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Creative Cutters: Sublimating with Markers

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Are you familiar with sublimation? You’ve probably seen it often, whether you realized it or not – on garments, mousepads, puzzles, and even coffee mugs. It’s very popular right now and was the topic of this month’s Creative Cutters meeting!

Featured image for Creative Cutters class on sublimating with markers

Scientifically speaking, “sublimation is a chemical process where a solid turns into a gas without going through a liquid stage.” (Source: https://www.yourdictionary.com/sublimation)

Most of the time, sublimation designs are created in a software program (like Silhouette Studio), then printed onto sublimation paper using a dedicated sublimation printer and sublimation ink. The design is then heat-pressed onto the substrate and becomes embedded into the substrate, rather than simply adhered to the surface. But you can also create sublimation designs by hand using thermal transfer markers, which is exactly what we did at Creative Cutters!

Ladies at Silhouette crafting group using sublimation markers

Sublimation is a chemical process where a solid turns into a gas without going through a liquid stage.”

Before diving into our project, we took some time for Show & Tell. I always enjoy seeing what crafty things everyone has been doing.

Photo of people sharing their t-shirt designs

Photo of woman sharing her vinyl crafts

Photo of people sharing their Silhouette designs

We also had a surprise guest who did a quick interview for the local radio station!

Photo of Lycia Evanoff being interviewed by Sharon Ivey for KGAS radio

Then it was time to get the creative juices flowing! Following a brief discussion about the sublimation process, we broke out the markers and started to color. I had printed out several designs ahead of time (most of them from the Silhouette Design Store), but also had blank paper available for those who wanted to create their own. Since there’s no need for special paper when using sublimation markers, everything was done on plain white copy paper.

Photo of Lycia Evanoff demonstrating sublimation with markers
Lycia Evanoff demonstrating sublimation with markers
Photo of patterns used to draw sublimation designs
Photo of woman drawing with sublimation marker
Photo of women drawing with sublimation markers
Woman and young girl drawing with sublimation markers

Once the designs were finished, it was time to press! These cork-backed coasters from Unisub were very simple to use and the perfect way to show off our works of art.

Unisub Square Cork-Backed Coaster
Sublimation Instructions for Cork-Backed Coasters
  1. Peel off protective film from coaster. (Hard-backed coasters generally do not have a protective covering.)
  2. Clean the coaster using a microfiber cloth or a paper towel and alcohol or all-purpose cleaner.
  3. Center the coaster face-down onto the transfer paper. Using high temp tape, tape the coaster to the transfer paper in 2 places.
  4. Place a piece of butcher (or parchment) paper on the bottom platen of the heat press. Then place the coaster with the transfer on top (face-down), covered by another piece of butcher paper.
  5. Press at 400 degrees Farenheit for 1 minute.
  6. Carefully lift the transfer off the coaster and allow the coaster to cool.
Photo of women using heat press for sublimating coasters
Group of women using Craft Pro heat press for sublimation coasters

Don’t you love how vibrant the colors are???

CC CompletedProjects1 Sept2019

Photo of woman with sublimated coasters

Photo of woman with sublimated coasters

Photo of sublimated coasters with hand-drawn designs

When using the markers, the hardest thing to remember is that the image must be mirrored. This can be especially tricky when adding text by hand, but Gwen did a great job!

Photo of woman drawing with sublimation markers
Sublimated coasters

Sublimation markers are fun for kids too! You can even create “coloring pages” for them by placing a marker in your Silhouette tool holder and tracing a design from Silhouette Studio. This method is also good for those of us who don’t have a steady hand. Sketch the outline with your Silhouette, color as desired, then press!

A big thanks to Heat Press Nation and Unisub for sponsoring this class and to Silhouette America for sponsoring our monthly door prize. I can’t wait to see how Frances puts her new Mint to use!

Woman holding Mint stamp maker

We’re always learning new things at Creative Cutters and would love for you to join us if you can!

Group of women at craft class on sublimating with markers

Check out my Events page or follow me on Facebook to find out more information.

Featured image for Creative Cutters class on sublimating with markers

Until next time,

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