How to Make Decals With Inkjet Printer

by Karen Jones

Is there any design, letter, image, or pattern you're obsessed with?

Do you want to transfer that on your wall, window, frame, glass, or any place, to bring that extra oomph? Decal is your best answer for that.

Decals are just as easy to use as any other sticker. It is a specific paper with a design of your choice. You can stick it to any solid area.

Do you want to find out how those letters on that metal glass or that beautiful wall design got there?

This article will help you find How to make Decals on your own with an inkjet printer.

Although, the process is a bit technical and may require attention to the details. However, it is like an art that is not widespread awaiting for you to learn. Making one with an inkjet printer is the most used method of all and all by yourself.

If you're looking to learn for a small project or a start-up you've landed on the right article, to begin with. Continue reading and this article will answer all your questions

Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary things to start your project. If not, read our list, and off you go to the craft store. Continue reading if you're all pumped up for your first ever Decal project!

Must-haves to Make Decals With Inkjet Printer

Must-haves to Make Decals With Inkjet Printer
Must-haves to Make Decals With Inkjet Printer

If you want to get that decal right, here are the eight items that you will need. Make sure they are within your reach before you start your actual process. LET'S GET BUSY

  1. Inkjet printer: We can not begin without a printer, pretty obviously. The printer is the most basic equipment for the process. You should have a kind that supports a printout for the water slide decal and give you high-quality printouts. Don't forget to keep in mind your budget.
  2. Computer/ Pen Tablet: Use your computer to download the image or pattern. You can use your pen tablet to design your patterns. A pen tablet makes it super convenient.
  3. Acrylic spray: You need to seal the deal with an acrylic sealant. You can buy your Acrylic spray from any local store.
  4. Craft knife: To cut the design craft tool is a must-have to make those neat and clean cuts.
  5. Digital design file: Your desired design needs to be in a file.
  6. Water Slide Decal Paper: This is a must-have transfer paper that you can buy from your local craft stores. These are the papers used to transfer the design to any other solid surface.
  7. Water in a cup: Keep reading to find out where water comes along
  8. Tissue papers: To wipe off that excess water.

Seven Simple Steps to Make Your DECAL

Gather the above-mentioned items to decrease the inconvenience and save time. It is not about the paper. It is about the precision and caution with which you follow the steps.

Once you learn how to make your decal then there is no turning back.

So, keep reading and follow the directions.

Step one CONNECTING THE DEVICES: Make sure your inkjet printer and computer are connected and turned on. Download the decal design, scan, or you can even design and draw on your own. A high-quality image will give the best results. Make sure that these devices are compatible with each other.

Step two Setting the Printer: Before taking the print out makes sure that the waterslide transfer paper is in the printer. The transfer paper should be facing the inkjet head. Settings should be according to the transfer paper's manufacturer.

Step three Printing: Now print the selected pattern onto the transfer paper and allow it to dry for 20 minutes. It is required to let it dry before continuing any of the following processes.

Step four Coating: The transfer paper is to be coated twice with the acrylic spray. Select the sealant spray mentioned by the manufacturers. Make sure the coats are dry before applying the new coat of spray. If required to spray more according to the manufacturers of the transfer paper. First, let it dry and coat another layer. DO NOT miss out on this step.

Step five Cutting: Use your craft cutters for this part. Keep the printout flat on the old book or table. Cut the decal, leaving the borders for about 1/4th of an inch. Cutting the outer corners is unnecessary if the decal is white.

Step six Keeping in water: Take two inches of water in a bowl and dip the decal into the bowl submerge it in as per the instructions by the manufacturers. Check if the backing and decal slide off each other. If yes, then it is time to take it out of the water.

Step 7 Application: Remove a few inches of backing and place it on the surface required while slowly peeling off the back from the decal. Use the paper towels to remove any excess water and let it dry.

CONGRATULATIONS! You have just made your decal with an inkjet printer. Pat yourself on the back and just don't forget to read the following tips.

