Hanging the glass frame on the wall sublimated with your own image or having a sip of juice in the glass tumbler are good ideas. But before executing the aesthetic ideas, you need to know the efficient method of how to do sublimation on glass. Besides that, starting the business of glass sublimation is also trending nowadays. But you must know the proper way to kick start with less investment.
So in today’s guide, I’ll share the two different ways to sublimate a glass that I tried a couple of months ago including mugs, tumblers frames, and tempered glass.
Can You Do Sublimation On Glass
Yes, you can do sublimation on glass but the primary requirement to do sublimation is the glass substrate must have a polymer coating in order to retain the sublimation ink. So you can use sublimation ink with mainly an Epson sublimation printer or the second way is to buy pre-printed Cricut infusible ink sheets or pens to draw the designs. So let’s go ahead and start. Know more about how to do sublimation with Cricut.
Supplies You’ll Need To Sublimate Glass
1- A sublimation printer – A sublimation printer is an essential part of sublimation printing. Sublimation inks cannot be used without a sublimation printer. Even you cannot use a normal inkjet printer with sublimation ink.
2- Sublimation inks – Sublimation ink is a special type of dispersed ink that infuses into the substrates. You can use sublimation ink to print glass, wood, ceramics, canvas, etc. Sublimation ink doesn’t form a layer over the top rather than the substrates absorb the sublimation ink using a poly-coated surface. Most commonly Hiipoo sublimation ink is used with Epson sublimation printers. You can use Epson sublimation ink too.
3- Sublimation papers – A sublimation paper is a special type of transfer paper that has a polymer coat in order to be compatible with sublimation. A-sub paper is the famous sublimation paper that is used to print various types of substrates including glass and other substrates too. You can buy a small-sized sublimation paper for small substrates.
4- A heat press machine – A heat press machine is required for the sublimation process. However, you cannot use a flat surface heat press for glass mugs, tumblers, bottles, and jars. For drinkware substrates, you should use a tumbler press machine. For glass frame cutting boards, and other flat glass substrates, you’re free to use a flat surface heat press that is commonly used for t-shirt printing.
5- Lint roller – Substrates may have dust particles when they arrive. So a lint roller helps you to clean the surface or the side of the substrate that you’re gonna sublimate. If a single dust particle lasts on the substrate then it will cause a small white spot on the substrate after printing.
6- Sublimation glass blanks – Make sure that the blanks must have a poly-coating on their backside if using glass frames. In the glass sublimation, you do sublimation on the back side of the glass frame by mirroring the print and the prints show on the front side. For sublimating glass tumblers, make sure the tumbler also has a special coating as you cannot use any type of glass tumbler.
Though if you’re using frosted glass for sublimation then it will have a frosted polymer coating to get bonded with sublimation ink.
7- Butcher paper – A butcher paper that is used to protect the heat press mat or used in between the mug heat press and wrapped glass with sublimation paper. It protects the heat press as well as the tumbler’s surface from direct heat.
8- Heat-resistant tape – For wrapping the printed sublimation paper firmly.
9- Heat-resistant gloves – To remove the hot sublimated tumbler or frame from the heat press or convection oven.
Step By Step Guide On How To Sublimate A Glass Frame Or Tumbler
Step 1: Measure the glass
Measure the tumbler by measuring its circumference and height to know how large you need to print the design. Measure the surface if using a glass frame. I am using a frosted glass tumbler or you can also use transparent glass to sublimate but it won’t be as vibrant as the frosted glass would be.
Step 2: Prepare the design
Now prepare the sublimation printer and design the image that you want to print or you can upload it from your computer too. You can use photoshop or any other software to prepare, I am using Inkscape which is free. You can resize and fit the images according to the design shown in the image.
Step 3: Print the design
Connect the printer to your pc, select the sublimation printer that you’re using, go to the files then print the image. Make sure the image should be mirror-inverted especially if you’re printing the text. Also, enable the option of print preview to confirm everything is ok.
Now the preview will look like this as shown in the image. Press the print and print out the design. I am using an Epson Ecotank sublimation printer with Hiipoo sublimation ink along with an A-sub sublimation paper.
Step 4: Prepare the tumbler press
Preheat the tumbler press for 30 to 60 seconds at 350F and prepare the tumblers.
Step 5: Wrap the tumbler
Cut the printed sublimation paper with a scissor and tape down the sublimation paper as the printed side facing the glass and wrap it with butcher paper. Now the blanks are ready to put into the tumbler press. Wear heat-resistant gloves and set the tumbler press temperature at 350F for 140 seconds. Also, make sure to adjust the pressure by tunnels.
Step 6: Remove the glass
The tumblers will be super hot when the sublimation is done. Make sure to use heat-resistant gloves in order to prevent burning your hands. Leave them for 5 minutes to cool down. Remove the sublimation and here are the stunning results! To know more about mug sublimation you can check how to sublimate a mug without a mug press.
Sublimation On Glass In Oven
In this method, I’m gonna use the convection oven instead of using a mug press or tumbler press. Also, do not use the everyday oven that you got to use for food.
Supplies You’ll Need
- A sublimation printer or you can use the Cricut infusible ink sheets.
- Sublimation ink if using a sublimation printer along with sublimation paper
- Lint roller
- Heat-resistant tape and gloves
- Convection oven
- Glass substrates
- Subli shrink
- A heat gun
Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Prepare the substrate
If you haven’t read the above guide on how to print and prepare a design then I would suggest reading and preparing the glass substrate along with placing with printed design on the glass tightly. Put the prepared substrate in the Subli shrink sheet and air-tight it using a hair dryer or a heat gun.
Step 2: Prepare the convection oven
Preheat the convection oven and set the temperature between 420F for 5 minutes. Put the glass into the oven and let it be sublimated.
Step 3: Remove the glass
After 5 minutes, now the glass is sublimated, remove the glass from the oven using heat-resistant gloves as the tumbler will be super hot. And here is the final result. It turned out super cute! You can also check how to sublimate a shirt.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you sublimate on glass tiles?
Yes, you can sublimate on glass tiles but they must have a polymer coat on the backside in order to do the sublimation. Without the polymer coat, the sublimation process won’t work on the glass tiles and as a result, the sublimation ink will be wiped off. Additionally, you should use a flat surface heat press for glass tiles and cutting boards.
Can you sublimate on glass cups?
Yes, you can sublimate on glass cups too. But make sure you’re using special glass for sublimation that is polymer-coated. The regular glass cup won’t work with the sublimation process.
Can you sublimate on glass mugs?
You can sublimate on glass mugs, tumblers, and cans too. You need to use a mug press and specially coated sublimation drinkware glasses to do sublimation.
Can I sublimate on any glass?
No, you cannot sublimate any glass until the glass has a poly-coating. Moreover, you can try the sublimation on glass using laminate sheets as a coat instead of polymer-coating if you want to use regular glass that comes without any coat.
Can I sublimate on clear glass?
If the clear glass doesn’t have a polymer coat then make sure to use the laminate sheet as a coat in order to do the sublimation. However, sublimating the glass without the special coat won’t retain itself for a long time and the sublimation ink will fade or wipe out when you’ll wash them.
Now it is clear to you how to do sublimation on glass and its types. Now It shouldn’t be a problem for you to start selling customized glass frames, mugs, tumblers, jars, and other drinkware. Also, you can gift customized items to your friends and family. Start decorating your home with sophisticated frames and drink the water in an astonishing tumbler.