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Heat Press Friendly Sublimation Blanks: Because Sublimation is More than Just for Shirts!

Sublimation is quickly gaining popularity with Silhouette CAMEO crafters - especially because Silhouette Studio allows you to print directly to a sublimation printer.

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This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

While most people think of sublimation for shirts and apparel first - there's a whole selection of sublimation blanks out there that you can work with you using your regular heat press.


Keep in mind - not all sublimation blanks are heat press friendly. For example, due to their shape mugs and phone cases need a special heat press or heat source when sublimating. But I found a bunch of cool flat - and therefore heat press-friendly - sublimation blanks at Pro World

I picked up a jewelry box which has an insert on the lid that can be printed onto, a couple of mouse pads, cork-backed coasters, magnet tiles and some panels. Just know - they have tons more including luggage tags, key chains, pet tags, and all different size and shape photo panels!

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The first thing you want to do, when designing for sublimation, is measure the blank. The insert on this jewelry box insert is 4.5".

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Keep that measurement in mind while you go into Silhouette Studio. A circle shape is easy -  just use the Draw an Ellipse tool and hold down shift while drawing out the shape.
 
With the shape selected you can either pull out the corner node or go to the Scale tool to adjust the size.  For sublimation you want to make sure you give yourself some bleed area so that you don't leave a white edge on the sublimation blank.  To make a bleed area, just make the shape slightly larger than the blank.  I sized this circle to almost 4.7".

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Now you can decide how you want to fill the shape - you can use a photo that's in your Fill Patterns folder.

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You can add a design from your library or create your own design within the shape which is what I did for these square coasters.

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Before you print your design, you'll need to mirror it. To do so, select the shape > right click > Flip Horizontally.

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There's no need to add registration marks in Silhouette Studio because we're not actually going to 'cut' with our Silhouette cutting machine. For sublimation and Silhouette you're just using the Silhouette Studio software. 

When you're ready, make sure your sublimation printer is on the same network as your printer or that they're connected. I have a Sawgrass 400 sublimation printer from Pro World.  To print to it from Silhouette Studio, click the Print icon along the top tool bar.  Select your sublimation printer from the list of printers and then click "Print."

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Once your image is printed, you can use scissors to trim down the sublimation sheet close to the design.

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Double check that your sublimation blanks do not have a protective film on them - some do and it needs to be removed before transferring the image.

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Flip the sublimation blank onto the printed image and then use a high temperature tape to keep it in place.  Now you can see why that bleed area is so helpful!

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Your heat press should be at 400 degrees for sublimation.

Once it's warmed up, place the printed sublimation sheet and the blank onto the lower platen. The sublimation sheet should be on top.  Close the top platen and lock it into place for 60 seconds.


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When the time is up remove everything from the heat press.  Be very careful as the items get extremely hot!

Remove the sublimation sheet from the substrate to reveal your beautiful transfer!

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The image has now been sublimated onto the sublimation blank. It's dishwasher and microwave safe and has a really professional, glossy look!

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Sublimation really is that easy - so once you're ready to start experimenting be sure to check out all of the sublimation blanks Pro World offers

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!


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