How To Do Sublimation Printing On Tumblers Beginners Guide and FAQs (2023)

The industry of sublimation printing is much larger than we think. Tumblers sublimation printing is one of the parts of that industry. Beginners might think that sublimating the tumblers is difficult. But it is not.

The process of sublimation printing is the same for almost all of the apparel and accessories, such as cup coasters, tiles, t-shirts, or pillowcases. The difference comes in with heat transferring the print on each of them.Today’s article will cover everything that any beginner needs to know about sublimation printing on tumblers.

How To Do Sublimation Printing On Tumblers Beginners Guide and FAQs (1)

Sublimation Printing On Skinny 20oz Tumblers – Everything You Need To Know

Sublimation on any size tumblers needs to be done attentively and carefully. Because single negligence can result in faded sublimated corners on the tumblers.There are two ways to sublimate a tumbler, both are explained underneath. Whichever fits you the best, you can try that one.

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List Of The Materials You Need For Sublimation On Tumblers

Sublimation Printer:

A sublimation printer is the first need for any project of sublimation printing. It is used to print the design that you wanna sublimate on a substrate such as a tumbler here.

You can use any sublimation printer for sublimation purposes. For more info about sublimation printers, you can check out this sublimation printers.

Heat Press Machine OR Convection Oven:

There are two ways to heat transfer a tumbler. Heat press machine and Convection oven. You can use any one of them. Both give the same results. But the process of each is different from each others.

Tumbler Blanks:

The most important thing for sublimation on tumblers. There are a variety of tumblers in the market, the most common and used is stainless steel white tumbler. White is kinda necessary because sublimation printing can not print that’s why if you have any white design in the print it will not appear on the darker substrate.

Click here to check some of the best tumblers for sublimation on amazon (tumbler for sublimation).

Sublimation Paper and Ink:

Both accessories are needed just like others and without this sublimation on tumblers is not possible as well. Sublimation ink is probably with the sublimation printer. But make sure you are using the best quality sublimation paper for sublimating on tumblers. Standard paper can not be used for this purpose.

Heat Gloves and Heat-Resisting Tape:

The heat-resisting tape will be used to keep the tumbler and printed sublimation paper aligned together while transferring the print from paper to the tumbler using heat transfer.

Heat Gun and Shrink Wrap:

Heat gun and shrink wrap are only required if you are using a convection oven for sublimation on the tumbler. If you are doing it via a tumbler heat press machine then you don’t need these two accessories.

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(Video) Sublimation Tumblers for Beginners - Everything you need to get started

How To Sublimate A Tumbler In Over and Tumbler Heat Press Machine – Complete Process

Sublimation on tumblers has a few simple steps that should be done to achieve the best vibrant result. Follow these steps to achieve great vibrant colors sublimation on your tumblers.

Step 1:

Step one is to prepare your design and other needed accessories. Once you prepared your design on your computer and accessories on the table, preheat the convection oven or a heat press. The one you are using.

Step 2:

Then print your design on sublimation paper using a sublimation printer. Adjust the height and width of the design so it can match the perfect length and width of the tumbler.

Step 3:

Once printing is done, place the paper on a desk and place the white blank tumbler on it. Adjust the tumbler in the middle and wrap the paper around it. Make sure it wraps it tightly and once you wrap, tape the edge of the paper with heat-resisting tape so it can not get loose while heat transferring.

How To Do Sublimation Printing On Tumblers Beginners Guide and FAQs (3)

Step 4:

Once the wrapping is done, you can heat press it using a heat press machine for 60-90 seconds. Depending on a heat press for the tumbler, you are using. So adjust accordingly.

If you are using a convection oven then after wrapping the tumbler, put it in the shrink wrap, and using a heat gun shrink the wrap. Start giving heat to the tumbler from one end to another and make sure that the shrink wrap is wrapped tightly with ends after heating.

Step 5:

Once you wrapped the shrink wrap to the tumbler and printed sublimation paper. Place it to the pre-heated convection over for 3-5 minutes. The hint about print being transferred to the tumbler is you will be able to see the print on the tumbler and print on the paper getting lighter within the oven.

How To Do Sublimation Printing On Tumblers Beginners Guide and FAQs (4)

Step 6:

Once it is transferred completely, using heat gloves hold it and place it a room temperature and let it cool down for 6-8 minutes. Once it’s cooled down, remove the shrink wrap, heat-resisting tape, and printed sublimation paper from it.

You will see a beautiful sublimated tumbler, and your sublimation on the tumbler is completed.

