Iron-on-Ink Steampunk October Apron

Hello and welcome! I’m Alison Heikkila and I have such a fun project to share with you today. I am going to show you how to create a cool steampunk-themed apron using Artesprix’s fantastic sublimation paints on a Gel Press Plate and Artesprix’s Brown Sublimation Stamp Ink pad. This Apron blank is only available for the month of October 2022, so don't hesitate to add one to your shopping cart at the end of the blog! 

artesprix apron with sublimation iron-on-ink 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 substrates 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 apron artesprix paint iron-on-ink stamp pad


Acrylic Paint Set
Brown Ink Pad
Protective Paper
Heat Tape
8x10 Gel Press Plate
Speedball: 4” Brayer
Carabelle Studio: Newspapers Collage and Postcard Rubber Textures (discontinued, but others are available)
A Colorful Life Designs: Honeycomb Mask
Stampers Anonymous: Circuit Stencil
Tim Holtz: Skull & Crossbones Stencil (slightly different from the one I used)
Studio Light Stencils (discontinued)
Heat Source: Heat Press
Blending Brush
Copy Paper

Step-by-Step Tutorial:

Step 1: Add a few drops of Yellow, Red and White Artesprix sublimation paint to the 8x10 Gel Press Plate.

artesprix sublimation paint on gel press plate

Pro Tip: I added a bit too much paint initially in the photo, a little Artesprix paint goes a long way! 

Step 2: Swirl and blend the colors together using your brayer. Be sure to keep the colors semi-separated for visual interest.

sublimation design with artesprix paint and gel press plate

Step 3: Lay your copy paper on top of the plate and press to get a print. You may be able to add the excess paint from your brayer back on to the plate to get additional prints. I wound up with 3 prints that I really liked, but I decided to go with the one on the right, particularly because it didn’t have a lot of color. I am saving the other prints for a later date.

artesprix sublimation design with gel press and paint

Step 4: Add additional colors to your print. I decided I wanted some green and some purplish-pink tones on my apron. I mixed a small amount of those colors on part of the Gel Press Plate and pressed my print into them to get a range of colors on the entire sheet of paper.

artesprix sublimation paint design with gel press plate

This is my finished print. Although it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of color right now, once we do the sublimation, you’ll see that there is quite a bit of bold colors on it.

Step 5: Using an Artesprix Stamp Pad, ink up a Carabelle Studio (or other large) stamp with the Brown Ink. Place it on to your print and press firmly to get a good impression. You may use a stamping tool if you wish.

artesprix brown sublimation stamp pad design

Step 6: Begin stenciling on the print with the Brown Ink. I started with the gears because it was my biggest stencil and I made sure to use it in a few spots so that my design would flow well.

stencil with artesprix sublimation brown stamp pad

Step 7: Continue to add various stencils to your design. Overlapping the images gives a cool collage look.

stencil with artesprix sublimation iron-on-ink brown stamp pad

Step 8: When you are finished with your design, tear the edges of the paper a bit. You don’t need to remove much. Tearing keeps your design from having a harsh line when you transfer.  sublimation artesprix Iron-on-ink design with torn edges

Step 9: Secure your design by taping it face down onto the Apron using heat resistant tape.

secured artesprix design on polyester apron before transfer

Step 10: It’s time to make the "Sublimation Sandwich". This sandwich not only ensures a great transfer of your design, but it will protect your heat source as well. Your sandwich will be: Protective Paper, Design (face down), Apron, Protective Paper.

sublimation design with protective paper before transfer

Step 11: Place the "Sublimation Sandwich" into your Heat Press for 60 seconds at 400℉ degrees.

sublimation artesprix design on apron after transfer

Step 12: It’s time for a "peek test"! This step is to make sure your design transferred well, the key is not to remove any tape. If you found that it didn’t, you can put it back into your Heat Press to sublimate again. This is why it’s important to really secure your Blank to your art with heat resistant tape.

before and after of artesprix sublimation design on polyester apron

Step 13: Once you have confirmed that your transfer was successful, remove the design entirely from the Apron. Check out how great my design looks after it’s been sublimated onto the apron! You can see how much more vibrant the colors are.

sublimation polyester apron with artesprix iron-on-ink
My son is proudly wearing the apron. He thinks it looks really cool, and wants to wear it while making things. We plan on adding additional designs to it since there’s plenty of white space left. 

artesprix iron-on-ink sublimation apron
I am so happy with how this turned out. Using the Gel Press to get a base print to then stencil on top of is easy and fun, and you can create some really incredible designs this way. If you decide the apron isn’t for you, you can still apply these techniques to any other Blanks you like. 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

**This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may receive compensation if you purchase through the links I have provided. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher, but I may get compensated.**


  • Just Love All Of This!!!

    Posted by Quancidine Hinson-Gribble on October 17, 2022

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