How To Do Sublimation Printing On Tumblers Beginners Guide and FAQs

The industry of sublimation printing is much larger than we think. Tumblers sublimation printing is one of the parts of that industry. Beginners might think that sublimating the tumblers is difficult. But it is not.

The process of sublimation printing is the same for almost all of the apparel and accessories, such as cup coasters, tiles, t-shirts, or pillowcases. The difference comes in with heat transferring the print on each of them. Today’s article will cover everything that any beginner needs to know about sublimation printing on tumblers.

How To Do Sublimation Printing On Tumblers

Sublimation Printing On Skinny 20oz Tumblers – Everything You Need To Know

Sublimation on any size tumblers needs to be done attentively and carefully. Because single negligence can result in faded sublimated corners on the tumblers. There are two ways to sublimate a tumbler, both are explained underneath. Whichever fits you the best, you can try that one.

List Of The Materials You Need For Sublimation On Tumblers

Sublimation Printer:

A sublimation printer is the first need for any project of sublimation printing. It is used to print the design that you wanna sublimate on a substrate such as a tumbler here.

You can use any sublimation printer for sublimation purposes. For more info about sublimation printers, you can check out this sublimation printers.

Heat Press Machine OR Convection Oven:

There are two ways to heat transfer a tumbler. Heat press machine and Convection oven. You can use any one of them. Both give the same results. But the process of each is different from each others.

Tumbler Blanks:

The most important thing for sublimation on tumblers. There are a variety of tumblers in the market, the most common and used is stainless steel white tumbler. White is kinda necessary because sublimation printing can not print that’s why if you have any white design in the print it will not appear on the darker substrate.

Click here to check some of the best tumblers for sublimation on amazon (tumbler for sublimation).

Sublimation Paper and Ink:

Both accessories are needed just like others and without this sublimation on tumblers is not possible as well. Sublimation ink is probably with the sublimation printer. But make sure you are using the best quality sublimation paper for sublimating on tumblers. Standard paper can not be used for this purpose.

Heat Gloves and Heat-Resisting Tape:

The heat-resisting tape will be used to keep the tumbler and printed sublimation paper aligned together while transferring the print from paper to the tumbler using heat transfer.

Heat Gun and Shrink Wrap:

Heat gun and shrink wrap are only required if you are using a convection oven for sublimation on the tumbler. If you are doing it via a tumbler heat press machine then you don’t need these two accessories.

How To Sublimate A Tumbler In Over and Tumbler Heat Press Machine – Complete Process

Sublimation on tumblers has a few simple steps that should be done to achieve the best vibrant result. Follow these steps to achieve great vibrant colors sublimation on your tumblers.

Step 1:

Step one is to prepare your design and other needed accessories. Once you prepared your design on your computer and accessories on the table, preheat the convection oven or a heat press. The one you are using.

Step 2:

Then print your design on sublimation paper using a sublimation printer. Adjust the height and width of the design so it can match the perfect length and width of the tumbler.

Step 1 sublimation on tumblers

Step 3:

Once printing is done, place the paper on a desk and place the white blank tumbler on it. Adjust the tumbler in the middle and wrap the paper around it. Make sure it wraps it tightly and once you wrap, tape the edge of the paper with heat-resisting tape so it can not get loose while heat transferring.

step 3 Wrapping the tumbler in printer paper

Step 4:

Once the wrapping is done, you can heat press it using a heat press machine for 60-90 seconds. Depending on a heat press for the tumbler, you are using. So adjust accordingly.

If you are using a convection oven then after wrapping the tumbler, put it in the shrink wrap, and using a heat gun shrink the wrap. Start giving heat to the tumbler from one end to another and make sure that the shrink wrap is wrapped tightly with ends after heating.

Step 5:

Once you wrapped the shrink wrap to the tumbler and printed sublimation paper. Place it to the pre-heated convection over for 3-5 minutes. The hint about print being transferred to the tumbler is you will be able to see the print on the tumbler and print on the paper getting lighter within the oven.

Step 5 Wrapping the tumbler with shrink wrap using heat-gun

Step 6:

Once it is transferred completely, using heat gloves hold it and place it a room temperature and let it cool down for 6-8 minutes. Once it’s cooled down, remove the shrink wrap, heat-resisting tape, and printed sublimation paper from it.

You will see a beautiful sublimated tumbler, and your sublimation on the tumbler is completed.

Step 6 Beautiful sublimated tumbler is ready!

Important Points To Keep In Mind While Sublimating A Tumbler


  • You should print the design on sublimation paper according to the height and width of the tumbler.
  • While wrapping the tumbler with printed sublimation paper, cut one side of the paper until actual print arrives. Use that side underneath while wrapping.
  • Make sure to cover the top and button of the tumbler with sublimation paper and shrink wrap paper.
  • If your design contains a part of white color, Make sure to use white sublimation blank tumbler. Because sublimation does not print white and if you use a darker color of the tumbler, it will not show the white on it clearly.
  • After printing the design on your sublimation paper, let it dry for 2-3 minutes. If you wrap it as soon as you print it, come colors might get transferred because the ink is still wet on the paper. This can result in a waste of that tumbler.

Where can I buy sublimation tumblers?

There are many places you can buy sublimation tumblers from. Some of them provide the best quality when it comes to tumblers and some might send you low-quality tumblers.

To make sure that you get the best quality tumbler at affordable prices, here are the top two websites you can buy tumblers from.

  1. Amazon
  2. Etsy

Each of them provides a great service and products. The best is to buy from amazon. They have a wide variety of products when it comes to sublimation and specifically tumblers blanks. If you are still confused about which tumbler blank should I buy then click here to check our recommended tumbler for sublimation(Tumbler For Sublimation).

How long does sublimation on tumblers last?

Any print that is being sublimated on any substrate usually lasts as long as the original substrate does. When it comes to tumblers, it is seen that sublimation print lasts around 10 years on a tumbler if it is sublimated correctly.

It also depends on the quality of a tumbler and the process you followed for sublimating the tumbler.

You can also remove the print from any tumbler by heating it in the oven. When a tumbler is a heat the sublimated ink fades away from it. This practice can never make a tumbler like new but may work if your next sublimation design consists of dark colors.

Can you sublimate a tumbler twice?

Yes, you can sublimate a tumbler twice. But it’s not recommended. Because the print of the first print might appear on the new sublimation print and that will not look good.

Instead, you can go for a new tumbler for sublimation purposes. Furthermore sublimating the same tumbler twice has a process of removing the first print which will indirectly cost you your time for removing it. So instead of all these hurdles, you should sublimate on a new tumbler.


Sublimation on tumblers is a fun process if you have all the equipment and knowledge available in one place. You can do sublimation on tumblers and can use them as a gift or sell them. Sublimation on tumblers has a huge demand in the market as well.

Lastly, this sublimation is possible with a tumbler heat press as well as a convection oven. You can choose the one that fits the best for you. We hope that this article was helpful for you and you learned new ways and processes of sublimation on tumblers.

FAQs – About Sublimation Tumblers

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