Artesprix Sublimation Painted Tote Bag

Hello! I’m Alison Heikkila and I am happy you stopped by today. My latest project for Artesprix was made with the Sublimation Canvas Tote Bag, which is one of the largest Blanks they have. I love working on these large Blanks, but they can be intimidating initially because there is so much space you can cover. I decided to keep things simple, and make some fun abstract art on my tote with minimal supplies.

Sublimation tote bag with artesprix acrylic paint
What is Iron-on-Ink?
Artesprix Sublimation Markers, Ink, and Paint are specially formulated to allow you to use basic copy paper to: color, stamp, stencil, and monoprint anything you wish and turn it into a heat-transferable design. These designs are then applied to a polyester or polyester coated substrate with heat and pressure. You can use a heat press or a home iron! These designs, through this process of sublimation, will become permanent on your substrates.

sublimation canvas tote bag artesprix acrylic paints
Materials:
Canvas Tote Bag
Acrylic Paint Set
Protective Paper
Heat Tape
Palette Knife
Watercolor Paper 12”x18”
Palette and/or Paint Storage Cups

Heat Source: Heat Press or Craft Press 
Step-by-Step Tutorial: 
Step 1: Because the paper is smaller than the Tote Bag, I decided to tape a strip of paper to one side to make it bigger than the tote. I secured it with Heat Tape.

sublimation tote bag template
Pro Tip: Because we’re doing abstract art, I didn’t feel it was necessary to trace the outline of my tote on to the paper.
Step 2: Choose your paint colors. You can see I have my (laminated) Artesprix Color Mixing Chart out so I know the formulas I need to make specific colors.

artesprix paint color mixing chart and paint palette
Step 3: Dip your palette knife into your first color and swipe it vertically down your paper. Try to get nice, organic strokes…don’t go for perfection here.

artesprix sublimation acrylic paint design on plain paper
Step 4: Continue to paint with your palette knife. Use several colors ( I used Yellow, Pool, Hot Pink, Bubblegum, Chartreuse, Lime, Sunshine, Violet and Sea Glass) and be sure to overlap them occasionally. I also like when the paint gets a bit broken up and has drag marks.

completed sublimation acrylic paint design
This is what my completed painting looks like. I love all of those colors, and they are going to look even better once we do the sublimation.

sublimation paint design secured to polyester tote bag
Step 5: Tape the finished design to the Tote Bag. Use a lot of Heat Tape! My Heat Press is 9"x12" so the entire tote will not fit under the heat platen, so you need to be extra careful that things don’t shift as you do multiple presses. I actually added more after I took this photo.

sublimation tote bag with protective paper before transfer
Step 6: It’s time to make the "Sublimation Sandwich". By making the sandwich, you protect your heat source as well as ensure your design will transfer well. Your sandwich will be: Protective Paper, Design secured face down, Tote Bag, and another piece of Protective Paper.
Step 7: Sublimate the first half of the tote bag at 400℉ for 45 seconds.
Step 8: Carefully flip the Tote Bag around and sublimate the other half. Be very careful to not shift your design.

sublimation paint design on tote bag after transfer
Step 9: After you have sublimated all areas, it's time for the"peek test"! Lift up a bit of your art at one of the corners to see if everything transferred well. Slowly lift up a bit more of the original art to check the whole piece. Try to keep as much tape in place as possible in case you need to re-sublimate.
Pro Tip #2: I actually redid the center area of my tote bag. Since I didn’t want to redo the whole thing, I cut the center portion out and re-sublimated just that area.

sublimation paint design before and after transfer
Here is one side of my finished bag! Those colors are so cheery! I decided that since the paint was still pretty dark and heavy on my original art, I would sublimate the back of the bag too. It came out only a little lighter and looks great!

sublimation tote bag with artesprix acrylic paint
This is the back side, which really looks just as great as the other side (the first photo at the top of this post shows the other side). I had a great time painting this simple, abstract design. I may even do it again with a different color palette. The Artesprix collection of paints, inks, and markers make sublimation easy and limitless. How would you like to get more ideas on using Artesprix’s Sublimation Iron-On-Ink? There’s a Facebook Group that’s just for fans of Artesprix! You can click HERE to join. Also, don't forget to visit the Artesprix store to see all of the available blanks and bundles, so you can get started with sublimation. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Have an inspiring day!

Alison Heikkila 

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