In today’s tutorial, we will be using laminate on canvas to sublimate designs. We are using a stretched canvas, so we can repurpose the frame and make a reverse canvas. These look amazing and you can make them in various sizes for so many different décor items! My “little” godZilla pup had to get in on the fun as well so here are her paws with a 6×8″ sublimated reverse canvas.
As you can see, I’m working on my Valentine’s Day decorations. I finally got Christmas put away….last Sunday. Please don’t judge. I loved the coziness of the Christmas decorations but wow, it feels so good to have a fresh look. Spring cleaning is also in full force here and new decorations in a clean, somewhat (temporarily) organized house feels amazing! If you are in the same boat and revamping your seasonal décor, I hope this project helps to inspire you to make new things!
What You Need to Sublimate Designs on Canvas Using Laminate
- Sublimation Printer
- Sublimation Transfer Paper
- Butcher Paper
- Laminate Sheets
- Stretched Canvas
- Heat Resistant Tape
- Heat Resistant Gloves
- Craft Knife
- Staple Gun or Hot Glue Gun
How to Use Laminate on Canvas to Sublimate Designs
Step 1: Prepare the Canvas & Frame
Start by preparing the canvas. The canvas material needs to be removed from the frame. Using a craft knife, carefully cut near the staples to remove the canvas. A sharp blade goes a long ways here! If there are any staples on the front of the frame in the corners, remove them. I am staining my frame, but this is an optional step. Put the stain or paint on now so it has more time to dry before reinstalling the canvas.
Step 2: Prepare the Sublimation Design
I print sublimation designs from Silhouette Studio using an Epson WF 7720 with Cosmos Ink. For more detail on my print settings, check out this post on How to Print Sublimation Designs from Silhouette Studio. The printed colors will look muted when you print, but they will pop post pressing!
Step 3: Laminate the Canvas
Next, preheat the heat press to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When it is close to the temperature, prepress the canvas to get any moisture and wrinkles out. Cut the laminate sheet down. If you have laminate pouches, cut off what you need and save the other part for another canvas. Place the laminate sheet on the canvas with the shiny side up. Press with light/medium pressure for about 30 seconds. Check it and if there are wrinkles in the laminate, press a little longer. Remove from the press and allow to cool before adding the sublimation transfer paper. **Increase the press temperature to 385 degrees Fahrenheit.**
How does your frame look? Does it need another coat of stain or paint? Now is an excellent time for a 2nd coat while the laminated canvas cools. Staining will take longer than the canvas to cool and sublimate.
Step 4: Sublimate Design on Laminated Canvas
Now that the canvas has cooled, you can add the transfer paper without getting ghosting while aligning the design. When the design is where you want it on the canvas, use heat resistant tape to secure it. Use butcher paper under the canvas and on top of the transfer paper to protect your press from any escaping sublimation ink. Press at 385 degrees (increased from the 350 degrees for lamination) for 60 seconds. Remove from press and remove transfer paper.
Step 5: Reinstall Canvas to Frame
Finally, we are going to create our reverse canvas by reinstalling the canvas to the reverse of the frame. Center the design with the frame on top of the canvas front. Carefully flip it to the back and use hot glue or staples to reattach it. Take care to keep the canvas tight. Lastly, cut the excess canvas off using scissors.
Step 6: Admire Your Handy Work Using Laminate on Canvas to Sublimate Designs
Check out this beauty! This is a great way to make holiday décor! Stretched canvases are available in many sizes. Small, 3″ canvases would make adorable tiered tray décor!
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