DIY T-shirt Printing at home | Answer to Everything

Now t-shirt printing becomes an art. People order their printed t-shirts from online or local printers. But you might get it a little bit costlier. Not to worry about that. You can easily get your DIY t-shirt printing at home. 

No matter if you want this task done for yourself or start a business, you can do it at your home with some simple tools. Just collect some simple tools and do it yourself easily. There are different methods available to you for getting this task done. Which one would be better for you to go with.

If you want to know about it just dive in this article…………….

Ideal method to DIY t-shirt printing at home

Let’s have a battle between the DTG and Screen printing to know which one is better  for your DIY t-shirt printing at home.

More aggressive results come out from screen printing in terms of saturation and brightness. The color vibrancy is slightly duller in appearance. Digital printing depends on the CMYK model and uses water based ink which lacks the opaqueness of vibrancy or saturation of plastisol ink which is used for screen printing.

Most vibrant colors including fluorescent color are available in plastisol ink. Color matching opportunities are great in screen printing. Color lasts for decades, looks the same after several washings in case of screen printing.

Versatility is another great option for screen printing. It can print a variety of garment style, wide range of textiles. Extremely suitable for large orders. It is gaining huge popularity day by day.

Using just four colors DTG creates a smooth gradient and precise blend. It mixes the colors together to create a spectrum of color. DTG is better for smaller details. You have to check out how heavy the print feels on the shirt? Is the texture rough on the skin or if the ink blocks the fibers in the shirt?

Yes, the simple solution is DTG which feels comfortable and soft. DTG doesn’t have many more variables like screen printing such as, squeegee pressure, angle, registration, clogged mesh etc.

So, think deeply about the battle…………then should i say who the winner is? Or is it all clear to you?

Go with screen printing for custom design on the t-shirts, screen printed tees give you a long-lasting vibrant print even after several washings. With some small set up you would have done your DIY t-shirt printing at home. Do not look further—the easy steps are discussed below for your convenience so that you can easily get done your DIY t-shirt printing at home.

8 steps for your favorite DIY t-shirt printing at home!

Don’t worry…..You can do it easily. This task involves some simple steps. Just follow the below steps, I promise you will do a good job!! This is going to be easier than your thought. You will need nothing but some simple tools. Not only t-shirts, if you want you can print your shirts, skirts or scarfs as you wish.

Step-1: Prepare the artwork

  • Print your artwork onto an acetate film.
  • Inkjet printers or laser printers can be used.
  • Use it as a stencil later for further use.

All Images Source: TSANG HANG LEUNG

Step-2: Create the frame

  • Use wood or metal to create frames.
  • Adult frame size is 16*16; Youth frame size 12*12; Small frame size 7*7.
  • Properly measure and cut them into pieces.
  • Glue and screw them carefully.
  • The sturdy frame is now prepared for the screen. 

Step-3: Attach screen on the frame

  • Use silk mesh and choose the mesh count according to your need.
  • 110 mesh count is quite good for t-shirt printing.
  • To buy this, you can google it to ebay where you can get it less than $10.
  • Cut a piece and wrap around the frame.
  • Attach the screen using a staple gun.
  • Make sure the screen is applied under tension.
  • Fold the screen neatly at the corner.
  • Trim off the excess to the edge of the fame.
  • After the preparation of the screen, thoroughly wash it out.
  • Then dry the screen using a hair dryer.

Step-4: Prepare the Photo Emulsion

  • Use any photo emulsion and follow the directions on the bottle to activate the photosensitive chemical.
  • Use gloves as these chemicals can be harmful for skin.
  • Once the emulsion is mixed, apply a coat onto the screen using squeegee.
  • To avoid any spill, use paper or drop down cloth.
  • Keep this inside a dark room for drying  to prevent curing of photo emulsion. Hair dryer can also be used.

Step-5: Expose the screen to sunlight

  • After the photo emulsion has dried up, place the acetate artwork transparent paper onto the screen.
  • Place them backward as it will be the next to the t-shirt while printing.
  • Now it is the time to expose it to an UV light. Sunlight is the best source of UV light rather than any halogen light or metal halied light source. 
  • Place a clear piece of glass onto it to hold the transparent paper properly.
  • Wrap the entire set up with a black material and set it out at the sun light.
  • You need the ink side of the screen close to the balck material so wrap the apparatus in this manner.
  • The black material will absorb the sunlight and prevent it from bouncing back up and cure the inside of the screen.
  •  Leave it for 3-6 minutes.
  • After the expouser time, quickly wrap the apparatus and take it away from sunlight.

Step-6: Wash out the screen & development of stencil

  • Spray water to the screen and wash thoroughly with continuous water.
  • The stencil will develop instantly.
  • You can use a shower to pressure wash the screen.
  • Exposure time varies with the climate. A hot summer day decreases the exposure time while a humid or cloudy day may increase in it.
  • Now you are ready to go for printing.

Step-7: Print the artwork onto the t-shirt !!!

  • Use water based ink or plastisol ink as it is easy to go with.
  • Permaset water based ink is famous with printers in Australia. You can check out other re-known brands like Virus and Matsui.
  • Secure the screen so that while pulling or pushing the squeegee, it won’t move.
  • Align the screen on the t-shirt, put some ink on it.
  • Using squeegee, gently print on it. Make sure don’t press down on it.
  • Print one or more strokes.
  • If the image is larger than squeegee or wanna put a thick layer of ink then print in additional strokes.
  • But for small details, printing in too many strokes may lead to bleeding through the print.

Step-8: Finally dry the print

  • Dry the print using a hair dryer.


You get the printing done by yourself. It seems very easy to watch the entire process on youtube. Although it is an easy task, all you need experience to do it properly.

Here I put a video so that you can easily get the entire process..


To Sum Up!

It seems easy but doing it yourself is not that easy. Don’t forget…….Practice makes everything perfect. With a couple of trials, you will have a good command over the DIY t-shirt printing at home.

If you are interested to know more about screen printing then Click Here.

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