best sublimation blanks

Best Sublimation Blanks (T-shirts, Mugs, Tumblers, etc)

Are you new to sublimation crafting and feeling overwhelmed by all the different blanks available?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Sublimation is a fun and rewarding crafting technique that allows you to create personalized and long-lasting designs on a wide range of surfaces. However, choosing the right blanks can be a daunting task, especially for beginners.

In this article, we’ll help you navigate the world of sublimation blanks, exploring the different types, materials, and surfaces you can work with.

We’ll also provide tips and recommendations to ensure you select the best sublimation blanks for your projects, saving you time, money, and frustration.

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What Surfaces Can Be Sublimated?

Sublimation is a unique printing process that allows you to transfer dye-based designs onto polyester or polyester-coated surfaces.

The dye becomes a gas and bonds with the polyester material, creating a permanent and fade-resistant image. Understanding the materials suitable for sublimation is crucial for achieving successful and long-lasting results.

The beauty of sublimation lies in its versatility, you can sublimate on a wide range of materials, including:



Polyester fabrics, such as t-shirts, hoodies, and bags, are perfect for sublimation. Look for fabrics with a high polyester content (ideally 100%) for the best results.

Polyester fabrics are widely available and come in various colors, textures, and styles, allowing you to create customized apparel and accessories.


Ceramic mugs, coasters, and ornaments can be sublimated if they have a polyester-coated surface. These ceramic items are perfect for personalized gifts, promotional items, or simply adding a touch of creativity to your home decor.

Ceramic blanks are available in various shapes, sizes, and colors, allowing you to unleash your imagination and create unique designs.


Blank Stainless Steel Tumbler

Polyester-coated metal surfaces, like tumblers and water bottles, make great sublimation blanks.

Metal blanks are durable, long-lasting, and can withstand frequent use, making them ideal for outdoor activities, sports events, etc.


Plastic items, such as phone cases and keychains, can also be sublimated if they have a polyester coating. These accessories are perfect for adding a personal touch to your everyday items or creating unique gifts for loved ones.

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Plastic blanks come in various shapes, colors, and designs, allowing you to express your creativity in a fun and practical way.


Photo frame

Polyester-coated glass items, like cutting boards and photo frames, are excellent choices for sublimation. Glass blanks are versatile and can be used for both functional and decorative purposes.

Create custom cutting boards for your kitchen, personalized photo frames, or even stunning wall art pieces using glass sublimation blanks.

best sublimation blanks

Now that you have a solid understanding of the surfaces suitable for sublimation, let’s explore some of the most popular and versatile sublimation blanks in detail:

1. Sublimation T-Shirts and Apparel

Sublimation apparel is one of the most popular and sought-after categories among crafters and businesses alike.

T-shirts, hoodies, and other garments made from polyester or polyester blends are ideal for creating customized and unique apparel designs.

final shirt
  • 100% polyester t-shirts are the go-to choice for sublimation. These shirts provide a smooth, wrinkle-resistant surface that allows for vibrant and detailed designs to be transferred with ease.
  • If you prefer a softer feel, consider polyester blends (at least 65% polyester) for more comfortable wear. These blends, often combined with cotton or rayon, offer a balance between sublimation compatibility and breathability.
  • For athletic wear or activewear, explore polyester moisture-wicking fabrics that are designed to keep you cool and dry during physical activities.
  • Don’t forget about accessories like hats, bags, and even socks! Many of these items are available in polyester materials, allowing you to create a cohesive and personalized look across your entire outfit or product line.
  • Pro Tip: For vibrant colors and designs that truly pop, choose light-colored or white shirts as your base. Dark-colored shirts may mute or alter the appearance of your sublimated designs.

2. Sublimation Mugs and Drinkware

Customized drinkware is a popular choice for both personal use and as unique gifts or promotional items.

Sublimation offers a wide range of options when it comes to personalizing mugs, tumblers, and other drinkware items.

Sublimation mug
  • Ceramic mugs with a polyester coating are one of the most popular sublimation blanks in this category. These mugs come in various shapes and sizes, allowing you to create customized designs for different occasions or themes.
  • Stainless steel tumblers are another excellent choice for sublimation. These durable and long-lasting drinkware items are perfect for on-the-go use, outdoor activities, or simply enjoying your favorite beverage.
  • For a unique twist, explore sublimating on glass items like wine glasses, beer mugs, and mason jars. These transparent or frosted glass blanks can create stunning designs that are visible from all angles.
  • Sublimated water bottles are not only practical but also make great promotional items for businesses or sports teams. Look for polyester-coated aluminum or stainless steel bottles in various sizes and shapes.

3. Sublimation Home Decor

Sublimation allows you to add a personal touch to your living spaces by creating customized home decor items.

From functional pieces to decorative accents, the possibilities are endless.

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  • Polyester-coated ceramic tiles and coasters are popular choices for sublimation home decor projects. These blanks are available in various shapes, sizes, and designs, allowing you to create unique and eye-catching pieces.
  • Ornaments are another fantastic option for sublimation home decor. Sublimated ornaments can be customized with your favorite designs, family photos, or meaningful quotes, making them cherished keepsakes.
  • Consider sublimating on cutting boards, photo frames, and clocks for functional yet personalized home decor items. These pieces can serve as conversation starters and add a unique touch to your living spaces.

