- Infusible ink /sublimation blank ornament
- Infusible ink transfer sheet
- Your design
- Optional: White or clear sticker paper that is compatible with your printer
- Ribbon to hang your ornament
- Cricut machine
- Heat resistant tape
- Bucher paper
- Optional: heat resistant gloves
A personized Christmas ornament is a great special touch to finish off any gift. I made my ornament for my friend that just got married and added it to her wedding gift. I used infusible ink on a sublimation blank ornament. I then finished it off with a personalized sticker, which was her logo she used throughout her wedding.
Her theme for her wedding was nautical. So, I decided to use this pretty blue infusible ink pattern, that reminded me of the water. I wanted the entire ornament to be blue. So, I did what is called reverse weeding. I removed my words from my design and kept the background. I used a very thin font. I recommend using an easier font especially if you have not worked with infusible ink before. It is nothing like the vinyl you are probably use to using.
To start you will need an infusible ink template or sublimation blank ornament. Infusible ink turns into a gas when it is heated, which is why it infuses into the blank. However, it can only infuse into certain materials, polyester. So, it is important to get the correct blanks for the best results. I love infusible ink because once you are finished the design becomes one with your piece, and you can not feel it, like you do with regular vinyl.
You should also note that the color of the infusible ink will look pale when you first take it out of the packaging. Do not worry it will become brighter and more vibrant once it is heated and transferred to your piece.
Once you have picked out your infusible ink and have your design ready to go, do not forget to measure your ornament blanks and size your design accordingly. I made a circle in Cricut Design Space to the size or my ornament blank, then sized my design to fit nicely in that circle. I did this for both the front and the back design. I left the circle for my Cricut machine to cut it out, but I actually recommend either not cutting the circle out or making the circle slightly larger than your ornament blank. Since my circle was the exact same size as my ornament, there was no room for error. I needed to align my infusible ink exactly on my ornament blank, which I did not. This is why I have some white showing at the bottom of my ornament.
Once our design is finished and the correct size, it is time to have your Cricut machine cut it out. For infusible ink you will need to mirror your designs. Then select infusible ink transfer sheets as your material. I like to put more pressure for cleaner cuts. Then place your infusible ink transfer sheet color side up (carrier sheet side down on your cutting mat). I used a green standard grip mat to cut my infusible ink transfer sheet.
Once your design is cut out it is time to weed out all the unwanted areas. In this case we want to weed out the words and my anchor shapes. Infusible ink is very different than regular vinyl. So to weed infusible ink, carefully bend and roll your piece until you hear a little cracking sound. This is the cuts separating. It is okay if your design lifts off from the liner a little bit. After you crack your cut design, you can more easily remove the unwanted areas of your design. You may need a weeding tool if you have small details you want to remove like in my design.
Now it is time to place your design over your ornament blank. It is okay and even recommended to have some of your extra infusible ink hang over the edges of your ornament, this will insure all of your ornament gets covered in the pretty infusible ink pattern, and you do not have any white areas like I did. You also do not want to cut a hole in your design where the string will go through. It will just be difficult to line up this hole with the hole in your ornament, and the infusible ink will just not transfer where the hole is. Just trust me it is not needed and will look great after it is heated.
You can place a light source like a light pad under your ornament to help you position your design on your ornament. You want to place the color side of the infusible ink down onto your ornament. So the white back is showing along with the transfer sheet. Once you have your design in the location you want it, place some heat resistant tape to ensure your design does not move. Then place your other design on the other side of your ornament if you are making a double-sided ornament. Do not forget to add some heat resistant tape to keep your design from shifting or moving.
I used a heat press for my ornament, but you can also use a Cricut easy press. It is not recommended to use a household iron, because they typically can not get hot enough. I have used a household iron when applying infusible ink on a polyester shirt, and it turned out just fine for me. Now place your butcher paper over your ornament. You will want to place the butcher paper over the front and back side of your ornament. This will help catch any of the infusible ink that might come off around the edges and prevent it from staining your heat source. It can then transfer from your heat source onto your future project and ruin it. The butcher paper should come in your box of infusible ink. You can always buy more if you need. It is not recommended to reuse the butcher paper especially if infusible ink has gotten on it from a previous project. When it is reheated, it can transfer that left over infusible ink onto your new project.
You will want to set your easy press or heat press to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 240 seconds, no pressure needed. Infusible ink is a cold peel, which means you want to wait for it to fully cool down before removing the infusible ink transfer sheet. If you try to remove your transfer sheet before your piece is fully cooled, you may smudge the colors or cause a ghosting affect, because it is still sublimating. It will also be very hot. So, just wait for it to properly cool down.
Once your ornaments have properly cooled down you can remove the carrier sheets and enjoy your ornaments. You can add a string or ribbon and add it to a gift. I took it one step further and added a clear sticker to my ornament. I made this sticker using clear sticker paper for my laser printer. You can also buy sticker paper for ink jet printers. I then did a print then cut to make my sticker and stuck my sticker directly onto my new ornament. Make sure to check out my post on how to calibrate your Cricut machine before you do a print then cut, which you can find by clicking here. I am also in the process of making a detailed blog post on how to make stickers. So, make sure you stick around so you do not miss that.
I also did a blog post about water slides. You can check that out by clicking here. I recommend using a sticker on your ornament vs a water slide, because it will get moved around and scratched over time as you take it on and off of your tree each year. I did not do anything to cover or protect my sticker. I just stuck it directly onto my finished ornament. Next time I would probably use a white background sticker vs the clear background sticker so the infusible ink patter does not show through my sticker. I was just using what I had on hand.
There are a few things I would do differently the next time I make a personalized ornament, but over all I think it turned out well. We are always harder on ourselves and our own creations. My friend really enjoyed the ornament. It made a nice, personalized finishing touch to her wedding gift. If you have not tried infusible ink yet, then what are you waiting for!? It is a lot of fun to work with, and the results are just beautiful.
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