Updated By Teckwrap Craft On June 21, 2024

How To Make Sublimation Tumblers

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You can easily make sublimation tumblers using high-grade sublimation paper and a heat press machine for tall tumblers. Be sure to only use sublimation tumblers and print your design with special sublimation ink.

To successfully design your tumbler, it’s important to understand the detailed sublimation process. You can master it with practice. Read on so you can learn how to create customized sublimation tumblers.

What Is A Sublimation Tumbler?

A sublimation tumbler is made of stainless steel and has a special polyester coating that makes it easy to transfer prints onto it. It is also heat-resistant and can be placed in a heat press machine without the risk of melting. The print won’t transfer on a regular tumbler without polyester coating and it might melt as well due to high heat.

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Do Sublimation Tumblers Come In Different Colors?

Stainless steel tumblers for sublimation come in light colors only, usually white and silver. This is because the sublimation print transfers well in vibrant colors on light or white products only. The same principle applies to garments, mugs, and other sublimation blanks as well. You won’t find dark-colored sublimation blanks, that’s for sure!

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How Do You Sublimate On A Tumbler?

To sublimate on a tumbler, you’ll need to invest in an inkjet printer with sublimation ink, a tumbler heat press machine, and printable sublimation sheets. Mentioned below are the supplies needed and the process in detail.

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What Do You Need To Sublimate On Tumblers?

To sublimate on tumblers, you need the following:

  • Sublimation printer (with sublimation ink)
  • Heat press machine for tall tumblers (you can use a heat press for mugs, but your prints will be limited)
  • Heat-resistant tape
  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • Blank sublimation tumbler (white or silver)
  • Sublimation paper
  • For cleaning: Lint roller, clean cloth, and alcohol
  • Scissors or cutter and cutting mat board
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Sublimation wrap
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Step-By-Step Guide On How To Make Sublimation Tumblers

Creating your own sublimation tumblers is a fun and rewarding project. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to transform plain tumblers into unique, eye-catching pieces.

Step 1: Create Your Design

  • First of all, decide on the design you want. You can go for a minimalist logo print or a name monogram. You can even opt for a full sublimation wrap design.
  • You can create your own sublimation designs using Adobe Photoshop or Cricut Design Space.
  • You can also purchase designs from Canva or download free SVGs.

Step 2: Resize The Design

  • How big do you want the design to be? Do you want to cover the whole sublimation tumbler or print on just a portion of it? Whatever you decide, set the size of your design accordingly.
  • Once you’ve sublimated on a surface, it’s permanent thus it is important to print the right size.

Here are several tips when resizing the design:

  • If you want to cover the whole tumbler with print, you don’t need to manually measure it. Simply take a look at the product description and list down its size (length and width).
  • For simple logo or name monogram print, 2x2” or 3x3” sizes are standard.
  • If you want precise sizing, manually measure the space on the tumbler using a ruler or tape measure.

Step 3: Print Out The Design

  • Once the design is final, print it on your sublimation paper.
  • For all sublimation prints, always mirror your design.
  • Print with the highest quality settings of your printer.
  • Choose the best quality sublimation paper. Preferably the one that dries fast and has a high transfer rate for bright and vivid prints. TeckWrap Craft’s sublimation paper has all of the above-mentioned features. Plus, expect great ink-saving performance too. Your prints will be fade-proof, smudge-proof, and crack-proof.

Step 4: Cut Out The Sides Of The Printed Sublimation Sheet

  • Old printers tend to print streaks or leave unwanted marks. In case this happens, your printer needs to be maintained properly. That’s why you always have to check the sides and marks on the sublimation paper.
  • Simply cut out unwanted streaks. If there are marks on the design itself, get a new print otherwise these unwanted marks or streaks will also transfer to the sublimated tumbler. You don’t want that!
  • Make it a habit to cut the corners of a sublimation paper. There might be ink marks, especially in the corners.
  • After cutting out the sides, get your sublimation tumbler, and measure the sublimation design against it to see if the size is right.

Step 5: Turn On the Heat Press Machine

  • Turn on the heat press machine so it can start to heat up. Remember that the time and temperature settings may vary depending on the sublimation tumbler you have.
  • Always check the product description and heating instructions that come with sublimation blanks. To give you an idea, here's the usual temperature range of sublimation tumblers made of stainless steel.
  • Heat: 330 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Time: 50 to 60 seconds.

Step 6: Clean The Tumbler

  • Always clean the sublimation tumbler. It must be free of dust, dirt, and fingerprints.
  • Use a lint roller first to remove dust and dirt. Then finish off with alcohol and a clean cloth.

Step 7: Place The Sublimation Paper On the Tumbler

  • Place the printed design on the sublimation tumbler.
  • Using heat-resistant tape, secure the design around the tumbler. If you have a full design, make sure the sublimation paper is tightly wrapped around the tumbler.
  • If you want to be extra sure that the sublimation paper tightly conforms to the tumbler, after taping the design, you can use a sublimation shrink wrap. Use a heat gun over the shrink-wrap sleeve.

Step 8: Printing Time!

  • Place the tumbler on the heat press machine.
  • Most heat press machines for tumblers can be manually tightened or loosened around the print blank. So even when you’re using a travel mug or a skinny tumbler, you can manually adjust the tightness of the product on the heat press plate.
  • Now close the machine and wait for it to do its job.
  • It is best to wear heat-resistant gloves as you remove the tumbler from the heat press machine. Now take off the sublimation paper. Viola! You have designed an exquisite tumbler!

How Long Do You Sublimate A Tumbler In A Convection Oven?

You can sublimate a tumbler in a convection oven if the budget is tight at the moment and investing in a tumbler press machine is too expensive. You must be wondering if the result is as good as that of a sublimation tumbler designed using a heat press. To be honest, the colors are not as vivid but it does work.

If you come to think of it, sublimating tumblers in a convection oven is a much faster option because you can fit several in it at a time. The method is simple. Follow Steps 1 to 7 mentioned above then do the following:

  • You can fit at least three tumblers in the convection oven at a time depending on its size.
  • I didn't fall, I attacked the floor: Leave the embarrassment of falling suddenly behind. You did not actually slip, you attacked the floor. We recommend using Sapphire Blue Soft Metallic Holographic HTV for this.
  • Using a sublimation shrink wrap is a must.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 6 minutes. Rotate to the other side after 3 minutes.
  • Cool off quickly by dipping the tumbler into a bucket of cold water so the sublimation process stops.
  • Remove the shrink wrap and you have sublimated your tumbler.

Frequently Asked Questions

There You Have It!

That was easy, right? You can now create sublimated tumblers as gifts for your loved ones. Buy the premium-quality sublimation paper from TeckWrap Craft, follow the steps mentioned above, and amaze all with your creativity!

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