Sublimating acrylic is quite finicky but it sure is pretty 😍
There are so many things that can go wrong with sublimation let alone sublimating on acrylic. Keep in mind that acrylic is still made of plastic so it will warp and bend with the heat so get something heavy to help flatten it and keep shape while it cools off.
We've tested sublimation on almost all of our colours to see which acrylic gave the best results and the winners were our frosted and matte white acrylic. Matte white is by far the best and you can see from the photos.
This project is going to need some fine tuning because not all printer, heat presses or even sublimation papers are the same. Don't get frustrated, you'll just need to find the sweet spot for your settings and you'll love all the things you can do once you find it!
THINGS YOU'LL NEED:
- Frosted of Matte White Acrylic - This video/post we used frosted
- Sublimation Printer
- Sublimation Paper - We use A1 Sub Paper
- Heat Tape
- Heat Press
- Butcher Paper/Kraft Paper - We used our packing paper
- Something heavy to flatten the acrylic - We used packs of paper
1. Print design using a sublimation printer on sub paper.
2. Use heat tape to stick the print onto the FROSTED side of the acrylic but only on the edge of the acrylic or it'll leave an imprint. If you do it on the clear side the image won't come out nice. See the side by side below.
Left side was subbed on the clear side and right was done on the frosted side.
3. Put the acrylic down with the butcher paper on top and press for 350-400F depending on your heat press for 40-60 seconds. I did 390 for 60.
4.Remove it from the heat and use something heavy to keep the acrylic flat for 5 minutes. If you don't put weight on it then it will stay warped. After heating it up the acrylic is very soft and flexible so move fast and flatten that baby out.
Here is a link to the reel I made showing you how to do this.