How To Do Screen Printing On Plastic Bags At Home?

Looking to bring out your uniqueness with your plastic bags?

If so, you should place your designs on them and set them apart from the crowd.

If you’re a business owner, then you probably know that branding is very important in marketing. One efficient branding method is printing your logo and business name on your packaging materials. And, with the plastic bags becoming increasingly popular as packaging materials, the knowledge of how to print on them at home is definitely handy.

Also, if you’re in the business of plastic bags, adding printing to the package is one of the ways of maximizing your profits.

To help you achieve all that, I thought I should share with you some valuable knowledge on how to screen print on plastic bags.

How to Print on Plastic Bags?

There are different ways of printing plastic bags, depending the number of bags you’re looking to print on.

For a higher number of bags, it’d be good to utilize a more cost-efficient style – a large web press.

This style entails holding a roll of plastic (which comprises 2 sheets, one below the other) with a press. The rolls then pass through several ink units, thereby getting printed on.

The most common commercial method of printing on plastic bags is known as flexography.

So, What’s Flexography?

Flexography is a printing method where elevated plastic or rubber plates and inks are used for printing.

This is a process where a raised image area of rubber printing plates is used to deposit ink on your substrate.

An adhesive is used to fix the plastic or rubber plates to the heat press’s rollers. The rollers turn, enabling the plates to come into contact with the papers and print on them.

The last step in this kind of printing is where the actual plastic bag is created.

Now, we’ve talked about printing on many plastic bags. What if you have just a few bags to print on?

That brings us to our main topic – screen printing on plastic bags. In case you don’t have a large order to work on, screen printing is the most efficient method.

Contrary to the flexography, where you can print many bags at the same time, screen printing lets you print only one bag at a time. Also, the method is manual.

Here, a mesh is used to transfer ink to the bag. As you move the squeegee across the screen, the small holes in the mesh are filled with ink.

With this method, you can even print on recycled bags and still achieve great results. Though screen printing is typically easy, it needs mastering especially with regard to plastic bags.

So, in the next few moments, I will guide you on how to do successful screen printing on plastic bags.

You’ll need these items to do Screen Print On Plastic Bags at home:

  • Well-stretched plastic bags
  • Squeegee
  • Plastic knife
  • Stenciled screen
  • Framed screen
  • Photo emulsion mixed with sensitizer
  • Popsicle stick
  • Black ink
  • Light cardboard pieces
  • Latex hand glove
  • Plastic Canvas
  • Darkroom
  • 250 watts bulb

Here are the steps to follow for Printing Plastic Bags:

  • Build a frame and fix it to a screen. For an effective and durable output, be sure to build the screen with high-grade materials. After that, prepare the design you’re looking to print on heat transfer vinyl.
  • Look at your design carefully. Are there problems? Remove them. Following that, soak the design with the emulsion mixed with sensitizer.
  • Place the light cardboard pieces into each plastic bag. That way, you’ll have stopped the ink from soaking to the other side of the plastic bag.
  • Place the design template at the spot where you want the graphic to appear.
  • Is the plastic bag moving too much? You can use a rubber frame or colored tape to give it some stability.
  • Use the popsicle stick or the plastic knife to pour the ink onto the screen, and use the squeegee to spread the ink all over the screen.
  • Be sure to cross over the design with the squeegee severally. Don’t be forceful but instead apply moderate pressure on the template.
  • When applying the ink, raise the template’s corners to ensure the ink doesn’t ooze to the other side of the bag.

The image wasn’t printed as expected? Try repeating the process several times to get the work done.

9. Now, inspect the bag to make certain that the design was printed as expected. Remove the template gently, place it on the canvas, and clean it with cold water.

10.Let the template dry for about an hour.

Got a blow-dryer? You can use it to hasten the drying process.

Once the template is dry, check the design to ensure it’s okay.

Final Verdict

I take it that you’re looking for an awesome output. Therefore, print only one color and make sure you’re printing a dark color on a lighter one and vice versa.

If you’re printing on a transparent bag, only use a black ink.

Did you find this guide helpful? Why not share it with those you know can benefit from it?

Feel free to leave a comment. We will be happy to reply you.

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