Picture Frame Painting Tie Dye Design with Artesprix

Hey y’all, It’s Tanya again. This project is featuring the Artesprix Blank Picture Frame. I really struggled coming up with a design for this, then like a coconut falling on my head, it came to me. Tie Dye! How summer-y is that?! Maybe it was just the packing for a beach trip or maybe I just want to think I am clever, who cares, let’s try it!

I wanted to see if I could use the Artesprix Iron-on-ink Markers to “watercolor” a tie dye pattern. Copy paper tends to buckle when wet so I went with a little thicker sketch paper for this effect. Not sure if this diluted the color much or not, but it sure made it easier and quicker to paint. Follow along as I create Picture Frame Painting Tie Dye Design with Artesprix.

Picture Frame Painting Tie Dye Design with Artesprix

Remember those apps that would take your Facebook profile photo and make you look like you were from any generation? Well, I had a rendering of my 90+ year old mother as a hippie (from a younger photo) and thought that would make the perfect photo in this frame.  Yes, I do crack myself up.

What are Artesprix Markers?

Any art tool that allows people be more creative at expressing themselves is something I gravitate to.  The sublimation markers allow anyone to create their own original artwork and transfer to any dye sub substrate!!! This really changes the “homemade” gift game. As an art educator, Artesprix will definitely be added to some of my classes.

Sublimation Picture Frame


Sublimation Markers

Picture Frame

Heat Tape 

Protective Paper Roll

Heat Source: Heat Press, Dry Iron, or Home Iron

Plain Copy Paper or Sketch Paper

Paint Brush

Step-by-Step Tutorial:

Step 1: First thing is to find a photo of a tie dye effect you want to replicate. Trace the picture frame on your sketch (thicker) paper to use as a guide.  We plan to color and paint this design, so please cover your work space in case your ink bleeds through your sketch paper.

Pro Tip: Pre-Heat your heat press. I set my temperature to 400 ̊F and set my timer for 30 seconds. 

DIY Sublimation Picture Frame

Step 2: The usual process is to draw some marker ink on a plastic bag to use as a pallet. Instead of drying, the ink sits on top of the plastic pallet.  You can then use a wet brush to pick up ink to “paint” your paper. In this case, I couldn’t manage to pick up enough ink with my brush. I decided to use the markers to color in an area on the paper and then use my wet brush to smear and blend out the colors. It was about 50% marker and 50% wet brush. I would let it dry and then add some more color until I liked the faux tie dye look. Still, I had no idea how this was going to turn out. I’m not much of a tester, but more of a jump in head first kind of artist!

Sketch out the base line for your tie dye, once you get started painting you tend to lose track of how your tie dye twists. As you can see in the top left corner of the photo below, I started out with the “ink up the sandwich bag” trick, but it just didn’t allow me to transfer ink from the bag to the paper efficiently. Or maybe I just don’t have the patience for the slow process. Regardless, at this point, I decided to do a mix of coloring and then using a wet brush to help “blend” or “smooth” the tie dye look. 

Picture Frame Painting Tie Dye Design with Artesprix

 Step 3: Here you can see how I overlapped the penciled edge that I had traced. Always give yourself some wiggle room.

Picture Frame Painting Tie Dye with Artesprix

Picture Frame Painting Tie Dye Design with Artesprix

Step 4: Set aside the back from the picture frame and the mylar protective film, these will be used after we transfer to the front piece of the frame. Attach your design (face-down) to the white side of the frame with Artesprix heat tape.

Sublimation Painting Picture Frame with Artesprix Sublimation Markers

Pro Tip: Do not tape over the edge of the design (or right on the back of the design). It’s heat tape, so the heat won’t penetrate it, even for pressing!

Picture Frame Painting Tie Dye Design with Artesprix Sublimation Markers

Step 5: Create a “Sublimation Sandwich” with a layer of Artesprix Protective Paper on the bottom, the Picture Frame with design facing up and another sheet of Artesprix Protective Paper all inside the heat press. You should be able to see though the top protective sheet and see the backside of your design. 

Sublimation Picture Frame Artesprix Markers Tie Dye Design

Step 6: Press at 400F for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, carefully peek under the edge of the protective paper to check that your design transferred well. If not, you can repress again since you have not removed any tape or shifted your design. 

In the photo below you can see the design transferred to the edge of the frame. Keep that in mind. If you have drawn over the traced line and wrap your design to tape it, the design will transfer on the side or sometimes the back. 

Sublimation Picture Frame Tie Dye Design with Artesprix

Step 7: Once you are sure it pressed well and your item has cooled, yank that puppy off. Ok, don’t yank it off, but I know you are as excited to see how it came out as I am, so take off the print. 

Sublimation Picture Frame Painting with Tie Dye Design Artesprix

Step 8:  It is time to put together your frame, don’t forget to put the mylar flm in picture frame before you add your photo! The two rows of tape on the back of the frame are for taping the frame back together, not for taping in your photo. If you don't add text or specifically oriented designs like me, this can always be horizontal or vertical, depending on the photo you use. 

Sublimation Picture Frame

Sublimation Picture Frame

Step 9: The most important step is to turn OFF your heat press, iron or whatever heat source you are using. I must say, I am quite impressed with the final project!

Sublimation Tie Dye Picture Frame with Artesprix Markers

Can’t wait to see what I get to make next! If you're looking for more inspiration, check the Iron-on-Ink Facebook Group for lots of projects by different Makers. Also, don't forget to read my Magnet Blank of the Month Blog and grab your set before they are gone. 

Craft On! 





Leave a comment

Comments are moderated and may not appear right away