How to sublimate ceramic mugs? | A comprehensive guide

complete process to sublimation on coffee mugs

Seeing a coffee mug sublimation with your favorite photo, text, or graphic is a precious feeling for anyone who loves to have customized belongings. Whether you are an artistic person and want to sublimate ceramic mugs for yourself or plan to start an online business of sublimation mugs, You are o the right track.

Customized Sublimation Coffee mugs are a unique treat for every coffee lover. Whether he is a workaholic individual who wants to have coffee all the time on his work desk or a lazy potato who wants to eat donuts and drink coffee by living at home, these sublimation coffee cups are a feast for them. You can gift your friends these sublimation coffee mugs who are coffee or tea enthusiast. People love to buy and give these customized products, so if you plan to start a sublimation coffee mugs business, Don’t stop and go ahead. You don’t have to be concerned if you want to establish a mug press sublimation business. You only need a few pieces of sublimation printing equipment to get started with your business idea. In case you have this impressive idea to pursue, Hold on! This guide is for you.

How do we define Sublimation?

Sublimation is defined as transforming a solid particle into a gaseous state. The heat press warms the gas dye, permanently pressed into the substrate’s surface. Sublimation can open up a plethora of transferring possibilities for both craftsmen and business owners. Drinkware made of porcelain, metal, or glass can be personalized with a bright image of your friends or family, your or others’ artwork or photography, or even your company’s work or logo!

Can you sublimate on any ceramic mug?

Yes, ceramic is a popular choice for sublimation crafting because it’s relatively easy to get it perfect, and you can never have too many coffee mugs. You’ll also need a sublimation printer and a heat source that can reach at least 385°, regardless of the type of ceramic blank you choose. Keep in mind that any ceramic cup or item will not suffice. For the ink to transfer, it needs to be adequately coated with a poly-coating—look for something labelled “sublimation.”

Coffee Mug Sublimation—Complete Procedure in a step-by-step guide:

sublimate on coffee mug complete process

What do you need to conduct the sublimation process on a coffee mug?

  • Printer with sublimation ink (Sublimation Printer)
  • Heat presses for mugs
  • Mugs made of sublimatable ceramic
  • High-quality heat-resistant tape
  • Scissors
  • sublimation transfer paper
  • Butcher Paper
  • Oven mitt that can withstand high temperatures

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary supplies for dye-sublimation printing, use a mug heat press machine or Cricut easy press to print a high-quality image on your ceramic mug. This guide will let you know the sublimation process using both heat press and Cricut easy press.

Let’s sublimate our mug:

1. Choose a suitable mug

Select the mug of suitable size and make sure that it is poly-coated. Using a lint roller, clean the cup. Any lint or dust particles can sublimate and leave marks on the cup.

2. Create your graphic or choose one

Keep in mind that the average 10 or 11oz cup is 39.5 inches tall when picking the size of your sublimation graphics (3 inches high, nine wide). Also, while printing complete bleed over the top and bottom edges of the cup is possible, safe mugs include a tapper that can make this challenging to transfer.

If you’re printing on tapered ceramic mugs (at the top or bottom), you should print around 14 inches away from the top and bottom edges.

You may use the following tools to create your own graphic:

Protip: Reduce printing expenses and increase production efficiency by copying and pasting your selected design numerous times on a single piece of paper.

3. Print your chosen photo/graphic

You can select to print on full-size transfer paper (8.5″x11″) when you’re ready. There are also transfer sheets specifically developed for mugs that you can use. Make sure you’ve selected the suitable printer settings for mug sublimation graphics, such as ticking the “mirror image” option and using a resolution of no more than 300 DPI (any higher amount will be a waste of ink and take longer than necessary to print). Ensure that your printer is equipped with sublimation inks and transfer paper.

Also, double-check that you’re printing on the coated side of the paper!

4. It’s time to trim the paper now!

Because sure wholesale sublimation mugs come in various sizes, you must verify that the paper is cut to the proper dimensions. Trim the edges and double-check that you can wrap the piece around your cup without difficulty. Turn the transfer paper over so that the picture is facing the mug. Wrap the paper around the mug tightly. Make sure the paper is firmly placed against the mug’s surface. Secure the transfer paper using heat-resistant tape at each end of the printed transfer. Using heat-resistant tape, adhere your patterns to your cup. You want the drawings to lie as flat against the mug as possible; any gaps will result in an uneven transfer. Tape the bottom edge so nothing moves when it’s entered or removed from the mug press.

