Curious about how to sublimate on glow-in-the-dark HTV?
Good, because I was too!
I made this step-by-step guide and YouTube video on the entire process.
One of my favorite parts of any holiday throughout the year is how creative I can get.
That’s why when I saw the Glow-In-The-Dark HTV, I knew I wanted to make shirts for Halloween.
You can use heat-transfer vinyl, also known as HTV materials, in many different ways. But sublimation is one of my favorite ways.
What Is The Sublimation Process?
First things first, what’s this sublimation buzz all about? (Because it’s all the rage right now!)
Well, sublimation is like magic for customizing things.
It’s a process where special inks turn into a gaseous state when heated and get absorbed by materials, creating long-lasting designs with vibrant colors.
So, let’s say you’re making a t-shirt. The sublimation inks turn into a gas when heated and become infused with the different materials that make up the shirt.
You’ll find polyester materials work best with sublimation, but I will discuss this further in this blog post!
But why is this such a good thing? (Aka, why are crafters like me so obsessed with this process?)
The main reason it’s so popular is because of the longevity you can get from your custom-made items.
Your colorful designs won’t fade with every wash. And your beautiful design will stay intact, whereas other materials, like permanent vinyl, can crack and peel away from the materials.
Can You Sublimate On Glow-In-The-Dark Vinyl?
The answer is yes! You can totally add some glow to your creations.
Glow-in-the-dark HTV is a type of vinyl that, when sublimated properly, can light up in the dark.
But, there are some specific steps you have to follow to get the best results with your creation.
I will show you the best way to make your designs pop in the dark!
What Is The Temperature For Glow-In-The-Dark HTV?
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to sublimate on glow-in-the-dark HTV.
Glow-in-the-dark HTV likes it hot! You’ll need to set your heat press to around 375°F (190°C) to make that vinyl shine. So, be sure to double-check your heat settings for a glow-tastic result.
What Is The Best Type Of Shirt To Use With Glow-In-The-Dark HTV?
Choosing the right shirt is key.
As I mentioned above, polyester is king when it comes to sublimation. So, look for 100% polyester or a polyester blend shirt – they’re like the BFFs of sublimation.
The fabric needs to be able to take in the sublimated inks, so cotton shirts won’t do the trick here.
But that’s not all you need to consider when buying sublimation blanks for your glow-in-the-dark HTV project.
While most sublimated designs will work best with white polyester fabrics, this isn’t the case with glow-in-the-dark HTV.
Instead, you’ll want to find dark shirts.
When I did my project, I used one dark grey shirt and one black shirt. In my opinion, the design looks much better on the black shirt.
The reason you want dark colors for your glow-in-the-dark designs is so that the colors stand out in the dark. The lighter the color of that material is, the more it will wash out your design, which you don’t want!
What Supplies Do You Need To Sublimate On Glow-In-The-Dark HTV
Okay, next up is what supplies you need.
Before we get our hands dirty, let’s gather our tools. Here’s a list of what you’ll need to start the glow-in-the-dark HTV adventure!
This is the star of the show, the vinyl that will make your designs glow.
I used the Siser Glow In The Dark HTV.
Then, of course, you’ll need the base material for your project. This could be a shirt, a bag, or anything that can handle the heat.
But, if you’re following my step-by-step instructions, you’ll want a 100% polyester shirt with dark fabrics.
Sublimation Printer & Sublimation Dyes
Sublimation printing requires a printer with special inks. (I used my Epson ET 8550.)
Again, you can’t use just any printer ink because the ink needs to react properly in high temperatures. Regular ink just can’t do that.
To learn more about sublimation printing, check out this handy guide!
Your designs also need a particular paper known as a sublimation transfer paper, and this is true with glow-in-the-dark HTV too.
This transfer sheet is designed to react with your sublimation inks in high temperatures to transfer your sublimated design from the paper to the blank product.
This nifty tool will be your best friend if you’re cutting your vinyl into shapes. Rather than cutting out your design by hand, you can get your Cricut machine to do it for you.
I used my Cricut Maker 3 when making this project, but you can do it with any Cricut machine, such as the Cricut Easypress or Cricut Joy machines.
Heat Press Machine
The hero that’ll transfer your design onto the vinyl and make it glow!
I used my HTVRont machine for this project, but you can use any heat press machine as long as it reaches the required temperatures.
Miscellaneous Supplies and Tools
In addition to those supplies and tools, you’ll also need for glow-in-the-dark HTV:
- a Teflon sheet
- weeding tools
Where To Find A Sublimation Design That You Can Use With Glow-In-The-Dark HTV
Don’t fret if you’re not a design pro! There are many places online where you can find sublimation designs ready to go.
A great place is here on ColorMeCrafty. In fact, this sublimation design can be found in my free resource library, along with other great designs you can use!
If you use Cricut Design Space, you can also find a sublimation image in their included resources.
And of course, if you’re good with design, you can also make your own.
Grab the free SVG!
Go to file #112 in the free resource library.
Where can I send the resource library files?
How To Make Stuff With Other Kinds Of Vinyl
Want to experiment more with other kinds of vinyl? Check out some of these excellent tutorials!
- How To Sublimate On Wood With White Glitter HTV
- How To Sublimate on Glitter HTV with Dark Fabrics
- No-Skid Socks With Puff Vinyl
- UV Light Sensitive T-Shirt Idea