Making Custom Car Coasters Using Sublimation

Making Custom Car Coasters Using Sublimation main article image
Posted on August 26, 2021 by Desiree Gentile

Personalized and Clean

Have you ever looked at your car cup holder and realized it was just a mess? You just look at it and see all the change and gunk and other stuff that falls in there, making it look not so nice in your otherwise wonderful car. Well, you should probably think about making yourself some customized car coasters, and what better way to make them than with your sublimation printer. This article is going to help you create a new way to keep your cup holders nice, clean, and cute – because who wants to have a nicely maintained car with nasty cup holders, right? 

Let’s talk about sublimating ceramic coasters for a second. These coasters are great for keeping your cup holders clean but also helps you add a little style, magic, and personality to your car. They’re really great also at preventing those horrid gunk rings that tend to form in these as well. The ceramic also means easy cleaning as well as making things you normally put in your cup holders easily accessible since the coasters have a notch on the side that helps you remove them for cleaning. 

What’s all this?

For this project, you will need some essentials to help you bring these coasters to life. You may need more supplies than mentioned here, but that will be up to you to decide based on your own preferences. Again, this really is just the basic stuff you need, so that being said let’s get to that list.

These supplies can be found on sites like Amazon or other sublimation-specific sites. Ceramic coasters are sturdy and easy to clean which is really nice since, in the car, there are more chances for spills, especially if you have to deal with traffic on the daily grind. You can also find other car coasters that are made from neoprene, but these aren’t quite as sturdy as the ceramic ones. Most of the Sublimation supplies you should already have if you are already into the Sublimation game. If not you can always find more articles explaining how to get started. 

Let’s do this

Okay, so you have your supplies ready and you are on your way to having some stylish car coasters. Your first step is deciding on what to have on them. You can do something simple as a word or saying or you can get creative and have a design or monogram. It’s really up to you how you want to design your coasters. Maybe if you have a theme for your car, you can easily create something to match that as well. 

When designing your coaster you want to take into consideration the size and shape of the coaster. You will lose some of the design due to the notch but if you plan it all out correctly you can really work with it. The size of these coasters measures approximately 6.5 cm/ 2.6 inches in diameter. (Or about the standard size for most vehicle cup holders.) You’ll need these measurements to create your design. 

Some ideas for designs on your coasters could be a monogram of your family name. These look nice and add a personal touch to your car. You could also choose a favorite character. Maybe you’ve given your car a theme and you want to show it off by adding that character to the coasters – this process will allow you to do that. You also can add sayings or any quotes you like as well as inspirational words. These are all great ideas on how to decorate your coaster and give off your personality in such a creative way.

Once you’ve decided on the design and have it all set up, you’re ready to send it to your Sublimation printer. If you have your settings already set to mirroring you don’t have to worry about changing them but if not, make sure you choose that when printing. By doing this you are ensuring that your words are the correct way and that they can be read easily. 

Once your print is done, you’ll need to cut out the design and set it over the ceramic coaster on your heat mat. The coasters are only one-sided so you don’t need to worry about pressing both sides. Your design will be placed over the top and you can secure it in place with some heat-resistant tape. You will also need some butcher paper or parchment paper to place between your design and the press so that you have a buffer between the surfaces. 

Once you’ve prepped everything make sure your heat press is set to 400℉. Once your press is ready you will press the coasters for about 200 seconds. Now, these are just a base set of temps and times and might vary due to your machine. Don’t be discouraged if you have to try it a few times. The more you practice the better idea you have of what works for you and your machine.

After your coasters are pressed you’re going to want to let them cool for about 15-30 min before you remove any of the papers. Once they’ve cooled you’re pretty much done with your project, you’ve created an accessory that is all you wrapped up into a small tiny item.

Coasting with the Coasters

These Coasters are such a fun and creative way to show off your personality and still be functional in everyday life. They can be a fun craft that you can do with your kids, maybe having each one create their own coaster for the car. Or these make great personalized gifts for family and friends who love the crafty creative side of you. You could also make them as thank you gifts for Bridal parties or little things like that.  Either way, these coasters will be a hit with everyone you share them with.  

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