Sublimation wood magnets are a popular and creative way to showcase your favorite designs or photographs. Sublimation is a printing technique that transfers dye onto materials such as wood, fabric, or metal through a heat press. Wood magnets are a great option for those seeking for a natural look. These magnets can be personalized with custom designs and make great gifts for friends, family, or customers. Making sublimation wood magnets is a fun and easy project that can be done at home with the right equipment and supplies. In this guide, we will go over the steps and materials needed to create your own sublimation wood magnets.
What all can you make with these small wooden magnets?
The sublimation wooden magnets that we are using in today’s project are approximately 2.25″ squares. That’s pretty small, but this project is certainly scalable if you procure larger Unisub wooden blanks. For these small squares, here are a few ideas of things you can make:
- Fridge magnets for kids’ artwork (One of today’s projects!)
- Magnets for organizing a magnetic whiteboard
- Dishwasher clean/dirty sign (Another model project in this post)
- Wedding save the date magnets
- Family trip titles with dates for hanging photos on the fridge
What You Need To Make Sublimation Wooden Magnets:
Sublimation Wooden Blanks – These come with small square magnets to attach post sublimation
Sublimation Transfer Paper
Heat Resistant Tape
Heat Resistant Gloves
How to Sublimate Wooden Squares with Magnets:
Step 1: Prep Design
I use Silhouette Studio as my design software. These wooden square blanks are about 2.25″ x 2.25″ and they have rounded corners. In Silhouette Studio, use the Rounded Rectangle drawing shape to make a template. Then add the design and size it to the box. The designs we are using today are actually laser files that we can add color to. The designs were set up for circles so we need to ungroup (CTRL+SHIFT+G) and shuffle the design elements around to better fill the square shape. Next, regroup (CTRL+G) the designs to make mirroring and repositioning a little easier.
Step 2: Print Design
Currently, I print my sublimation designs from Silhouette Studio using a converted Epson WF 7720 with Cosmos Ink. For more details on how to print with Silhouette Studio and an Epson WF printer, plus settings, check out this post on How to Print Sublimation Designs from Silhouette Studio. As always, remember to mirror the design before printing! The printed colors will look muted when you print, but they will pop post pressing. I was shooting video for the rest of the kids’ artwork magnets so the progress pictures are of a magnet that I am making for my dishwasher for clean vs dirty status.
Step 3: Prep Wooden Blank
The Unisub wooden squares come pre-coated with a sublimation coating on both sides. You can sublimate on either side. Use a small amount of rubbing alcohol to clean the surface of the tag. Allow it to dry completely before adding the transfer paper. Use the heat resistant tape to secure the transfer paper. The blank is now ready to press!
Step 4: Sublimation Wood Magnets
Preheat a heat press to 400F. Set the heat press to moderate pressure. It should take a little oomph to close it and open it with a blank inside. Once preheated, place a piece of butcher paper down (this piece is optional but I do it just in case any ink escapes from the overhang of the design outside the blank), then place the wooden blank on the platen with the transfer paper side up. Add another piece of butcher paper on top (this one is not optional because it is interfacing with the transfer paper where the ink will definitely escape during sublimation) before closing the press. Press for 45 seconds. Remove from the platen and then remove the transfer paper/butcher paper.
Step 5: Add Magnet
Once the wooden square has completely cooled, adhere the magnet on the center of the back. Easy peasy!
These Unisub wooden blanks sublimate like a dream! I’ve had a 100% success rate with the several that I have pressed (which isn’t always the case with sublimation blanks!). I hope you find many fun things to make with these! Let me know in the comments what you come up with for these. Personally, I think making photo titles for the fridge is next on my list.
Thanks for crafting with me!
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