How To Do Sublimation on Tumblers | Explained

Discover sublimation tumblers, unique vessels crafted from quality stainless steel, then printed using the sublimation process. You cannot simply use any tumbler for sublimation purposes, as you must solely purchase products labeled as sublimation tumblers.

These tumblers feature a one-of-a-kind polyester coating, exclusive to the sublimation process, making them truly special. Not only are they insusceptible to high temperatures, but you are also free to customize them with adhesive craft vinyl. Blank tumblers without the desired polyester coating such as regular ones are unsuitable for sublimation.

Using such appliances will lead to failed prints, with even the tumbler itself partially if not fully melted. Make a note to always double-check and ensure your tumbler is a certified sublimation tumbler. If you are interested in knowing how to do sublimation on tumblers, this blog post will break it down into simple steps to help you get started.

Sublimation on Tumblers | A step by step guide

Here is a step by step guide on how you can print sublimation on Tumblers.

 Sublimation on tumblers
  1. Prepare your tumbler:

Before you begin the sublimation process, you will need to prepare your tumbler. First, wash the tumbler with warm water and soap to remove any dirt or residue that may interfere with the sublimation process. Next, dry it thoroughly and remove any protective film or coating that may be present.

  1. Design your image:

You will need to create or choose a design that you want to transfer onto your Tumbler. This design can be anything from a company logo to a favorite sports team. It is important to ensure that your design fits the size and shape of your tumbler. You can use design software such as Adobe Illustrator to create your design or get pre-made designs online.

  1. Print your design:

Once you have your design, print it onto sublimation paper using a sublimation printer. Ensure that you print the design in the correct orientation and size. The sublimation paper should be larger than the tumbler to ensure that the entire design is covered during transfer.

  1. Apply the design onto the tumbler:

Using heat-resistant tape, secure the sublimation paper with the design around your tumbler. You will then place the tumbler into a sublimation press with the design facing up. The sublimation press will heat the tumbler to a specific temperature and pressure, which will melt the ink into the tumbler’s surface. This process takes about 5-7 minutes to complete.

  1. Remove the paper and admire your sublimated tumbler:

After the sublimation process is complete, remove the paper and tape from your tumbler, and admire your sublimated tumbler. The design will have transferred onto the tumbler’s surface beautifully and will be durable, ensuring that your design stays on for a long time to come.

Additional Tips

To make your sublimation prints look just perfect, follow these easy steps. Prepare your convection oven before getting started. Pull out any wire racks, and add a heat-resistant pad on the bottom to protect the surface. 

First of all, a quick note: not all tumblers come with shrink-wrap tubes, so make sure you have one.

Alright, let’s get started. Stick your print to the tumbler with some tape, using the method we showed you earlier. Then, preheat your oven to 375° and get yourself some heat-resistant gloves.

Here comes the fun part, pull a shrink-wrap tube over the tumbler, and don’t worry if it seems too tall, you can trim it down later. Use the heat gun to slowly heat the tube and watch it conform perfectly to the tumbler. Don’t worry about a few wrinkles as long as they’re minimal, your design will look amazing.

Finally, be careful not to make it too tight, or it might pull apart in the oven. And that’s it you’re ready to sublimate.

Now, time to preheat the oven to 375°. To keep the ink off the bands, cover the tumbler with butcher paper using tape. For evenly-spaced silicone bands, go close to the tumbler edges covering them is fine.

For perfect results, let’s start by popping that tumbler into the very center of your oven and heating it up for just six short minutes. After that, carefully take the tumbler out of the oven, let it cool, and then remove the bands and paper.

Do sublimation tumblers come in different colors?

Yes, sublimation tumblers are available in a wide variety of colors. Sublimation is a process in which an image or design is transferred onto a specially coated substrate, such as a tumbler, using heat and pressure. The coating on the tumbler allows the ink to adhere and become a permanent part of the surface. Manufacturers and retailers offer sublimation tumblers in various colors to cater to different preferences and styles.

Some common color options include black, white, silver, blue, red, green, pink, and many more. Additionally, you may find tumblers with gradient or multi-colored designs that provide a unique and eye-catching appearance. When selecting a sublimation tumbler, you can choose from the available color options or even find blank tumblers that allow you to personalize and customize them with your own sublimation designs.


Sublimating a tumbler can be done easily with the right materials and tools. The process is simple and straightforward, and once you have the hang of it, you can make beautiful custom tumblers for different events or customers.

Remember to prepare your tumbler, design and print your image, apply it onto the tumbler, and wait until the sublimation process is complete. By following these steps, you will be able to sublimate your Tumbler successfully and show off your skills.


Do you mirror sublimation transfers?

Mirroring your designs is always a must when printing for sublimation crafts, whether for tumblers, shirts, or ref magnets. Keeping this in mind will help you create colorful, high-quality designs that last.

Can you epoxy over a sublimation tumbler?

Absolutely, you can jazz up your sublimation tumbler with a pop of epoxy or even glitter. Just give the tumbler plenty of time to cool off. Epoxy gives your tumbler long-lasting, vibrant colors.

Can you sublimate tumblers with Cricut Mug Press?

Yes, you can sublimate tumblers using the impressive Cricut Mug Press. There’s just one catch when you’re using it for sublimating tumblers its size. As you can see, tumblers are usually taller and skinnier than regular mugs. That’s where tumbler presses come in handy. If you’re looking to sublimate on Tumblers, it’s best to use a Tumbler press instead of a standalone mug press.

Can you use a convection oven to sublimate tumblers?

Yes, you can sublimate on tumblers using your everyday convection oven. If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford a tumbler heat press machine, or even a Cricut Mug Press, then a convection oven could be the perfect solution for you. Although, just keep in mind that if you choose to use an air fryer, your print may not come out as vivid as it would using a convection oven.

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