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DIY Sublimation Christmas Ornaments: Two Creative Methods to Bring Your Designs to Life

In this tutorial, we’re shifting our focus to Christmas sublimation ornaments. Exploring various sublimation ornament designs was an enjoyable learning experience, and I’ve acquired some essential insights to share with you!

If you’re new to sublimation, be sure to refer to my beginner’s guide on sublimation. Much like my previous tutorial on crafting sublimation tumblers, I’ll be demonstrating two distinct approaches to creating sublimated ornaments.

The initial method entails utilizing a sublimation printer, while the second will demonstrate how to employ Infusible Ink for crafting Christmas sublimation ornaments.

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Using a Sublimation Printer to Create Christmas Ornaments

Sublimation printing is a popular technique for transferring designs onto a wide range of surfaces, and Christmas ornaments are no exception. To get started with this method, you’ll need the following materials:

Materials Required:

  • Sublimation printer and sublimation ink
  • Sublimation paper
  • Blank sublimation Christmas ornaments
  • Heat-resistant tape
  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • Protective paper or Teflon sheet
  • Design software (e.g., Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW, or Canva)
  • Heat press machine

Typically, I avoid mirroring images that lack text, as it adds an extra step. However, when you’re new to this process, it’s beneficial to establish the habit of mirroring images to avoid overlooking it.

I prefer using Canva for my sublimation prints. I work with a standard-sized paper, upload the desired images, and position them on the document while adjusting the image size to match your ornament dimensions.

Canva simplifies the image flipping process. After selecting the image, navigate to the Flip option in the toolbar, and choose Flip Horizontal.

sublimation-printing-canva

Download the file as PDF Print (high quality). 

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Open up the download, and print it on sublimation paper in a sublimation printer.

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After cutting out each sublimation image, I centered the ornament blank on them and fastened them in place with heat-resistant tape. The next step is to flip them over!

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Vital Note: On your mat, arrange some butcher paper first, and then position the ornaments with the blank side down. Keep the sublimation paper as the uppermost layer.

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Heat up your heat press machine to the appropriate temperature for sublimation. Try not to move the press.

Wear heat-resistant gloves, and carefully place the ornament, with the secured design, onto the press. Apply even pressure and heat for the recommended time, typically 45-60 seconds, depending on your specific materials and heat press settings.

pressing-sublimation-ornaments

Once the timer goes off, carefully remove the ornament from the heat press, ensuring you don’t touch the hot surfaces. Allow the ornament to cool down for a few minutes before handling.

Gently remove the sublimation paper from the ornament to reveal your custom design, now permanently transferred to the ornament’s surface. Your personalized sublimation Christmas ornament is ready to hang on the tree or gift to a loved one!

Let’s shift our focus to the second method for sublimating ornaments.

Using Infusible Ink to Sublimate Ornaments

Infusible Ink is a relatively new and exciting method for creating vibrant, long-lasting designs on various surfaces, including Christmas ornaments. This method offers a different set of advantages and can be an excellent choice for those looking for an alternative approach. To create custom sublimation Christmas ornaments using Infusible Ink, gather the following materials:

Materials Required:

  • Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets
  • Cricut Explore Air 2 or Cricut Maker
  • Cricut EasyPress or heat press machine
  • Blank sublimation Christmas ornaments
  • Protective paper or Teflon sheet
  • Design software (e.g., Cricut Design Space)

Just as in the previous method, the first step is to design your custom Christmas ornament using design software compatible with your Cricut machine. Make sure the design is appropriately sized and formatted for your ornaments.

Place the Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets onto your Cricut cutting mat and load it into your Cricut machine. Follow your machine’s instructions to cut the design. Ensure that the design is mirrored before cutting, as this is crucial for the transfer process.

cutting-infusible

Continue with the same instructions as previously outlined for sublimating the Infusible Ink transfer sheets onto the ornaments.

Use a lint roller to eliminate debris from the blank sublimation ornament.

Uncover and discard the protective plastic from the blank ornaments, then place the centered image, securing it with tape, and position them underneath the Infusible Ink transfer sheets (with the sublimation ornament blanks at the base).

After the process is complete, carefully remove the protective paper, tape, and Infusible Ink transfer sheet. Your custom design should now be infused into the ornament’s surface, resulting in a vibrant and long-lasting Christmas ornament.

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Finishing Touches

Once you’ve created your custom sublimation Christmas ornaments using either the sublimation printer or Infusible Ink method, there are some additional steps you can take to make them even more special:

Add a Personal Touch: Write a message or date on the back of the ornament using a fine-point permanent marker or engraving tool to make it truly unique.

Seal and Protect: To ensure the longevity of your ornaments, consider applying a clear sealant or protective coating. This will protect the design from scratches and wear.

Ribbon or Hook: Attach a ribbon or hook to your ornaments to make them ready for hanging on the tree.

Gift-Wrap: If you’re making these ornaments as gifts, consider packaging them in a festive gift box or bag for an extra special presentation.

Conclusion

Custom sublimation Christmas ornaments offer a wonderful opportunity to infuse your holiday decor with your own creativity and personal touch. Whether you choose to use a sublimation printer or explore the exciting world of Infusible Ink, the result will be a set of ornaments that truly stand out on your tree or make heartfelt gifts for your loved ones.

Creating these ornaments is not only a fulfilling DIY project but also an opportunity to craft meaningful decorations that bring joy to the holiday season. So, gather your materials, unleash your creativity, and get ready to hang personalized works of art on your Christmas tree this year. Cheers to a festive season filled with warmth, love, and the magic of custom-made ornaments!

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