paint
Some colors will stain the screen. Do you think yours is stained from the paint or is it actual dried paint? If you look at some of my photos, you’ll notice my screen has all sorts of stained colors 🙂 It doesn’t effect the quality of the screen at all. If you think you still have dried paint on yours, you can always replace the screen: Screen Replacement. To replace your screen, you will also need this Screen Rolling Tool
Thank you for making this video. Can you make a video using more than 1 color?
I’ve got a video on multiple color designs here: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2019/01/how-to-screen-print-multiple-colors-using-vinyl-stencils/
Hope that helps!
Thank you. I’m look8mg forward to making my first shirt using this method.
Do you need to clean the screen between shirts if you make a whole bunch?
No, you’ll just lift the screen off one shirt and put it down on the next. Once you are done with all of your shirts, you’ll want to wash the screen.
How do you clean your screens when using this speedball ink? I purchased it and used this method and it worked perfectly! But when I google cleaning the screen, all I can find is emulsion remover. This is not emulsion, so do you just use water?
All you need is water! I use the sprayer attachment on my sink and it usually all comes off with just that. If you have any ink that is still on the screen, you can use Dawn dish soap and a soft brush to get it off.
This is a great tutorial! Was wondering if you had a video using a heat press to cure the ink?
I don’t have a video but I’ll add one soon! It’s very simple… once the ink is dry, put it on your press at 320 degrees for 20 sec. That’s it! You can wash and wear it like normal after that.
Hi Jennifer! How long do you allow the ink to dry before setting it with heat?
At least 24 hours if you are letting it air dry. Speedball recommends 48-72 hours drying time but I get impatient sometimes and heat press a little sooner than that.
Can you recommend a great place to buy quality t-shirts to screen print?
Yes! I love Shirts In Bulk. I have a blog article about my favorite brands that I purchase here: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2019/03/where-to-buy-blank-shirts-for-screen-printing/
How long do you let the ink dry before adding another color?
You want to wait until the first color is dry to touch before adding another color. That’s usually about 30 min to an hour depending on your environment. After the shirt is done, you’ll want to leave it out to dry for 48 hours then heat set it. I have more instructions and details in my ebook available here: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/how-to-screen-print-with-craft-vinyl-in-10-easy-steps/
Do you need to use an emulsion?
No, this method allows you to make stencils with vinyl so you do not need any chemicals!
Hello, do you put something inside the shirt when screen printing to prevent bleed through? If so, what do you use?
I do… I use a sheet of parchment paper.
I’ve been following you on insta and love the screen printed shirts! I finally decided to give it a try and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I seem to lose the center of letters ie: the middle of a d,p,o or g etc. in the ink on the shirt. . Any idea what I might be doing wrong?
Thanks so much for all of the info and encouragement on your blog and insta account!
Thanks for following along! Would you send me an email (email@example.com) or DM on IG? I have a few questions to ask so we can get to the bottom of the issue 🙂
This is a cool technique, I usually use HTV but would like to screen print for some larger orders I just don’t want the mess. How does this process hold up for many shirts? Can you print 50 shirts with the basic screen printing press from amazon or does the vinyl get loose by then?
The process is great for large numbers of shirts. The most I have tried with one screen is 45 and I could have kept going. I have other readers who have done 50+ with success. If you plan to reuse the same design over and over, you can also use HTV on the screen to make a permanent screen for that design. That would allow you to wash and reuse it. You can see that process here: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2019/06/make-a-permanent-screen-printing-stencil-with-htv/
I have been wanting to screen print for a while but the whole set up with the lightbulb and burning the screen, etc., was just overwhelming and too time consuming so I haven’t moved forward. You have NO IDEA HOW EXCITED I AM TO HAVE THIS METHOD IN MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!
I soooo prefer screenprinted over vinyl and will now screen print so many things that I will drive everyone even more nuts with customized items! This will be amazing on hats!!!!!!!!!
THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!
