How to Make Decals With Inkjet Printer

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 by ronnie

Make Decals With Inkjet Printer

Do you intend to decorate your walls, windows, doors, glass, or mobile cases with your favorite design? Are you a craftivist who loves to design personalized prints? If so, then decal printing is the greatest option for you.

A decal is nothing but a unique paper that is used for transferring designs, texts, and other patterns to any preferable surface. There are many ways for creating a decal, one of which is to make decals with inkjet printers.

Although making a decal may be a bit difficult and every step needs your full focus. But if you want to become a DIY enthusiast then why not give it a go! Our article will guide you with every step and you might find out decal printing is easier than you thought.

Before starting, double-check that you have gotten every important thing you’ll need for printing a decal. If not, take a peek at our lists before heading toward your craft store.

Required Materials for Decal designs:

In order to make decals with an inkjet printer, considering a few must-have things is important. Also, having the essential items close by will result in fast decal making and you’d be saved by the efforts of searching for the required things constantly.

Inkjet Printer: An inkjet printer is the essential and foremost equipment needed for decal printing. You can choose any inkjet printer keeping your budget in mind. But first, you must make sure your printer supports water slide decals while offering high-quality printouts.

Computer/Graphic tablet: The computer is helpful for accessing numerous designs online. Whereas, a graphic tablet featuring a stylus pen can be convenient for designing your decals, editing those designs, or drawing various patterns by yourself. Though having a tablet is not necessary as any editing app can be used for making designs.

Water slide Decal transfer paper: This is a particular type of transferring paper that allows you to transfer patterns and other designs on many surfaces such as cups, glass, and many solid surfaces. It is easily available at any craft shop.

Acrylic spray: For sealing the design you need acrylic sealant spray. It will be available at any nearby store.

Craft knife/scissors: This is a much-needed requirement for cutting the borders of your designs.

A cupful of water: For soaking decal in water.

Tissue/ towel: for drying out the surplus water.

How to Make Decals With Inkjet Printer – Step by Step Guide

After you’ve gathered all of the essential things, you may start your decal design. Let’s take a glance at the following easy steps involved in making decals with your inkjet printer.

1. Turn your inkjet printer On

Switch on your inkjet printer and connect it with your device, either computer or tablet. Download and open the file containing your desired decal design. You can also scan your design if present on any hard copy. 300dpi resolution is recommended for getting the best result decals.

2. Insertion of Decal water slide paper

Next, add the decal water slide paper into your inkjet printer. Make sure the coated part is facing toward the head of the printer.

3. Proceed to print

Print the decal design after configuring your printer to the suggested settings by the makers of the transfer paper. Then, leave it to dry for about 20 minutes.

4. Spraying acrylic sealant

The acrylic spray should be coated two times to the transfer paper. Choose the manufacturer’s recommended sealant spray. Before spraying again another coat of spray, ensure the previous coatings are completely dry. Many manufacturers suggest more than two coats for better results.

5. Absorbing in water

Take up to 2-inches of water in a cup and place your printed decal for an instructed period of time. However, you can tell when it’s ready, once you rub the decal to and fro between your hands.

6. Cut out your decal print

Place your decal print flat on any magazine. By using your craft knife or scissors, cut the shape of your decal prints accordingly. You can retain a 1/4-inch border around the edges. If you are using transparent decal, cutting the border areas isn’t essential. But, in the case of the white decal, leaving borders might not look good.

7. Application

Take off a few inches of the backside of the decal and set it on the chosen surface while carefully removing the backing away from the decal. Remove any extra water with tissue or paper towels and allow drying.

Precautionary advice for decal designing:

●     Make sure the coated side of the decal transfer paper is sided toward the head of the printer.

●     Let the applied layer of acrylic spray dry, before spraying the next layer.

●     To avoid mixing up of colors, empty all of the ink cartridges prior to decal printing.

●     Must check the printing output of the printer and the quality of paper as it may vary the result of your decals.

●     Confirm the compatibility of your printer with the paper beforehand.

●     If you notice color bleeding upon applying the acrylic spray, then let the previous coating dry for 24 hours before resuming again.

●     Set the glossy paper option for fine image quality on your decals.

●     It’s better if there are more than three coatings of acrylic sealant spray. It is vital to seal waterslide decals with a sufficient amount of sealant as it ensures the ink’s long-term durability.

●     To prevent any ineffective transferring, apply the spray prior to cutting your decals.

●     Various cutting accessories can improve your designs.

Misconception between decals and stickers.

Often people don’t know the difference between stickers and decals. When we talk about decals, these can be made in various sizes for applying to large surfaces such as doors, windows, or floors. Whereas stickers are small in size and for application on small objects such as laptop covers, bottles, etc. Moreover, stickers are easily removable while decals are hard to remove and stay on the surface for a long time.

Decals ideas for DIYers:

●     You can decorate your room

●     Design your tote bag with wonderful designs.

●     Customize your own car with decal prints.

●     Customization of T-shirts and other clothing items.

●     Fill your kitchen counters with catchy decal designs.


To conclude, for expressing your creativity, decal designing is a fascinating experience. By learning simple steps, you can enjoy applying your favorite decals everywhere you like. The manufacturing of waterslide transfer paper is beneficial in many different ways as it allows simple decal printing.

I hope after reading our article, you can create your own decals with the inkjet printer. You may find these processes confusing at times, but practice can make you perfect.

Frequently asked questions and Answers

Is decal printing applicable on kitchen utensils?

You may apply decal designs on your kitchen utensils, but they are not recommended. As these are created by ink they are not safe for your health.

Can we apply decal prints on vehicles?

Yes, you may find numerous decals on every car passing by. The car manufacturer sticks company names, the car model, and logo at the back of the car for advertising their vehicles more.

Which decal stickers are water-proof?

Although, the decal stickers are not waterproof. But you can make your decals water-proof by laminating them with various laminating items. Most of the manufacturers confirm laminating them beforehand for making them water-resistant.

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