How to Screen Print Multiple Colors Using Vinyl Stencils

Jan 15, 2019 | Screen Printing, Tutorials

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New to Screen Printing with Vinyl? Watch this step-by-step tutorial first!

I'm excited to share more tips and tricks I have learned from my new hobby…. screen printing!  It's been fun to see y'all trying this after watching my first screen printing tutorial.  I have received so many sweet comments and great questions since that video.  Many of you have asked how to use this method to create multiple color designs.  There are several different ways of doing this, but today I'm sharing with you my favorite method.  Step by step instructions below

STEP 1: Setup your design in whichever program you use to cut your vinyl.  Add 4 small squares to each corner, outside of your design.  These are going to be our guides that will help us line up each layer.

Step 2: How to screen print more than one color

STEP 2: Cut each color on vinyl, making sure the squares stay in the exact same spot when you grab each of the layers.  The type of vinyl you use is important – Oracal 651 is the way to go.  It sticks nicely to the screen and allows you to make multiple shirts with one piece of vinyl.  Also, don't forget to flip the image when you cut!

How to screen print with vinyl

STEP 3: Place tape across your shirt, right above and below where your design will be.  Make sure the tape is covering the space underneath all 4 of your squares.

STEP 4: Screen print your first color.  It should look like this photo – your design is painted on your shirt and the squares are painted on the tape.

Color Screen Printing Tips DIY

STEP 5: Let it dry!  I left mine for about an hour with a fan blowing.  You'll also want to wash off your screen and let it dry.

STEP 6: Transfer your 2nd color design to your screen.  Using the squares you painted on the tape in Step 4, line up your 2nd color design.

STEP 7: Screen print the 2nd color. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have printed all of the colors of your design!


  • Make sure you allow your shirt to dry between colors….at least enough so it won't smear when you put the screen on it.
  • If you are doing multiple shirts, you'll want lots of space!  Spread out your shirts around the room and tape each of them down before you start screening the first color.
  • If you are a beginner, watch my first screen printing tutorial before trying 2 colors.

I'd love to hear your feedback and see the projects you are creating. If you are on Instagram, tag me or use #pigskinsandpigtails so I can see what you are working on.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below.  Happy crafting!


  1. So cool. This is the answer to register marks ! Thank you for this awesome tip. Gonna try it tomorrow. Yay !

  2. How do you clean your speedball screen?

    • Just run it under water and use a gentle brush if needed!

  3. Thank you for this! I’m excited to finally give it a try.

    Have you ever stored the screens with the image still on it? Like to use again at a later time. Would you just wash the screen and the vinyl and leave it? Or does that still keep paint on the screen, would I need to recurve vidal and really it to the screen ft time?

    • You use Oracle 651 vinyl but isn’t that a permanent stick vinyl? I’m concerned once Instick it it will not pull off without damaging the silk screen.

      • The 651 still comes off the screen easily – leaving no residue! After you finish printing your design, remove the vinyl and wash the screen. I’ve reused the same screen on countless projects!

  4. Have you ever calculated the cost difference between HTV and Screen printing? I’m interested in trying screen printing for my small Etsy store, but I want to be able to keep the cost the same. I currently use HTV to make all my shirts….

      • Cheaper to screen print (vs. vinyl) when doing more than one shirt? But how does that work if you have to rinse the screen after each shirt (which removes the vinyl)? For example, if I wanted to make vacation tees for each member of my family (there are 4 of us), would I need to cut the vinyl 4 times or can the same vinyl be reused when making all 4 shirts?

        • No need to rinse between prints. Just lift from one shirt and put directly on the next shirt. For your vacation tees, you’ll need just 1 vinyl cut and you can make all 4 shirts!

  5. I am wondering about the paint you use and where you find it?


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I’m Jennifer, your go-to for all things vinyl screen printing. I offer both in-person and online classes to help you craft better quality shirts. This blog is full of screen printing inspiration to get your creative juices flowing. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to learn all about screen printing with vinyl!

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