Hello friends! Sara on the blog today with a small project, but a very exciting idea! Today we will be making a plastic key chain using Artesprix Sublimation Acrylic Paint with a twist. I will be sharing a secret ingredient that you could use to create negative space in your design. We will be using our sublimation acrylic paint and a brush to paint a design for our keychain. Artesprix’s key chains are double-faced so you could sublimate on each face and that is what we are planning to do today! Once our design is dry, we will transfer it onto our key chain using our heat press. The design will be infused into the blank permanently and the sublimated design will not need to be sealed and it will not peel or fade over time.
What is Sublimation Iron-on Ink?
Iron-on-Ink is a special ink that gets transferred onto poly-coated substrates and polyester fabric using heat and pressure. Iron-on-Ink always appears muted on paper, and becomes vibrant after heat pressed onto the sublimation blank. Artesprix sublimation paint, markers, stamp pads, and more, are uniquely formulated to empower people without a sublimation printer to create on paper and make unique lifetime designs.
Step 1: Start by placing your key chain on a mixed media paper and trace it with a pencil. Since I am planning on sublimating both sides I will trace it twice. Using a pencil is important because pencil will not transfer to the blank when we heat press it.
Step 2: Let’s create our design! I’m making this key chain for myself, so I’ll do my initial on one face and a message for myself on the other. Since it is all text, I used my pencil to write normally on the opposite side. Then, using a window, I traced the mirrored text with my pencil again. I wan the text to be a negative space in my design. In other words, my goal is to have the text appear white in my design and that’s where the secret ingredient comes into play!
Step 3: We will be using a masking fluid and a paint brush to go over the wording in our design. The masking fluid is used with watercolors to mask whatever you draw with it. It acts as a barrier, and it’ll protect the areas masked from getting colored. It’ll dry into a clear waterproof film that generally can be removed with peeling or rubbing. Once it is completely dry, we can paint our design over it!
Pro-Tip: You could use masking pen in the same manner instead of masking fluid! The drying time can be sped up by using a heat gun over the masked areas.
Step 4: After ensuring the masking fluid is dry, I started to paint my design. I mixed red and blue to make a violet shade and painted the traced area. As you see in the picture, the sublimation paint did not reach areas of the design that are covered with masking fluid!
Step 5: Wait for the design to dry before peeling the masking fluid. You can generally peel it with gentle rubbing or by peeling. I chose to grab the ends by using my weeding pen. Before you peel the masking fluid, turn on your heat press to allow it to pre-heat. If you are using a plastic keychain blank, you will need to set your press to 400°F for 60 seconds.
Once you grab one of the ends, it is very easy to peel and the paper underneath it is completely white! I outlined the initial letter with my black sublimation marker, but this is totally optional. I peeled all the areas and now our design is ready!
Step 6: Now that our design is finished we need tape it to the key chain. Since we’re sublimating on both faces, we’ll repeat this step for each face. Place your keychain face down on your design and use heat resistant tape to secure it properly.
Step 7: Let’s make a "sublimation sandwich"! Cut two pieces of protective paper to sandwich in your key chain. Using protective paper is essential because it will catch any extra ink and you won’t have to deal with getting ink on your heat press!
Step 8: Place your "sublimation sandwich" in your heat press. Your heat press should be set to 400°F and you will need to press it for 60 seconds.
Step 9: Time for the "peek test"! After you press your design, do not remove the tape and take a peek to ensure the vibrancy of your transfer. In the slightest chance you did not get a good transfer, simply re-press your design.
Step 10: The big reveal! Once you have confirmed your transfer was successful, remove the design to reveal your transferred design!
Since I am sublimating on both faces of the blank, after I pressed the first face I repeated steps 6 through 10.
I love how my keychain turned out and I am thrilled we managed to successfully mask some areas of our design! This would work much better with a larger area, and you would be able to get crisp lines with your sublimation ink refills, I tried it myself!
Grab some ink refills or sublimation paint to try this technique for your next project! When you use Artesprix sublimation craft supplies in your next project, please don’t forget to share your creations with us on instagram or Facebook!
Thank you for reading! I hope you are inspired to get creative today. If you would like to keep in touch and see more of my projects, check out my instagram!
Keep on crafting!
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