Want to know how to create sublimation designs in Silhouette Studio? Today’s post will show you just how easy it is! And the best part? You can use them with or without a sublimation printer!
Recently I spotted a beautiful black and white floral wine caddy on the Artesprix blog and fell in love with the design. I don’t drink wine, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to make something similar for myself. But unlike designer Adam Karle*, I’m not a stamper, so I improvised by using my Silhouette and the Silhouette Studio software.
*If you want to see more of Adam’s work, be sure to check out his Instagram page!
What You’ll Need:
- Silhouette Studio Software*
- Sketch Designs:
- Flower by Rivka Wilkins, Design Store ID 26951
- Sketched Feather by Silhouette, Design Store ID 301410**
- Sketched Florals by Silhouette, Design Store ID 334152
- Sketched Tall Foliage by Silhouette, Design Store ID 301415**
- Plain Copy Paper
- Artesprix Black Sublimation Marker Set
- Sketch Pen Adapter (Cameo 4/Portrait 3 or earlier models)
- Wine Caddy Sublimation Blank
- Heat Tape
- Protective Paper
- Heat Press or Home Iron
- Artesprix Project Mat (if using a home iron)
- Silhouette Cameo or Portrait
- Sublimation Printer
- Sublimation Paper
*The free Basic Edition of Silhouette Studio will work fine for sketching the design. To save the design as a JPEG or PNG for printing on a sublimation printer, you’ll need Business Edition.
Use code SUBLIMATION to save 10% on your order at Artesprix. Does not apply to heat presses or bundle deals.
Step 1: Create the template for the sublimation design in Silhouette Studio
Set up a letter-size (8.5 inch x 11 inch) design page. Draw a rectangle that is 10 inches x 5.75 inches, which is slightly larger than the wine caddy blank. Rotate the view by 270 degrees so that you can more easily visualize the finished design.
Step 2: Add Sketch Designs
Add various sketch designs to the template. Mirror, rotate, and resize the designs as desired. To create more visual interest, position a few of the designs partially beyond the edges of the template.
Step 3: Clean Up the Design
Use the eraser tool to delete most of the parts of the sketch designs that go beyond the margins of the template. This will keep you from wasting time and ink sketching/printing sections you don’t need.
Select all the remaining parts of the design except for the rectangle. Don’t panic when you see a whole bunch of little bounding boxes. Using the eraser tool breaks some of the cut paths and separates the designs into a bazillion little parts – give or take a few!
Make a compound path. (You should now see only one bounding box around the entire design.)
Step 4: Sketch or Print the Sublimation Design
Option 1: Sketch the Sublimation Design Using Sublimation Markers
Delete the rectangle or set it to No Cut.
Mirror the design.
In the Send Panel of Silhouette Studio, make sure that all of the design area shows as bold red lines.
Option 2: Print the Sublimation Design Using a Sublimation Printer
Delete the rectangle.
Select the design and change the Line Color to black and the Line Weight to 1.5 pt.
Print a mirror image on sublimation paper using your sublimation printer. (Sublimation printers are usually set to mirror the image automatically.)
Step 5: Get ready to press!
(Instructions for each type of Artesprix blank can also be found on their website.)
Trim the paper to approximately 1 or 2 inches larger than the blank.
Place the design face-up on your work space. Center the blank, face-down, onto the design. Secure the blank to the design with heat tape. Because the caddy is rather large, use several pieces of tape so that the transfer paper remains tight against the blank.
Arrange the layers into a “Sublimation Sandwich”. The “bread” will be two pieces of protective paper, one on top and one on bottom. Each piece should be larger than the copy paper/design. The “filling” is the sublimation blank with the design taped to it. Place the colored design face-down, with the blank facing up. When you press, the only thing that will be between the heat source and the design is one layer of protective paper.
Step 6: Press
Set your heat press to 400 degrees. Press with firm pressure for 75 seconds.
If using a home iron, set it to the highest setting (usually Linen) and NO STEAM. Place the sublimation sandwich onto the Artesprix Project Mat and hold stationary while pressing firmly for approximately 3 minutes.
When you’re finished pressing, do a “peek test” before removing the paper. Lift a corner of the transfer paper and check to see that the design has transferred and the colors are bright. If not, press for a few more seconds. (The paper will be hot so you may want to wear protective gloves!!!)
Once the design is transferred, allow the blank to cool and then gently remove the paper without sliding to reveal the design.
Like what you see here? Share the image below to Pinterest!
I love, love, love how this project turned out and can’t wait to use my beautiful caddy when we’re sipping sparkling cider on New Year’s Eve. I hope you’ll give this technique a try and see for yourself just how easy it is to create your own sublimation designs in Silhouette Studio!
Until next time,
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Lycia is a lifelong crafter whose goal is to help others find value, confidence, and joy in whatever they create. She geeks out on using technology to supercharge craft projects with Silhouette Studio, Design Space, Glowforge, sublimation, etc.! Lycia teaches these skills and more through online tutorials and videos as well as in-person classes at both the local and national levels.