Protip: Before pressing, wrap your cup in two pieces of butcher paper and tape it down. It helps protect your mug press from receiving any undesired sublimation ink on the press itself.

5. Select your desired settings on the sublimation mug press or Cricut easy press machine

Set the mug sublimation temperature, i.e. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius). Set the timer for 4-6 minutes and adjust the pressure to “medium-heavy.” 

To sublimate ceramic mugs with the best results, you may need to experiment with duration, temperature, and pressure (depending on your mug press).

Note: The exact time will vary depending on the heat press and blank mug maker.

6. Place your mug carefully into the machine

Mug Heat PressCricut Easy Press
You’re ready to press when your mug heat press reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius).Add your mug to the mug press.

You can start pressing your mugs after your mug heat press reaches 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius).Please press down the lever once it has reached temperature
Without wrinkling or folding the transfer paper, carefully place the mug into the heat press. It is vital information. Keep in mind.The Cricut easy press has a beep.

Any minor fold in the paper may cause your final design to be distorted or ruined.Wait until the timer whistles on the Cricut Mug Press.
Begin the sublimation process by gently closing the press.
It’s important to remember that the press should snap shut tightly, but don’t apply too much pressure, or your cup will break.

7. Take your mug out of the heat press

Mug Heat PressCricut Easy Press
When the timer goes off, open the press and remove the cup with a heat-resistant oven mitt (the mug will be extremely hot).Lift the lever up and carefully remove the mug when it beeps. It is going to be scorching. It’s sweltering, like 400 degrees.
Remove the transfer paper affixed to the cup as quickly as possible by carefully removing the tape.The mug should not be touched (heat-resistant gloves or Oven mitts are great to protect your hands).

8. Wait for your mug to cool before handling it

Mug Heat PressCricut Easy Press
The sublimation procedure for your mug is almost finished.
Place it on a heat-tolerant surface (such as a Cricut Easy Press mat) and leave it alone for at least 20 mins before handling it.
Remove your hot mug from the heat and set it away to cool for a whileThen remove the tape paper, and transfer to reveal your completed mug.
Until it is no longer hot to the touch, please do not touch (you may also use a low-speed fan to cool the mug faster).

8. Follow the above 8 steps

The first five steps are the same for the heat and Cricut easy press. Follow these 8 steps above and make a sublimation mug for yourself.

FAQs

Can you sublimate on regular mugs?

 A Big No!

You can’t just walk to the dollar store and get a random coffee mug or glass. To achieve the desired outcome, you need to get a polymer-coated mug for the sublimation process.

Is it true that vinyl mugs have a shelf life?

To go on your cup, you’ll need color-coded permanent adhesive vinyl. You’ll also need regular grip transfer tape to apply the vinyl to the mug’s surface. Rubbing alcohol is all you’ll need to clean the cups, and cleaning them will help your vinyl adhere better.

Is the interior of the sublimation cup coated?

Dye sublimation mugs are identical to screen-printed mugs. However, they go through an additional manufacturing step to apply a coating. The polymeric layer is subsequently put on the cups.

Can I use Canva to make mugs?

Yes, you can make one design for the front and another for the back of the cup. Your images, logos, and other vectors can all be used in your mug design. Save the file as a PNG, JPEG, or SVG.

How long does it take for the Cricut mug to warm up?

It takes about five minutes for the Cricut Mug Press to heat up. It will take around six minutes to finish once you add your mug and press it in.

Are these mugs microwave and dishwasher safe?

Yes, these sublimation mugs are microwave and dishwasher-safe.

Conclusion

Customized mugs, clothes, and other goods are all the rage at online businesses. It’s all thanks to a popular printing method known as sublimation or heat press printing. What is the mechanism behind it?

A sublimation printer creates sublimation ink on paper, and a heat press converts the picture from a solid to a gas state without ever becoming a liquid. When the ink on the transfer product cools, it properly bonded and solidifies, resulting in long-lasting designs that can be washed in the dishwasher.

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