Hi Susan, I’m so glad you found my page! If you aren’t already following me on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pigskinsandpigtails/) or YouTube (https://m.youtube.com/c/PigskinsPigtails), I post more tutorials there! I’d love to see your work too… tag me @pigskinsandpigtails so I can see what you make! Happy Crafting!!
Have you done multiple colors? I am wanting to do some but am not sure how to make sure my stencil is in the exact same place.
Yes! Check out this tutorial: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2019/01/how-to-screen-print-multiple-colors-using-vinyl-stencils/
Do you know about how many tshirt (about the same size as your demo video) I could make with one 8 oz jar of paint?
Love the tutorials, tips & videos. However, I’m having an issue getting the vinyl to stick to the screen. It seemed to be sticking fine until I started taking the transfer tape off. Looking for any tips you may have. Thanks so much!
How do you mirror the image?
Hi Jennifer….I just tried doing the screen printing method with the vinyl. I have multiple shirts to do with the same design. I thought this would be easier. However, I had no luck doing more than the 1st one as the ink got under the vinyl and when I put it on the 2nd shirt, it was a mess. What am I doing wrong?
The ink can ooze under your design if you don’t use enough pressure on the squeegee. It can also happen if you squeegee over the design too many times – forcing too much ink on the shirt. Try using a little more pressure to push the ink into the shirt, going over it maybe 2-3 times max. Reach out again if you are still having trouble!
Thank you so much for the advice.
Hi Jennifer, what’s the proper way to layer multiple coats of the same color? Do I need to let each coat dry before the next? Thank you
Here are a few tutorials I have done on multi-color:
If your colors are touching, you want to make sure you let your inks dry completely before adding the next color. If they aren’t touching, you don’t need to wait as long. Within 15-20 minutes it will be dry to the touch and you can add the next color.
Wow! I create T-shirt’s as a hobby, and didn’t want the bulky machines…thank you so much for this!
So glad you found my page! That’s exactly how I started screen printing…making shirts for my family for fun.
I am excited to try this. Would you happen to have that SVG available? Love it maybe it would help in my room. For a minute!
Question. I was wondering, if I used contact paper to cut a design/word and then peeled the backing away and only had the ‘stencil’ part, could I stick that directly onto the screen? I’m just trying to logistically think if I ‘have’ to use a transfer tape. I can’t quite wrap my head around how to avoid it. I guess any words/letters that had a ‘center’ (i.e. D, B…) I’d have to ‘put the center pieces on to the screen.. Ugh – not sure if I’m even making sense. I’m just trying to see if there is any way to cut a word using contact paper and NOT use transfer tape… thoughts?
I’ve always used a transfer tape to keep the design fully intact. I haven’t tried with contact paper. Oracal 651 and my trusty transfer tape have been the key to screen printing success!
I have done this and it works great but the trouble I have run into is lining up the print on the tshirts. Is there a quick easy way to line up the design on the shirts.
Hi Pam, Here’s a trick I use to easily line up my screen on my shirts: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2019/06/how-to-size-and-position-design-for-screen-printing/
I could hug you!! This tutorial has given me so much hope that I’ll be able to do this for my small business rather than having to run pre-orders and lose out on profit by going to a print shop to have screen printing done for my tees and sweatshirts.
Would you say that the finished product with this method is comparable to professional screen printing? I’m sure you get better over time, of course! Thank you again!
Hi Bree, Yessss!!! This is a great way to offer tees and sweatshirts but keep the production in-house! You can print 1 or 100+ with this method. The only difference is that screen printing shops typically use a different type of ink (plastisol) where I recommend Speedball ink (water-based). Water-based absorbs into the shirt rather than plastisol sitting on top of the shirt. It is safer and easier to clean up water-based inks at home. It still looks professional but it feels even a little better than plastisol in my opinion! This is the ink I recommend: https://amzn.to/2IGsQUV
Awesome video! Can you use the template again immediately or do you have to clean it between uses? I’m worried about bleed.
Yep, you can reuse it right away. Don’t wash in between! Just lift it off one shirt and put it directly on the next. I’ve been able to get 75+ shirts with one screen this way!
