How to Make Sublimation Earrings
If you’ve been following the latest crafting trends, I’m pretty sure you have seen a lot about sublimation lately. Sublimation is a dye process that uses high heat to transfer a design from sublimation paper to the desired surfaces. It is different from heat transfer vinyl in that the ink becomes part of the surface, creating a smooth and seamless design. It’s common to see sublimation shirts, hoodies, and sweaters. Sublimating onto mugs, tumblers, cups, and coasters is also a popular way to utilize this process. But did you know that you can also create sublimation earrings?
Why earrings? Who in the world would actually wear earrings made using a heat transfer process? Those are the questions I asked the advertisement people on the other side of the screen when I saw sublimation earrings on the sublimation blanks page. I didn’t REALLY ask them personally; that conversation happened in my head. Although I couldn’t imagine wearing them, the curious and creative side of me clicked on the image and added them to my cart. Then, although I ended up removing a few things from my digital shopping cart that day, the earrings stayed and arrived a few days later.
Once I began experimenting with patterns and designs for my earrings, I realized why someone would want to make and/or wear sublimation earrings. For starters, you can make anything you can imagine! You can design and print a whole lot of pairs on one sheet of sublimation paper. You can whip up a pair of earrings to match any outfit in a matter of minutes. Then people will think that you really are trendy and fashionable…maybe.
Follow along to learn more about making your own sublimation earrings.
Materials and Supplies
- Sublimation paper (laser copier paper will also work)
- Sublimation earring blanks
- Sublimation printer or pre-printed sublimation designs
- A design (I used digital papers from Creative Fabrica for this tutorial)
- Design- or word processing software (I used Google Docs for this project)
- Heat resistant tape
- Heat press or Easy Press
- Butcher paper or parchment paper
- Jewelry pliers
- Jump rings (optional)
Creating Your Designs
- Start by choosing a pattern or design you would like to use
- Digital backgrounds and digital papers work great for earrings.
- I chose this stunning pink and purple digital paper from Creative Fabrica
- Download the design to your device
- Open a blank document in your computer software
- Insert your downloaded designs into your document
- To reduce waste of valuable paper, I inserted 3 different digital paper designs from the bundle I downloaded
- Your images will come in as large squares. Use the corner handles to resize them.
- You can determine the size you will need by measuring the earring blanks.
- For each pair of earrings you are making, you will need 4 copies of the design you are using. Copy and paste as needed.
- If you are using a one-way design (with words, for example) you will need to mirror your images before printing.
- Load your sublimation or laser copier paper into your sublimation printer.
- Be sure to load the paper so that your designs print on the correct side of the paper
- Once printed, you can use scissors to cut apart each design
**Your designs will look dull and not very vibrant. No, your printer isn’t running low on ink. The magic happens when you actually press the design. So hang in there.
Prepping and Pressing the Earrings
- Wipe down the earrings with alcohol and a lint free cloth or paper towel
- Once dry, place your design face down on the earring
- Secure using heat resistant tape.
- Repeat for the second earring
- Set your heat press to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer for 60 seconds
- Place the earrings on the press (or on the pressing pad if using a hand-held press)
- Cover with a sheet of parchment paper or butcher paper
- Press with firm and direct pressure for 60 seconds
- Adjust the pressure on your press before pressing
- Avoid shifting or sliding your design or your press; this can result in unwanted ghosting in your final design
- Your earrings will be hot. Allow them to cool and remove the transfer paper
- Once cooled, repeat this process for the other side of the earrings
- As an alternative to pressing the other side of your earrings, you can leave them blank or press a different design on the back.
Assembling Your Earrings
- Use jewelry pliers or needle nose pliers to open the clasps that come with earrings
- Attach the end you open to the earring
- Open the jump ring on the fish-hook and attach it to the ring on the clasp.
- If you prefer, you can add another jump ring between the fishhook and the clasp
- Close the jump ring and you’re done.
This is such an easy project that I cannot imagine not making more than one pair at a time. You can even place multiple pairs on your heat press at once. Also, you are not limited to using digital papers and backgrounds. You can use images, photographs, geometric shapes… whatever you think up. You can get creative and use the earring blanks to make pendants instead of earrings. Can you imagine hooking up a plain outfit with a pair of earrings and matching pendant?
More sublimation accessories
There are a lot more accessory sublimation blanks that can be fun to work with. I’ve come across key chains, bottle openers, luggage tags, phone grips, pet tags and magnets. If you search “sublimation blanks” online and on Amazon, you’ll be able to find these and many more.
In addition to accessories, you can easily find sublimation blanks for phone covers, mouse pads, and all kinds of drinkware. For surfaces that are not sublimatable but that you really want to use, you can use things like glitter HTV, flock, and sublimation fabric like this one from JDC.
What are your ideas for creating sublimation earrings or accessories? Creative Fabrica has endless designs to inspire you. When you make your amazing earrings, please tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok. I am EJsFunCrafting on all platforms. Make something trendy!