This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Add a permanent design to your Christmas stockings this holiday season with screen printing. There are so many possibilities when you can screen print anything that you cut on your Cricut or Silhouette.
Here are 2 different ideas to give you an idea of what is possible. You can personalize your stockings with a name OR make a fun coloring craft for younger kiddos.
Supplies Needed to Screen Print with Vinyl
- Speedball Screen Printing with Vinyl Kit – or you can purchase the items individually (Screen Printing Frame | Squeegee | Oracal 651 Vinyl | My Favorite Transfer Tape)
- Fabric Screen Printing Ink (I used black, red, and saltwater from my Primary Ink Recipe Guide)
- Cricut Maker
- Painter’s Tape
- Screen Printing Press (optional)
- Stockings (pom pom stockings are from Hobby Lobby, blank stockings are from Target Dollar Spot)
- Easy Press2 or Heat Press
Idea 1: Personalize Your Stockings with Names or Monograms
You can easily personalize your family's stockings with any font! Just cut the names in vinyl and use it as a stencil to screen print directly on each stocking. You'll need to wash and dry your screen between each name.
Stockings personalized with screen printing ink will look more professional than applying vinyl. Your design will look and feel great!
Idea 2: Make your Own Coloring Design on Target Dollar Spot Blank Stockings
When I found these blank white stockings in the Dollar Spot at Target, they were calling for a coloring book style design. They come with 2 markers attached for coloring on the stockings.
There are so many possibilities with a blank canvas! You could add an outline of the child's name so they can color it in. You can create a generic design, like I did, that can be printed over and over to make these in bulk.
Why Screen Printing vs. Iron-on (HTV)?
You may be wondering why not just cut the names in vinyl and iron them on. There are a few reasons I love screen printing over HTV.
First, with screen printing, the ink absorbs into the fibers of the material, leaving a softer feel. Iron-on vinyl has a plastic texture that doesn't feel as natural.
Screen printing is also a more permanent solution. Once your screen printing ink dries and you heat set it, the design is permanent. It won't wash off!
Lastly, when you are doing a project like the coloring stocking, you can use the same screen to print multiple copies. This is perfect for making gifts in bulk. If you are a room mom, church group leader, or teacher, you can make a group set with just one piece of vinyl. This will save you money compared to iron-on vinyl!
If you are looking to transition from iron-on (HTV) to screen printing, be sure to request my beginner's email that will help you get started.
How to Screen Print on Stockings
Step 1: Choose the right type of stocking
When you are looking for a stocking blank to personalize, find ones that will lay flat under your screen printing frame. Embellishments can make it difficult for your screen to make even contact with your surface.
These pom pom stockings are from Hobby Lobby. I was able to turn them so the pom poms weren't under the screen – allowing me to print along the bottom of the stocking.
These blank white stockings are from the Dollar Spot at Target. They come with 2 markers so printing a coloring book style design seemed like a natural fit. I was able to adjust the tag and markers so it fit under the screen.
Step 2: Preparing Your Screen
Step 3: Choosing Your Setup
I decided to use my 1-color press for this project. The press allows you to lift your screen to check the ink coverage. You can lower the screen back down if you need to add more ink. If you are screen printing without a press, you have one shot to get all of the design covered in enough ink. Once you lift the screen, it's nearly impossible to place it back down accurately to add another coat of ink.
Step 4: Printing the Design
Now for the fun part. Adjust your stocking under your screen so that any bulky parts (like the pom poms) are not interfering with your screen. You want the screen to make even contact with your print area.
Squeegee the fabric ink over your design and lift your screen to reveal your personalized stocking!
Step 5: Dry and Heat Set
Once your ink is completely dry (2-3 days is ideal), use your heat press to seal the ink and make it permanent. This will allow you to wash your stocking without the design fading or bleeding. Here are some tips on different ways you can heat set Speedball fabric ink.
I hope this inspires you to try screen printing as a way to personalize your stockings or make a fun craft for kids this holiday season!