What is Sublimation Printing Cricut?

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What is Sublimation Printing Cricut? Cricut sublimation printing is an advanced process that uses heat and pressure to transfer high-quality, vivid images onto a variety of materials. Fabric, metal, or ceramic are some of the substrates that can be printed onto using this process, which entails the use of specialized sublimation inks and transfer paper. Sublimation printing on a Cricut is so effective because it can change solid dye particles into gas directly from a solid state, without the need for a liquid intermediary. A permanent, vivid image that is resistant to fading or cracking is produced when heated sublimation ink bonds with the material’s fibers. The ink then changes into a gas. Popular for their accuracy and adaptability, Cricut machines improve the sublimation process by letting users cut complex designs with pinpoint precision, guaranteeing flawless alignment and expert-level outcomes. Sublimation printing and Cricut technology allow for limitless personalization options for a wide variety of products, including t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, and more. Crafters and small business owners can stand out in the personalized goods market by learning to use the Cricut machine for sublimation printing. This allows them to create high-quality products with intricate details and vibrant colors.


What is Cricut?

Introduction to Cricut

For those who like to do it themselves (DIY), Cricut makes a line of cutting machines. With pinpoint accuracy, these machines can cut through a variety of materials, including vinyl, cloth, and leather. Professionals and amateurs alike love Cricut machines for their precision and ability to create elaborate designs and cuts.

Types of Cricut Machines

Depending on your crafting needs, Cricut has a model that will work for you. Cricut Maker, Cricut Joy, and Cricut Explore Air 2 are among the most sought-after models. Cricut Maker users rave about the machine’s adaptability—it can cut more than 300 different materials—and Cricut Explore Air 2 users rave about how fast and precise it is. However, for smaller, faster projects, the Cricut Joy is the way to go because of its compact size.

Cricut Software

Cricut machines come with software called Cricut Design Space. This program gives users complete control over the cutting process, an extensive picture library, and the ability to make their own designs. It has a variety of tools to improve accuracy and creativity, and it’s easy to use.

Accessories and Tools

Cricut machines can be enhanced with a variety of accessories and tools to bring out their full potential. Mats for cutting, blades, pens, and other specialized tools for tasks like scoring and weeding are all part of this category. With each add-on, the Cricut machine becomes even more powerful and adaptable, opening up a world of possibilities for users.

Popular Cricut Projects

The potential uses for Cricut machines are practically limitless. Some common applications include creating unique mugs, t-shirts, paper crafts, ornaments, and jewelry. Cricut machines are perfect for a wide range of crafting interests thanks to their precision and versatility, which make them ideal for both simple and complex projects.

How Does Sublimation Printing with Cricut Work?

Understanding Sublimation Printing

Using specialized sublimation inks, designs can be printed onto transfer paper using sublimation printing. Prints that are both vibrant and long-lasting are produced when ink, when heated and compressed, turns into a gas and binds with the substrate. Fabrics made of polyester and surfaces coated with polymers respond well to this technique.

Materials Needed for Sublimation Printing

There are a number of materials that are required for Cricut sublimation printing. Sublimation blanks (like t-shirts, mugs, or phone cases), a heat press, sublimation inks, and transfer paper are all part of the process. In addition, the designs are precisely cut and aligned using a Cricut machine.

Setting Up Your Cricut for Sublimation

The first step in using Cricut for sublimation printing is to create an image in Cricut Design Space. Sublimation printer users can now print their designs onto special transfer paper. Once you’ve decided on a substrate, use your Cricut machine to cut out the design, making sure it fits snugly. Last but not least, impress the design onto the material using a heat press.

Transferring Designs with Heat Press

Before covering the substrate with a protective sheet, place the sublimation transfer paper containing the printed design on top. Before using a heat press, make sure to follow the material’s instructions regarding the ideal temperature and pressing time. The ink will transform into a gas and bond with the material when subjected to heat and pressure, producing a vivid and long-lasting print.

Tips for Best Results

Careful planning is essential for successful sublimation printing and Cricut projects. Be sure to use high-resolution designs and to optimize your printer settings for sublimation. Always pre-press your substrates to remove moisture, and use high-quality sublimation inks and transfer paper. Make sure your designs are lined up correctly and use the correct pressure and heat settings for each material.

Best Materials for Sublimation Printing with Cricut

Polyester Fabrics

Because of their excellent adhesion to sublimation inks, polyester fabrics produce prints that are both colorful and long-lasting when printed using this method. The majority of sublimation projects involve polyester items, such as pillowcases, T-shirts, and tote bags.

