8 Steps to Make a Screen Print Transfer – Guide 2024

You have a design that you want to put on a t-shirt, but you don’t want to spend a fortune at a print shop. What if we told you that you can do it yourself at home? Sounds pretty great, right? Welcome to the world of screen printing transfers, where you can create personalized, professional-looking designs on any fabric or surface. Don’t worry if you have no prior experience with screen printing – we’ve got you covered.

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Materials You Will Need to Make a Screen Print Transfer

Before we dive into the process, let’s make sure you have all the necessary materials to make a screen print transfer. Keep in mind that some of these materials can be substituted depending on your budget and availability. Here’s a list of the essentials:


  • A Screen (preferably made of aluminum and mesh)
  • Squeegee
  • Emulsion and Sensitizer
  • Transparency Film
  • Screen Filler and Masking Tape
  • A Light Source (preferably a 250-watt bulb)
  • Ink and Screen Printing Pallet
  • Heat Gun or Iron
How to Make a Screen Print Transfer
How to Make a Screen Print Transfer

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Step-by-Step Guide to Make a Screen Print Transfer

Now that you have all the materials, let’s get started on the process of making a screen print transfer. Grab a cup of coffee, play some music, and let’s get crafting!

STEP 1: Design Your Image

The first step in making a screen print transfer is to come up with a design. This can be anything from a hand-drawn illustration to a digital image. Keep in mind that the simpler the design, the easier it will be to transfer onto your chosen surface. Remember to also reverse the image so that it appears correctly when transferred.

STEP 2: Prepare Your Screen

Next, you will need to prepare your screen for the transfer process. Start by coating the screen with emulsion and sensitizer – a light-sensitive solution that will harden when exposed to light. Once applied, let it dry in a dark room.

STEP 3: Create the Stencil

While your screen is drying, you can start working on your stencil. This can be done by printing your design onto a transparency film. Remember to keep your design at the same size as the desired transfer and make sure it is clear and opaque.

STEP 4: Expose the Image

Once your screen is dry, place it in front of a light source with the transparency film on top. The light will cause the emulsion to harden, except for the areas covered by the design. Leave it under the light for the recommended time based on your emulsion.

STEP 5: Add Screen Filler

After the exposure, rinse the screen with water to remove the unhardened emulsion. Once dry, use screen filler to cover up any unwanted holes or strays on the screen. This step will ensure a clean transfer.

STEP 6: Print Your Design

Now that your screen is ready, it’s time to print your design. Place the screen on top of your chosen surface – this can be a t-shirt, tote bag, or any other fabric or surface. Add the desired ink color to the screen, and use your squeegee to spread it evenly over the design.

STEP 7: Cure the Print

After printing, use a heat gun or iron on a low setting to cure and set the ink onto your chosen surface. This will ensure that the transfer is long-lasting and won’t wash off or fade easily.

STEP 8: Peel the Transfer

Once the ink is set, carefully peel off the screen, and voila – you have your very own DIY screen print transfer! Let the ink dry completely before wearing or using your newly printed item.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reuse the screen for multiple prints?

Yes, you can reuse the screen as long as the design remains intact. After each use, remember to clean the screen with a solvent, dry it, and store it in a dark place.

Can I use any type of ink for screen printing?

No, it is essential to use screen printing ink specifically designed for this process. Other inks may not adhere well or may wash off easily.

 Do I need to be an expert in screen printing to make a transfer?

Not at all! With some practice and following the steps mentioned above, anyone can make a screen print transfer at home.

Say Goodbye to Expensive Prints

With this step-by-step guide, you can now make your own screen print transfers without breaking the bank. Get creative and experiment with different designs and surfaces. The possibilities are endless! Remember to practice and have fun with the process. Happy printing!

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