How to Create Dye Sublimation Ceramic Tile Coasters or Trivets a Tutorial

Creating Dye Sublimation Ceramic Tiles 
4 fish dye sublimation tiles as coasters Four fish tiles as coasters
Its craft show time at the retirement community. The first Saturday in November is the date our clubhouse gets filled with people ( I hope buyers). This is the first year I am not selling my painted silk accessories. I think I saturated the local market with my silks. I am making dye sublimation tile coasters and trivets. I used to teach middle and high school deaf students how to create these. My friend gave me his unused heat press and specially coated ceramic tiles. I ordered prints from RPL supplies in New Jersey and I'm ready.  Materials Needed:
  • heat press machine ( aka tee shirt press )
  • dye sublimation prints ( If you are lucky enough to have a dye sub printer you can print your own )
  •  specially coated dye sublimatable ceramic tiles ( the ones from Home Depot just won't do )
  • heat tape, teflon sheet for the press, cork to finish the backs and a glue like Mod Podge
Here is my heat press machine. Here is my heat press machine. It will be set to 400 degrees.
How to Create Dye Sublimation Tiles: 1. Cut your desired image from a dye sublimation print. You can print any image you want if you have your own dye sub printer. I don't have mine any more so I ordered ready made prints from RPL Supplies. 2. Set the temperature of the heat press to 400 degrees and wait for the press to reach optimum  temp.
The dye sub print is placed face down on the heat press. The print is placed face down on the bottom of the press.
3. Place your tile coated side up on the center of the press. Carefully place your dye sub print face down on the tile. Use a little heat tape to secure the print in the exact place. Place the teflon sheet over the print. This stops any stray ink from staining the top of the press.
The tile is being heated to 400 degrees. The tile is being heated to 400 degrees under pressure for 40 seconds.
4. Close the top of the press and be sure there is good pressure on the tile. All models heat presses have different ways to adjust the pressure. Set the timer for 40 seconds and get ready to lift up the top of the press when your timer rings.
sample of a dye sub tile coaster This is a sample of a finished dye sub tile with a flower transfer.
5. Use a spatula to lift up your tile. It will be hot! Let it cool. It doesn't have to cool completely before you remove the paper transfer and throw it away.
cut pieces of cork The cork is cut to fit the 4" and 6" tiles.
glue on back of cork The glue is put on the back of the tile and the cork.
        6. I finish my tiles with a piece of cork cut exactly to fit the tile's dimensions. I use a glue or decoupage sealer with a matte finish like Mod Podge. The glue is put on the back of the tile and the cork. I find a weight is needed to press down on the tile so there is good adhesion.  
sample of a finished tile coaster a sample of a finished flag tile coaster
  The 4 inch tiles make great coasters and the 6 inch ones are trivets. I will update this post with the results of my sales. I have 100 tiles ready to sell. Wish me luck.  
a heart tile coaster A sample of a finished heart tile coaster on a small easel.


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