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Making a Customized Car Air Freshener using Sublimation

Making a Customized Car Air Freshener using Sublimation main article image
Posted on August 25, 2021 by Desiree Gentile

So Fresh and Clean

Usually, when you get a new car, you really want to make it your own, to add your personality to it and show that this is your new ride. To do this you add all the accessories you can find that show your personality perfectly. You can add a decorative steering wheel cover, maybe some seat covers, or even decorative floor mats. With all these additions some people just really want to add more or want something they just can’t find and for anyone who is really crafty, there are more ways to do it.

One such way of adding more personality to your car is by making a custom air freshener. By having this custom item you can have your personality show with the added plus of keeping your car smelling great with your favorite scent. One such way of creating that custom air freshener is by using sublimation. You can add pictures, characters, or even sayings to it. This article is going to show you how to create a sublimated air freshener that will shine with your flair.

What you need

To create your air freshener you will need a few items to get this project going. Depending on your level of craftiness you can do something simple or really extravagant. It’s all up to what you really want. So here’s the basic list of supplies you will need:

Once again this is just a very basic list of items needed and most can be found through sites like Amazon or specialty sites for sublimation. When looking for your sublimation blanks, you want to make sure you get a nice-sized base. There are plenty of designs that you can choose from anywhere from squares, hearts, and circles. You can even find some bases that you can cut into shape yourself to add more personality. 

Let’s get Crafty

Once you’ve gathered your supplies you’re ready to go. There are two ways to go about creating your air freshener. The first way that you can start is by selecting the shape of your air freshener. By going this route you will be able to create your design in the shape itself. For example, if you choose a heart shape base, you’ll want to make sure your photo will fit in that specifically. You’re a bit limited in what will really show up but the shape will be what you want.

The second way is really just the opposite, you’ll want to design your air freshener first. Specifically setting up the design with any photo or characters. Once you have that all set up then you can see what different bases you can use for it. For this example let’s say you created your design and it all fits in a nice square. By designing it this way you can either buy yourself a square base or even purchase a circle base and see if your design will fit in there. Either of these steps works and isn’t really a big deal if you do it one way or the other. Don’t forget that you do have two sides to create something on – and while you can just use the same image for both if you’d like, you can also get crafty and creative to create two unique sides. 

Once your design is all set you are ready to send it to your sublimation printer. Make sure to mirror your design so that everything presses right side up. Some sublimation printers can be set to automatically mirror all prints so that you won’t have to worry about setting it yourself every time, making it less likely to mess up a print. Once it’s printed let your design set to make sure all the ink has dried so that when you press you to get the best colors possible.

Once you have your design ready and base picked out now comes the really fun part, making your air freshener. Now you will need a heat press set to the specifics that your air freshener blanks recommend. Most will give you times and temps based on what that material is. A good starting time is anywhere from 40-60 seconds at 365 degrees with medium pressure. You’ll have to adjust depending on the results. 

Some tips for pressing are to make sure you use butcher paper or parchment paper between your press and your items, by doing this you save yourself from having ink released all over your press or heat mat. You’ll also want to make sure your design is secured in the right spot by using your heat-resistant tape to hold down the design to your blank, this really does help you get the best results. 

Once you have pressed your first side you’ll want to do the same for the opposite side, using the same time and temperature you used for the first. Once that side is pressed you will need to let the air freshener cool off before you can do anything else. Once it’s cooled you are good to add the string to the top of the air freshener so that you can hang it up in your car. 

After you’ve threaded the freshener it is now time to add your favorite scent. To do this you can simply use your favorite perfume, just a couple of sprays, or even a few drops of your favorite essential oil. There are even different sites you can find that have essential oils that smell like your favorite Bath and Body Works scent or even your favorite Victoria’s Secret scent.

Smells so sweet!

And there you have it, a custom Air freshener that fits your personality to accentuate your car. You just need to use your creativeness to make the perfect one that fits your style. These Air Fresheners make great gifts to family and friends, especially for that person who is hard to shop for. This is the best way to give them that personalized, one-of-a-kind gift. 

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