Sublimating a Memory Blanket
Sublimating a Memory Blanket
I think personalized gifts are so much more precious than the most expensive off-the-shelf present. Personalizing projects, for me, are the most satisfying aspect of the craft. My son will be graduating from from Electrician Technical School in November, and I wanted to commemorate his journey with a memory blanket. I also did a Memory Blanket for my nephew and new niece for their wedding gift which is shown below. In this post, I’ll guide you step by step through the process of sublimating a memory blanket.
Memory Blanket for my nephew and new niece’s wedding
Step By Step How to Sublimate a Memory Blanket
- Photos/Designs such as Creative Fabrica
- Sublimation Printer, Conde has a wide range of options, or check out my blog on printers on the cheap
- Sublimation Memory Blanket or Polyester blanket
- Transfer Paper
- Heat Press
- Heat Gloves
- Heat Tape
Step 1 Pick Your Photos/Designs
For Memory Blankets, most of your frames will be photos. Make sure your photos are high resolution – any recent smart phones will be high resolution. I have found older photos – 1970’s, 80’s photos (OK, I’m old) are very pixilated when I enlarge. I usually put a little design in the middle, and most of my designs come from Creative Fabrica for the sheer quantity and quality of the sublimation designs and images.
Blank Sublimation Blanket from Blessed to Create Blanks
Pictures used for my son’s Memory Blanket
Measure your frames or determine the area size of your choosing to determine the print size desired, my frames are 10.5″ X 16″.
When determining what size images you want, make sure your printer can print the desired size or you will have to split the image and line up when you apply to the blanket – which is a pain.
Using Adobe Illustrator, Cricut Design Space, or other image software to resize the images to fit the blanket frames or desired area. My memory blanket frames fit perfectly on my 11 X 17 transfer paper.
Step 2: Print the Images/Designs on Sublimation Paper
Printer settings that I use on my Epson ET-15000 for this project
- Click on Print/Printer Icon
- Highlight your printer
- Click on the preferences tab
- Set Paper Source
- Set Document Size (I set this to Super B 13X9 normally, but I am using 11″ X 17″ for this project)
- Set Paper Type to Premium Presentation Matte
- Set Quality to High
- Select the Options Tab
- Uncheck High Speed
- Check the Mirror Image
- Color Correction, click on Custom, Advanced tab, Color Management, Color Controls, click on Adobe RGB, then set Gamma to 2.2. Click on OK
- Printing Presets, select Add/Remove Presets, Name your settings (sublimation, or Super B for example), select save.
Print the selected images on sublimation transfer paper using a sublimation printer. Double check to make sure your images are reversed and high quality printing.
Step 3: Selecting Placement
For me, 99% of the time I spent on this project was picking the images and determining the placement.
Once you have selected and printed the best images, lay them out on the blanket before you apply to the blanket. This will allow you to arrange and rearrange the images as desired. Once the images are transferred, you will have to start over with a new blanket if you want to rearrange.
Trying to decide placement for my son’s electrician journey memory blanket
The images will be reversed, but it will give you an indication of the final project.
Quick note, once you have decided on the perfect placements, label the images on the back from 1 – whatever (9 in my case). After dropping the photos or attempting to determine placement based on a photo, I just started numbering from upper left to the right row by row, ending at the bottom right. This was the easiest method, especially if some of the photos look similar.
Numbered Transfer Page
Step 4: Transfer the Image onto the Project
At this point, you need to transfer the image onto the project using a heat press. I usually transfer 1 – 2 images at a time depending on the size of your heat press.
Place the sublimation paper with the printed image facing down on the project and secure it in place with heat-resistant tape.
Set the heat press to the right temperature, for 100% polyester projects, I use 350 degrees for 60 seconds.
If you are using a poly/cotton blend, I use 400 degrees for 60 seconds (understanding the more cotton, the less vibrant the images).
I was traveling in my RV, so I did not have a full size heat press, but I brought my Cricut Easy Press.
Apply pressure to the project for the desired time, and then remove the tape and the sublimation paper.
I use my Cricut Easy Press while traveling. Because the Easy Press does not put enough pressure on the blanket, I had to raise the temperature to 400 degrees.
Step 5: Remove Heat Tape and Transfer Paper
Once the transfer is complete, use heat gloves to remove the heat tape and transfer paper from your blanket to reveal your masterpiece. If you don’t have heat gloves, let the project cool completely before handling.
Step 6: Admire the Final Product
Finally, you can admire and enjoy your memory blanket with your favorite memories. You’ll be amazed at how beautifully the image has been printed onto the project, making it truly one of a kind.
And here is the final result. I’m so proud of the work I’ve put into into it, and I am kinda partial because they are all pictures of my son.
Memory Blanket I did for my Nephew and new Niece’s wedding.
Sublimating a memory onto a craft project is an excellent way to create a personalized and unique item that holds special meaning. With the right tools and technique, you can achieve professional and stunning results. Follow the steps above to create your personalized project, and you’ll be pleased with the results. Have fun, and happy crafting!
What materials do you need for sublimation printing, and where can you find them?
Some of my favorite sources
Conversion Kits and Ink
This post contains affiliate links to help support my crafting habit