Best Screen Printing Kit: The Top 5 Choices Of The Year

If you love creating art and designing t-shirts, it’s high time to consider a screen printing kit. For some people, it is merely a hobby. For others, it might be a home business venture. If you have been looking into designing t-shirts or home decor, screen printing is the best option for a few reasons.

Screen printing is great for projects of any scale with the right kit. A single screen can be used for various designs or you can use the same design over and over again.

If you choose quality inks, like plastisol ink, it will increase the durability of your print.

At first, the whole process can seem like a daunting task. You must follow specific steps for creating a stencil for your shirts using photo emulsion or vinyl on a silk screen. Once you get the hang of the process, you will easily create incredible and long-lasting designs.

Above all, the most crucial step to screen printing is finding the best screen printing kit for you. Couldn’t you just buy the components and make a kit yourself? Sure.

screen printing

But the huge advantage of purchasing a quality screen printing kit is that you can get started right away. We’re here to help you find the best screen printing kit for your projects.

What Is Screen Printing?

Creating a stencil for your t-shirts requires you to choose between two particular methods. On the one hand, using photo emulsion is common but is also more time-consuming.

On the other hand, vinyl cutting is less popular but very simple and effective.

Photo emulsion

Photo emulsion includes particular products and steps you need to follow very carefully. While cutting vinyl is a more straightforward process, it is also much less popular, so we won’t be discussing it here. 

If you’d like to know more about cutting out vinyl stencils or the whole process, however, there are some excellent instructional videos on Youtube.

Step 1: Preparing your image

First, print the image on transparency paper. Remember that laser printing the image is the only way to accomplish a pure design that will show on transparency paper or films.

Next, cover a screen with emulsion in a dark room and let it sit for four to six hours. Then place your image on top of the screen and expose it to light from a 250-watt bulb.

The screen will only need to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until there is a faint outline of the image imprinted in the emulsion.

Finally, return to the dark space and rinse the screen thoroughly to reveal your picture. Be sure to let it dry before putting the print to use.

Step 2: Printing your image

Creating the base for the picture using photosensitive emulsion is the most time-consuming part of the process. Everything else is straightforward. First, put a piece of cardboard inside the shirt, line it up correctly, and place the screen firmly over the shirt.

After you prepare everything, you can apply a small amount of ink and use a squeegee to push the ink into the shirt. Finally, you’ll need to swipe the ink in a few different directions to ensure it is covered appropriately.

Step 3: Setting the design and cleanup

When all of these steps are finished, you can pull off the screen and place parchment paper over the design on the t-shirt. Iron over the parchment paper to set the design.

You also don’t want to forget to wash your screen so you can use it again. You can even clean the emulsion off the screen to apply a new design.

What Should You Look for in a Screen Printing Kit?

screen printing kit
Image via Flickr

Each screen printing kit is different. Some are extremely basic and may not contain everything you need. In general, these kits usually come at a lower price with all the essentials, such as screens, squeegees, and an emulsion. However, they may be missing the appropriate lighting accessories or inks.

In case you’re unsure what you’ll need for the whole process we wanted to give you a quick list of all the essentials you need in an emulsion screen printing kit. That way, you will know what you need to pick up to fill in any blanks. For a vinyl kit, the only additional thing you may need is a vinyl cutting machine, which I will explain in the reviews.

If you want to do emulsion screen printing, these are the basics that you will need.

  • Screen and frame
  • Photo emulsion and sensitizer
  • Squeegee
  • Scoop coater
  • Silkscreen fabric ink
  • Transparency paper
  • 250-watt bulb
  • Latex gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Cardboard
  • Makeshift black room

How We Reviewed

screen printing designs
Image via Flickr

These screen printing kit reviews are not in any particular order. They all have something to offer. Additionally, they’re not all the same as far as the items included. Some are very basic, and others are more advanced.

Some cover everything you need, and others require additional tools.

We looked at the specs for each kit. And then we factored in customer reviews. All of the ratings come directly from Amazon customers unless specified otherwise.

How Much Will You Pay for a Screen Printing Kit?

There’s an incredible variety of screen printing kits on the market.

We won’t discuss exact numbers, as they change frequently. Each item has a link to check the item for the current amounts.

That said, it all depends on what is in the bundle, as well as the quality of the materials. All kits will include what you need to make the stencil. But they may not always include silk screen fabric inks, proper lighting, or a press. However, in some cases that might be for the best.

