Learn how to make your own sublimation ornaments in two different ways. First by using a sublimation printer and the second with Infusible Ink!
Y’all know I have been having fun with my sublimation printer! As much as I love my Cricut, sublimation printing opens up some more creative doors, so why limit oneself??!!
In this tutorial, we are switching gears to Christmas sublimation ornaments. I had so much fun making all different kinds of sublimation ornaments and I learned quite a few things that you need to know!
If you are new to sublimation, make sure to check out my post on sublimation for beginners. As with my tutorial on making sublimation tumblers, I will be showing you two different methods of making sublimated ornaments.
The first method will be using a sublimation printer and then I’ll show you how to use Infusible Ink to make sublimation Christmas ornaments.
Sublimation Ornaments Supplies
Here is what you’ll need to get started with ornament sublimation.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Shareasale, Cricut, Awin, CreativeFabrica, and Amazon.com. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Sublimation ornament blanks
- Sublimation converted printer using sublimation dye
- Sublimation sheets
- Cricut EasyPress 2 or 3
- EasyPress 2 mat
- butcher paper
- heat resistant tape
- sublimation design or photo
Where to Find Sublimation Designs
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Shareasale, Awin, Canva, DesignBundles, and LoveSVG. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text).
The beauty of making sublimation Christmas ornaments or gift tags is that you can really use any design. You are not limited to colors and layers.
If you are making sublimation ornaments for personal use (not selling them) then you can find all sorts of images (in jpeg, png, PDF, PSD, or EPS forms) all over the internet. You actually don’t have to use designs that are specifically for sublimation, but you want to make sure the images are a good resolution.
You can design your own using your favorite computer software or simply use family photos or pictures to make photo sublimation ornaments.
Then there are sublimation designs that you can use commercially for a small fee. A lot of these sites will also send out daily or weekly freebies, which is where I get a lot of mine from!
- Get 10 Credits for Free – Once you download the 10th credit or after a month, you’ll be charged the monthly subscription fee of $9. So if you don’t want to pay at all only download 9, then cancel your subscription. Or pay the $9 for a month and download as much stuff as you want during that month, and then cancel before the month is over! That’s what I did before I just decided to buy the full year since I use them so much!!
Where to Find Sublimation Ornament Blanks
You can’t sublimate on just any blank ornament. Sublimation needs a poly coating to interact with the sublimation dye and heat to make it permanent. You can read more about the process of sublimation here if you want the nitty gritty!
With that in mind, there are quite a few places you can purchase sublimation ornament blanks. (Make sure they say sublimation!)
Amazon is always my go-to! You can find all different sizes and shapes in my Amazon storefront here. You can pick from ceramic ornaments or MDF blank ornaments.
HeatPressNation also has a ton of great sublimation blanks.
Before Printing Sublimation Images
I have a full video tutorial of all these steps at the bottom, so make sure to watch it if you are more of a visual learner!
Sublimation images need to be printed on mirror setting or flipped horizontally in an editing program if there are words or directionality to the design.
I don’t tend to flip images that don’t have words, because it’s an extra step, but sometimes when you are just beginning it’s nice to get in the habit of mirroring the image so you don’t forget.
I like to use Canva.com to make my sublimation print. I use a standard size piece of paper, upload the images I want, and then place them on the document. Size the image to your ornament size.
Canva makes it really easy to Flip the image. Once you’ve clicked on the image, click on Flip and the Flip Horizontal on the toolbar.
Download the file as PDF Print (high quality). I walk you through all my design steps in my YouTube video at the bottom if you need more detailed instructions on using Canva.
Open up the download, and print it on sublimation paper in a sublimation printer. You can read here how I converted an epson ecotank to a sublimation printer.
Sublimation on Ornaments Directions
You’ll need an EasyPress 2 or heat press to sublimate on ornaments. A regular iron will not work for the high consistent pressure sublimation needs.
I recommend opening some windows or being in a well-ventilated area. The chemical reaction of sublimation releases a smell!
I checked the directions for the sublimation ornament blanks I’m using and it said to use a sublimation temperature of 356F – 374F for 70 seconds. Since the EasyPress 2 has a tendency to lose some heat when it’s lifted off the tray, I set mine to 400F.
The ornament sublimation blanks will have a protective film on both sides. Remove both of the films, making sure not to get any fingerprints or smudges on the side of the ornament you will be sublimating.
Honestly, removing these films was the hardest part of the sublimation project!
I cut all the sublimation images apart and centered the ornament blank over them and taped them together with heat resistant tape. Then you are going to flip them over!
