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Did you know that your Maker can do more than cut Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) for making t-shirts? We all know it can do amazing things like cut wood, chipboard, fabric and more. But, by far, my favorite thing to make with my Cricut is professional quality screen printed shirts!
Screen printing is a great alternative to HTV. If you have an Etsy shop or sell t-shirts, screen printing can save you time and money. It’s ideal when you are using the same design for multiple shirts, but I still screen print small runs of 1-2 shirts. The quality and feel of a screen printed shirt is why I am hooked on this craft.
HOW TO SCREEN PRINT WITH YOUR CRICUT MAKER
If you are new to screen printing, start with my step-by-step guide to screen printing with vinyl. Once you have mastered the process using 1 color of fabric ink, you are ready to screen print multi-color designs. This tutorial will explain how to setup a 2 color design in Design Space. You start by weeding the vinyl, attaching it to the Speedball frame and screen printing the first color. Once it is dry, you will attach the 2nd color design to your screen and screen print color 2. You can repeat this process for as many colors as you would like.
- Oracal 651 Vinyl – any color (or HTV if you want to make a permanent screen)
- Speedball Fabric Ink
- Painter’s Tape
- Transfer Tape
- Index cards or scrap cardstock
- Parchment Paper
- Blank T-shirts
- Cricut Maker
- 12″x24″ Cricut Mat (unless you are cutting smaller shirt designs, then you can use the 12″x12″ mat)
- Heat Press, Easy Press 2 or household iron
SETTING UP A 2 COLOR DESIGN IN DESIGN SPACE
- Open Cricut Design Space™ and choose the image you would like to screen print (or upload your own). In this tutorial, I am using a free SVG file from Crafting in the Rain.
- Add a .75″ circle about 2″ above your design (this is my trick to centering and lining up the design on your shirt).
- Add registration marks to your design. These can be any shape and size. I choose to use squares. You will use these marks to line up your 2nd color in the correct spot on your shirt.
- Add a weeding box around your design.
- Align the circle, your design and the weeding box to the center.
- Highlight the circle, design, and weeding box. Copy and paste the design to make a duplicate. Make sure you don’t move the circle or registration marks.
- Now you have 2 copies of the same design… one for each color. The one on the left will be my first color, the one on the right will be my 2nd color. Remove the parts of the design so it leaves only the pieces you need for each color.
- Highlight all of the pieces for color 1 and click the “attach” button. Do the same for color 2 pieces. This will tell the Maker to cut all of your pieces for color 1 on the same piece of vinyl and all of color 2 on the 2nd piece of vinyl.
- Choose to mirror cut your design.
- Send to your machine to cut.
For more details and step-by-step instructions on how to screen print with your Cricut Maker, check out my ebook available here: https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/screen-printing-ebook/