10 Tips to Get That Decal Right

HP DeskJet 4155e All-in-One Wireless Color Printer, with bonus 6 months free Instant Ink with HP+ (26Q90A)
HP DeskJet 4155e All-in-One Wireless Color Printer, with bonus 6 months free Instant Ink with HP+ (26Q90A)

Here are the 10 tips that you have to read just to get that decal right where you want it! Keep Reading


  1. Check that the coated part faces upward on the printer while loading the waterslide transfer paper.
  2. Make sure all layers dry up before applying the new one with the acrylic sealant.
  3. The decals need to be printed on empty ink cartridges so that one ink may not ruin the other colors on the print.
  4. Printer output depends on the quality of the printer and the paper.
  5. The digital design file and inkjet printer should be compatible.
  6. Let the printout dry for 24 hours in case the sealants make the colors bleed.
  7. Glossy paper settings need to be opted for before printing for better image quality.
  8. The sealant is a necessary game-changer for the durability of the ink.
  9. It is necessary to cut out decals beforehand to avoid an ineffective transfer.
  10. Better cutting tools will result in better cutouts hence enhancing the image.
10 Tips Inkjet Printer
10 Tips Inkjet Printer

Here are 5 ideas to make your DIY decal for

  1. To give labels on your kitchen staples a chic look
  2. Make your customised T shirt, they can be great gifts aswell
  3. You can design your own car and add that firey look
  4. If you're artsy make your own décor for any room
  5. A customised tote bag is a must have!

zzHere are few interesting facts about decal
  • Decals are also known as Decalcomania
  • MAX ERNST used the technique similar to modern day decal in early 20th century
  • The first stickers made are rooted back to Egyptian times
  • SIMON FRANCOIS RAVENT invented the decal technique
  • DECAL craze started in the 19th century.
  • The process is called decalquer in french which means to copy by tracing.

An InkJet Printer may look like your normal everyday printer. But!! You can always do much more with a simple looking machine if you know how to use it right.

Here is one thing you'll learn to make in this articleand it is Decal !

Decals on Vehicles are Multipurpose

  • Decal on vehicals serve as promotional activities
  • A vehical can be customised by our liking and can promote your business
  • As the car travels it advertises its brand anywhere it goes
  • All types of people can look at the branded cars and the audience reach increases
  • Acts as a old school social media
  • Vehical decals are economic an serve as a good investment
  • They are long lastingthen any other medium. Does not require any other timely updates

Difference between a Decal and a Sticker

  • Smaller in size and usually appllied to laptop notebook.
  • Decals come in all sizes and can be applied on larger material like walls windows
  • Commercially Decals are ordered in smaller quatities while stickers in larger quantities due to size
  • Decals last longer as compared to stickers

Caution Making Decals With Inkjet Printer

HP ENVY 6075 Wireless All-in-One Printer, Includes 2 Years of Ink Delivered, Mobile Print, Scan & Copy (8QQ97A)
HP ENVY 6075 Wireless All-in-One Printer, Includes 2 Years of Ink Delivered, Mobile Print, Scan & Copy (8QQ97A)

Decal is unsafe to apply on dishes since it may not be food-safe due to the use of ink

Making a decal is a fun way to bring out the creativity in you. With the easy application of the transfer paper, you can apply it anywhere. The process requires practice and becomes easy after a few tries. So hang in there if it doesn't work out the first time.

Hoping this article will help you create your magic. Those decal enthusiasts who want to take it further ahead can start their own home business and let the world have the benefit of the decal. The DECAL craze continues today. You can also learn other ways of printing and with a little investment, you're off to start your very own home business.

About Karen Jones

For the last decade, Karen Jones has worked as a freelance writer and social media marketing consulant. As an gourmand and avid traveler, she publishes cutting-edge articles about traveling that really attracting readers into her wonderful journeys. If you can't find Ms. Jones around her friends and family, she's definitely busy in her home office refining her writing composition and printing press.

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