Then you will be able to do a little extra shopping and pick out the press, cutting machine, and inks that will work best for your project.

Our Top 5 Screen Printing Kits

We wanted to include a fantastic variety for all budgets and interests. Many of us are interested and think of taking up screen printing on a small scale for personal projects.

So in that case, a small kit with the basics would work very well. Other people will be interested in taking screen printing a little bit more seriously and will want high-quality materials.

They will also be willing to pay a bit more. Choosing the best screen printing kit for you will all depend on your level of interest in the hobby.

1. Speedball Advanced All-In-One Screen Printing Kit

Speedball Advanced All-In-One Screen Printing Kit, Includes LED UV...
  • READY TO TAKE ON THE PHOTO EMULSION METHOD? – All-in-one kit designed for those ready to take on the photo emulsion...
  • HAS IT ALL - Not only does the Speedball All-in-One Kit include all of the tools and inks, but it also contains the...
  • GREAT FOR FABRIC PRINTING PROJECTS – This kit features inks and tools designed for screen printing on fabric

The first screen printing bundle is more than enough to get you screen printing like a professional. It comes with all the basics and plenty of materials to work with several designs at once. There is also a particular substance to remove the emulsion safely from the screen to prepare for a new design.

The Speedball Advanced All-In-One Screen Printing Kit kit includes:

  • Four 10.5-inch by 15-inch metal frames
  • Four 16-inch by 20-inch metal frames
  • Photosensitive emulsion
  • Two emulsion scoop coaters
  • Four spatulas
  • Eight squeegees
  • Twenty sheets of transparency paper
  • Graphic blackening agent
  • One roll of aluminum tape
  • Pallet adhesive
  • White paste
  • Transparent base
  • Pigments colors include: black, blue, red, green, and yellow
  • Emulsion removal powder

As you can see, it seems like this simple bundle screen printing kit has everything you might need. The only things missing are a press, latex gloves, and the light bulbs. You could consider buying or making a press.

2. Pllieay 42 Pieces Screen Painting Starter Kit

Pllieay 42 Pieces Screen Printing Starter Kit with Instructions,...
  • A Valuable and Starter Kit: Come with 2Pcs wood silk screen printing frames(10x14" & 8x10") with 110 white mesh, 1Pc 9.4...
  • Different Frames: Two kinds of wooden screen printing frames with 2 kind of screen printing squeegees, must be the great...
  • Fine Glitter: Include 5 pack fine glitter, you can use these to DIY your favorite patterns on your T-shirt, 5 colors can...

If you’re looking for an ultimate kit for printing t-shirts at home, the printing kit by is hard to beat. It has everything you could need in a screen printing kit. If you’re an absolute beginner, this may be perfect. Ryonet has a fantastic instructional video to walk you through the process.

Pllieay 42 Pieces Screen Painting Starter Kit :

  • 1Pc 10 x 14 inch wood silk screen printing frames with
  • 110 white mesh
  • 1Pc 8 x 10 inch wood silk screen printing frames with 110 white mesh
  • 1Pc 9.4 inch screen printing squeegee
  • 1Pc 6.8 inch plastic scraper
  • 5Pcs inkjet transparency film
  • 1Pc roll mask tape and 10Pcs wood stick
  • 1Pc 100ml Silicone measuring cup
  • 10pcs Plastic cups
  • 5 gloves
  • 5 pcs Fine glitter
  • an instructions(photo emulsion is not include)

Pllieay 42 Pieces Screen Painting Starter Kit has undoubtedly covered their bases with this kit. It is the best kit for beginners because it has everything. But even though it includes everything you will need, it does not contain as many inks or screens as the last kit. The only screen is wood framed which won’t hold up as well over time.

3. Caydo 23 Pieces Screen Printing Starter kit

Caydo 23 Pieces Screen Printing Starter kit Include 3 Different Size...
  • Screen Printing Frames: 3 different sizes of screen printing frames(10 x 14 inch, 8 x 12 inch, 6 x 10 inch) with 3 kinds...
  • Inkjet Transparency Film: A4 size waterproof transparency film are widely used in silk screen printing, they can help...
  • Wood sticks and ink knife: 10 pieces wood sticks and 1 piece 6.89 inch ink knife, can help to mix and transfer the ink,...

