Hey all! My name is Chelsea Rose. I am a Mother, baker, ex-art teacher and a Navy spouse. We go through a bunch of times of separation with the Dad figure in my family and I love coming up with ways to keep us all connected. Family handprints are such a fun way to do this, especially if you have littles like me (4.5yr and almost 1yr)! What’s even better is that my older son is able to paint with the Artesprix Paint to make these shirts (and the August Blank of the Month Dish Towel) even more unique and special.
What is Artesprix Sublimation Iron-on-Ink?
Sublimation Ink or Iron-on-Ink is a medium that once applied with heat and pressure to a polyester fabric or coated product will fuse completely and become one with the object. There is no peeling or rubbing off once transferred. And it won’t wash away either! It’s science-y magic!
Artesprix Youth Shirt
Artesprix Stamp Ink Refills
Mixed Media Paper or Copy Paper
Heat Resistant Tape
Pipette / Water
Heat Source: Home Iron or Heat Press
*Bonus/Blank of the Month: Artesprix Dish Towel
Step 1: Trace your hand, and your family members’ hands on plain copy paper, another option is to use mixed media paper. If it matters to you to keep the left hands looking like left hands, you need to mirror your template before you start (just trace on the back of the page). It helps to write “backwards” or “mirrored” to let you know which side you want to paint on.
Step 2: Prepare your ink. Drop two drops of Sublimation Stamp Ink from the dropper bottle on each palette section and follow with water. Using a plastic pipette gives you a lot of control, but could also use a small spoon. Reserve some water for color changes.
Step 3: My son and I painted our templates with the stamp ink together, so that Dad and I could wear a shirt painted by him and he and his brother could wear one painted by me. After the first painting dries completely outline the hands. If you paint an outline when the paper is still wet, the ink will run together creating a different effect. Play around, experiment!
Step 4: While the outlines dry, preheat your heat press to 370°F. Before taping the templates down, tear around the design to get a soft edges instead of the hard paper lines.
Step 5: Lint roll your fabric, and pre-press for a few seconds to dry out any latent moisture and prevent wrinkles. Then tape you design where you want it using heat tape. Because the blank is fabric, it's a good idea to use too much tape rather than risk the design slipping.
Step 6: "Sandwich" the blank and the taped on design with pieces of Artesprix protective paper. Put one piece of protective paper inside the shirt, this will prevent the design from transferring to the other side. Another piece of protective paper above your design will protect your heat platen, and one more piece underneath to keep the back of your shirt white.
Step 7: This project presses at 370°F for 35 seconds with only medium pressure. To double check the recommended press times go to Artesprix’s directions site.
Step 8: After 35 seconds have elapsed it’s time for the "peek test"! Be careful, the blank is hot! Try to peek without moving any tape, that way if the project needs more time, your design is still lined up which will prevent ghosting.
Step 9: While the blank is still a little hot, I like to remove the design and the heat tape and quickly go over the design with a lint roller to help move any press marks that may have occurred. It’s so pretty!
Step 10: Repeat with the steps above with shirts for the entire family! Or if your husband thinks he has one too many shirts, use the August Blank of the Month Dish Towel as a workout towel for the gym! Then wear the art with pride holding the symbols of family close to each member.
By using Iron-on-Ink for Watercolor Family Handprints, you get a piece of art that will never wash out and captures a moment in time when your little one’s hands are their current small size. Even if you choose something other than handprint art, turning the Stamp Pad Ink Refills into a watercolor ink opens up so many lovely design options. And the vibrancy will still surprise you once the blank is sublimated!
Follow along and see what other Artesprix Design Team writers are doing with these awesome products on the rest of the blog. I really love what Sara did with her dish towel and a marbling technique on this post, don’t you?!
If you want to see what I’m up to in Japan - come follow along over on instagram (I put lots of fun foods that we try in my stories). Thank you for reading and would love to see what you make next!
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