We all have a basic cup at home, but we like to find one that is special or brings back precious memories.
This is why personalized mugs are so popular. Everybody treasures a daily utility that was made just for them.
Now, you don’t have to wait for anyone to make that happen for you! You can make your own custom mugs with these two easy methods.
You can choose or create the design that you wish to gift someone special.
What is Sublimation in Printering?
Sublimation is a term used in chemistry to denote the direct transition of a substance between solid and gaseous states. It can also refer to something completely different in the world of print!
Sublimation is a way to turn a digital or hand-drawn image into a permanent imprint on a hard surface.
This is the method that hobbyists and experts use to customize mugs. We will be focusing only on sublimation on mugs, to help you get started.
How to do Sublimation On Step by Step Guideline for Mugs
1. Not-Necessary Supplies
Two methods can be used to sublimate mugs. For transferring the digital design, you can use either a cup press or a wrap to cover your mug.
You will need the same supplies for both methods, even though they are completely different. You will need mug wraps and a mug heating press machine, depending on the method you choose.
II. Sublimation ink
III. Sublimatable mug
V. Heat resistant tape
Sublimation cannot be done to all mugs. This means that a random mug, or one you have already displayed on your display, may not be the right one to try sublimation on.
You should not attempt to sublimate them. The result may not last very long, or even fail completely.
Sublimation is a method that ensures that the design or image will remain on the mug’s surface forever. It is resistant against spilling, scratching and machine washing.
2. Common Steps to Begin
a. Produce Design
Preparing your design for sublimation is the first step. This can be done using the photo editing software you prefer or the one recommended to you by your sublimation machine.
First, ensure that the software you choose can produce vivid images. The result will not be as impressive as you would like.
Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, CorelDraw and CorelDraw tend to be the top three choices for creating sublimation design.
If you are a beginner, it is a good idea import the design from these platforms to the software included with the printer or sublimation machine.
Doing this will improve the quality of your printed product and increase the value of your sublimated cups.
b. Print and Cut
Print the document design on transfer paper. Before pressing on “Print”, make sure that the measurements you have given there match the ones of your sublimatable mug. This needs to be checked out so that the printed image does not go beyond the mug’s boundaries, or doesn’t overflow its edges.
If you are printing images For multiple mugs, you will need to cut around each design in order to make it fit the mug. You don’t have to eliminate the spaces between the designs that were sublimated.
Also, make sure that the images have been mirrored so that the text is printed in correct direction.
c. Align And Tape
Now that the mundane parts are done, all you have to do is align the printed design along your sublimatable mug’s borders and secure it there with tape.
Remember that the usual Scotch tape This will not work because it may not be capable of handling the high. temperatures required Sublimation You will need heat resistant or heat transfer tapes to replace it.
Wrap the mug with this tape by placing a piece on each end. To ensure that the images on the design sheet can be superimposed under high heat, place them facing the mug surface.
3. Common 2 Method to SUBLIMATE A MUG
a. Mug Press
Step 1: Load mug
Once you have secured your design sheet, the mug press machine can be started. Follow the instructions to load the mug into the machine.
Make sure you get a mug press that can accommodate the mug sizes that you have or are planning on using. It is a good idea to research the specifications of these machines before you buy.
Step 2: Use a mug
Finally, press the mugThe temperature and time that the machine should be pressed on will need to be specified. While this will vary from one person to another, a safe guideline is to stick to 380-405 degrees for 185-250 seconds. Check the specifications of your transfer paper or mug to find out more.
You should ensure that the mug handle does not come in contact with the edges of the metal during the press. This can cause excess pressure.
Step 3: Remove and Cool Down
Wait for the mug to cool down before you take it off. You will need gloves or pot holders to take it out of the machine as it is likely to be very hot.
Carefully remove the transfer paper and wrap it around your nails and fingertips.
To prevent the images or designs from bleeding, place the hot cup in front of a fan. It will soon cool down enough to be ready for packaging and use.
b. Mug Wraps
Step 1: Dampen Transferpaper
After you have printed and secured the sublimation design on the mug with heat resistant tapes, you will need a little moisture to make the transfer paper damp. You can do this by soaking a towel or washcloth with water, then applying it to the paper.
Step 2 – Place Mug Wrap
Place your mug wrap around the mug. Make sure it doesn’t wrinkle the paper underneath. These wraps are made of silicone, which can withstand high temperatures without deformation. They usually have a strap that you will need to buckle up through the mug’s handle.
Step 3: Bake in the Oven
Now all you need to do is to place the wrapped mug into an oven and set the timer and temperature. It cannot be used in a microwave oven or toaster oven. This type of sublimation is usually done in a convection oven.
Check the settings on your transfer paper for the time and temperature. It takes between 10 and 15 minutes at temperatures greater than 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tips to Take Care When Sublimation Printing on Mugs
1. Heat Gloves to Protect Your Hands
Before you attempt mugsublimation, ensure that you have a pair on. It does not matter which process you choose, the process will increase the temperature of the mug by up to 400°F. To protect your hands from burning, heat gloves will be needed.
2. Spray adhesive instead of thermal tapes
If you don’t want to use thermal tapes during sublimation, you can use spray adhesive instead to secure the printed design on your blank sublimatable canvas. Spray adhesive can also be used to adhere the design to other surfaces, such as fabrics or garments.
3. Extra sheets over transfer paper
To ensure that the design doesn’t bleed through the transfer paper, you can use extra sheets over it before putting the mug inside your press or wrap.
For this purpose, silicone sheets or waterproof Teflon are often used. These sheets are less durable than Teflon, but will create a thin layer.
Now that you are familiar with how to sublimate on mugs in both ways, you can experiment with both and see which one you prefer.
Mug wraps are typically more affordable than the press because they are fully functional machines that operate at extremely high temperatures. The press produces more vibrant and lasting results than the wrap.