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I have seen so many fun, personalized door mats recently. I love that you can use your Cricut Maker or any vinyl cutting machine to add a personalized touch to so many things around your house!
I found these $1 door mats at the Dollar Tree and knew they would be perfect for trying my screen printing techniques. For $1 it was worth a shot, right?!
I was a little worried about the ridges in the mat. Uneven surfaces can be a challenge when screen printing. I decided to give it a go anyways.
Supplies Needed for Screen Printing
- Speedball 16×20 Screen Printing Frame
- Speedball Fabric Ink, you can also mix custom colors like I did using my Ink Recipe Guides
- Oracal 651 Vinyl – any color
- Squeegee – I used a 10″ squeegee for this project
- Painter’s Tape
- Transfer Tape
- Cricut Maker or Cricut Explore Air 2
- Blank Door Mats
- Easy Press 2 or Heat Press
- Heat Gun (optional)
- Screen Printing Press (optional but very helpful)
Screen Printing with Vinyl
If you are new to the process of screen printing with vinyl, my beginner screen printing page is a great place to start. Once you have practiced screen printing on fabric or t-shirts, it's fun to experiment with other items like these door mats.
I use the same process I would when screen printing a shirt. I decided to use my 1-color screen printing press. Using the press allows you to peek at the mat between coats of ink. I was able to check the coverage and continue adding more ink until it was perfectly covered.
Why Should I Choose Screen Printing vs. Putting the Vinyl Directly on the Mat?
The reason I choose screen printing over iron-on vinyl is the quality of the finished project. With screen printing, the ink soaks into the fabric – giving you a nice smooth finish, just like you would get from the store. It also holds up in the wash so much longer than iron-on vinyl!
When it comes to a project like a door mat, screen printing is still my go-to method. You may have seen others putting the vinyl directly on the mat as a stencil. This is a great process if you are only making one mat. If you plan to make multiples of the same design, screen printing is the way to go.
This is a great process if you are an Etsy store owner or make products for craft fairs. You can easily make 10, 20, or more mats with one piece of vinyl!
Tips and Tricks for Screen Printing on Door Mats
- Secure your mat to your 1-color press. This will allow you to peek after each coat of ink. Continue adding ink until your design is completely covered. I found that it took several passes with the squeegee to get enough ink to fill in all of the groves of the mat.
- Run your squeegee the same direction as the ridges in the mat. With the Dollar Tree mat ridges, I ran my squeegee horizontally. This helped me get the ink into the groves much easier.
- Press really hard with the squeegee to help get ink into all of the groves! I used 2 hands to really get the squeegee pressed down on the screen.
- Don't forget to heat set your mats after they dry! This will make the fabric ink permanent and it won't fade if the mat gets wet.
Hi there….I love this idea but wondering how I seal it….do you heat press?
Yes, heat press just like t-shirts. https://www.pigskinsandpigtails.com/2019/07/6-ways-to-heat-set-your-screen-printing-ink/