Hello! My name is Chelsea Rose and I’m a mom of two boys (and a dog) and a military spouse. I’ve been an art teacher and a baker and we currently live in Japan. Using Artesprix products to make easy colorful sublimation designs has been a dream for customizing projects that I know will last through my kids. My zip case can’t wait to be either mine or my oldest's for special trinkets! This colorful sublimation design reminds me of tie-dye and mono-printing. This design was actually made after painting another project (yet to be revealed) with the Artesprix Sublimation Acrylic Paints. I wanted to clean up the paint caps and the palette of my leftover paint and started using baby wipes. It is such a great and versatile technique that I’m happy to share.
What is Sublimation?
Sublimation is the process of fusing a design to a poly-coated or poly-based substrate. Substrates are also known as “blanks.” They are the end product. In order to make a design the sublimation media (paint, markers, ink) needs to be worked onto a template. Applying the correct heat, temperature, and pressure allows the sublimation ink transfer to bind with the blank. After a reveal, the colors are vibrant and permanently attached! I think Artesprix has the best and most innovative products around for the home crafter. The paints just came out May 2022!
Artesprix Sublimation Acrylic Paints Set
Poly-Canvas Zip Case (June 2022 Special - Blanks Bundle!)
Heat Resistant Tape
Mixed Media Paper
Heat Source: Home Iron or Heat Press
Step 1: Trace your blank with a pencil on your mixed media paper. Since the idea is to use up paint that’s been expressed on your palette, you can cover full sheets and use them on numerous projects! But it may help you visualize the necessary coverage by tracing your blank with a pencil. I recommend preparing multiple sheets depending on how much extra paint you have.
Step 2: Start “cleaning!” Wad your baby wipe or paper towel and gather some of the paint. Then, dab the excess off onto your template. You do not need to wear gloves as the paint is water based and will wash off your skin.
Pro Tip #1: Be careful with your clothes, just like other acrylic paints, this paint can stain! Clean clothes quickly and do not let any paint dry on the fabric!
Step 3: Continue using more baby wipes or paper towels as they get saturated. Choose how much coverage you want, more will transfer more vibrant, but leaving some blank areas will help if you choose to layer the “printed” templates. This type of printing is akin to mono-printing where it is not exactly replicable. This is perfect for kids or adults!
Check out this color mixing chart so you have a feel for how the paint will blend. Because Artesprix Sublimation Acrylic Paints are more dull right out the bottle it can be a great surprise to see how they’ve changed when you add heat!
Step 4: I chose to let my painted templates dry completely over a day or two. When I’m ready, I heat my press up to 400℉ and set the timer to 45 seconds. I check the Artesprix Directions page before each project when using their blanks.
Step 5: The canvas zip cases can be sublimated on both sides. To prepare to use them, make sure you lint roll and prepress lightly to remove any excess moisture in the fabric. If you have a pressing pillow, this project would be a great example of when you want to use one. The zipper needs to be out of the press in order to get good even coverage between the design and the blank. Use heat tape the design to the blank on one side.
Step 6: "Sublimation sandwich" time! Layer your project: Protective paper, blank with design taped on top, more protective paper. This double use of protective paper protects your machine and equipment from getting any sublimation ink on it. It is a super important step!
Step 7: Press with medium pressure and conduct a "peek test"!
Pro Tip #2: If your design is bright near the zipper but not on the rest, carefully shift your project and get the zipper all the way out of the press and add more time.
Step 8: Repeat the above steps for the other side. Make sure to change out your protective paper if there is ink on it - the ink from the first press will re-sublimated and transfer from the protective paper to your blank if you try and reuse it.
Pro-Tip: When layering designs, tear the edges of your template or arrange the design in a way that no “sharp” edges of color are on the blank, that way your final design will blend together better!
Because my son and I are still negotiating who gets to keep this case, we have not done any additional customization. However, dinosaur outlines would be awesome on this project! Or an empowering focal word. I may push to keep the canvas zip case these rainbow colors.
For an easy way to use your extra leftover sublimation paint, definitely give this easy colorful sublimation design a try! It’s perfect for these canvas zip cases or any of the blanks in the special bundle from Artesprix this month. Looking for more inspiration? Check out the blog for design ideas to use on polished round coasters, or maple bag tags from the bundle.
Keep in touch and watch my youtube process videos of other projects, or give me a follow on instagram.
Thank you for reading and have fun crafting!
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