How to Customize Glass Tumblers with Sublimation | Sawgrass SG1000

Glassware is one of the trendiest materials to personalize or brand. More than likely you have at least one piece of customized drinkware at home. Sublimation printing provides you with the unique opportunity to customized glassware permanently. Unlike other forms of customization, sublimation is eternal, and the results will not fade or chip over time.  

Why Customize Drinkware?

Customizing glassware or drinkware gives businesses the ability to bring on an entire product line with endless possibilities for revenue growth. Industries such as Bars/Breweries, Restaurants, Coffee Shops, and Gift Shops utilize customize drinkware to brand themselves, providing a consistent customer base for businesses like yours. Events like Weddings, Banquets, Family Reunions, and Holidays provide even more chances for revenue.

Sublimation printing is a digital printing process that applies heat and pressure to the sublimation blank and the printed image transfer. This technique infuses the image into the sublimation blank, creating a permanent design.

What is a Sublimation Glass Tumbler?

The process of sublimating requires special sublimation glass poly-coated for sublimation-based transfers. Sublimating on a regular glass tumbler not meant for sublimation, will result in the design fading or not appearing at all.

What are the best Types of Images for Glass Sublimation?

Darker, vivid, and vibrant colors work best when sublimating on glass. Transfers will be of higher quality if the images have at least three hundred dots per inch (dpi) of resolution. 

How to determine the Image/Design Size for Sublimation Glass Tumbler

Glass tumbler blanks come in a wide range of sizes. Measure the circumference of the glass tumbler to determine the width/length of the image/design. 

How to Prepare Glass Sublimation Tumbler for Sublimation

The surface of the sublimation blank should be free of anything that might cause defects in the design. A lint roller or alcohol can help to remove all debris and fingerprints. 

The sublimation blank should be completely dry before adding the transfer.  

What is Sublimation Transfer Paper?

Sublimation printing requires sublimation paper, made with a polyester coating that keeps the dye ink inside the paper until the transfer is complete.  

How to Apply Sublimation Transfers to Glass

The design is lined up against the sublimation blank. Excess Extra sublimation paper is trimmed away from the top, bottom, and sides of the design. 
 Heat-resistant tape, is applied to the transfer to secure it to the sublimation blank. Remove any wrinkles or creases from the transfer during this process.

Heat-resistant tape withstands elevated temperatures and will hold transfer paper in place.  

How to Sublate on Glass

Preheat the press before sublimating to the recommended time and temperature. Wear protective heat resistant gloves when operating in or around the heat press.  

The glass tumbler is placed, with the design transfer secured in place into the press. Depending on the tumbler size pressure might need to be adjusted. If the tumbler is not surrounded by the press rotation will be required to get an even transfer.  

Once the tumbler has to the correct time and temperature simply remove it from the press. Carefully remove the heat-resistant tape and transfer paper to revile the sublimation design. 

Want To Customize Glass Tumblers With Sublimation Printing, you are in luck! Check out our tutorial below to learn how.

How to Sublimate on Glass Tumblers Tutorial:

Items Needed (click to buy supplies):  

  1. Print the artwork using the Print Manager Software and the Sawgrass SG 1000 Printer. We used the Tex Print Sublimation Paper for our transfer. 

2. Cut out your design. 

3. Use heat tape to apply the transfer design side down to the desired area on the tumbler. 


5. Check and adjust the pressure on the heat press to light to be sure that the platen touches the tumbler but is not high enough to crack the glass. 

6. Insert the tumbler into the press and press at 400 degrees for 240 seconds (the temperature will most likely drop once the glass is inserted and pressed and that is normal).

7. Once the press is finished, use the heat glove to remove the tumbler. 

8. Peel the transfer immediately. 

9. Let the cup cool and you’re finished!