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Everyone needs a bunny shirt for Easter right? This article will show you how to screen print your own leopard print bunny t-shirt just in time for the upcoming holiday!
This 2 color design is printed on a tan shirt using my 1-color screen printing press. If you’ve been wondering if a screen printing press is right for you, I promise they are worth the investment. Just the time saved lowering the screen to the right spot every time without moving the shirt is enough to justify this purchase.
If you’re still not sure, let me show you exactly how easy it is to use a press with my online Screen Printing with a Press course.
Here is What You Will Need for This Project
- Blank Tan T-Shirts
- Screen Printing Frame
- Screen Printing Press (blue metal contraption that holds the screen)
- Ryonet Flash Dryer (or you can use a heat gun)
- Screen Printing Ink in Black and Brown
- Oracal 651 Vinyl
- Cricut Maker
- My Favorite Transfer Tape
- Painter's Tape
- Leopard Bunny SVG Design
I start by cutting 2 pieces of Oracal 651 Vinyl on my Cricut Maker. The first piece is for the brown ink and the second piece is for the black ink. Don't forget to mirror your design when you send it to cut.
Next, I weed both vinyl sheets and transfer it to the back of my Speedball Screen Printing Frame. Don’t forget to cut and weed the registration marks on each design. If you don’t know what those are, check out my Screen Printing with Vinyl online course for beginners or Complete Guide to Screen Printing with Craft Vinyl ebook.
Watch the video below to see me finish the process using my 1-color starter screen printing press.
After you have weeded the vinyl and transferred it to your screen, add your shirt to press and print the brown layer.
Remove the brown screen (read the Pro Tip below to keep this screen from drying out) and use your flash dryer (or heat gun) to dry the brown layer.
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 but the Ryonet flash dryer is a great upgrade to make your process easier.
The flash dryer heats the entire shirt evenly. In this project, 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.
Once the brown is dry, line up the black layer using the registration marks and print the black ink. Remove the black screen and the first shirt and repeat the process to make as many shirts as you need.
**Bonus** Use the flash dryer again here to dry AND cure the black ink. 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 overnight… 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!
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.
Use this trick to prevent the ink from drying in the screens between colors:
Squeegee a coat of ink over the design before you switch screens. Flooding your screen like this keeps wet ink in the screen so you can put it aside without worrying about the ink drying out.
You can do this step while the screen is still on the press (but not touching the shirt). Or, you can squeegee a coat of ink after you’ve removed the screen from the clamp. Either way, prop the screen up against the side of your table or a wall when not in use. Don’t lay it flat on anything and be careful not to touch the front or back of your screen!
If you are interested in trying this DIY Leopard Bunny Shirt, you can download the SVG/DXF file to cut to use with your Cricut or Silhouette: Leopard Bunny SVG Design