How To Do Sublimation Printing On Tumblers Beginners Guide and FAQs (5)

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Important Points To Keep In Mind While Sublimating A Tumbler


  • You should print the design on sublimation paper according to the height and width of the tumbler.
  • While wrapping the tumbler with printed sublimation paper, cut one side of the paper until actual print arrives. Use that side underneath while wrapping.
  • Make sure to cover the top and button of the tumbler with sublimation paper and shrink wrap paper.
  • If your design contains a part of white color, Make sure to use white sublimation blank tumbler. Because sublimation does not print white and if you use a darker color of the tumbler, it will not show the white on it clearly.
  • After printing the design on your sublimation paper, let it dry for 2-3 minutes. If you wrap it as soon as you print it, come colors might get transferred because the ink is still wet on the paper. This can result in a waste of that tumbler.
(Video) How to Make a Sublimation Tumbler

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Where can I buy sublimation tumblers?

There are many places you can buy sublimation tumblers from. Some of them provide the best quality when it comes to tumblers and some might send you low-quality tumblers.

To make sure that you get the best quality tumbler at affordable prices, here are the top two websites you can buy tumblers from.

  1. Amazon
  2. Etsy

Each of them provides a great service and products. The best is to buy from amazon. They have a wide variety of products when it comes to sublimation and specifically tumblers blanks. If you are still confused about which tumbler blank should I buy then click here to check our recommended tumbler for sublimation(Tumbler For Sublimation).

How long does sublimation on tumblers last?

Any print that is being sublimated on any substrate usually lasts as long as the original substrate does. When it comes to tumblers, it is seen that sublimation print lasts around 10 years on a tumbler if it is sublimated correctly.

It also depends on the quality of a tumbler and the process you followed for sublimating the tumbler.

You can also remove the print from any tumbler by heating it in the oven. When a tumbler is a heat the sublimated ink fades away from it. This practice can never make a tumbler like new but may work if your next sublimation design consists of dark colors.

Can you sublimate a tumbler twice?

Yes, you can sublimate a tumbler twice. But it’s not recommended. Because the print of the first print might appear on the new sublimation print and that will not look good.

Instead, you can go for a new tumbler for sublimation purposes. Furthermore sublimating the same tumbler twice has a process of removing the first print which will indirectly cost you your time for removing it. So instead of all these hurdles, you should sublimate on a new tumbler.

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(Video) How to Make Sublimation Tumblers in 3 Ways with Seamless Results!


Sublimation on tumblers is a fun process if you have all the equipment and knowledge available in one place. You can do sublimation on tumblers and can use them as a gift or sell them. Sublimation on tumblers has a huge demand in the market as well.

Lastly, this sublimation is possible with a tumbler heat press as well as a convection oven. You can choose the one that fits the best for you. We hope that this article was helpful for you and you learned new ways and processes of sublimation on tumblers.

FAQs – About Sublimation Tumblers

How to remove sublimation ink from a tumbler?

To remove sublimation print and ink from a tumbler, put your tumbler in an oven for 1 hour, 15 minutes for each quarter facing the backside. Place a simple paper lid on top of your tumbler so any ink will fade away get absorbed in it and do not make your oven messy.

How to remove the strip from a sublimation tumbler?

There is no way to remove it after the sublimation, you should make sure that it is perfectly aligned and taped before sublimation and heat transferring it.

Can you sublimate over sublimation tumbler?

Yes, you can do sublimation on an already sublimated tumbler but before that, you have to remove the whole print and design from it.

The best sublimation printer for tumblers

There are many printers for sublimation and specifically for tumblers. Here is the detailed guide about the best sublimation printers in 2022. In general Epson sublimation printers work great for sublimation printing for tumblers.

Can you remove sublimation ink from the tumbler?

(Video) EASIEST Start to Finish Sublimating a Tumbler Tutorial!!

Yes, you can. By heating them in a convection oven for around an hour.

How to print sublimation images for tumblers?

For that, you need to have graphics skills. If you do not have those designing skills then you have to buy some designs from sites like Etsy. Or you can use free images from google as well.

How to prep a tumbler for sublimation?

Preparing a tumbler for sublimation is simple. Tape your printed sublimation paper with a tumbler and make sure to use heat resisting tape.

Can you sublimate on spray-painted tumblers?

Yes, but only if you successfully remove that spray paint from it OR if the spray paint is light-colored and your sublimation print has a dark color in it. Then you can sublimate on spray-painted tumblers.

What is a sublimation tumbler?

