The Top 5 Best Uses of Vinyl in a Screenprinting Shop  |

When it comes to screenprinting or heatprinting vinyl, it always feels like it’s one or the other. The great news is that screenprinting shops can utilize heatprinting to expand their offerings and grow their customer base.

With the smaller sizes and lower prices, hobby cutters like Cricut, Silhouette, and Siser are easier to integrate into your shop. There is less start-up cost and more return. Adding heatprinting has never been easier!

EASY™ Brand Craft Heat Press |

The vast amount of education available online from companies like Stahls, who specialize in heatprinting, flattens the learning curve. This leaves more time to focus on growing your business and less time on trial and error. Heatprinting is also a relatively easy skill to get the hang on.

In a nutshell: you cut a design you made on a design program onto a piece of heat-transferable vinyl using a cutter. Arrange the design how you want on a t-shirt. Apply heat and equal pressure using a heat press (or even an iron if you really want to keep start-up costs low). The final step is to let the shirt cool and make a customer happy!


Of course there is more in-depth education but when you’re starting out - it really is all there is to it. Low start-up costs, an easy skill to learn - what’s not to love? But how can you utilize heatprinting in your screenprinting shop? Let’s discover five ways heatprinting can really make a difference for your business and customer base.

1. Small One Color Shirt Runs and Personalization

Yep - we’ve all been there. A customer wants five highly personalized shirts for a bachelorette party, family cruise, or team spirit wear. Every shirt has a different name and title and they want them in different color designs. Where to even begin? This is where heatprinting comes in handy. There is no swapping out ink colors and changing screens. Simply cut each design in the desired color vinyl and apply. That customer is walking out the door happy and you were able to take that t-shirt order knowing it would take less time than screenprinting it.


2. Use Adhesive Vinyl to Create Screens

No using a small closet in your house to burn images into your screens? No reclaiming screens outside with your pressure washer? Count me in! While I do have fond memories of my family’s screenprinting business and the above mentioned - using vinyl on screens cuts out half the work! Faster production can equal more profit for your business. While we haven’t delved into the different types of vinyl, you would need adhesive vinyl (lovingly known as “sticker vinyl”) for this project.

One example of a printer that does this very well is Jennifer Sanderson from @pigskinsandpigtails. She utilizes Pigskins and Pigtails screen Printing Starter Press to print her designs. The press is a dream come true for crafters, DIYers, small studios, and print shop owners alike.

Speedball Beginner Craft Vinyl Screen Printing Kit |

3. Offer More Than T-Shirts

Scrolling on Pinterest at all the cute DIY holiday gifts people make and wonder how they do that? The answer: vinyl. Adhesive vinyl can be used to decorate any flat and smooth surface like mugs or candle holders. Heat transferable vinyl can be used on fabric such as aprons and kitchen towels. Play around with offering gift sets for the holidays. Gifts like these are great for the work white elephant exchange or that cousin you’re never really sure what they like. Putting all of the grandkid’s names on an apron for mom or a family name on a candle holder is a wonderful idea for the family. The ideas are endless.

4. Car Stickers and Laptop Decals

Offer customizable car stickers or laptop decals. These are always a big hit because people like to decorate their car to make it feel more like them. It’s also a great thing to include with orders or giveaways and to get your logo out there. Currently, my car has a “Dog Mom” sticker we made. Easy enough to peel off the car when you want a different one but permanent enough not to fall off the car if it rains.


5. Packaging and Signage

Adhesive vinyl sticks on gift bags! It also sticks on cardboard. With this, the possibilities are endless for packaging. It’s also great to offer a product to up-sell. Making a run of giveaway shirts? Offer branded gift bags. Is your customer giving out these t-shirts at a convention? Offer to make their table skirt with their logo. Heat transferable vinyl can be applied to polyester table skirts used for convention booths. Adding heatprinting to your shop can significantly increase your profit with add-ons like this.

A quick scroll on Pinterest or Etsy will give you even more ideas on what you can do with vinyl and heatprinting. It’s one of the easiest things to upsell with a t-shirt run. Not only are you adding to your profit margin but you’re adding to your customer base.

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