When I started this blog, I wanted to stay transparent. I make many mistakes while crafting. Let’s face it most crafters do. I mean we are only human. So I like to point them out and show how I save them if I can. I messed up on this particular mug. I will try to explain below.

What you need to make this project:

  • Sublimation printer, ink, and paper
  • Heat resistant tape
  • Mug press or toaster oven
  • Heat gloves
  • Heat gun if needed for mistakes
  • Polyester coated mug

On to the tutorial:

Step 1: You want to measure your mug and make sure your image is within that size. Print out the image and trim the paper. I got this image from Creative Fabrica.

Step 2: Wipe the mug off with rubbing alcohol. The mug must be a special sublimation style mug that is coated with polyester. If not, the image will not transfer over. Note: a Cricut infusible ink mug will work with sublimation. Wrap the paper around the mug. One way I do this is by lining either the top or the bottom of the mug with the paper’s edge. Then I tape the side near the handle to hold it down.

Step 3: Tape all the sides down with heat resistant tape.

Step 4: Slide your mug into a mug press. I use the one that came with my heat press. You can also use the Cricut mug press. If you do not have a press, a toaster oven can be used. Just make sure the oven is used only for crafting. Sublimation ink turns into a gas and those gasses do stay in the oven. That can then be baked into your foods. That is not good. You will have to play around with your ink, mug, paper and oven to find your sweet spot. I’ve seen others do around 375 degrees for about eleven minutes. It does take slightly longer since the oven does not adhere pressure. Again, I do not have any of my own knowledge on the subject since I use a press.

Step 5: Set the press for 400 degrees for 180 seconds. Push the handle closed and press the timer button. Once beeps, pull the handle and slide the mug out of the press.

Step 6: Allow the mug to cool completely so the sublimation process can complete. Some pull the paper off hot. I found when I did that, it would accidentally scrape against the design. When I wait till it’s cooled, I seem to get better results. Once cooled, pull the tape and paper off the mug and enjoy.

How to fix mistakes:

I’m not sure if this is an official fix but this is something that I thought of on the fly. When I placed the mug in the press, I didn’t get it completely centered so the flamingo didn’t get enough pressure and didn’t transfer over.

Step 1: I lined the paper up to the image the best I could manage it. Since I used the top of the mug to help line the mug up, it made it easier for me to do so.

Step 2: I taped the paper into place.

Step 3: Next, I used my heat gun to heat the back of the paper. It transferred a little more of the ink to the mug. I kept sweeping the gun back and forth keeping it moving. I was afraid of scorching the mug or the paper. Remove the paper once cooled down.

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