How To Make Decals With Inkjet Printer?


Last updated on January 17th, 2023

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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.
  • Water.
  • Scissors.

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.

Frequently asked questions

How To Make Decals With Inkjet Printer_decals

Can you print decals on an inkjet printer?

Yes, it is possible to print decals on an inkjet printer. To guarantee the greatest outcomes, there are a few considerations to bear in mind.

Use a specific decal paper made for inkjet printers first, as that is what you must do. The unique coating on this paper will enable the ink to be absorbed and subsequently transfer to the decal’s surface.

In order to prevent the ink from smearing or smudging while printing, you must modify the printer’s settings. This can entail printing at a slower pace or with a better print quality level.

Additionally, after printing the decal, you might need to apply a clear topcoat to seal and safeguard it.

Can you use waterslide paper with inkjet printer?

Yes you can use waterslide decal paper with an inkjet printer. On the other hand as mentioned above you must check if the type of decal paper is compatible with your inkjet printer.

Is decal paper the same as waterslide paper?

Although they are not exactly the same, decal paper and waterslide paper are comparable in that they are both used to make decals.

Decal paper that is particularly coated with a water-soluble adhesive is known as “waterslide paper.” Waterslide paper gets its name because it makes it possible to transfer a decal to a surface by sliding it off the paper and onto it. These decals are often applied to non-porous surfaces including ceramic, metal, glass, and plastic.

Any sort of paper that is used to make decals can be referred to by the more inclusive term “decal paper.” This can refer to heat transfer paper, self-adhesive paper, clear film, and waterslide paper, among other kinds of decal paper.

In conclusion, while waterslide paper is a subset of decal paper, not all decal papers fall into this category.

Wrap Up

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.

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Tommy S.

With more than ten years of experience in the field, I am an avid printing enthusiast who has been captivated by the realm of printing since a young age. The possibilities for creativity and innovation that it presents have always intrigued me.

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