Looking for new ideas of things to create with your sublimation printer?
You're in luck! We've mined the depths of the internet to pull together this treasure trove of 24+ sublimation ideas just for you. 🎁
Any one of these ideas would make a great personal keepsake, unique gift, or sellable product for a small business.
Ready to dazzle your friends with some amazing new creations? Let's get started 🚀
24+ Sublimation Ideas to Spark Inspiration For Your Next Project
There's virtually no limit to what you can make with a sublimation printer, a sublimation blank, and a little bit of creativity.
Let's take a closer look at all the different sublimation projects you can make for yourself, loved ones, or customers, even if you're an absolute beginner.
1. Sublimated Tumblers
It feels so good to step out of the house on a sunny day, a cool breeze hitting your face, taking a sip of a yummy drink out of your favorite tumbler.
What could make that even better? Having a tumbler printed with your own unique design, tailored completely to you.
This beautiful tumbler was made with a MakerFlo tumbler sublimation blank. All you need to do is print out a design that will fit around the tumbler with no gaps.
Want more? Check out our step-by-step guide to sublimating a 20-oz skinny tumbler.
2. Sublimated Mugs
Raise your hand if you're NOT a morning person! ✋
Whether you love or hate your alarm clock, having a cute mug that makes you happy will make it SO much easier to wake up in the morning. We love this sunny mug design made with MakerFlo's 12oz. Sublimation Camper Mug.
3. Sippy Cups
Sublimated drinkware isn't just for adults anymore!
A sublimated sippy cup is a great gift for parents, soon-to-be parents, or as a keepsake for your own children. You can add the child's name, favorite animal or character, and other details for a more personal touch.
Yes, you can customize t-shirts with sublimation—as long as they're at least 65% polyester. You can sublimate on any color, but keep in mind that sublimation dyes don't come in white, so they won't show up on dark fabrics.
Here's a colorful sublimated t-shirt from So Fontsy.
5. Gel Pens
Did you know you can sublimate pens? Just one of these on your desk will surely brighten up your work day and bring a smile to your face.
This sublimated pen was made by Katherine, a MakerFlo Maker, using the MakerFlo gel pen sublimation blank.
6. Trucker Hats
Hats are another great item to customize. Use them to sell, coordinate matching hats for an event or reunion, or simply have something in your closet that you designed!
This trucker hat from Leap of Faith Crafting shows the possibility of what you can create—just be sure to get a sublimation-friendly hat for the best results!
Douzies are great for keeping your drinks cold on a hot day outside. And by creating one with your own sublimation design, you can cheer on your child's team, rep your favorite sport, or market your business wherever you go.
This was made with a 12oz slim douzie sublimation blank.
8. Water Bottles
We love this #nurselife water bottle designed by Terri, a MakerFlo Maker.
You can sublimate a water bottle with a custom slogan and design to take with you to work, gift a friend, or sell as a fun custom product. Just make sure to use a water bottle sublimation blank.
9. Wine Tumblers
Imagine sitting down to take a picture with your best friends at your yearly get-together, and you all pull out matching cups for the photo. Having a set of customized drinkware for a girls' night out, bachelor or bachelorette party, or wedding is great for photos and can become a special item for years to come.
This fun sublimated wine tumbler was created by Stacy, a MakerFlo Maker, using the MakerFlo wine tumber sublimation blank.
10. Mechanical Pencil
We've covered cups, shirts, and pens. But let's not forget about the all-important pencil.
Teachers, students, and artists use pencils every day, and now anyone can create a mechanical pencil that reflects their personality and brightens up their space.
These pencils from MakerFlo Maker Crystal were customized for teachers using a mechanical pencil sublimation blank.
With a keychain sublimation blank like this one from Pro World, you can craft a special reminder of your family, a pet, or a favorite team that you want to keep with you wherever you go.
You could also promote a business or blog by adding a logo to your design.
12. Pet Tags
This cute sublimated pet tag from Coastal Business is a step up from those boring old pet tags you used to find in the pet store.
If you can get your hands on a pet tag sublimation blank, you can create your own tag from scratch. What a great gift for a beloved pet!
These cute sublimated earrings, made by The Country Chic Cottage, are an excellent idea for a personal accessory or product for sale.
These earring blanks are small, so you can press one transfer into multiple mini earrings to save time. (You can also find drop earrings if that's more your style.)
Pillowcases lay flat when the cushion is removed, making this an easy sublimation project for your craft idea list. You can get a pillow sublimation blank, like this one from Bagmasters, or customize any polyester fabric pillow you can find.
A pillow covered with photos of family and home is a great gift idea for a new college student moving away for the first time. Just make sure to remove the cushion and clean the pillowcase with a lint roller before pressing.
Any blanket made of polyester can be customized into a beautiful baby blanket, family throw, or other thoughtful gift with a sweet, personalized design. Take a look at this creative baby blanket design from Little Chicky Paperie & Gifts on Etsy.
Another fun idea for people who spend a lot of time on the computer—a colorful and inspiring mousepad that gives you a daily pick-me-up at work! This Teacher Daily Affirmations mousepad from Alastar Craft Studio on Etsy is a great example with a sharp design and vibrant colors.
