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How To Quickly Create A Screen Print Effect In Photoshop: Detailed Guide

Liza Brown
Liza Brown Originally published Feb 02, 23, updated Dec 05, 23

Screen printing is a unique method that uses a mesh to transfer ink onto a surface and is commonly used to print designs onto t-shirts or other garments, such as hoodies, tote bags, and even sneakers.

Nowadays, digital means such as Photoshop or Illustrator are used to create the screen print effect,  which is achieved by using a layer mask to cut out a portion of the image and filling it with the color or pattern of your choice. The design is then printed onto fabric using water-based CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) inks with inkjet printers.

Suppose you’ve ever wanted to create the screen print effect in Photoshop to give that artistic look to your pictures and embed them in your clothes or other accessories but don’t know where to start or are not familiar with the process. In that case, this guide can surely help you figure this out quickly!

So without any delay, let’s get on with it!

In this article
  1. How To Use Photoshop To Create The Print Effect

How To Use Photoshop To Create The Print Effect

Below we’ve provided a detailed guide using Adobe Photoshop to create the print effect with easy step-by-step instructions.

What Are The Requirements For Creating the Print Effect In PhotoShop?

Before we discuss the complete process of creating the print effect while using Photoshop, here are the resources you have to arrange.

  • Picture of the object: We will cut out the object from the original image using the Lasso tool and unsaturate it. However, you have to ensure that the object is clear and easily detectable within the picture.
  • A background image: You will need a background image to add the object to. For this, you can use a solid background, capture scenery, etc.
  • Fonts: You can also add fonts to the final image to add your ideas or thoughts, making your final project more eye-catching and engaging.
  • Photoshop latest version: For this tutorial, we will use the Photoshop CC 2021 version, so make sure to download and install it to your computer immediately!

What Are The Steps To Create Print Effect in PhotoShop?

Now that you know the necessary resources, the following are the steps to create the print effect in Photoshop:

Step1 Launch the Photoshop program on your laptop/desktop and click “Create New” on the software dashboard. Next, select the page size, such as “letter,” and click “Open.”

click create new

Now, click the “File” option in the top toolbar, and from the drop-down menu, select “Open.” Next, choose the image you want to apply the screen print effect by browsing to its location on your computer.

click the file option

Step2 Next, click the “Lasso” tool from the left-side menu to create the selection around the object in the image.

click the lasso tool

Press the CMD/Ctrl + C on your computer's keyboard to copy the selection. Next, click the "Layer" option in the top toolbar, select "New," and click "Layer via Copy."

click layer via copy

Step3 Now, hide the background layer in the “Layers” panel on the right-hand side, and you will get your object without any BG. Click the “Image” option in the top toolbar and select “Adjustments.” 

Click “Threshold…” from the drop-down menu, and set the “Threshold level.” Alternatively, you can click “Cmd/ctrl+Shift+U” on the keyboard to desaturate the image.

click threshold

Step4 Next, select the “Magic Eraser Tool” from the left-side menu and remove the white parts to smooth down the background. Afterward, choose the “Move Tool” from the menu and drag your object to a new layer.

To add the background image, click "File" and select "Open." Next, select the file and again click "Open."

Step5 Select the object using the "Move Tool" and drag it to the background image layer. If the thing is too large and you want to resize it, select the object using the "CMD/Ctrl" key and click "Edit" from the top toolbar. From the drop-down menu, choose "Transform" and click "Scale."

select the object using the move tool

Next, drag the handles to adjust the size of the object on the Background image.

Step6 Click the “T” icon from the left-hand side menu and set the font style, color, and size. You can also click the “3D” option to convert your text to a three-dimensional form.

click t icon

Try removing the left-out white patches on the object using the “Magic Eraser Tool” to give a polished look to the print screen effect. Once you are satisfied, click the “File” option from the top toolbar panel and select “Save As.”

Type in the file name and select the file type from the drop-down menu next to “Save As Type.” Choose the storage location, click “Save” to export your final project, and you’re done!


In this article, we’ve explored what the screen print effect is and how it is used in digital art. We’ve also discussed the requirements and resources you need to use and then demonstrated a step-by-step process of how to create the screen print effect in Photoshop with simple and easy-to-follow instructions.

To make things easy for you, we also added original screenshots while creating a sample project on the software.

Hopefully, this article helped resolve your queries, and you can now give a vintage or retro look to your images using the screen print effect in Photoshop.

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown Dec 05, 23
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