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FAQ: What Process Goes Into Sublimation Tumblers

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

Some do not realize what goes into creating a finished product when sublimating a tumbler. There is a lot of preparation that goes into anything homemade.


What type of tumbler do you have to use to sublimate on?

A tumbler must have a special coating for sublimation. You cannot sublimate on any given tumbler. The coating is a polymer type of coating that allows the ink to penetrate the coating. The price range average is $8.00 - $10.00 each.


Where do you get the designs to put on the tumblers?

Designs are sensitive. You cannot utilize copyrighted designs. So when you see a tumbler with mickey mouse, princess or other favorite designs, you are usually seeing a "stolen" design. These designs can cause future lawsuits.

You either have to create your design with your unique touches or purchase your design from an original seller. The average design price is $4.00 - $8.00 each. And corporate design is upwards of $40.00 Some of these designs can only be used once. Or, you can purchase a corporate design that can be used multiple times, but this option will cost you much more.


What supplies are needed to use to create the printed design?

For best results, you will need the proper sublimation paper, approximately $20.00 a pack, a tape measure, approximately $4.00, the printing machine with proper inks and design program to structure your design.

Machine: I use a Sawgrass printer, approximately $750.00 and up, some may use an Epson Eco tank printer, approximately $300.00 and up. When using these machines, you must only use one type of ink or your printer may work improperly or inconsistently.

You must use a tape measure to measure your surface area that you want to cover with the design. You will measure the height and the circumference and make allowances when measuring and creating the design, with any tapering or shape differences. You will use these measurement to generate your image in the studio you choose to create your templates.

As far as creating your design, there are many options to choose from with different features. There is Cricut Design Space, Canva, Corel Draw, Adobe Photo Shop, Silhouette Studio and more. I personally use the Silhouette Studio and have the Business Edition. This allows me to utilize all of the features for versatility.


How to get the design on the tumbler?

You need to apply the design with a form of high heat with specific temperatures and timings. Some people use a confection oven, a mug press or a tumbler press, there is a wide rang of prices for a mug press. I tried the confection oven and that is definitely not my specialty, these are approximately $75.00 and up. I personally use a tumbler press, my wala tumbler press was approximately $499.00.

So when you purchase a custom item, you should know that a lot of work, love and expense goes into creating these products. From us creators, we hope that you enjoy the products as much as we enjoy doing the work to create it!

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