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It’s buffalo plaid season! I’ve gone a little crazy with my red and black decorations this year. Today, I’m taking that a step further.  I had a few Hanes baseball style shirts that I knew would look great with a buffalo plaid design, so I decided to try screen printing the pattern.  This was one of the most exciting reveals – don’t miss the very end of my process video below!  Lifting the screen to see the final design was so exciting.

This shirt was made with just 2 pieces of adhesive vinyl!  Once you have printed on your first shirt, you can immediately set the screen on your next shirt and print another one.  Repeat this process to make 2…. or 75 shirts!

screen printing buffalo plaid speedball red back fabric ink

Cricut Infusible Ink vs. Screen Printing

Have you tried Cricut’s new Infusible ink?  The buffalo plaid print that is perfect for your holiday shirts!  You might be curious why I didn’t use the buffalo plaid Infusible Ink on this project.  While I love how the Infusible ink absorbs into the shirt and leaves a soft feel (so much better than HTV), if you want to make matching shirts for the whole family, Infusible ink can get really expensive.  You need a new transfer sheet for each shirt you make.  If I’m making just one shirt, Infusible Ink is a great option.

But, if you are making multiple shirts, this is where screen printing becomes a more economical way to DIY shirts with your Cricut or Silhouette.  You can use the same screen/stencil to make multiple shirts.  After you have created the screen, your only additional cost is a scoop of ink (less than $1 per shirt).   If you are new to screen printing with vinyl, here’s a great place to start.  Keep reading for a look at my process for making screen printed t-shirts with a buffalo plaid design using my Cricut Maker and Oracal 651 vinyl.

screen print vinyl cricut tshirt for christmas

Screen Printing Buffalo Plaid with Vinyl

The process of screen printing a buffalo plaid design is just like any other design.  I created the graphic and imported it into Design Space.  Since this is a 2 color project, I used my registration mark technique, creating 2 vinyl cuts. The first cut is the red layer (plus the registration marks).  The second cut is the plaid design plus Merry Christmas.  The second cut includes the registration marks in the exact same spot as the first layer.  You will use the marks to line up your second screen perfectly on top of your dry red layer.

For more about registration marks and screen printing multiple color designs, check out this tutorial on screen printing multiple colors.  You can also get started using my step-by-step guide to screen printing with vinyl (available here).

buffalo plaid tutorial bulk shirts diy

Supplies Used in this Tutorial

how to make buffalo plaid christmas shirts cricut

The Process

Here’s a quick look at the process of screen printing my buffalo plaid designs:

Merry Christmas Buffalo Plaid Design

Want to make this project?  Download this  Merry Christmas Buffalo Plaid design and import it into your vinyl cutter’s program. You’ll want to separate the design into 2 cuts – one cut for the red tree and a second cut for the plaid and Merry Christmas.

Make sure you turn on the Mirror option.  This will allow you to put the vinyl on the back of the screen (my preference).

This file does take a little time to cut with so many small details.  You may notice that some of the little lines will come up during the cutting process.  This is okay – you will weed those pieces anyways.  Go slowly as you weed this design to pull out the pieces where you want ink to come through.  After you’ve weeded the design, you’re ready to attach it to your screen and start printing!  For more details on how to get started, check out my step-by-step guide here.

Heat Setting Fabric Ink

The final step, after your shirt is completely dry, is to heat set the ink.   This cures the ink and makes your shirt washable.  I use my heat press or Easy Press 2 to heat set the ink at 320 degrees for 40 seconds.

Don’t have a heat press or Easy Press? Here are some tips on other ways to heat set the ink.

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