Polymer-Coated Substrates

Mugs, phone cases, and keychains—anything with a polymer coating is ideal for sublimation printing. The ink is able to bond effectively thanks to the polymer coating, guaranteeing vivid and long-lasting images.

Blends and Special Fabrics

Although it works best with 100% polyester, sublimation can also be done with blends that have a high polyester content. Also, sublimation-ready blanks and other specialized fabrics made for sublimation printing work wonders.

Hard Surfaces

Coating hard surfaces with a polymer layer allows for sublimation printing on materials such as glass, metal sheets, and ceramic tiles. Use these surfaces to make unique decorations for your home or unique presents for friends and family.

Sublimation Paper and Inks

To get the most out of sublimation printing, you need high-quality paper and inks. The ink is held and released during the heat transfer process on specially coated sublimation paper. When exposed to a substrate, sublimation inks are able to transform into a gas and form a permanent bond.

Cricut Machine for Sublimation Printing

Cricut Explore Air 2

One machine that works well with sublimation printing is the multi-material Cricut Explore Air 2. The accuracy of design transfer onto substrates is guaranteed by its precise cutting capabilities.

Cricut Maker

Cutting more than 300 different materials is within the capabilities of the Cricut Maker, the most sophisticated Cricut machine. Sublimation printing, with its precise cutting capabilities and adaptability, is a perfect fit for complex designs and detailed projects.

Cricut Joy

For less extensive sublimation projects, the space-saving Cricut Joy is an ideal choice. Anyone in need of a machine for fast, on-the-go projects, or those just starting out, will find this one to be ideal.

Choosing the Right Cricut

Your individual requirements and the level of difficulty of your projects should guide your selection of the best Cricut machine. You should get a Cricut Maker if you plan on doing a lot of detailed work. Use a Cricut Explore Air 2 or Cricut Joy for smaller, less complex projects.

Cricut Accessories for Sublimation

If you have the correct accessories, sublimation printing will be a breeze. To get your designs ready, you’ll need weeding tools, fine-point blades, and cutting mats. To top it all off, Cricut has a variety of markers and pens that you can use to embellish your creations.

Sublimation Ink for Cricut

Types of Sublimation Ink

Inks designed for use in printers that use sublimation technology are called sublimation inks. Sublimation inks are available in a variety of varieties, including regular, fluorescent, and eco-solvent inks. Every variety serves a unique purpose and offers advantages.

Choosing the Right Ink

Getting vibrant and long-lasting prints requires careful selection of sublimation ink. Think about how the ink will react with your printer and the material that will be used as a substrate. You get more out of high-quality inks and they last longer.

Ink Maintenance and Storage

If you want your sublimation inks to last and work well, you need to take care of them properly. Keep inks out of the sun and in a cool, dry spot. To keep clogs at bay and uninterrupted printing, keep up with routine maintenance and cleaning of your printer’s nozzles.

Inkjet Printers for Sublimation

Sublimation printing isn’t compatible with all inkjet printers. Opt for a printer that is either specifically made for sublimation printing or can be easily modified for this purpose. Sublimation printers from Sawgrass and Epson’s EcoTank series are popular options.

Refilling and Replacing Inks

Careful handling is required when refilling or replacing sublimation inks to prevent contamination. To keep printing at a high quality, use compatible inks and refill according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Cricut and Sublimation Transfer Paper

Selecting Transfer Paper

For successful transfers, it is crucial to choose the right sublimation transfer paper. Before you buy paper, make sure it’s compatible with your printer and the substrate you plan to use. If you want your ink transfers to be perfect, use high-quality transfer paper.

Printing on Transfer Paper

Always use the highest quality print settings and make sure your design is mirrored when printing on sublimation transfer paper. This guarantees a successful image transfer onto the substrate. Please wait until the ink has dried entirely before transferring.

Applying Transfer Paper

Lay the transfer paper out on the substrate and, if needed, use heat-resistant tape to keep it in place. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific time and temperature needed to apply the appropriate amount of heat and pressure using a heat press.

Removing Transfer Paper

While the pressing is still warm, delicately peel off the transfer paper. Doing so guarantees a smooth transfer and keeps the paper from sticking. Hold off on peeling off the paper for a few seconds if you’re having trouble doing so.

Common Issues with Transfer Paper

Sublimation transfer paper frequently experiences problems such as ghosting, uneven transfers, and ink bleeding. Get high-quality paper, check that your design is printed correctly, and use the right heat press settings to avoid these issues. Another way to keep problems at bay is to maintain your equipment regularly.

