How to sublimate a tumbler in the oven – Tutorial & tips

Did you know that you can use a convection oven for sublimation? That’s right, in this tutorial I will guide you step by step so that your glasses are perfect with the print that you like the most.

So if you’re wondering how to sublimate a tumbler in the oven you’re in the right place to find out, I’ve prepared this step-by-step tutorial and tips so you don’t fail.

It’s easier than it looks!

Essential materials

  • Tumbler to sublimate 
  • Convection oven
  • Sublimation ink printer
  • Sublimation paper
  • Heat resistant tape
  • Shrink wrap
  • Oven thermometer
  • Lint roller
  • Heat resistant gloves

Tips to know how to sublimate a tumbler in the oven

If you don’t have sublimation experience, I’m sure that after reading the materials list you’ll have a few questions about it. But don’t worry, here I will try to give you answers to everything.

If you are here because you are wondering how to sublimate a tumbler in the oven, we are almost there step by step, but first pay attention to these recommendations.

  • Tumbler for sublimation

    You can’t use just any glass. For this tutorial we will be using slim 20oz tumblers, but you need to make sure it has blanks and a polyester lining for the sublimation process to take place.

    If you want to sublimate a tumbler that is not cylindrical, you will need to use a sublimation image that is designed for your glass shape.

  • Convection oven for sublimation

    Although there are specific sublimation ovens on the market for this type of technique, in this tutorial we will use a convection oven.

    You can use regular convection ovens for sublimation, as long as you only dedicate them to that purpose!

    The convection oven you use to sublimate may be the one you already have in your home, but after this process you will NOT be able to use it again for food. Keep in mind that the oven must reach a temperature of 400°F, since sublimation occurs at this temperature.

    It is VERY IMPORTANT that you know that during the sublimation process, part of the ink turns into gas and this escapes into the oven. After sublimating, the oven is not safe for cooking food.

  • Heat resistant tape

    This tape is used to stick the sublimation paper to the tumbler.

  • Shrink wrap

    It is used to provide the additional pressure and heat needed for the sublimation ink to press into the glass.

  • Oven thermometer

    To get an accurate reading of the temperature in the oven.

  • How do I prepare the image?

    You can print any PNG or SVG file for sublimation, just make sure you get a 300 DPI seamless pattern. You can use almost any graphic design software for this, such as Canva, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and more.

    The size of the print will depend on the size of the tumbler you want to sublimate. In this case we are using 20oz tall tumblers, so the image should be 9.3″x8.25″. If you are in doubt about size, it is better to make your design large rather than too small.

    Before you print, make sure you have your printer set up for sublimation. Please note that your transfer will be more opaque and the color may not be exactly what you expect in the print.

  • Ventilated environment

    It is important to know that when it sublimates, a gas is released and it has an odor. Make sure you make your tumblers in a well-ventilated room.

How to make sublimation tumblers? Tutorial

Once you have all your elements and the sublimation design is ready, it’s time to start sublimating your tumbler!

  • Step 1

    Turn on your convection oven to 400°F to start heating while you work on your transfer.

  • Step 2

    Clean your tumbler with a lint roller. This step is important because any lint or dust particles can affect the sublimated image.

  • Step 3

    Center the design on your tumbler, roll it up tightly until the paper is snug against the tumbler, and tape the seam with heat-resistant tape. Slightly fold down the bottom of the transfer paper and also tape around the bottom of the tumbler.

    Try to make sure there are no blank spaces where your design connects, and make sure everything is as tight as possible. This will help prevent the image from blurring.

  • Step 4

    Place your tumbler inside the shrink wrap, and you can optionally use a heat gun to shrink the wrap, though it doesn’t matter if you don’t have one because the moment the tumbler goes into the oven, the wrap shrinks with the heat.

  • Step 5

    Once your oven has heated up, place your tumbler inside lying down and set your timer for 6 minutes (or the time recommended by your glass manufacturer).

    When placing the tumbler into the oven, do it in the center of the oven and as quickly as possible because keeping the door open for a long period of time will cause the temperature to drop.

    In this case you don’t need to turn your tumbler upside down in the process, but if you have an uneven transfer, you’ll want to add this step.

  • Step 6

    You will start to see the design through the paper and shrink wrap. When the timer goes off, remove the tumbler from the oven.

    Wear heat-resistant gloves to carefully handle the tumbler as you cut through the shrink wrap and transfer sheet. It’s best to remove the shrink wrap and transfer sheet right away because it’s easier to remove when it’s still hot.

How to sublimate a tumbler in the oven

If you click here you can watch a tutorial about ‘How to sublimate a tumbler in the oven’.

Now you are ready to personalize your cups!

You can personalize your tumblers however you like and they will even make a beautiful gift for your loved ones.

I hope I have cleared your doubts with this complete tutorial about how to sublimate a tumbler so that you are encouraged to sublimate yours.

You can also see this article about Sublimation on glitter htv.