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Leopard Print Screen Printing Using Vinyl Cut on My Cricut

Apr 4, 2020 | Cricut Projects, Easter, Project Ideas, Screen Printing, Screen Printing Press, Vinyl Projects

Let’s make a leopard print bunny t-shirt, just in time for Easter!  This 2 color design is printed on a tan shirt using my 1-color screen printing press.  If you are just getting started with screen printing at home, you can do this project without the press.

I start by cutting 2 pieces of vinyl on my Cricut Maker.  The first piece is for the brown ink and the second piece is for the black ink.  I weed the vinyl and transfer it to the back of my Speedball Screen Printing Frame.  Watch below as I finish the process using my 1-color starter screen printing press to create an Easter bunny shirt with leopard print.

screen printing vinyl leopard print speedball

Supplies Used in This Screen Printing Tutorial

screen printing 2 color tutorial leopard bunny

Screen Printing a 2 Color Design with a 1-color Screen Printing Press

This process can be done without a screen printing press.  You can put your shirt on a table and place the screen on top.  This process works great for beginners, but if you are hooked on screen printing like I am, the 1-color press is a great investment.  It allows you to lower the screen and add more ink if you miss a spot.

If you are new to screen printing, I have a step-by-step guide to help you get started screen printing with your vinyl cutter: Complete Guide to Screen Printing with Craft Vinyl

Tips for Screen Printing Multi-Color Designs at Home

Use registration boxes to line up 2 layers

I have posted a few different tutorials showing how I use registration boxes to line up multiple colors when screen printing.  This tutorial shows you how to setup the design in Cricut Design Space before you cut the vinyl.  Once you have cut the design in vinyl, you can screen print on a table or follow this tutorial for tips on screen printing multiple colors on a starter 1-color screen printing press.

Use a Flash Dryer to speed up the drying process

Before getting a Ryonet Flash Dryer, I used a heat gun to quickly dry the ink when screen printing projects with multiple colors.  The heat gun is a perfect for beginners.  If you are loving screen printing, the Ryonet flash dryer is a great upgrade to make your process easier.  The flash dryer heats the entire shirt evenly.  In this tutorial, I used the flash dryer for 30-50 seconds to dry the brown ink. This allowed me to switch out my screens and print the black layer immediately after – without moving the shirt.  Keeping the shirt in place makes it much easier to line up your registration marks and line up the 2nd color successfully.

But the real benefit to having a flash dryer is being able to dry and cure the shirt all in one step.  I place the shirt under the flash dryer for about 1 minute and it dries the ink and immediately cures it.  This means, no more leaving the shirts to dry over night… I can wash or deliver the shirts right after they come out of the flash dryer. This is a huge time saver, so if you are starting a screen printing business, I highly recommend getting this piece of equipment!

Flood your screen so the ink doesn’t dry out

For this project, I made 6 shirts – printing one at a time, start to finish before moving on to the next shirt.  When working with 2 screens at once, you risk the ink drying out in your screens while they sit unused.  When this happens, your next print will not come through the screen.  Here was my process including how I prevent the ink from drying in the screens:

  1. Add shirt #1 to press and print the brown layer.
  2. Remove the brown screen and squeegee a coat of ink over the design.  This keeps wet ink in the screen so you can put it aside. You can do this while the screen is still on the press (but not touching the shirt).  Or, you can squeegee a coat of ink after you’ve remove the screen from the clamp.  Prop the screen against the side of your table – being careful not to touch the front or back of your screen!
  3. Use the flash dryer (or heat gun) to dry the brown layer.
  4. Line up the black layer using the registration marks and print the black ink.
  5. Remove the black screen and remove shirt #1.
  6. Add shirt #2 to the press and repeat the process.
  7. Continue until all shirts are complete.

Without the press, I would use this process: Create registration boxes to line up multiple colors.

If you are interested in trying this DIY Leopard Bunny Shirt, you can download the SVG/DXF file to cut on your Cricut or Silhouette: Leopard Bunny SVG Design

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