Screen Print With Cricut?

When I got started making my own merchandise with my Cricut, I did a lot of heat transfer vinyl – and I still do use HTV a lot! It’s great for more complex designs, layering, and for getting that super crisp, clean look with your designs. But, then I started noticing on TikTok that a lot of other Ety owners were experimenting with screen printing and it looked so fun! I liked the crackly look that the ink could get, making the shirt look a little vintage. I especially loved that it took about half the time (can you say WAY less weeding??)

So, I got to work doing my research and bought all the supplies to learn how to screen print with Cricut. Now, it’s my go-to for simple t-shirt designs. It’s so quick, so clean, cheaper, and the shirt designs really last! 

Here is EVERYTHING I bought to get started screen printing – it should be everything you need to start making shirts by screen print with Cricut! I personally use these products and can attest they are the best quality at the best price as well.

STEP 1 to Screen Print with Cricut: Create Your Reusable Silk Screen

Here are the tools you’re going to need for the first part of the screen printing process, which is creating your silk screen “stencil”. You need more items for this part than you will for part 2, but remember you’ll be reusing this silk screen over and over again!

1. Cricut Explore Air 2

This is by far the most expensive part of your adventure with screen printing, but hear me when I say you will end up using your Cricut for FAR more than just screen printing if you get one. For screen printing with Cricut purposes though, you will of course need one. You will be using your Cricut Explore Air 2 to cut your custom design in permanent vinyl. I see a lot of creators using the Cricut Maker for this, but know that if you are planning to make mostly apparel (either by screen printing or HTV), the Explore Air 2 will satisfy all your needs at a much more reasonable price.

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2. Tools

These are just a basic set of Cricut tools that will come in handy when you screen print with Cricut. I have the Cricut brand set, because they were gifted to me, but I have used these that I’m linking here and can attest they are JUST as good and much cheaper. If I could do it over again, I’d buy these guys. This is going to get you through all the cutting, burnishing, and weeding that will go with creating your reusable silk screen for screen printing.

3. Permanent Vinyl

You will be using permanent vinyl to create the “stencil” for your screen printing screen. When you screen print with Cricut, you’ll first be creating a reusable silk screen with your custom design on it as a stencil. That way, you can just apply ink over and over again with your same silk screen and create as many shirts as you want! This is the brand of vinyl I always use. I tried cheaper vinyl once, and when I wet my screen to wash it, the vinyl came unstuck and paint snuck through. Trust me and go with Siser! They are the best!

4. Transfer Tape

This is pretty straightforward, but you’ll basically just need this to transfer your vinyl design onto your silk screen. Here is the kind I use.

5. Silk Screens

When you are shopping for your silk screens, there are a ton of options out there. I shopped around a bit when I first started, and found these for $11.99 on Amazon. I thought they wouldn’t work, because that was significantly cheaper than I could find elsewhere, but honestly they’ve been great! Even better, they come in a perfect size for t-shirt designs, so you don’t have to worry about too much excess screen area to cover with tape.

6. Block Out Tape

When you screen print with Cricut, you’re going to need block out tape. Not only is it perfect for that extra layer of security for your vinyl on the silk screen, but also I use it to block out all the extra screen areas that are outside my vinyl “stencil”. This is just an extra measure of security to avoid any sneaky paint getting on your shirt where you don’t want it! This Speedball brand has proven the best for me, because it holds up even after many washings of my screen.

STEP 2 to Screen Print with Cricut: Print Your Design On Merchandise

Step 2 is the simpler part of the process to screen print with Cricut and, therefore, requires less materials! Let’s dive in!

7. Screen Printing Ink

I have tried a few different types of ink, and pretty much the biggest difference I’ve seen is the consistency of the ink. I really like this kind from Speedball because it’s a great price and their ink seems to be a bit thicker, which I like because I end up using less on my designs and it spreads really easily with the right squeegee! I don’t like my ink to be runny at all because I find that makes it harder to get an even spread with the squeegee.

8. Squeegee

Now, your silk screen will come with a squeegee, but I promise that when you screen print with Cricut, you’re going to want a better quality squeegee. It really makes a difference in the consistency and evenness of your design, the amount of ink you use, and the quality of the end product. This one has been a game changer for me.

9 Cricut Easy Press

Here is the most expensive part of this part of the process. Now, technically you can use a normal iron to heat your design once it dries, which I did when I started! But, I do think if you have the funds to spring for the Easy Press, it’s worth it when you screen print with Cricut. Here’s why: The Easy Press heats up to exactly the temp you need (320 degrees F) and has a self timer on it so you can just set the Easy Press on your completed design and press go – then it will beep when it’s done and you can just remove it and hang up your finished product! I love this because I know my design is getting consistently heated to the right temp and the right time (unlike an iron which heats unevenly) AND I can multitask while my shirts are getting heated because it’s totally hands off. 

If you decide not to go with the Easy Press and use an iron, just note that you’re going to want to take the extra time to make sure your design is evenly and thoroughly heated. If it doesn’t get evenly heated, parts could crack off in the wash! (I’m speaking from experience here!)

Here’s the size Easy Press I bought. I think it’s perfect for most apparel-sized designs at 9×9 inches.

Well, friends! That’s it! That’s literally everything I use to screen print with Cricut! I hope you found it helpful. If you also screen print with Cricut, let me know in the comments what you like to use if it’s not on this list! 

Also, if you’re curious why a Christian blogger like me is posting about Cricut and screen printing, here’s why:

My name is Laura Lambert and I’m a Christian podcaster and blogger based near Nashville, TN. I started my podcast and blog, titled Where Faith Grows, in 2020 with the mission to equip women to become Kingdom Influencers by finding their unique voice, worth, and legacy in Christ.

I use my shop, Where Faith Grows, on Etsy to fund the mission of the podcast and the blog. When you shop with me, that’s what you are supporting! So thanks in advance for that! 

When I started creating merchandise for my shop, I realized I really loved the process! I decided that I would make it part of my mission to support women-owned Christian businesses and blogs in their own efforts to inspire faith. After all, that’s part of becoming a Kingdom Influencer in my opinion! So, I utilize my education background (former teacher here!) to equip women for success in their own business ventures with tools that are readily available to them using courses, videos, blog posts, and more. On the podcast, I also frequently have guests that have started their own businesses of all types and varieties and I encourage them to share their story and wisdom with listeners who are looking to make an impact of their own. Where Faith Grows helps women own their worth and find their own voice in order to leave a unique, lasting legacy in their communities. 

If you love what you are seeing, I’d love for you to follow along and join the conversation on social media! You can find me on Instagram and Tiktok @itslauralambert for more faith inspiration, real life, + tools and tips for crafting, Cricuting, and podcasting!

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The comprehensive list of items you need to screen print at home with your cricut! Get more Cricut tips and tricks for your Christian business from Laura Lambert on Instagram and TikTok @itslauralambert or on her website
The comprehensive list of items you need to screen print at home with your cricut! Get more Cricut tips and tricks for your Christian business from Laura Lambert on Instagram and TikTok @itslauralambert or on her website
The comprehensive list of items you need to screen print at home with your cricut! Get more Cricut tips and tricks for your Christian business from Laura Lambert on Instagram and TikTok @itslauralambert or on her website