We love this sublimation puzzle idea from MotivateBox. You can purchase puzzle sublimation blanks and add photos or designs for weddings, pregnancy announcements, and other special occasions.
18. Tote Bag
Anything made of polyester fabric that lies flat is a great candidate for sublimation. Check out this stylish sublimated tote bag from Space Crafts Design Studio.
19. Zippered Pouch
Along the same theme as the tote bag, we have the mini zippered pouch! You can customize a pouch for art supplies, pens, makeup, or other small items, like this sublimated pouch from Tali Arts Design & Print.
20. Pot Holder
You're no longer limited to pot holders you can find in the store—now you can create something that perfectly fits your kitchen aesthetic, like this idea from Sparkle Berry Ink.
For events or a fun gift, try a customized coaster set, like these Schitt's Creek-inspired coasters created by Wild and Wanderful.
22. Phone Cases
Yes, you can even create phone cases with sublimation if you can get your hands on a sublimated sublimation blank phone case. This one is from Bronzemetal on Etsy.
23. Holiday Ornaments
Finally, you can create fun holiday decor with ornaments like this sublimated Santa design from Leap of Faith Crafting. Just transfer the design, add a ribbon, and hang for a jolly good time! 🎄
24. Wind Spinners
You can print on a wind spinner sublimation blank like this one from Best Sub to make a fun craft for your garden or home!
Angie Holden explains how to do this in her wind spinner sublimation tutorial.
What Do You Need to Get Started With Sublimation?
Of course, you'll need the right materials to bring these ideas to life.
Here's a concise guide to what you need:
1. Sublimation Printer
You'll need a specialized printer with special sublimation ink, either a dedicated or a converted printer. We recommend the Epson SureColor F170 for beginners.
Want more details? Check out our full guide to choosing a sublimation printer.
2. Sublimation Ink
Sublimation ink (aka sublimation dyes) are specialized dyes used for sublimation. This is the only type of ink that will sublimate when heat is applied. (Usually, you'll use what comes with your printer.)
3. Sublimation Paper
Next, you'll need sublimation paper. This specialized transfer paper makes it possible to sublimate the ink cleanly. After you press or bake the design, you'll remove the paper to reveal the finished product.
4. Sublimation Blanks
A sublimation blank is an object that's designed to be customized with sublimation. It usually has a white surface made of a material that works with sublimation.
At MakerFlo Crafts, we have a variety of sublimation blanks at affordable prices in our shop.
5. Sublimation Oven or Heat Press
We recommend a sublimation oven for beginners and for round, hard objects that don't work with a traditional heat press.
Other Stuff You Need
Other helpful items include:
- An air purifier, eye and face protection to keep you safe from toxic fumes
- Heat-resistant tape to tape your designs down onto your sublimation blank
- A lint roller to remove any lint from t-shirts before sublimating
- Rubber gloves to handle objects without smudgy fingerprints or oil transfer
- Heat-resistant gloves to handle hot stuff
What can you use sublimation-printed designs for?
So many things! Here are some ideas to get the ideas flowing:
- Start a sublimation startup and sell them as products!
- Promote your business or other businesses with customized merch
- Create gifts for the holidays
- Announce a pregnancy or celebrate a baby shower with special keepsake items
- Create personalized wedding keepsakes
- Give personalized birthday gifts or anniversary gifts
- Give each child a customized item with their name on it that they can keep forever
- Create home decor or fashion items that follow your personal style
- Create going-away gifts for your kids, like pillows, blankets, and decorative items featuring photos from home
- Give gifts to grandparents or older relatives with your kids' faces on them
- Design matching accessories or clothing for an event, like hats or t-shirts for a girl's night out, bachelorette party, bridal shower, family reunion, etc.
What other ideas can you come up with? ☺️
What is sublimation printing?
Sublimation printing (aka dye sublimation printing) is a type of printing in which you print designs with special dyes onto transfer paper. If you put the designs onto the right materials and apply heat, the dyes will vaporize and sink into the material for a long-lasting, high-fidelity design.
Learn more about the sublimation process (including pros and cons, alternatives, and how to do it step-by-step) in our full-length guide to sublimation printing.
We hope these ideas have gotten you excited to create your own sublimation transfers and designs with sublimation printing! Use them for your next gift-giving occasion or ideas for your up-and-coming printing business.
Want to get up and running fast? Check out the Epson F170 Sublimation Ultimate Starter Kit. It's got everything you need to start doing sublimation at home.
Also, be sure to visit our MakerFlo Crafts Facebook Group, where you can meet, share ideas, and get support from our team and thousands of other crafters just like you!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which sublimation items sell best?
There's no clear answer to this. It depends on your local market and where the demand is. You can look at online stores for ideas, see what's selling, or ask around your community. The best thing you can do is make a few things and see what sells.
What can be printed with sublimation?
Any object with a polyester surface or a fabric of at least 65% polyester works well for sublimation. If you want to customize wooden objects, it must be laminated. And if you want to transfer onto natural materials like cotton or other things, you'll need to spray them with a sublimation coating.
What is sublimation best for?
Sublimation is best for customizing items made of polyester or polyester blends. Unlike DTG or DTF, nothing is left on the material's surface. It creates beautiful designs with nicely blended colors. Check out the article above for more than 20 ideas for sublimation projects you can make yourself.