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This school year is definitely much different than years past. Back to school usually means personalizing notebooks and folders. This year, we've been personalizing masks, labeling hand sanitizer and making these teacher aprons!
Personalized teacher aprons is a great way to keep the essential classroom supplies handy all day long.
Why Screen Print vs. Heat Transfer Vinyl?
If you are a Cricut or Silhouette user who loves making projects with iron-on vinyl (HTV), you should try screen printing. Screen printing gives you all of the same options as vinyl, but screen printing ink holds up much better than HTV. Plus, screen printing ink on a shirt or apron just looks so much more professional!
One of the benefits of screen printing over heat transfer vinyl is that you can use one vinyl cut to make multiple prints of the same design. This comes in really handy when you are making aprons for the entire team!
I still choose screen printing when I'm doing one personalized item. I just love the final result so much that it's worth a few extra steps to screen print it!
How to Screen print with Vinyl
If you are new to screen printing with your Cricut or Silhouette, be sure to visit my Beginner Screen Printing Page and check out my ebook, “A Beginner's Guide to Screen Printing with Craft Vinyl.”
Screen Printing Supplies
- Screen Printing Frame
- 1-Color Screen Printing Press (optional)
- Fabric Screen Printing Ink
- Oracal 651 Vinyl
- Cricut Maker
- Cricut Mat
- My Favorite Transfer Tape
- Painter’s Tape
- Easy Press2 or Heat Press
- Heat Gun (optional)
- White Aprons or Colored Aprons
Screen printing with Glitter
One of the reasons I love screen printing is that you can get creative with the ink colors and effects. By simply adding glitter to any color ink, you can get a shimmery effect.
No more need to buy specialty vinyl for these projects. For more details about screen printing with glitter, read this tutorial: Adding Glitter to Speedball Screen Printing Ink
I mixed equal parts glitter and ink in a small glass bowl.
I have found that it helps to press a little harder on the squeegee to get more of the glitter flakes to transfer through the screen.
Mixing Speedball Fabric Inks
Another great advantage of screen printing is that you can mix your inks to create new colors!
I needed a pink eraser color for this project. The “Peony” color from my Spring Ink Recipe Guide was perfect for the eraser on this pencil design.
How to Screen Printing Multiple Colors
Screen printing is a little different from iron-on vinyl when it comes to multi-color designs. With screen printing inks, you need to make sure your colors don't mix when squeegeeing them on the screen.
For this project, I divided my design into 2 vinyl cuts. The first cut included the silver piece, the black wording, and the tip of the pencil. The second cut included the yellow part and pink eraser. The reason for dividing them this way is to keep the inks far enough apart on the screen so they don't blend together.
Before screen printing the silver, I covered up the black wording so the silver wouldn't get on that part. After I applied the silver ink, I removed the tape and covered the silver area.
Once I finished the black and silver inks, I lifted the screen to reveal the first portion of the design. I used a heat gun to quickly dry the ink so I could continue with the next screen.
Trick for Lining Up Screens when Printing More than One Color
In this design, I used a few letters from Mrs. Grimsley to line up the 2nd screen. Once the screen was in the correct position, I covered the spots with painter's tape.
Once the final 2 colors were added, it's the most exciting part of the process…. the reveal!
I made these in a few different colors with different designs to give you a few ideas on how you can screen print on aprons! I hope all the teachers, whether teaching in-person or remote, have a great school year.