The Caydo 23 Pieces Screen Printing Starter kit is much different from the options listed so far. You will not be using an emulsion of any kind with this kit. Instead, you will be working with vinyl which is much simpler and chemical free. However, you will need a Cameo screen printing machine to print out your stencils.

This is a unique method for screen printing at home, but it’s not widely used by professionals or anyone printing on a large scale. The vinyl stencils don’t last as long as a photosensitive emulsion.

The Caydo 23 Pieces Screen Printing Starter kit :

  • 10-inch by 14-inch wood frame screen
  • Blue tape
  • Eight Speedball ink colors: black, blue, yellow, red, white, green, gold, and silver
  • Squeegee
  • Hook tool
  • Scaper tool
  • Transfer paper
  • Six-foot roll of vinyl
  • The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Screen Printing
  • Instruction guide

Overall, this is the best screen printing kit you could buy if you don’t want to deal the with emulsion process. It will require a vinyl cutting machine, which adds to the cost. The machine has a few different uses because you can also use vinyl prints for home decor, on cups, or for scrapbooking.

4. Colovis 23 Pcs Screen Printing Starter Kit

Colovis 23 Pcs Screen Printing Starter Kit, Include 3 Sizes Wood Silk...
  • Screen Printing Frames - The frames are pre-stretched. The mesh is high precision, scratch resistant,...
  • Screen Printing Squeegee - The squeegee has a rubber blade and wooden handle. Flexible and comfortable to grip. It is...
  • Inkjet Film - The film is feature of high ink load capacity, high definition, quick dry, not not easy to curl, widely...

The Colovis 23 Pcs Screen Printing Starter Kit is a popular kit for beginners or those screen printing at home. It’s extremely basic which makes it very easy to use. The best use for this kit is small scale projects. It is a minimal kit, but is effortless and would be fun to use with kids.

Instead of printing an image and using light to sear it into the emulsion, you use drawing fluid to paint the image on the screen. Then you can coat it with the emulsion and wash away the drawing fluid. The whole process is simple, but not always as precise.

The Colovis kit includes:

  • 10-inch by 14-inch screen
  • Red and black inks
  • Drawing fluid
  • Screen filler
  • Speed clean
  • Photo emulsion
  • Sensitizer
  • Squeegee
  • Round brush
  • Craft sticks

The Speedball screen printing kit is a breeze to use and very affordable. While it is trendy for home use, it is not as impressive as some of the other kits on the market.

5. JAPI 27 Pieces Screen Printing Starter kit

JAPI 27 Pieces Screen Printing Starter kit,Include 10 x 14 Inch Wood...
  • 👍 【Package Include】27 PCS Valuable and Complete Starter Kit:1Pc 10 x 14 inch wood silk screen printing frames...
  • 👍【Screen Printing Frames Tools】Screen printing frame and screen printing squeegee are made of wood, natural,...
  • 👍【5 Pieces Waterproof Inkjet Transparency Film】Strong wrinkle resistance, good elasticity, not easily deformed,...

The JAPI 27 Pieces Screen Printing Starter kitis a fantastic set that includes a press, unlike many of the others. The press uses hot-swap technology for multi-colored designs. The whole process is similar to many of the others that use emulsion. The press will make it much easier to set your design in place.

The Japi kit includes:

  • Printing press
  • Exposure unit with build in light and timer (which includes light bulbs)
  • 10-inch by 14-inch metal frame screen
  • Squeegee
  • Ten sheets of transparency film
  • Dual-core emulsion
  • Scoop coater
  • Emulsion remover
  • Instructional DVD
  • Black water-based ink
  • White water-based ink

While this kit is handy and easy to use, the heavy-duty printing press included in the kit does come at a premium. Keep in mind that the heavy press may also require extra shipping.

Using a Screen Printing Kit Will Make Designing T-shirts a Breeze

woman screen printing
Image via Flickr

Screen printing at home might seem like a difficult task. After learning a little about using photosensitive emulsion, you might shy away from the whole idea. But we can promise it’s much easier than it looks. There are plenty of resources that will help you along the way and make learning how to screen print a breeze.

Before you know it, you will be creating your designs and wearing them or giving them to friends and family. You don’t need to be a professional to make professional looking t-shirts. You might even be inspired to try it on different kinds of clothing.

We would love to hear about your favorite screen printing kit in the comment section below!

Last update on 2022-05-25 at 16:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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