Wondering how to do sublimation with a Cricut? Transferring the designs to the products you want to sublimate is straightforward. Most people think starting a sublimation business is difficult, like screen printing or DTG and requires expert knowledge. But this is different; you can do sublimation with Cricut very quickly, even if you need to gain experience with it.
If you are doing it for the first time, you must follow all the steps we have shared to get professional results. At the very first, you need to decide on the product that you are going to sublimate.
What is the Sublimation of Using Cricut?
If you are already doing sublimation, you know that printing sublimation means transferring the ink directly from solid to gas without it becoming liquid. We do all the processes using gadgets like a sublimation printer, ink & paper. We first transfer the digital designs to sublimation paper and then cut the excess paper using a cutting machine; we use the Cricut automatic cutting machine for this purpose.
Cricut is an American brand that offers different computer-programmed cutting machines that helps crafters to do sublimation more professionally. You can cut all the materials with laser-like precision using this machine that you generally cut with scissors or an X-acto knife. The Cricut also offers an infusible ink sheet and workspace to create sublimation designs. I will share a step-by-step process on all things that help you to sublimate with Cricut.
Materials Required to Do Sublimation With Cricut:
Here are some materials that are required to do sublimation professionally. A Cricut machine is one of them.
A sublimation printer is a primary gadget to start a sublimation business. Some printers offer built-in sublimation technology, and others need to be converted. A sublimation printer is the backbone of the printing business because the printing quality, color precision, and many other things are directly related to a sublimation printer. Selecting an excellent printer is easy, especially if you are a beginner in this field; I have prepared an article on the best sublimation printers; you can also read it.
Heat Press Machine:
A heat press machine is a type of appliance used to press the product and design together. Heat press machines come in different shapes and sizes. If you are planning to transfer the designs on garments, then a flat surface heat press machine is good for you, but a particular heat press machine is necessary for mugs, tumblers, ball caps and ornamentals. If you are a Cricut lover, you can use a Cricut heat press machine.
Most printers use ordinary paper for sublimation, but I suggest you use a special sublimation paper if you want the best outcome.
A dye sublimation ink is used to transfer the digital designs onto the final product and the sublimation paper. It consists of powdery dyes which vapourize directly from solid to gas and make the bond with the polyester fabric at the molecular level.
To protect the heat press machine from ink& scratches, we use butcher paper between the machine’s plates.
Create the Design Using Cricut Design Space Software:
Download the Cricut Design Space:
The Cricut design space is free software and available for mac, windows, ios and android. The first thing you need to know is to download the software. Open your web browser and go to design.cricut.com. When you click the design button (to the right corner of the website), a new window appears with the download button. Now download and install it on your system. You can use the web version if you are not ready to download the software. All things are straightforward and intuitive.
Open the software and signup for an account. Now you will be greeted with a beautiful overview of the software. You will first notice that you have a menu on the top left side of the header and some shortcuts like a new project, my projects and login bar on the right side.On the welcome banner, you will get a preview of some projects. Next to this, you can check some pre-designed templates.
Click on the new project, and a design space canvas window will open with all designing tools. This is where the magic happens. To the left side of the canvas are some required buttons, including projects and uploads. You can also use some premade templates.
What are Color Management and Non-Color Management in the Cricut Design Space?
Color management is the process of managing digital colors, or in simple words, it is a process we can go through to reproduce color consistently, predictably, and accurately. Most computers, mobile phones and printers have different color ranges. The expensive ones have a more comprehensive range of colors. The ICC(international color consortium) was formed to solve this problem with technology and color.
Compared to other famous graphic designing software, the Cricut design space needs color management functionality, so we can’t manage colors here. But I am going to share some tips&tricks with you so you can easily manage true colors.
- Instead of adding the color manually, use your regular web browser to get the hexa color code and then open the Cricut advanced color setting and paste it here. For example, if you want to add red color to your design, then first search the “red color hex code” now, copy it, and paste it into the design space.
- If you like the design from another picture, then you can copy the hex color codes by using some color picker extensions(maybe we can use some color affiliate extensions)
How to Waste Less Space Printing an Entire Page on Cricut?
Most crafters choose the Cricut cutting machine to save money by reducing printing costs. But what if your Cricut machine wastes a lot of paper? Don’t worry; I am here with some hacks that will help you in this matter.
- Generally, when you print the designs using design space, it will automatically add a predetermined board around the picture; we don’t want it because it covers a lot of space we can use for other designs. Here are the steps about how you can remove the border.
- After completing the design, add a square shape to the canvas by clicking the shape menu.
- Turn on the aspect ratio of the box and change the width and height to 6.75 x 9.25.
- Move it to the top left of the canvas, click the arrange button (on the top of the menu), and send it back. Dont worry about the color of the box because we will delete this box before the actual print.
- Manually align your designs on the canvas and fill up as much space as it would let you. For example, if you print a big image for t-shirts or pillows, you can use the extra space to print more tickers for cups or key chains.