Hey! I am excited to do this process but I am wondering how do you get the vinyl off the screen when you are done?
Just peel it off and throw it in the trash. It can get a little messy peeling off the screen so you’ll want to head to the sink right after to wash up.
Hi! I love your tutorials. You inspired me to start screen printing. Question. Do you remove the tacky glue from the tshirts press after you print?
No, I usually just leave it there and it comes off after the first wash. It’s usually just the first couple shirts that get tacky on the inside. After that, it shouldn’t leave any residue.
Just purchased the ebook – it’s fantastic! I used the links in your list to purchase supplies. I’m having trouble with the vinyl sticking to the screen. It’s pulling off when I peel off the transfer tape. Any tips? Thank you!!
I have a YUDU do you think this will work with it
Hello Jennifer! I love your tutorials! I have been interested in learning to screen printing for MANY years! I have begun the transition from HTV to screen printing recently and your tutorials have helped me immensely! I have a question… maybe you have mentioned it but I missed it…. where do you buy your speedball ink?
You can get all of the colors and ink jar sizes on Amazon: Check out my Amazon list
Any tips on how to keep bleeding from happening? Thanks!
It takes some practice with the amount of ink you use and the pressure on the squeegee. Just keep practicing! If you are looking for more in-depth tutorials on this, I have a couple in my Maker’s Circle Membership group. You can find out more about it here: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/makers-circle/
can i do it on my jerzees 29m tee?
Is the frame you have tagged in the items the size needed to make tshirts?
Yes, I use the 10×14 size all the time, but the 16×20 (https://amzn.to/2HQO7fv) is really handy to have for larger designs.
Im sure I don’t have to tell you but YOU ARE AWSOME!!! I love what you have created here. All the info. You are amazing. Hey, Question> Ijust started doing this and using your method BUT I can’t get the ink out of my screen! I have tried alcohol, and after that martini, I used Isopropyl alc. on the screen. Nothing. The paint I got to use was Jaquard brand. I don’t know what to do! Thank you so much for your help!
Thanks, Nina! I really appreciate that!! I use Speedball screen printing inks and clean them off with Speed Clean (https://amzn.to/2np3Doq). If your Jaquard ink is also waterbased, it might work well with Speed Clean! Here are more tips on how to clean your screen: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2020/05/how-to-clean-your-speedball-screen-printing-frame/
I have another question. Can I use the vinyl that I buy for cricut or do you have to use that Oracal vinyl.
The other question is HTV does that mean Heat Transfer vinyl?
Sorry to keep asking all these question like I mention I’m not up on all this stuff.
Yes, HTV is heat transfer vinyl. Check out this post for more info on the best types of vinyl to use for screen printing: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2022/09/best-vinyl-for-screen-printing/
I have a beginner at all of this and am wondering if once you put the vinyl on the screen and use ink on it to make a shirt, can you reuse that same design on that screen over and over again?
Yes! That is why I love screen printing instead of making shirts with HTV- with one piece of vinyl on my frame I can screen print a bunch of shirts, totes, etc. Just be sure to print them all at once so the ink doesn’t dry in the screen though!
He visto un video de un YouTuber hawaiano que puso un vinilo textil en una malla de serigrafia y lo curó con una termoplanchadora y quedó permanente en el bastidor… También en YouTube hay un video de como hacer caseramente film (profil) para crear stencils (con cutter o plotter) y adherirlo con thinner acrílico, me gusta ver las diferentes posibilidades en serigrafia y tengo en mente comprarme una cricut explores air 2 para hacer mis camisetas, gracias por todo y hasta luego…
Check out this video I made on the different types of vinyl I use to screen print: https://youtu.be/w_A1V5IUM5Y
Can you take the stencil off or is it stuck forever on screen. Like let’s say I want to use same screen for another design? Thanks!
With Oracal 651 vinyl, when you are finished screen printing your design and cleaning your screen, you will want to remove the vinyl from the screen. After it is dry, you are ready to add a new design. If you have a design that you know you will use over and over, you can make a permanent screen with HTV: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2022/09/best-vinyl-for-screen-printing/