Watercolor Softness Artesprix T-Shirt

Hey Y’all, It’s Tanya again. The blank for this project is the Polyester T-shirt. For this shirt I wanted to make a shirt that I would want to wear, so decided on a watercolored sacred heart surrounded by flowers. Since this is my first time trying this technique, it was a bit of a learning curve, but we will get through it together.

Sublimation Watercolor T shirt DIY

What are Sublimation 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.  

Materials Needed:

Step-by-Step Tutorial:

Step 1: Usually we start by tracing the blank, but with this T-Shirt it is going to work a little differently. I'm going to sketch my designs onto plain copy paper with pencil. 

Watercolor Sublimation Technique

Step 2: Prepare your pallet, also known as a ziploc baggie. By sketching on the baggie, the marker ink will not stick, you can then use the paint brush with a little water to lift the ink and paint on the copy paper. Paint as desired.

Pro tip: Don’t try to add all your colors to the pallet at once, just add as you go along. Let the copy paper dry before adding more color. You can control the intensity of the colors by adding different amounts of water to the ziploc baggie. 

Sublimation Watercolor Design t-shirt

Sublimation watercolor flower designs polyester t shirt

Sublimation watercolor floral design polyester t shirt

Step 3: Once all your designs have dried, make a mockup placement of your transfers before you start taping to the Shirt.

Sublimation watercolor design floral

Step 4: Turn on your heat press and set the temperature to 370.

Lint Roll Sublimation Pre Press T-shirt prep

Step 5: Pre-press. With fabrics and textiles you'll want to "Pre-press" your garments. This helps wick out any moisture, gets rid of wrinkles, and it is a great time to check your pressure on your heat press.  Lint roll first to remove any loose lint. Then Press the shirt for about 10 seconds, be sure to use protective paper, you never know what ink could be hiding! 

Sublimation watercolor design heat transfer

Step 6: Ready to transfer! Use your heat tape to tape down your designs. By cutting them apart, if made it easier for me to lay them out. This also made it easier to tape around the design, not over it. 

Sublimation Polyester T shirt heat transfer DIY

Pro Tip: It is important to put a piece of protective paper in-between your shirt. Iron-on-Ink is very powerful and could transfer through to the backside of the shirt.

Sublimation T Shirt watercolor DIY

Step 7: Add the final piece of protective paper on top, to protect your heat surface. Once everything is in place, press for 30 seconds. 

Sublimation watercolor polyester shirt project

Step 8: After your 30 seconds has finished, before you take the tape off your design, take a peek at the design to make sure it transferred properly. If it didn't, check your time, temperature, pressure, and "Sublimation Sandwich" setup. 

finished sublimation watercolor shirt floral design

Step 9: It’s coming out pretty good, so far! But I am not done! I added more small details throughout the shirt deign by repeating the steps above and starting out with copy paper. I was very impressed that the original transfers stayed bright even when I continued to add additional designs. 

Sublimation watercolor polyester t-shirt design

Tada. I love it! 

Who knew these markers offered so many other ways to be used?

Tada. I love it!   Who knew these markers offered so many other ways to be used?  I hope you enjoy this technique as much as I do. Try it out!  Craft on! Tanya
I hope you enjoy this technique as much as I do. Try it out! 

Craft on! 



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