- Select all the signs on the canvas by using command a or select all from the top menu and attach all of your images with the square box.
- Now delete the square because we added it to the alignment purposes. Click on Make it, and you are done with it.
How to Make Sublimation Prints Using Cricut Design Space?
Now you have two possibilities you can print the design that you have created with the Cricut design space on the sublimation paper or cut directly on the HTV glitter.
For Sublimation paper:
- Once you have finished the design, click on the Make it ( it may take 1 or 2 minutes); a new window will come up with the “send to printer” button, knock it, and it will show a pop-up with options.
- Now select the print type; I suggest you use print as a pdf option. And make sure to turn off the bleed; otherwise, it will give you an outline of your entire design. A new pop-up will have options like where to save, rename, and format.
- Please select the area where you want to save it, choose the PNG format and hit the save button.
- Now you can print the design on the sublimation paper.
Cut the Printed Design using a Cricut Cutting Machine:
Put the printed sublimation paper on the left side of the mat and adhere to it. Now bring this to the cutting machine and ensure you set it correctly. Press the okay button, and then the machine will start cutting automatically. Now weed the excessive part gently.
Transfer the Design to the Garments:
You can transfer the designs to materials like tumblers, t-shirts, phone cases, ceramic plates and even wood. I will use a polyester t-shirt for this purpose; you can also transfer the designs on the cotton t-shirt or substates by reading this article. Here are the steps:
- Lint rolls your t-shirt to remove the dust, booble and other necessary things. You could get little pieces of lint on your shirt if you don’t.
- Preheat the t-shirt under a heat press machine or Cricut easy press for a few seconds.
- Put the printed design onto the t-shirt and secure it with heat-resistant tape.
- Sandwich it with the butcher paper, and it is also essential to put the butcher paper inside the shirt because we don’t want the ink to go from the front to the back.
- Preheat the heat press machine or Cricut easy press at 400f and press the design and garments for 40 seconds.
- Take off the butcher paper and peel the paper gently. Your shirt is ready to wear.
How to do Sublimation on Glitter HTV Using a Cricut?
The sublimation process with a Cricut on the glitter HTV is very similar to the sublimation with the paper, but there are different materials and a few steps. Here are a few steps
- You first need to create the design digitally using any graphic design software. If you need to improve at designing, you can hire freelance designers on different platforms such as Fiverr, Upwork etc.
- Make sure to use an offset layer to the design before sending it to the cutting machine; most Cricut machines can’t cut more significantly than 6.75 x 9.25, so adjust the design accordingly. The offset will allow us to add another layer behind our actual design.
- Click the offset button on the menu, and you can make this as big as you want. Hit the apply, and it will apply the offset automatically.
Change the Cutting Type from Standard to “Basic Cut.”
- Now click on the “contours” and hide all contours if you want to get rid of all the tiny pieces of designs. (This process is optional because it depends on the complexity of your design). Remember that once you add a border, your design will shrink automatically.
- At this stage, we have two layers on the canvas; one is the print and cut layer, and the other is the glitter layer. Change the size of all the layers to 9.25. Click the “make it” button.
- Hit the “send it to printer” button, and a new pop-up will come up with some print setup buttons. Now turn on the “system dialog” and turn off the “Add Bleed” buttons. (This will help us to save the design as a pdf)
- Click the print button and save it as a pdf. Here you can rename the file that you are going to save. Insert a glitter sheet into your cutting machine and send a file to Cricut, which will cut automatically.
- At this time, we will print the same design on a sublimation paper using a sublimation paper. You can easily print the pdf design saved on your computer whenever you want. If you have already done the mirror inside the Cricut, then make sure to uncheck the mirror printing and print it.
- Weed the excessive part of the design from glitter HTV and cut the black lines & squares by using scissors.
- Preheat the t-shirt using a heat transfer machine for five seconds to get a smooth and moisture-free surface. Place the glitter HTV onto the shirt and heat it for 2 seconds and 360f.
- Now put the actual design on the glitter HTV and secure it with a heat press machine. Cover it with butcher paper and heat it at 375f for one minute. Peel the sublimation paper gently, and your t-shirt is ready to wear.
Pros and Cons of Doing Sublimation with Cricut:
We can only talk about a few pros and cons of the Cricut cutting machine because it comes in different variants with different specifications. You can also read the best Cricut machine article if you want a detailed review of all machines. But here I will talk about some significant benefits and drawbacks of using Cricut.
Frequently Asked Questions?
I have shared two methods of sublimation with you. In the first method, we will directly print the designs on the sublimation paper and then transfer it to the product/t-shirt, and in the second method, there is a difference of one step. We first print the design on the glitter HTV, place it on the t-shirt and then transfer the actual design onto it. You can also use this method to transfer the designs onto the dark-colored 100% cotton substrates. There are also so many methods to transfer the designs on the cotton by using acrylic, subli mat sheets and some other stuff. If you want to learn, then read this article.