Paper Weaving Process Video
Intentional Ghost Printing with a Stencil on the Gelatin Plate

Art Stuff Totes: Sublimation Printing at Home

Do you know what sublimation printing is?  In essentials, it's using heat to permanently transfer ink from a piece of paper onto another surface.  If you look around your house you probably have sublimation printed items and don't even know it.  Mugs, t-shirts, socks, tote bags, mouse pads...the list is pretty long.  If you look online, you'll find hundreds of videos with hacks and instructions for doing sublimation printing at home.  So, of course, I wanted to try it! 

I bought two different brands (and styles) of sublimation markers – one with a very thin pen tip and one with a thick chisel tip.  Then I took each set of markers and doodled onto plain pieces of copy paper.  This is the part of the process that took the longest.  But I just put on a podcast and had some fun making a big colorful tangle of marks.  I think you can tell which was the thick tip and which was the thin tip:

Note that the colors of the markers are more dull than the final colors will be after heating.

Then I used my ScanNCut to cut out the text I wanted to use.  You could use a built-in design, create your own text, or import a text file.  Don't forget to reverse the text!!! 

The reason you need to reverse the text is much like HTV, you're going to need to place the paper, pretty side down, when it’s time for sublimation.

This is what it looks like when it's all cut out:

The markers I used require the substrate to be polyester in order to transfer.  So I placed a polyester tote bag in my heat press.  And then I carefully laid out the text.

I covered the whole thing with butcher paper and closed the press to let it do its thing.  You should always read manufacturer instructions for how long to heat your design and at what temperature.  This process is best with a heat press, but I have read that you can do it with an iron.  It simply takes longer and sometimes the colors aren’t as vibrant.

I repeated the heating process with the negative text as well.  Nothing is wasted this way!

And now you can see my super cute totes!  


Personally, I like the bolder and brighter markers better.  But that's my personal taste.  Let me know which look you prefer!

Thanks for stopping by!


I am a paid ScanNCut Ambassador. All opinions are my own.