How to Size and Position Design for Screen Printing

Jun 7, 2019 | Beginner Tutorials, Cricut Projects, Screen Printing, Tutorials

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Choosing the Right Size For Your Design

One of the questions I get asked frequently is how do I size and align designs on a t-shirt when I’m screen printing. I adjust the size and placement on the shirt based on the shape of the design I’m using and how I want it to look on the shirt.  My general rule of thumb is to make the design 9″-10″ wide.  This means the design will fit on my 10×14 inch Speedball screen printing frame.  For more horizontal design, like this “weekend vibes” below, I may turn my screen and make the design a little wider – about 10″ wide is a good size for adult shirts.

For help with sizing youth, toddler and onesies, download my “Design Sizing Guide for Screen Printing“.

Screen printing DIY tips for lining up screen

The Dot Trick

My trick for lining up my design when screen printing is to use a circle sticker placed in the middle of the collar. I eyeball the center of the collar and place the sticker down. Then I can line up the design and know that it is the correct distance from the collar and centered on the shirt.

Design Space screen printing tutorial

My process starts in Design Space (or whichever design software you use for your machine). After I have the design sized to the width I want, I use the shape tool to insert a 2” tall square. I use this square as a guide placing it at the top of my design. Then, I insert a 3/4 inch circle (size of my sticker). I place the circle at the top of the square.  When I delete the square, I know that my circle is 2” from my design. Then I can center the design and circle.  My last step is to add a box around the design. This makes it easier once you are ready to attach the vinyl to your screen, you can use the outside box as a guide to line it up straight on your screen.

Here’s what it looks like in action…..


how to screen print with craft vinyl


  1. Thanks for this. It is very helpful!

  2. do you have a similar tip for putting pocket designs on shirts?



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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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