How to Make Decals With an Inkjet Printer?

If you are fond of designing your walls, vehicles, gadgets with customized images you need to think of making your decals. A decal is made of a special kind of paper that allows you to transfer designs on your desired object. There are many methods available on how to make decals among which using an inkjet printer is one.

Making decals with an inkjet printer can be a tricky task as it requires precision to have a satisfactory outcome. The first thing you need in this process is a waterslide decal transfer paper available at the craft stores. You can also order it online. this paper helps you transfer the design on your objects including mugs, windows, plates etc.

Apart from the waterslide decal transfer paper, there are many other things that you need to have before making decals with inkjet paper. Those things will be given later in the article under the first step.

Step-by-step guide on how to make decals with an inkjet printer

In this article, we have provided you with a complete guide on how to make decals with an inkjet printer. you just need to follow the simple steps which are given below.

1. Gather all the things needed

There is a long list of things required to make decals with an inkjet printer. Getting all these things together in one place helps you save time. We have listed those things step by step.

Inkjet printer

The first and foremost step in making decals is to have an inkjet printer. There is a long list of inkjet printers available in the market however it all depends on your preference. The main thing you should keep in mind before buying one is that it should at least provide high-quality print-outs.


Graphics Tablet / Photo editor

You need to have a device that lets you draw your design or helps you in editing images. To fulfill this purpose you need to have a device called a graphics tablet. However, you can meet your needs with the help of a photo editor too.

Waterslide Transfer Paper

As discussed above in the article, it is a special type of paper that allows you to transfer your design on your objects including mugs, plates, vehicles etc.

Apart from the above-mentioned things, you need the following to complete your gearbox.

  • Acrylic spray
  • Towels (paper)
  • Digital file
  • Crafted knife

2. Power on the Printer

After completing step 1 successfully it is finally time to turn on the printer and make its proper connection with the PC

3. Download/Scan the Image

In this step, you have to choose according to your demand. If you have to make a decal from a picture on the internet, you need to download it in the best resolution available.

If you want to create it from a design or real picture you need to scan the image in 600 dpi for a perfect outcome or it should at least have 300 dpi.

You also have the option of creating your design if you or your friend is a skilled graphic designer.

4. Inserting the Decal Waterslide Transfer Paper Into the Printer

Now, insert the decal waterslide transfer paper such that its coated part is faced towards the inkjet head. After this, set the printer to the preferred settings of transfer paper.

5. Use of Inkjet Printer

It’s time to use the inkjet printer and print your required design onto the waterslide transfer paper.

6. Acrylic Spray

Apply two coats of acrylic spray on the design printed out after step 5 and let each coat dry separately before applying another.

7. Mix The Transfer Paper In Water

Now, take the decal paper after both the coats are dry and put it into a bowl of water with two inches of water. Remove the paper when you feel like you can move it to and fro between your fingertips.

8. Cutting The Decal

Use one arm to keep the printout flat and the other one to cut the decal with the help of a scissor.

Some Important Points To Remember When Making Decals With an Inkjet Printer

  • In step 4, always insert the Decal waterslide transfer paper into the printer such that its coated part is faced towards the inkjet head.
  • In step 6, you are advised to apply at least two coats of the layer but always keep in mind that you need to let the first layer dry first before applying the second one.
  • Waterslide decals are to be secured with a sufficient amount of sealant or spray so always try to do ideal by applying three coats of acrylic spray resulting in increased durability of the ink.
  • To prevent the ineffective transfer of the spray to the edges of the paper, always apply the spray before cutting the decals.
  • While spraying, if you feel that the colour is drying out or fading away, leave the printout to dry for 24 hours and start spraying after that.
  • Always download the image from the internet in its highest quality or scan the image with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi.
  • The more perfect the cutting will be the more beautiful the design will look so always buy perfect cutting tools for your decay.
  • Make sure before printing the decals that all the ink cartridges are completely empty as the change in the quantity of one color will destroy the whole print.
  • Always prefer the printer of the highest quality even if you have to adjust your budget slightly because the more the quality of the printer the more will be the quality of the printout.
  • Always choose the compatible media with your inkjet printer.


We hope that after reading this article you are now in a position to tell us how to make decals with an inkjet printer.

The process of making decals with an inkjet printer can be tricky but reading our article thoroughly and trying it a couple of times will make you an expert at doing it.

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