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How to Make Decals with Inkjet Printer in 7 Steps

Decals are a great way to add custom designs and images to a variety of surfaces, including cars, laptops, and more. The only thing we need to know is which type of paper to use for making decals.

Quick Answer: To make decals with an Inkjet printer you’ll need a Graphic TabletInkjet Printer, Waterslide transfer paper, Acrylic sealant spray, Water, and lastly Scissors for the entire process.

If you’re ready to make decal paper, there are two main types: inkjet and laser. Inkjet decal paper is designed to be used with an inkjet printer, while laser decal paper is designed to be used with a laser printer. You have to adjust some settings exactly the way you adjust your settings for printing on paper or photos. Here are some basic adjustments you need to do before making decals.

  • Check whether your printer is set to use “glossy” paper or “photo” paper.
  • The size of the water slide decal paper is “A4” (11 x 8 inches). Make sure the size is set properly.
  • Decrease the density or saturation of your print setting.
  • Always make sure to print on the glossy side of the paper.

If you’re really interested to create your own decals at home by using an inkjet printer to decorate walls, windows, floors, or even cars with your favorite designs, follow our step-by-step guide to make it happen.

Step 1 – Supplies you’ll need to make decals at home


A graphics tablet allows you to draw patterns, create designs, and edit images with your fingers or a special stylus. The process of making decals will be a lot easier if you use graphics tablets. This is optional, but you can use a photo editor.

Inkjet Printer

Inkjet printer is the main thing in this process, I suggest that the printer should have the ability to print high-quality prints for water slide decals.

Waterslide transfer paper

Water slide transfer paper is a type of paper that is very durable and can be used to transfer designs and patterns onto various surfaces like mugs, plates, and glasses.

Acrylic sealant spray

These types of sprays are needed for printing decals as they help to protect the decal from spreading or running when it comes in contact with water. It can also help to extend the life of the decal.


Water is an essential component of printing decals, as it is used to wet the decal paper and transfer the decal to the desired surface. When printing decals, it is important to use filtered water to avoid any unwanted material that could affect the quality of the print.


Scissor is needed to easily cut out complex designs and shapes that would be difficult to cut out with a knife or a pair of scissors.

Step 2 – Turn on your Inkjet printer

Now it’s time to switch on your printer, make sure your printer is working properly and ready to print and set to the right settings for decal printing. Check if it has enough ink, if it has you can print the decals on a blank vinyl.

Step 3 – Download or Scan the Design

To make your first decals, select one of your favorite images that you want to turn into a decal. Make sure your chosen image is of the best possible quality available. The best quality image will produce the most attractive decal.

Edit the image if you want to add more touch to it, in case you want to make a decal out of a physical picture, use a scanner of your printer to scan the design at a resolution of 300 dpi or higher.

Also, you can use your own design, digital art, and sketch for the decal.

Step 4 – Print out the Decal

Next, to print the decal, put the vinyl decal transfer paper in the printer and make sure the coated side is facing the inkjet head. 

Make sure the settings of your printer are appropriate for transferring paper to print your design without any hassle.

Step 5 – Apply the Acrylic Sealant

After the final coat of acrylic sealant has dried, slowly peel away the backing paper. If the design comes up with the backing paper, stop peeling and reapply another coat of acrylic sealant. Once the design is successfully adjusted, finish by spraying a clear acrylic sealant over the entire design to protect it.  

Step 6 – Soak the Design in Water

Paper towels are the best way to remove adhesive remains from your screen. But if the decal is not getting off, you may need to soak it in water first. 

To do this, fill a bowl with water and dip the transfer paper. Keep it there for a few minutes, then slide it back and forth with your fingertips. After sliding slowly, you’ll see the decal getting removed.

Step 7 – Finally Trim the Decal

Trim the decal using scissors or a cutter. It’s better to use a scissor to cut off the excess transfer paper and then use a ruler to make sure it stays flat on the magazine. Never leave any extra transfer paper around the edge of the decal.


Decals are a great way to add a personal touch to any project. By customizing a Decal you can give a colorful custom design to a coffee mug, water bottle, or even a t-shirt. Though decals are decorative stickers, and people usually prefer to use them for outdoor use but still really fun to use decals for personal use.

If you want to decorate your home or office, you can create decals by using a printer to transfer a pattern to a surface. Using a personal inkjet printer to print directly onto a surface is better.