Guest Designer Artesprix Bag Tag with Gel Press Plate
Hi there! I'm Betsy Burnett with the blog “Aim Happy” and I am super excited to have been asked again to be a guest designer for Artesprix! With my many roles in life, I find myself traveling with multiple bags. One for class kits, one for paperwork, one for kid’s ministry… sometimes it is difficult to tell things apart! I love adding touches of ribbon or pom-poms to distinguish my bags, so when I was asked to do a project for Artesprix, I just new I had to design a bag tag taking personalization to a whole new level. I can’t wait to share with you how I figured out a simple trick using a “Gel Press Plate” to reverse the design of a traditional text stamp and get all of my stamped words going the “right” direction on the finished project!
What is Artesprix Sublimation Iron-on-Ink?
Artesprix Sublimation Markers and inks are permanent, heat transferred ink. These specially formulated inks allow you to create personalized designs on polyester coated surfaces. Using plain copy paper, you create your design using the Artesprix Ink, you then transfer the colored design onto your compatible surface using a heat source. The results are vibrant, colorful, and best of all, permanent!
Plain Copy Paper
Heat Press, Craft Press, or Home Iron
Extra Paper, or sticky notes
Ink Blending Tool
Step 1: Start by tracing your blank onto your plain copy paper with a pencil to create your template. Then I decided to add my main design with Sublimation Black Stamp Pad.
Step 2: To create mirrored text using my traditional stamps. Use a Gel Press plate, stamp your text stamp onto the plate applying gentle but firm pressure. When your words are stamped onto the plate, you may position your paper on top of the gel plate and smooth the paper over or if you are using a smaller gel plate, you may flip your plate upside down and use it as a “stamp” onto your paper. You will notice, you now have a mirror image of your stamped words on your paper.
Pro Tip: Ensure you do not rock your stamp on the plate or press down too hard. Due to the texture of the Gel Press Plate, If you rock the stamp the ink can smudge, If you press too hard, the Gel Press Plate squeezes into the crevasses of the stamp also causing the ink to smear.
Step 3: Trace over your template again if needed with your Bag Tag to ensure everything lines up inside the traced space. Pencil does not transfer and will not interfere with your design.
Pro Tip #2: Before you add color to your design, allow your heat source to warm up. I'm using a heat press and this blank calls for a transfer temperature of 400℉.
Step 4: I began by coloring the gal's face using Artesprix’s Sublimation Markers. For her hair I inked up a flower stamp directly using Artesprix’s sublimation blue stamp pad and applied it directly to my paper. For the background color, I used a scrap piece of paper and masked over the face and hair and stamped directly unto the paper, then I immediately smudged and blended the edges using an ink blending tool.
Pro Tip #3: Give your stamped designs more depth and dimension through a mask technique. On a scrap piece of paper, stamp an identical design. Use this design as a mask to cover your stamped design to avoid getting ink on it from another stamp. Trim away part of the design to have the 2nd stamp overlap without covering the entire design, for example, the hair.
Step 5: Secure your bag tag onto your design using heat tape, Artesprix Bag Tags are double-sided so it does not matter which side you transfer to first. Layer your secured blank between two pieces of Protective Paper to create a “Sublimation Sandwich.” Make sure your protective paper is lager than your copy paper/design.
Step 6: Carefully place your “Sublimation Sandwich” in the heat press. Make sure the design is facedown on the top side of your “sandwich”. With my professional heat press and the materials I used, I need to press my bag tag at 400℉ for 45 seconds. Be sure to check your transfer times as different Bag Tag materials require different transfer times.
Step 7: When the time is up, carefully conduct a "peek test" to see if you got a good transfer. If you did not. Double check your temperature, pressure and ensure your “Sub Sandwich” wasn’t upside-down.
Step 8: Once you have confirmed your transfer was successful, peel away the paper! Isn’t it amazing how vibrant those colors are? They just jump out at you!
Step 9: Repeat the steps above if you want to personalize the other side. Then attach your custom bag tag and own your bag!
I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I enjoyed being a Guest Designer with Artesprix! These Bag Tags are a great way to personalize different bags to remember what is in them, or theme them for your next family vacation! The possibilities are endless. Don’t forget to visit the Artesprix Facebook Group where Makers are always sharing inspirational projects.
Keep on crafting!