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How to: Sublimate a Stylish Housewarming Gift

There are so many options for gift giving using sublimation. Although it soon will be the holiday season, with the versatility and ease of sublimation, you can encourage customers to give personalized gifts for any occasion. After all, what better to bring to a housewarming party then a personalized color-themed gift box?

How to: Sublimate a Stylish Housewarming Gift

Make a Chic and Colorful Welcome-Home Gift with These Tips & Tricks from Unisub

By Sara Nicholson, communications and digital engagement specialist, Unisub/ChromaLuxe

There are so many options for gift giving using sublimation. Although it soon will be the holiday season, with the versatility and ease of sublimation, you can encourage customers to give personalized gifts for any occasion. After all, what better to bring to a housewarming party then a personalized color-themed gift box?

The Unisub team wanted to create an easy guide for a housewarming gift using a variety of products any new homeowner would need. Trays are great for décor, bars, and coffee bars, and the addition of a last name monogram keeps it personal to the recipient. We went with the color theme Purist Blue, which was developed by Coloro + WGSN (http://bit.ly/2N0nQw4), but you can play with color to complement any home’s palette.

Follow along as we sublimate both a serving tray and a cool keychain—and add complementary items to create an elegant collection of gifts any recipient would be proud to display and use.

Step 1

Put together artwork using templates from unisub.com—where you also can access a variety of rights-free artwork—or develop your own using your chosen design software. Figures 1 and 2 show the artwork we selected for the mini serving tray with insert (#5673) and the metal keychain (#4106). 


Figure 1


Figure 2

Step 2

Print the set of artworks onto transfer paper for rigid sublimation with sublimation ink. Make sure when you print that the image is mirrored so it will be the correct orientation on the finished product. The print will come out looking dull, but it will become bright once sublimated (see Figure 3).


Figure 3

Step 3

Grab your blank substrates, pull off any film, and clean the surfaces using a microfiber cloth. Then, tape the transfer paper to the substrate. Once you have cleaned the substrates and taped on the transfer paper, it is time to sublimate onto black substrates (see Figures 4 and 5).


Figure 4


Figure 5

Step 4

Using a swing-away heat press, press the material separately (Figure 6). The serving tray insert needs to be pressed with an Endura pad on the top part of the press to protect the THB from moisture damage at 400 °F for 1 minute 45 seconds. The keychain can be pressed at 400 °F for 1 minute 5 seconds—although, keep in mind that times and temperatures may vary based on your equipment. Set your pressure at medium for both.


Figure 6

Step 5

Carefully remove each item with heat gloves (Figure 7). Remove the tape and transfer paper.


Figure 7

Step 6

Attach the serving tray insert to the serving tray using the provided tape. Attach the connector with ring to the keychain (Figure 8). 

But sublimation doesn’t stop at trays and keychains—try showcasing several cool and colorful products in an Instagram-worthy gift display for customers. For inspiration, check out the many items we’ve collected in the gift box shown in Figure 9. You also can find more art and inspiration at www.unisub.com! 


Figure 8


Figure 9

Sara Nicholson is the communication and digital engagement specialist for Universal Woods. She works with Universal Woods’ three brands, ChromaLuxe, Unisub, and ResinDek. Her specialty is social media, content creation, and creative inspiration.

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