How to Sublimate a Sleepmask

 We are currently snow/ice storm number 3 this week. Ice coupled with Covid has us feeling all kinds of cabin fever. I feel like the weather was saying hold my beer, since back in November, I declared that we would have a mild winter. Because, I was working from home, Em was school from home, and I just bought an SUV. Obviously mother nature had other plans.

 

Anyway, I have been working in the shop doing orders, and just playing around with different techniques that I want to share down the road. 

 

Today Is how to sublimate a sleep mask. This weather and school/work closings has our sleep schedules out of wack. Will has suffered from insomnia lately and will stay up listening to podcasts or playing on his phone. Yay for airpods but the light from his phone sometimes keeps me awake. That's where a sleep mask can come in handy.

sublimation, how to sublimate a sleep mask

 

I get my blank sleep masks from Halebound This isn't an add and I don't get any compensation for sharing this with you. It just happens to be where I order the masks that I use. 

 

You want to take a lint roller to the mask before you press it. Neoprene can have some hidden lint that will cause some issues with a clean press of your design. 

 

I mostly use Silhouette Studio to design in. Amy at Halebound will send a template in an email after you order. I drag it into silhouette and then trace it so I can have better control over sizing. You don't have to do this but I like to offset it to make sure that I have enough image to cover the mask. Neoprene tends to expand a little when it heats so a bigger than needed design is a good thing. 

 

 Now, Let me tell you a very important tip. Do not let the elastic that goes around your head come in contact with the press. It will melt. How I get around that is I use heat tape to tape the elastic to the mask so none of it is able to peak out from the mask. Then tape the mask to the image. Make sure any wording is flipped, and you will want the sublimation paper on top when you press. So take the image you see below and put the black area face down with the white paper facing up.




 

Here is my heat press and how I keep it set up. I use paper on the bottom so if there is any ink that bleeds out it wont get on my press. I cover the item I am sublimating with the same paper. For the same reason. You don't want to use teflon sheets like you would if it was vinyl for 2 reasons. 1. You don't want to ruin your teflon with ink and 2. teflon holds moisture in and moisture and sublimation is a bad combo. I replace the top paper after every press and the bottom paper when it looks super worn or if it gets ink on it.


Press at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 60 seconds. Pull it off of the press and then untape the mask. 

Once you get the hang of taping the elastic its super easy. The hardest part is keeping the elastic away from direct heat. 

 




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