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Sublimation onto Wine Tumblers with a Mug Press Tutorial

If you ever tried sublimating onto stemless wine tumblers with a mug press you probably quickly realized the shape of most standard mug press attachments isn't ideal for wine tumblers. 

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For this reason it's usually recommended to sublimate wine tumblers in a convection oven. But...I've found a work around that will allow you to sublimate onto a stainless steel wine tumbler.  
The trick is using a large latte tumbler mug press attachment.  Usually the latte mug press attachments would be used for a conical shaped mug that's smaller at the bottom and larger at the top. But in the case of a wine tumbler it's smaller at the top then kind of bulges out before getting smaller again. 

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It's an odd shape...but if you place it into the latte attachment opposite of how you'd place a latte mug, it will work! 

Let's back up a few steps. 

Sizing Sublimation Designs for Wine Tumblers

Start by measuring the area where your design will go on the tumbler, so you know how large to make the sublimation design.  As a general idea 4x2" is about the size of the design I used. 

In Silhouette Studio open your design and size by dragging the corner in or using the Scale tool in the Transform Panel or along the Quick Access toolbar. 

This design is from So Fontsy and comes into Silhouette Studio black. But I just filled it with a pattern using the Fill Pattern tool. 

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Mirror your design (right click > Flip Horizontally) and then send it to print on your sublimation printer. I am using a Sawgrass SG400 Sublimation Printer on a MAC so I always export my design out of Silhouette Studio to print direction from the Sawgrass Print Manager

Once your design is printed, trim it down so it fits nicely on your wine tumbler. 

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Use a high temperature tape to secure the sublimation print to your mug. 

Using a Mug Press for Stainless Steel Wine Tumblers

I am using my 8 in 1 heat press with the mug attachment, but the same attachments come with the 4 in 1 mug press from Swing Design as well.  

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Attach the large tapered latte tumbler attachment to the mug press and make sure the heating coil is plugged into the main press if you have an 8-in-1. 

You want to turn the pressure gauge so it's basically as loose as possible allowing for the largest size opening when the mug press is closed.  The press will still be plenty tight on your tumbler, so don't worry. You are trying to avoid applying too much pressure to the mug so it doesn't get misshapen while in the mug press. 

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For white stainless wine tumblers, heat the mug press up to 330 degrees and set the timer to 200 seconds. 

Place the tumbler into the mug press so that the open drinking side is towards the smaller end of the tapered attachment. (Make sure you do not press the mug with the plastic lid on it.) 

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The sublimation design should be down so it's getting full heat on it. Close the mug press and start the timer. 

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When the time is up use a glove or pot holder to remove the tumbler from the mug press. 

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Be careful not to touch the stainless steel tumbler with your bare hand as it will be really hot. And don't use any type of sharp tool to try to remove the tape as it will scratch the surface on the mug. 

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And that's it - such a great hack with a standard mug press attachment to sublimate onto the odd shaped wine tumblers! 

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