4. Sublimation Accessories

Sublimation is not limited to apparel and home decor; it also allows you to create personalized accessories that reflect your style and creativity.

phone case
  • Polyester-coated phone cases are a trendy and practical option for sublimation. Protect your phone while showcasing your unique design or favorite photos.
  • Keychains and bag charms are another popular accessory choice for sublimation. These small but impactful items can be customized with vibrant designs, making them excellent gifts or personal accessories.
  • Explore sublimating on earrings, necklaces, or other jewelry pieces. These accessories can be created by sublimating onto polyester-coated metal blanks or even specialized jewelry blanks designed for this purpose.

5. Sublimation Puzzles and Games

Sublimation is not just limited to practical items; it can also be used to create fun and engaging puzzles and games.

  • Whether you choose to create custom designs or transfer cherished family photos onto the puzzle pieces, this is a great way to add a personal touch to your next game night.
  • Playing cards and game boards are also excellent surfaces for sublimation. Create personalized card decks or customized game boards with intricate designs or custom rules, adding a special touch to your favorite card or board games.

tips for choosing sublimation blanks

Selecting the right sublimation blanks can be challenging, especially with the vast array of options available.

Here are some detailed tips to help you make informed choices:

1. Consider Your Project Needs

Understanding your project’s purpose will help you narrow down the most suitable blanks. For example, if you’re planning to create customized t-shirts or hoodies, focus your search on polyester apparel blanks.

If you’re interested in personalized drinkware, explore ceramic mugs, stainless steel tumblers, or glass water bottles. By aligning your blank selection with your project needs, you’ll ensure a cohesive and successful outcome.

2. Check the Polyester Content

When it comes to fabrics, the polyester content is crucial for successful sublimation. Aim for a polyester content of at least 65%, with 100% polyester being ideal for vibrant and long-lasting designs.


For non-fabric surfaces, such as ceramics, metals, plastics, or glass, ensure they have a high-quality polyester coating specifically designed for sublimation.

3. Evaluate Blank Quality

High-quality blanks may cost more initially, but they will produce better results and ensure your designs look their best for years to come.

Pay attention to factors like the thickness of the polyester coating, the smoothness of the surface, and the overall durability of the blank.

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Reputable brands will provide detailed information about their blanks, allowing you to make an informed decision.

4. Consider Durability and Usage

If your sublimated projects will be frequently used or washed, choose blanks known for their durability and colorfastness.

For example, if you’re creating drinkware or apparel that will be exposed to frequent washing, look for blanks that are designed to withstand these conditions without fading or peeling.

Additionally, consider the intended usage of your project. If you’re creating outdoor drinkware or accessories, opt for blanks made from durable materials like stainless steel or polyester fabrics that can withstand exposure to the elements.

5. Experiment with Different Blanks

While recommendations and reviews can be helpful, there’s no substitute for hands-on experience. Don’t be afraid to try out various blanks to find your favorites.

Each type of blank may have unique characteristics that suit your preferences and needs, such as texture, weight, or even the way the dye adheres to the material.

Start with small quantities of different blanks and experiment with your designs. This will allow you to get a feel for each material and determine which ones produce the best results for your specific projects.

6. Buy from Reputable Suppliers

Image Credit: Cricut

Purchase your sublimation blanks from reputable suppliers who specialize in sublimation products.

Reputable suppliers may include companies like Cricut Infusible Ink, Artesprix, Heat Transfer Warehouse, or Coastal Business Supplies.

These suppliers offer a wide range of high-quality blanks and can provide detailed information about their products, ensuring you make an informed purchase.

7. Start Small

If you’re new to sublimation, it’s wise to start with smaller quantities of blanks until you’ve perfected your technique. This will help you avoid wasting materials and money on large orders that may not meet your expectations.

Begin with a few different types of blanks and gradually expand your collection as you gain more experience and confidence.

Additionally, starting small will allow you to experiment with different designs, techniques, and materials without a significant investment.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to selecting the best sublimation blanks for your creative projects, ensuring vibrant and long-lasting results that showcase your unique style and creativity.

Frequently Asked Questions

below are a few frequently asked questions:

Can I make my own sublimation blanks?

While it is possible to create your own sublimation blanks by applying a polyester coating to surfaces, it is generally not recommended for beginners.
The process can be challenging, and inconsistencies in the coating can lead to poor results.

Can you put vinyl on a sublimation blank?

No, it is not recommended to put vinyl on a sublimation blank. Sublimation and vinyl are two different printing techniques that work best on their respective surfaces.
Vinyl is designed to adhere to smooth, non-porous surfaces, while sublimation requires a polyester or polyester-coated surface for the dye to bond with the material.

What materials can you not sublimate on?

While sublimation can be used on a wide range of materials, certain surfaces are not suitable for this process.
Some materials that you cannot sublimate include cotton, uncoated ceramics, glass, metal, wood, or other porous materials.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right sublimation blanks is crucial for achieving professional-looking and long-lasting results.

By understanding the different surfaces suitable for sublimation and following the detailed tips provided, you’ll be able to select the best blanks for your creative projects with confidence.

Remember, sublimation is a versatile technique that allows you to personalize a wide range of items, from apparel and drinkware to

Bella Williams

I'm Bella, a mom of 3 cuties. With 7 years of sublimation experience, my blog focuses on all things sublimation and printing. Join me for tips, tutorials, and inspiration to enhance your sublimation journey. Let's create and thrive together!
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