Make Great Gifts With Sublimation Blanks

Sublimation Blanks are available in many styles. Whether it is mugs, car coasters, koozies, drink coasters or any gift, make them special and colorful.  Some of these were created using Access graphics, some of them using graphics from Creative Fabrica.

I will have links to each blank in a minute  And to do these you must have a sublimation printer.  I will tell you about mine at the end of this tutorial.  They aren’t as expensive as you think.

Download all the templates and some of the designs here.

Where to Get the Sublimation Blanks

I get most of my sublimation blanks at Amazon.  The templates are available for these first five projects and are fit to these blanks.  Other blanks may be a different size.  Here are some of the links.  I have used all of these and they are great!  And I want to be honest, I am an amazon associate so I make a few cents every time you buy through my links but it doesn’t add to your price and I am never going to get rich from it.

And some others I bought and have used, but don’t have the template yet.  But I will write those posts soon.

Tips About Making Your Own Gifts with Sublimation Blanks

I have templates for the projects pictured above.  This allows you to make personal, one of a kind gifts.  I also included the designs for the Cricut coasters so that you could see what they look like.  You know a lot about the person you are making things for.  Design the project with that in mind.  For example, my mother doesn’t like to have pictures on her walls, so I made the mug with her favorite (only) granddaughter’s picture on it.  My brother loves motorcycles so his mug has lots of bikes on it.  And my sister in law loves to bake so hers has cookies and baking stuff on it.

Fit your images on top of and inside the template, maybe add their name, and make the template white.  Then select all of it including the template and flatten it.  It is now ready to print then cut on your sublimation printer.  Remember white doesn’t print but when the Cricut cuts it out it will cut around the “white” shape.  

The designs that create the best sublimation images are the ones that have bright colors.   The darker the better.  Those show up best.  The other thing to remember is that printers do not print white.  So if an image has large areas of white, it may not work well unless your blank is also white.

One Big Mistake to Avoid
I made this a separate section because it is that important!  Make sure that you mirror your sublimation projects!!!!!!  I have gotten so forgetful about this that when I design the project, I flip it so that the design is mirrored before I even send it to the printer.  And I save it that way.  This is what you get when you forget that fact.  Cordelia thought it was hilarious, but not a gift you want to give.
A Good Sublimation Printer

I bought an ecoTank 2720 at Walmart where it was only $199!  I found a sign at another Walmart that listed them at $139 but they had none left.  They are at Amazon for $299.  I wrote a whole post about it and you can read all about my experience with the printer here.

Now technically any picture you can print can be printed with sublimation ink.  Where do you get the backgrounds or pictures DESIGNED for sublimation?  Well I found an absolute treasure trove of them at Creative Fabrica!  While there think about buying a membership.  I got mine about 3 years ago for about $9 per month.  The membership has a trial period where you can download all you want.  To be completely transparent, when you click any of the links for Creative Fabrica and sign up, I receive a commission (a whopping 3 cents).  And they have daily freebies and $1 deals everyday.  

Between Access and Creative Fabrica I have all the fonts and images I need!  I have over 4000 fonts on my computer and am a bit of a fontaholic!  Anyone know where they hold the 12 step meetings for that?

I have found that I get the same results with regular printer paper and sublimation paper.  I got some sublimation paper free with the ink I bought and when it ran out I just used plain paper.  Both worked fine.

Other Things You Will Need

You are going to also need a heat press of some kind.  I have the 12 X 9 Easypress and the mug press   You cannot move the heat source around so it needs to cover the whole design.  Friends have other types of heat press and those work too and have some really nice attachments for hats and cups.  A regular iron does not heat up enough.  They must get to 400 degrees and only the real expensive one do.  Otherwise the colors don’t transfer well and the image, although it will transfer, it looks washed out.  You will also need some heat resistant tape.  It is a bit expensive but it is reusable so use small pieces and then attach them to a table or something and reuse them next time.

Follow the heat instructions that you would for infusible ink.  If you need help with infusible ink there is a tutorial here.  To do the mugs you need a mug press.  I have a video here on how to use it.

In Conclusion
 I hope this tutorial helps you to make FABULOUS gifts!  If you have any questions or get stuck you can check out my Facebook group for inspiration or just email me.  I will try to help.

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