Hello! I’m Alison Heikkila and I am excited to share my latest Artesprix project with you. I love kitchen towels. Whenever I am at Home Goods, I need to look through the kitchen towels. And I have a lot of them. They’re a fun, inexpensive way to change up the vibe of your kitchen. So wouldn’t it be fun to design your own? That’s what we’re doing today, and I decided to go with a faux coffee stained towel. My husband drinks a lot of coffee, and well…spills happen. So this towel was really made for him.
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What is Iron-On Ink?
Artesprix Sublimation Markers, Ink, and Paint are specially formulated to allow you to use basic copy paper to: color, stamp, stencil, and monoprint anything you wish and turn it into a heat-transferable design. These designs are then applied to a polyester or polyester coated substrate with heat and pressure. You can use a heat press or a home iron! These designs, through this process of sublimation, will become permanent on your substrates.
Sublimation Ink Pads
A Colorful Life Designs: Peace, Love, Coffee Stencil (code AlFan10 to save 10%)
Rubbernecker Stamps: Coffee Bean Background
Erin Lee Creative: Coffee Stain Stencil (no longer available)
Blending Brushes (A dedicated brush for each color)
Heat Source: Home Iron or Heat Press
Step 1: Ink up the Coffee Bean Background with the Brown Sublimation Ink Pad and stamp onto a piece of copy paper. We are going to make a border of coffee beans for the bottom of the towel, so we will need to stamp this design next to itself, twice.
Step 2: Tape off the edge of the stamped design with washi tape. Align the stamp to slightly overlap the first impression, but don’t go past the washi tape. Ink up the stamp again and stamp on to the paper.
Step 3: Carefully remove the washi tape. You can see that we’ve created a seamless pattern with the coffee beans.
Step 4: Cut the strip in half and set aside for later.
Pro Tip: We’re using separate paper for the border because regular copy paper isn’t big enough for the entire front of the tea towel. So by making the border separate, we will have enough paper for the whole front.
Step 5: Adhere the Peace, Love, Coffee stencil where you’d like it on a new piece of copy paper. Tape it down backwards with washi tape and mask off the areas around “Peace.” Ink the word in a rainbow using the Sublimation Ink Pads and blending brushes.
Step 6: Ink up the “Love” with the Pink Sublimation Ink Pad. Be sure to mask off the areas around it.
Step 7: Ink the “Coffee” with the Brown Sublimation Ink Pad. Then, the mug with red, yellow and blue. You’ll get a good range of colors if you blend the inks well. Use the black ink very lightly for the steam.
Pro Tip: My brushes slipped under my stencil in a couple of spots (total user error!) and I don’t want those mistakes to sublimate. I cut some small pieces of Heat Tape and applied them to the areas that had ink in the wrong spots. Those areas will stay white now.
Step 8: Using the coffee stain stencil, apply the stains all over the background using the Brown Sublimation Ink. If you don’t have a stencil like this, you can take the brown Reinker, apply a few drops to your work surface, spritz with water, then dip a round jar or small cup into the ink and stamp it onto your paper.
Here is what my completed design looks like. Now let’s get ready to sublimate! Be sure your heat press is heated to 380 degrees.
Step 9: Let’s sublimate the coffee bean border first. Take one of the strips, and have the uncut side facing toward the rest of the towel. Tape the border down using Heat Tape.
Step 10: Let’s make our Sublimation Sandwich! Add a layer of siliconized paper to the top and bottom of your Blank. Your sandwich will be: Protective Paper-Colored Image-Blank-Protective Paper. The Protective Paper prevents any images accidentally transferring to either side of your heat press or to your home iron.
Step 11: Sublimate the Dish Towel at 380 degrees for 60 seconds, with medium pressure.
Step 12: Time for the Peek Test! Carefully lift a small portion of your art off of the Blank to ensure a good transfer. If you need to re-press your piece, you can do it since you haven’t moved the art out of place. Mine looks good, so I can remove the design from the Blank.
Step 13: Now we need to attach the other part of our design. Use Heat Tape again to do this. I brought my design down to the edge of the border we already sublimated.
Step 14: Make a new Sublimation Sandwich. Be sure to have Protective Paper on top of the border we sublimated.
Step 15: Press the towel again.
The second peek test shows that we had sublimated our design well. Let’s remove the copy paper to see the whole towel.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the original design and the sublimated kitchen towel. The colors look amazing, and the masks we made with the Heat Tape prevented excess color where we didn’t want it.
This came out fabulous! And remember, we already have a second border that we can apply to the other side. You can add more to the design, or just use the border.
Here it is in my kitchen, ready for use! This was so much fun to make, and didn’t take long at all. How would you like to get more ideas on using Artesprix’s Sublimation Ink Pads, Markers, and Paint? There’s a Facebook Group that’s just for fans of Artesprix! You can click HERE to join. Also, don’t forget to visit the Artesprix store to see all of the available blanks and bundles, so you can get started with sublimation. You can use my code, ALISON10 to save 10% off of your purchase. Thanks so much for stopping by. Have an inspiring day!