The sublimation tumbler is the tumbler intentionally made for sublimation purposes. Commonly these tumblers come in white color because you can’t print white with sublimation and sublimation gives thee great results on while substrates.

Why are my sublimation tumblers dull?

The possible answer is your convection oven OR tumbler heat press settings. If those are correct then you are heat transferring your tumblers for more than needed.


What all do you need to start sublimation printing? ›

In order to get started you'll need the following items: a designated sublimation printer, Sawgrass sublimation ink, sublimation paper, sublimation blanks and a heat press appropriate for the sublimation blank you are working with.

Do I wipe tumbler with alcohol before sublimation? ›

STEP 3: PREPARE YOUR PRINT AND TUMBLER FOR SUBLIMATION. Use a lint free cloth with some rubbing alcohol to clean the tumbler for a better transfer.

How do you prepare a stainless steel tumbler for sublimation? ›

To sublimate on the tumblers, you use a shrink wrap on the tumbler and place the stainless steel tumbler in the oven! I bought my shrink wrap from Conde. The product is called SubliShrink™ Shrink Wrap Film. The link is HERE!

What is sublimation simple answer? ›

SUBLIMATION: The change of the solid state of the matter directly on heating to vapor state (without becoming liquid) is called sublimation.

What is the best format for sublimation printing? ›

For dye-sublimation printing, always provide your artwork in CMYK. This way, even if further adjustments are necessary to get the right results, they will be minimal when compared to submitting it in RGB. If there isn't any color in the images, a grayscale file is the better option.

How do you avoid lines in sublimation tumbler? ›

Taping keeps the sublimation print tight around the skinny tumbler and it keeps air and wrinkles out which can cause ghosting and spotting specifically along the seam and at the top and bottom of the tumbler.

Do sublimation tumblers scratch easily? ›

Glass sublimation tumblers are the most fragile and can break easily. Plastic sublimation tumblers are more durable but can scratch easily.

What is the cheapest way to start sublimation? ›

One the least expensive ways to try out sublimation printing is by converting an inkjet printer into a sublimation printer. And the cheapest way to do that is with Epson printers — either Epson EcoTank or Epson Workforce.

What size do I print for a 20 oz tumbler? ›

For a 20 oz skinny tumbler you basically need to print the entire 8.5" x 11" sublimation paper.

What type of heat press do I need for sublimation? ›

Most sublimation substrates are pressed using a flat heat press, many of which are available in several sizes and three different platen configurations: clam-shell, swing-away and drawer. Clam-shell units are the most common heat-press type.

Do you let sublimation cool before removing? ›

Cooling after completion of sublimation

Once you have completed sublimating the image on to the mug, you will have to remove the transfer swiftly so that you can start the cooling process. The reason why you need to cool the mug is to bring the sublimation process to a complete halt.

What are the do's and don'ts of sublimation? ›

The dos and don'ts of sublimation printing
  • Do – Choose the sublimation for your printed promotional merchandise. ...
  • Don't – Order any old design. ...
  • Do – Pick the right garments for sublimation T-Shirt printing. ...
  • Do – Explore our range of printed T Shirts first! ...
  • Don't – Buy before you try! ...
  • Do – Wash with care.

What temperature do you sublimate a tumbler? ›

Second, the tumblers are very similar to any other sublimation product where the transfer needs to be placed directly onto the tumbler and needs a constant temperature of 380 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit to work properly.

What is the coating on sublimation tumblers? ›

With sublimation, the substrate is really a micro-thin coating of polyester that is applied to a non-sublimatable surface. In other words, sublimation centers more around products which are coated rather than sheet stock (although there are various sublimatable sheet materials available).

What temperature do you sublimate stainless steel tumbler? ›

These can vary somewhat, but we recommend starting at 2200 Idle temperature, 3600 maximum temperature and approximately 50 seconds print time.

Why does my sublimation look faded on tumbler? ›

Why is my sublimation print coming out dull? Sublimation ink will look duller before it is pressed. You cannot see the true colors of your sublimation design until you press it onto a surface that will accept and hold onto the ink, such as 100% polyester fabric.

What is the best example for sublimation? ›

The best example of sublimation is dry ice which is a frozen form of carbon dioxide. When dry ice gets exposed to air, dry ice directly changes its phase from solid-state to gaseous state which is visible as fog.

How do you explain sublimation printing? ›

Sublimation shirt printing is a specific process of printing that first involves printing onto a special sheet of paper, then transferring that image onto another material (usually polyester or a polyester mix). The ink is then heated until it disintegrates into the fabric.