Cricut Sublimation Printing Supplies

Essential Supplies

The first step in using a Cricut and sublimation printing is to gather the necessary equipment, including a heat press, substrates, transfer paper, inks, and the machine itself. A variety of projects will be within your reach once you master these fundamentals.

Optional Accessories

Various sized cutting mats, weeding kits, and heat pressing protective sheets are available as optional accessories. You can improve the process and the quality of your final products with these tools.

Where to Buy Supplies

You can find sublimation printing supplies at a variety of places, such as online shops, hobby stores, and specialized distributors. Try to find vendors you can trust to sell you high-quality goods and provide excellent service.

Maintaining Your Supplies

To get the most out of your supplies, you need to take care of them properly. Keep transfer papers and inks in a dry, cool place, clean your tools often, and replace broken ones when you need to. The reliability and durability of your projects are guaranteed by this.

Budgeting for Supplies

Inks, transfer paper, substrates, and supplementary tools are all part of the sublimation printing supply budget. Get the basics covered first, and as your projects grow, you can always add on more supplementary items. Find ways to save money by buying in bulk.

Cricut Sublimation Printing Tips

Designing for Sublimation

Make sure to utilize high-resolution images and vivid colors when creating designs for sublimation printing. Take the substrate’s color into account when designing for optimal contrast and visibility, and make sure your design fits the substrate correctly.

Prepping Your Substrate

Make sure the substrate is clean and dry before applying your design. To get the best transfer results, pre-press the material to remove wrinkles and smooth out any rough spots.

Heat Press Settings

For sublimation printing to work, the heat press settings must be precise. For each substrate, be sure to refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the optimal temperature, pressure, and duration. Try different settings by printing test pages.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Using low-quality materials, misaligning the design, and using the wrong heat press settings are common sublimation printing mistakes. You can stay ahead of these problems by paying close attention to detail, keeping your equipment in good repair, and utilizing top-notch materials.

Experimenting with Techniques

One way to spark originality and creativity is to try out various methods and materials. To make projects with more depth, try combining sublimation with vinyl cutting and embroidery, for example.

Cricut Sublimation Printing Advantages

High-Quality Prints

Prints made using sublimation technology are long-lasting, vivid, and resistant to fading. The vivid hues will really bring out the best in your artwork.


Cricut and sublimation printing together provide a wealth of possibilities. From apparel and accessories to housewares and presents, there is a vast array of materials and goods that can be personalized.

Precision and Detail

Your sublimation projects will be of higher quality thanks to the Cricut machine’s precise cutting and intricate designs. Your transfers will be clean and accurate because of this precision.


There is a limitless amount of personalization possible with Cricut sublimation printing. Customizable apparel, one-of-a-kind accessories, and one-of-a-kind gifts are all within your reach.


Sublimation printing and Cricut are investment tools that can pay for themselves over time. With the right tools and materials, you can make superior products at a fraction of the cost of competing printing techniques.


How to Start Sublimation Printing with Cricut?

To start sublimation printing with Cricut, you need a Cricut machine, sublimation printer, sublimation inks, transfer paper, substrates, and a heat press. Design your image, print it on sublimation paper, cut it with Cricut, and transfer it using a heat press.

Can You Use Cricut for Sublimation Printing?

Yes, Cricut machines are perfect for sublimation printing. They provide precise cutting and alignment, ensuring high-quality transfers on various materials.

Best Cricut Machine for Sublimation Printing?

The Cricut Maker is considered the best for sublimation printing due to its versatility and ability to handle various materials. The Cricut Explore Air 2 and Cricut Joy are also good options depending on your project needs.

What Materials Can Be Used for Cricut Sublimation Printing?

Materials suitable for Cricut sublimation printing include polyester fabrics, polymer-coated substrates, blends with high polyester content, and specially coated hard surfaces like ceramics and metals.

How to Troubleshoot Common Cricut Sublimation Printing Issues?

To troubleshoot common issues, ensure your heat press settings are correct, use high-quality materials, and regularly maintain your equipment. Test prints and adjustments can help resolve problems like ghosting, uneven transfers, and ink bleeding.


You can make beautiful, high-quality, personalized things by learning how to use Cricut for sublimation printing. What is sublimation printing Cricut? With Cricut’s accuracy and sublimation’s vivid prints, the possibilities for personal or small business use are practically limitless.

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