IMPORTANT: Place some butcher paper on your EasyPress mat and then place the ornaments with the blanks facing down! The sublimation paper should be on top!
Place another layer of butcher paper on top (to protect your EasyPress) and press for 70 seconds. Try not to move the press.
After the timer goes off, lift the EasyPress straight up. Let the sublimation Christmas ornaments cool to the touch and then remove the sublimation dye paper.
Look how fun and cute the sublimation dye ornaments come out!
Ornament Sublimation Tips
There is a tendency for the sublimation blanks to turn a slight yellow color after the heat is applied. I’m not sure if that’s true of all the ornament blanks or just the ones I used.
I made a mistake the first time I pressed them by having the ornament up and the sublimation paper on the bottom (on top of the mat). I pressed for the 70 seconds and was very surprised that nothing transferred! Oops!
So I flipped the ornaments over so the sublimation paper was on top (as I told you to do because I learned the hard way!) and pressed again. Since I added heat twice the ornaments turned a little more yellow.
You can kind of tell the difference here on the backside of the ornaments. The left one was pressed twice (cuz I messed up!) and the one on the right was only pressed once. The one that had less heat applied stayed more white.
Now let’s talk about the second method of sublimating ornaments.
Using Infusible Ink to Sublimate Ornaments
If you own a Cricut cutting machine (or if you are thinking about getting one, check out which Cricut is right for you) you can cut and use Infusible Ink to sublimate Christmas ornaments.
If you haven’t worked with it before, make sure to read everything you need to know about Infusible Ink to get started.
For these ornaments, you’ll need Cricut Infusible Ink transfer sheets and any Cricut machine. I am using the same ornament blanks as above.
To design sublimation ornaments in Cricut Design Space, I found a few different images I liked included in Cricut Access.
I added a circle and sized it to the same size as the sublimation ornament blank. Mine was about 3.2 inches around so I made the circle a tad bigger to 3.45.
You can not slice more than one layer, so I clicked on the image I was using (for this example, the aloha Christmas) and then clicked on Weld. Then I changed the color to white so I could see if over the grey circle.
Align and size the image to the center of the circle. Then select both by dragging your cursor over them and click on Slice.
You’ll be left with the surround of the image. Delete off the two extra images that were sliced out.
Repeat for other images. The Merry Christmas image was already like that it design space.
If you just want the full image cut out of Infusible Ink, then just size the image to fit your ornament and weld it all together so it turns the same color.
With Infusible Ink, you need to make sure to turn the mirror setting on. I moved my images around so I could put multiple small pieces of Infusible Ink transfer sheets on the same mat.
Place Infusible Ink transfer sheets on a Cricut mat and cut out the images.
Crack the transfer sheets by bending them a bit and peel off the cut-out pieces. If the full thickness doesn’t peel off, don’t worry. As long as there is no ink on it, it won’t infuse.
Then follow the same directions as above for sublimating the Infusible Ink tranfser sheets into the ornaments.
Clean the blank sublimation ornament with a lint roller.
Remove the plastic from the blanks, center and tape the image to the blank, and then place them with the Infusible Ink transfer sheets on top (sublimation ornament blanks will be on the bottom).
Place butcher paper over to protect your EasyPress and press for 60 seconds with your heat source. When cool to touch, remove the transfer sheet!
I love this Cricut cutie ornament!
I love how vibrant these Infusible Ink sublimation Christmas ornaments are! They look so cute on my Christmas tree!
And really you can make sublimation ornaments for any holiday season, not just Christmas!
Sublimation Ornaments Video Tutorial
Here are some printable directions on sublimating ornaments.
- Design sublimation images in your favorite software. I like to use Canva.com.
- Flip or mirror the image for any designs with words or directionality.
- Size designs to fit the size of your sublimation ornament blank.
- Print out the image on sublimation paper with a sublimation printer.
- Peel plastic liners off sublimation ornament blank on both sides.
- Center the image and tape it to the ornament blank with heat resistant tape.
- Place butcher paper over your EasyPress mat or towel.
- Place the ornament blank with the ornament side on the mat and the sublimation paper on top.
- Place another layer of butcher paper on top and press with an EasyPress 2 for 70 seconds at 380F - 390F.
- Let cool and then remove the taped on sublimation paper.
- Enjoy your gorgeous sublimation ornament DIY!
See the post for step by step picture instructions and for links to where to find sublimation images.
Aren’t these DIY sublimation ornaments so cute??!! If you’d like to save this tutorial for later, simply hover over the top left of the image below and PIN It now!
Thanks for stopping by and have a creative day!