What are two examples of sublimation? ›

Therefore, sublimation of dry ice, and Iodine are the examples of sublimation.

How do I prepare files for sublimation printing? ›

How To Prepare a correct File For Direct To Sublimation Printing Stampa. We recommend saving your print files as PNG. PNG allows you to preserve transparency, maintains resolution, and is a modern, universal format. To save your print ready images in Photoshop or Paint, go to File > Save As > PNG.

How do I get the best results of sublimation printing? ›

Here are seven tips for sublimation success:
  1. 1 – Take the correct measurements. ...
  2. 2 – Remove The Protective Covering. ...
  3. 3 – Check heat press temperature. ...
  4. 4 – Be careful of moisture. ...
  5. 5 – Always secure your paper to your product. ...
  6. 6 – Cover your product. ...
  7. 7 – Read the blank instructions before pressing your project.
Aug 23, 2018

What is better than sublimation printing? ›

To print on black or dark colors, DTG is a better printing method. Range of colors in the image. Sublimation has some color limitations, especially white. If there is white in your image you may want to go with DTG or DTF printing.

What are the methods of sublimation? ›

The sublimation method is a useful method for growing crystals from vapor, and it is called the physical vapor transport (PVT) method. In Fig. 20.12, raw materials are heated in a crucible or quartz tube and sublimated in the high-temperature zone, then transported to a seed crystal in the low temperature zone.

What is difference between sublime and sublimate? ›

The solid substance which undergoes sublimation is called sublime and the solid obtained by cooling the vapours of the solid is called a sublimate.

Which sublimation paper is best for tumblers? ›

What is the best sublimation paper for tumblers? TexPrint DT Heavy Sublimation Paper is perfect for mugs, tumblers, and other projects. It is available in 5 different sizes but the 4″ x 9.5″ is known as a Mug Sheet.

How do I stop ghosting at the bottom of my tumblers? ›

The easiest way to prevent ghosting is to ensure the transfer paper remains stationary when taping your panel to it. Ghosting can happen anytime air or air pressure gets underneath the transfer paper — even when the paper is still taped to the panel.

What temp and time do you press sublimation for tumblers? ›

Press at 350 degrees F for 80-100 seconds with medium pressure. If printing a design that wraps around the tumbler, rotate the tumbler and press for another 80-100 seconds.

Can you sublimate a tumbler twice? ›

Tumblers can be sublimated to any number of times as they don't get damaged, however, you must know that the previous print image will appear as a ghost image in the background when it is reheated.

How do you start tumblers? ›

  1. Wash tumbler.
  2. Apply tape to top (and bottom - optional).
  3. Spray paint the tumbler if needed. Let dry.
  4. Apply a layer of mod podge with long even strokes.
  5. Dump glitter all over while you are turning the tumbler so the mod podge is all covered. ...
  6. Remove tape.
  7. Let dry fully (over night). ...
  8. Time to epoxy.
Apr 14, 2019

How long do you heat press sublimation tumbler? ›

Press at 350 degrees F for 80-100 seconds with medium pressure. If printing a design that wraps around the tumbler, rotate the tumbler and press for another 80-100 seconds. Remove immediately from press once finished and peel hot. Use caution as the item will be very hot.

How long do you heat a sublimation tumbler? ›

How long do you sublimate a tumbler? Once you've put your shrink wrapped tumbler inside the oven, leave it in there for about 4-7 minutes. Remove the tumbler using heat gloves.

What temperature and time should tumblers be? ›

Mug Press Time and Temperature for Stainless Steel Skinny Tumblers. Heat up the mug press to 350 degrees and set the timer to 50 seconds.

What is the best temperature and time for sublimation? ›

Adjusting your heat-press settings for sublimation will mainly depend on what type of substrate you'll be pressing. For 100% polyester garments, this is usually around 385°-400°F and 45-60 seconds at medium pressure.

Why are my sublimation tumblers dull? ›

Why is my sublimation print coming out dull? Sublimation ink will look duller before it is pressed. You cannot see the true colors of your sublimation design until you press it onto a surface that will accept and hold onto the ink, such as 100% polyester fabric.

Can you put hot drinks in sublimation tumblers? ›

Vacuumed sealed to keep drink hot or cold for hours.

Do you mirror image for sublimation tumbler? ›

Yes, you should always mirror sublimation transfers. If your design does not contain words, it is not necessary to mirror your design, but it is a good habit to form. Then attach tightly to the tumbler with heat resistant tape to prep for heating. Make sure you take the design right to the edge of the tumbler.


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