How To Print On Plastic Bags: Heat Press Tips!

Branding is something that every business needs to think about when they’re first starting out. While printing a logo on a t-shirt or other piece of merchandise using a heat press can have its difficulties, it can often be relatively straightforward.

However, many companies will want to put their branding on a variety of other things, such as plastic bags. This can often be much more complicated than using a heat press on fabric.

Because of that, many business owners may believe that the process is too complex to be worth the hassle. This doesn’t need to be the case, as there are a variety of different tips and tricks that can make it much simpler than you might have thought.

This is because printing on plastic bags somewhat of a tricky task. As such, there are a few different things you should consider when using a heat press on plastic bags.

What To Consider When Using A Heat Press On Plastic Bags


Plastic can melt under high temperatures, which is what can make heat press printing on them quite difficult. Because of that, safety is extremely important when you’re using the process. One of the more significant things to consider here is that you shouldn’t consider printing on a normal polythene bag. This is because it’s got quite a low melting temperature and may cause a fire.

Instead, you should use a polypropylene bag, as it’s quite stronger than its standard counterpart and is more resistant to heat. It should also be noted that you should exercise patience when you’re printing on these bags. You should start by using a lower temperature and gradually increasing the heat level until the design has been applied to the bag.

Another recommendation is that you apply heat for a short amount of time to begin with. Applying the heat for too long can cause as much damage as applying too much heat, which is why it’s best left avoided.

How To Apply A Design On A Plastic Bag

Many business owners will be familiar with how to apply a design to a t-shirt using the heat press method. When it comes to using a plastic bag, however, you shouldn’t use the same process. This is primarily because the fabrics used in a t-shirt can be much more resistant to heat than the materials used in a bag. As such, you should use a different application method.

One of the most notable aspects of this method is that you exercise a significant amount of control over the heat level and timing of the process. This is why you should ensure that you have a heat press printer that offers a considerable degree of customizability throughout this process. There are a few other things you do when applying the design.

When it comes to keeping the bag flat in the heat press, it’s recommended that you a Teflon pillow or print perfect pad during the process. By inserting this into the bag, you’ll be able to raise the part of the bag that you’ll be applying the design to. This will also have the added benefit of ensuring that the design is only applied to the part of the bag that you want it applied to.

Taking safety precautions against melting can also be a significant aspect of the application process. This is because melted plastic can do a significant amount of damage to your heat press printer and can be quite difficult to clean.

A simple way of avoiding this is by using parchment paper, which is available in many stores and can be somewhat inexpensive. This makes it quite an affordable way to protect your heat press printer.


We’ve already mentioned how plastic can melt when exposed to excess heat. This is why choosing the right heat from the start can be an essential part of the process. A polypropylene bag has a melting point of approximately 330 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should apply anywhere close to this kind of heat when you first begin applying the design. This is because your plastic bag will begin melting as soon as you start applying the design.

Instead, you should start at a much lower temperature and begin increasing it until your design has been printed. In the majority of cases, a design should adhere to a plastic bag by 275 degrees.

This can often be dependent on the heat press printing machine that you’re using. If you’re using a material other than polypropylene, then you may need to start with a different temperature.

Choose The Right Heat Press Machine

Because of the fact that you’ll need a significant degree of control over a variety of settings, you may need to pay particular attention to which heat press machine you use. There are a few different things you should look at when you’re choosing which printer to use. Temperature is obviously one of the more notable aspects of this.

You should also pay a considerable amount of attention to how much pressure you’ll be able to apply during the application process, as this plays quite a role in how fast a design can be applied and sealed. Whether or not the printer has flat plates can also play a role in the process, as it can determine whether or not the plastic bag creases.

By looking at each of the areas mentioned above, you should be able to ensure that you’re able to effectively apply a design to a plastic bag using a heat press. While many people may believe that this is impossible, this isn’t the case.

However, you should always take a significant amount of care when you’re applying the design, thanks in large part to the safety concerns that may come with the process. By sticking to best practices, though, you’ll be able to avoid and overcome many of these concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Ink Can I Use on Plastic Bags?

Epoxy inks and synthetic enamels generally are recommended for printing on plastic product.

Can You Screen Print Plastic Bag?

Yes, the procedure of printing on your bag is similar to that of printed garments; however, instead of fabrics, screens composed of gelatin or cellulose are used.

Are Screen Printed Designs on Plastic Bags Durable?

Screen printing is one of the most effective printing technologies, and its designs are even more durable than those produced digitally. The printings should last for a long time.

Final Thoughts About Printing on Plastic

It may appear that printing on plastic is difficult or complicated. Learning how to print on plastic is not as difficult as it appears if you know what you need and how to utilize it.While custom printing on plastic have some obstacles, you have a variety of options to choose from to assist you decide which is ideal for you. There are numerous methods for printing on the surface of a plastic film, ranging from screen printing on plastic to digital printing with laser printers.The variety of plastic materials, printers, ink compositions, and other considerations can be intimidating, but if you know what you need and how you’ll use it, you’ll find that your options are actually rather simply.

You can now begin printing on plastic cups, or if you’ve gained enough confidence, printing on plastic cards may not be as difficult as it appears.


I want to live in a world where we embrace our individuality. I want to live in a world where we are encouraged to innovate- to seek new solutions to every day problems that will ultimately affect our future generations. Hi! I'm Jenelle. Though these days I am most frequently referred to as Mommy, I used to hold such titles as President, Waitress, College Student, Mud Bog Racer, and I even donned a big furry cat suit in high school as Suzy Stateliner- the school mascot! Between crushing cars with Monster Jam trucks, judging silly dance contests, and those other less fun household chores... I rescue clothing and textiles from our landfills.

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