Looking to make your own decals at home to decorate walls, windows, floors, or even cars with your favorite designs? The following is a simple step-by-step guide on how to make decals with an Inkjet printer.
1. Gather Your Tools and Materials
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A graphics tablet — this allows you to draw patterns, create designs, and edit images using your fingers or a special stylus. When it comes to making decals, the process will be a lot easier if you use a graphics tablet. But this is optional, and you can make do with a photo editor.
- An Inkjet printer — this is a mandatory item, after all, it’s in the title! The exact model of the printer depends on the specs you prefer and the budget you’re shopping within, but the least requirement it should have is the capability of producing high-quality printouts for water slide decals.
- Waterslide transfer paper — this type of paper is very durable and allows you to smoothly transfer designs and patterns onto various surfaces including glasses and plates.
- Acrylic sealant spray.
2. Switch the Inkjet Printer On
Once you have all the necessary items ready, turn on your Inkjet printer and make sure it’s properly connected to your computer.
3. Download or Scan the Design
Go online and look for the image that you want to make into a decal. Once you find it, be sure to download it in the best possible quality available. This will result in the most attractive decal.
After you download the image file, feel free to edit the design the way you see fit. You can use pretty much any editing software to get the job done.
Alternatively, if you want to make a decal out of a physical picture, use a scanner to scan the target design. Be sure to scan with a resolution of 300 dpi or higher.
Also, you can come up with your own design for the decal and just sketch it using a graphics tablet or a photo editor.
4. Put the Waterslide Paper in the Printer and Print out the Decal
Next, load the waterslide transfer paper into your printer while making sure that the coated side is facing the inkjet head.
Program your printer to the recommended settings for transfer paper then print your design.
5. Apply the Acrylic Sealant
Remove the printout and apply the acrylic sealant spray on the side with the design. Usually, two coats will do the trick, but some manufacturers recommend spraying their transfer paper with several layers of acrylic sealant.
Be sure to allow each sealant coat to completely dry before spraying the next one.
6. Soak the Design in Water
Grab a bowl and fill it with water (about 2 inches). Then, take the transfer paper and dip it in.
You should find the required duration of soaking mentioned on the paper’s box. But as a rule of thumb, you’ll know that the decal is ready when you move it with your fingertips and it slides back and forth.
7. Trim the Decal
Using scissors or a cutter, trim away all the extra blank sealer and make sure it stays flat on a magazine.
If you’re using transparent transfer paper, you can leave about a 1/4 inch to create an invisible border. If you’re using white paper, this won’t look good.
There you have it, a simple step-by-step guide on how to make decals with an Inkjet printer. Remember, you may not master this from the first time, but with a few trials, you’ll be able to make flawless decals.