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Do you want to make custom Christmas cards this year? With screen printing, you can become your own print shop! Any design you can cut on your Cricut or Silhouette can be screen printed.
In this tutorial, I used basic card stock to print 75 cards… all with one piece of vinyl.
Supplies Needed for Making Screen Printed Greeting Cards
- Cricut Maker or Silhouette Vinyl Cutting Machine
- Speedball acrylic ink
- Painter’s Tape
- Transfer Tape
- X-ACTO Paper Trimmer
- Cricut Self-Healing Mat
- Cricut Scoring Stylus
- Cricut Cutting Ruler
- Card Stock from Michaels
If you are just getting started, check out this kit I developed with Speedball: Screen Printing with Vinyl Kit. It has everything you need to make your first screen printed shirt.
Screen Printing on Paper
Screen printing on paper is a little different from screen printing on fabric. Fabric surfaces will absorb the ink as you squeegee over. It is a little bit forgiving when you add extra ink.
If you are new to screen printing, I would suggest trying the process on a scrap piece of fabric first. If you grab the Speedball Screen Printing with Vinyl Kit, it comes with all of the supplies you need to get started. To see the step-by-step process for beginners, join my Introduction to Screen Printing with Vinyl Course for a complete tutorial to help you get started.
When you are screen printing on paper or any hard surface, it will not absorb the ink. Instead, the ink sits on top of the paper.
Because the ink remains on top of your surface, too much ink can cause it to bleed under your vinyl.
I like to use the Speedball hinge frame for these types of projects. Before starting my first print, I line up my card stock on the base. Once it is lined up perfectly under the vinyl, I mark the corner of the card stock with masking tape.
I use the masking tape mark as a guide to line up each piece of card stock. This makes the process easy once you get going and your prints will be in the perfect spot each time.
Continue reading for my tips on how to get the perfect print!
How to Cut and Assemble Your Cards
I printed the cards on 8.5″x11″ card stock, so I need to trim them down to the final size. I used my X-ACTO paper trimmer to cut the cards to 7″ tall by 10″ wide.
I flipped the cards over to add the scoring line on the inside of the cards. Using the ruler marks on the mat, I lined up my Cutting Ruler at the 5″ middle of my cards. Using some pressure, I make a score line down the middle of the card.
Now your card will fold cleanly right down the middle.
Tips to Avoid Bleeding when Screen Printing on Paper
One of the most common problems when you are learning how to screen print is bleeding. When you squeegee too much ink over the screen, it will start to squish under the vinyl leaving a less than perfect print. To avoid bleeding here are a few tips:
Using the Right Type of Squeegee
For t-shirts and tote bags, I use a fabric squeegee with a rounded edge. This type of squeegee will allow you to push a good amount of ink through the screen. This is ideal when screen printing on fabric so you can saturate your entire design.
When it comes to screen printing on paper, you want a much thinner coat of ink. I recommend using a Graphic Squeegee for these types of projects. I find this 6″ Speedball graphic squeegee is the perfect size for most of my projects.
Securing your Design to the Board
During this project, I realized that after a few prints, my design was not coming out as sharp as the first few. I figured out that it was because my paper was sliding a little bit when I lifted the screen.
To avoid this issue, I added a piece of masking tape to the corner of my card stock to hold it in place on the board. When I lift the screen, I don't hold the paper. Just lift the screen only and the paper will stay attached to your board. Then, you can peel off the tape and remove your card.
Using Just the Right Amount of Ink
Apply a generous amount of ink along the top of your design. It doesn't hurt to have a lot of ink here. You can scoop up and reuse any excess.
You want to have enough ink so that when you squeegee over the design it will cover the entire design. If you run out half way down your design, you'll need to add another coat of ink. This is where you can start to see some bleeding issues if you're not careful.
Ideally, one squeegee of ink is all you need to print on paper.
Watch The Entire Process
Learn how to Screen Print with Vinyl
If you enjoyed this project but aren't sure how to start screen printing, my Beginner's Screen Printing Course will teach you everything you need to know to get started! I'll walk you through step-by-step to show you how to make your first screen printed t-shirt.
Enroll Today! The course is self paced and you can watch and rewatch the videos as many times as you need! Plus, it includes a printable guide so you can have printed instructions with you as you work.