How to do screen print transfers

Hello there!

The use of screen print transfers to transfer elaborate and colorful images onto a variety of materials, such as paper and fabric, has recently gained popularity. Screen print transfers are a fun and easy way to add a unique touch to your handmade goods, whether you’re an experienced crafter or just starting out. This detailed tutorial will show you how to make screen print transfers from scratch.

Things Required:

Get everything you need before you jump into the process:

Select a screen printing frame that has a mesh count that corresponds to your project’s requirements. Fine details work best with a higher mesh count.

In screen printing, the emulsion paints the screen and captures your pattern using light. Choose an emulsion that works with the ink you intend to use.

Put your design on a transparency by making it or printing it out. Make sure the design is completely black and opaque for the best results.

Select screen printing ink that is suitable for the material you will be printing on. Fabrics are best printed with water-based inks, but paper and other surfaces are best printed with solvent-based inks.

To transfer the ink from the screen to the surface, a squeegee is utilized. Choose a size that fits your screen.

Screen Printing Press or Board: To keep your screen in position when printing, you can use a press or even a handmade board.

To expose the emulsion, a light source is required. Either a completely dark room or one lit by a powerful light bulb will do the trick.

A Methodical Approach:

Get Your Plan Nailed Down: Make or choose the design you wish to copy. Verify if its dimensions and orientation are suitable for your undertaking.

Apply Emulsion to the Screen: Using a scoop coater, apply emulsion to the screen in a dark room or under dim lighting. Put it somewhere dark to dry.

Lay Out the Screen: Use glass or a vacuum frame to fasten your design transparency to the coated screen. Then, Lay Out the Screen. Typically, the emulsion instructions will tell you how long to expose the screen to light.

After each exposure, rinse the screen with water to remove any remaining exposure residue. You can think of the transparency as a stencil; the parts you designed there will stay on the screen.

First Things First: Get Your Printing Station Ready by Securing the Screen to Your Press or Board. Move your printing surface to the bottom.

Put Ink on Screen and Spread It Out: Pour a little ink onto the screen and spread it out evenly using the squeegee. Then, press the print button. The ink can be transferred to the surface by applying pressure with the squeegee.

It may be necessary to either cure or dry the print after using certain types of ink. For particular curing or drying methods, refer to the ink manufacturer’s instructions.

After each print job, use water or screen cleaner to wipe down the screen. If you want your screen to last as long as possible, this is an absolute must.

Advice and Methods:

Before you tackle your final project, make sure you practice on discarded materials.


Try out different mesh counts to see what works best for different degrees of detail.


To make sure your design is placed correctly, use a registration system.


In sum:

You can apply your distinctive designs to a variety of surfaces with screen print transfers. They are adaptable and interesting. You can take your crafts to the next level by learning how to do screen print transfers by following this detailed guide and trying out various materials and techniques.

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