How To Dye Custom Sublimation Keycaps – Best Steps To Follow

Looking for an untapped business opportunity in the sublimation industry? Well, the answer to your question is dye custom sub keycaps OR sublimation keycaps. If you are a gamer, you can still be benefited from this process of sublimating the key-caps.

Dye-sub keycaps are getting popular among sublimation professionals and hobbyists. This is the process in which you made your own customizable keycaps for your keyboard for a better experience and make it look cooler & stylish.

How To Dye Custom Sublimation Keycaps

Dye-sub keycaps have a simple process like any other standard sublimation printing. But still, if you are not familiar with sublimation at all, let us explain it step by step, so you can achieve the best results while sublimation the keycaps.

Before jumping in, in the process. There are a few types of equipment you will need during the process of dye-sub keycaps.

1. Sublimation Printer

2. Special Heat Press Machine

3. Keycaps Blank

4. Paper, Ink, and Other Small Equipment

Sublimation Printer:

A sublimation printer is needed to print the design and letters you want to transfer on the keycaps. Any sublimation printer can be used for this purpose, as long as it can print with good resolution and vibrant colors.

Special Heat Press Machine:

Because keycaps are kind of banded from the upper side and very small in size. A standard heat press machine can not be used for it. It can even damage the keycaps. Thus smaller heat press designed for the keycaps is needed here that has decent pressure and heat adjustments.

Keycaps Blank:

There are two types of keycaps. PBT keycaps and ABS keycaps. ABS keycaps are weaker and not recommended by sublimationhome for keycap sublimation. Whereas PBT keycaps are better, stronger, and more sublimation friendly.

Paper, Ink, and Other Small Equipment:

Some other accessories and equipment are also needed for dye keycaps. Such as sublimation paper, ink, and silicone sheet(pad) piece.

Process of Dye Sub Keycaps In 5 Simple Step

Step 1:

Step one is to prepare the equipment and make your design ready that you want to sublimate on the keycaps. You can use ready-made designs as well as make your own as well.

Step 2:

Print the design on the sublimation paper using a sublimation printer. Adjust the size and measurements of the design according to the size of the keycaps.

Step 3:

Carefully cut the design and remove the excessive sheet. Place it on the keycap and put a small piece of silicone on top of it so it can be adjusted perfectly even if the keycap is bent from the upper side.

Step 4:

Place the standard paper or butcher paper below and above the keycap and place it in the heat press machine. Heat press them at light pressure so the keycaps can not be damaged.

Step 5:

Once the heat pressing is done, remove the sheet, and silicone piece from the keycap. Your custom sublimated dye-sub keycaps are ready to use.

Top 5 TIPS – Dye Sub Keycaps


  • Always use PBT keycaps for dye-sub keycaps. Using ABS can not give you the best results, it is also very low quality and thin material. PBT is a lot better and thicker with having more ability to absorb sublimation ink and process.
  • Before printing your design on paper, make sure that the size of the print is the same or smaller than the keycaps. If you print larger than the keycaps, then it is a complete waste of paper, ink, and time.
  • Never use high pressure while heat pressing the keycaps. Using low pressure is always recommended. High pressure can damage the keycaps badly.
  • Make sure that your keycaps are lighter in color than the design you want to sublimate on them. Only then it will have a clear and crisp design sublimated on it that can be seen clearly. If the keycap is darker in color, it might not able to show the actual color of the design you sublimated on it.
  • Print your all designs, letters, or images you want to sublimate on the keycaps on a single sheet of paper. And later cut them separately and you can use each of them individually.

Dye-sub Keycaps VS Double Shot

Dye-sub and double shot both are great and give excellent results. Each of them has its own uniqueness and pros & cons. 

In general, sublimation involves the process in which ink gets infused within the keycaps and becomes part of it. You can not feel anything above the keycap and the durability of the print is amazing.

On the other hand, the double shot has a process in which ink is injected into the keycap. This is also amazingly durable and the feel is great. The color is bright and vibrant. 

Sometimes double-shot process might be expensive and dye-keycaps can be cheaper. Whereas double shot can be done even on ABS. And dye-sub can be done only on PBT.

Both processes of printing the keycap are amazing. You can get and achieve crisp, vibrant, durable, and great-feel printing results from each of them. You can choose anyone, that fits best to you

FAQs – Dye Sub Keycaps

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