How to Make Sublimation Tumblers – Step by Step Guide

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One of the interesting aspects of sublimation is how simple it is to customize 3D items, particularly skinny tumblers! They’re entertaining and popular, and they make the best gifts. It takes time to perfect sublimation tumblers, especially when sewing a smooth line for continuous graphics. And here, in today’s guide we will discuss how to make sublimation tumbler and how you can get better results by simply applying some tips. 

Additionally, you need tools and materials to make the best sublimation tumblers. We will also discuss  how you can quickly and easily make free sublimation tumbler designs. So, let’s get started.

How to Make Sublimation Tumblers

Steps For How to Make Sublimation Tumblers

It’s so interesting to use print sublimation on tumblers! Although you need some special equipment, the results are quite reliable. If you follow these methods, then you learn how to make sublimation tumbler.

In essence, heat activates particular sublimation sheets and colors. Within a few seconds, the inks vaporize and color the surface of the tumbler. Furthermore, the printed sublimation graphics become a part of the tumbler’s surface fibers. So you can’t feel them, and they won’t peel off. Tumblers must have a specific sublimation coating to allow the ink to adhere. 

Step 1- Materials For Sublimation Tumbler

  • Tumblers for Sublimation
  • Sublimation transfer Paper
  • Suitable ink 
  • White Butcher paper 
  • Alcohol for Rubbing
  • Lint-Free Rag
  •  Shrink Wrap Tubes (optional)
  • Design

Step 2- Equipment For the Sublimation of Tumbler

  • Printer with Sublimation
  • Heat Press Tumbler or Oven with Convection
  • Silicone bands Or a heat gun 
  • Gloves That Resist Heat
  • Desktop or laptop
  • Google account
  • printer settings
  • Tape That Resists Heat
  • Felt Pad that Resists Heat
  • Razors or a paper cutter
  • Ventilation
  • Cutter Scraper
  • Tape Measures

Step 3- Designs For Sublimation Tumblers 

Although sublimation prints are available in the market, you can create your own if you like art. Procreate, Adobe Illustrator, or Canva; all are the best software packages for sublimation. Most people prefer Adobe Photoshop for sublimation printing.

It is ideal for color conversion. The best feature of graphics for sublimation is that you can use almost any design for print. You can print pictures, graphics, and other content using a converted inkjet printer

Step 4- Tumbler for Sublimation and Transfer

Printing your sublimation transfers is much easier than you would believe. The main prerequisite is a brand-new inkjet printer that can use sublimation ink. We’ll copy the design on premium sublimation paper for the finest results. Make sure your print design is according to your mug. 

Step 5- Prepare Print and Tumbler For Sublimation

For a better transfer, wipe the tumbler with rubbing alcohol and a lint-free cloth. There is a unique way to trim the image since we don’t want a gap or visible line when we wrap it around the tumbler. Place the image face on your surface with the right edge at the top. Get out your Cricut paper trimmer—it’s an ideal tool for cutting things straight! 

Trim the design’s top and bottom borders directly on the ink’s edge. Don’t let any white remain visible. Cut the right edge similarly, ensuring there is no white showing. We will overlap along the left edge to make the seam as seamless as possible. Cut that edge so the white border next to the design is roughly 1/4″ wide.

Step 6- Tumbler for Sublimation with Infusible Ink

Infusible Ink Sheets are the best way to get started with sublimation if you currently have a Cricut machine. In Cricut Design Space, you can pick a design and cut it like vinyl using an iron. Although the wedding procedure is a little unique, it is simple to get used to.

The design is heated, so it is put into the cup’s covering then the process of making a DIY tumbler. You can choose from three techniques: an oven, a tumbler cup press, or even the unexpected Cricut Mug Press!

3 Simple Methods to print on sublimation Tumbler

Method 1- Using Oven

You can, indeed! It would help if you used a shrink sublimation wrap after securing your design to your tumbler with tape. To shrink the cover to fit the tumbler, place it over it with a low-temperature heat source. It will apply the necessary pressure for a smooth transfer while holding your design against the tumbler.

Method 2- Using a tumbler heat press

Tumbler-specific commercial heat presses are available in various sizes. They are either stand-alone or will be a larger press’s tumbler-sized attachment. Adjust the tension before starting the press to ensure your tumbler fits. Make an effort to distribute the pressure across the tumbler. Follow all the above steps and remember to focus on temperature.

On Amazon, you can get a tumbler heat press. A heat press is fantastic if you need to manufacture a lot of printed cups and have the space. They may become pricey, and you may need extra attachments for tumblers and mugs of various sizes. But making tumblers will give you a greater experience.

Method 3- Use a Cricut Mug Press

Although the circuit tumbler Press can use to make tumblers, this approach is not advised. We recommend utilizing a tumbler press or a craft oven, especially if you intend to sell your handmade tumblers. This Mug Press “hack” works great for a craft project, but getting regular results requires a lot of patience.

 It can be challenging to heat the entire tumbler. The Mug Press would work well for your design since it does perform better for smaller designs (instead of a complete wrap). Remove the mug’s transparent lid or slide the cover, then use heat tape to adhere the print to the cup, like you would with an oven. 

For the Mug Press, a silicon wrap is not required. Make sure you tape down all protruding edges, paying specific attention to the tumbler’s top and bottom. Also, cover the mug and focus on temperature.

You must push the mug in toward the back of the press since there will be a space when you insert it into the mug press. To carry the tumbler tightly against the heating source, you can use a silicone sheet that you can put at the front. 

To ensure that the tumbler’s sides are heated equally, you must rotate it throughout the heating process. Start your timer at the tape line connecting the butcher sheet to the tumbler and set it for one minute. After that, turn the cup a quarter turn every minute until all sides are warm. 

Flip the mug over using your heat-resistant gloves, then carry out the same procedure on the opposite side of the tumbler. Remove the butcher sheet and printed pattern when your tumbler has cooled on an Easy press to see your tumbler!


Is it necessary to seal sublimation tumblers?

It’s not necessary to seal tumblers that are printed using a sublimation transfer. The sublimation ink becomes permanently ingrained in the tumbler’s material during heating.

Do sublimation tumblers fit in the dishwasher?

Most stainless steel tumblers, whether sublimated or not, are not advised for dishwasher use, in contrast to sublimation mugs. You should wash your stainless-steel sublimation mugs by hand!

Can we use Mirror transfer sublimation?

You can use mirror sublimation transfer. It’s optional to reflect your design if it has words, but it’s a nice habit to get. To prepare for heating, tightly affix the tumbler with heat-resistant tape. Make sure the design extends to the tumbler’s edge. This slim tumbler performed.

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