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Sublimation Tie Dye is super popular right now, so I figured you guys were ready for a tutorial! I made this Only Here for the Books Sublimation Tie Dye bag and it came out so great, I’m just going to give you the sublimation file free! And the vinyl elements on this particular backpack are so fun, I just couldn’t wait to share.

finished sublimation tie dye back pack, only here for the books

Frankly, I know that no everyone is as enamored with these little nylon backpacks as I am, but they make such great bags for littler kids, stashing a change of clothes in when the older kids have gym class or grabbing a couple of books from the library.

You’re not going to believe how simple it is to add this pop of color to the kiddo’s new favorite backpack.

And then adding the little rainbow? This was so much fun. I’m seriously obsessed with combining sublimation and vinyl. It’s so easy and the looks? Wow.

What Are The Best Sublimation Supplies?

Here are the sublimation products that I trust and love that you’ll need for this project.

Getting an Epson EcoTank to work as a sublimation printer for these types of projects is really easy. Just toss out the ink that came with your printer and use the sublimation ink instead.

finished sublimation tie dye back pack, only here for the books

Do You Have to Have a Sublimation Printer to Make a Sublimation Backpack?

If you need a short answer, that would be no. You don’t need a sublimation printer to make a sublimation backpack. There are so many shops, where they sell custom-printed sublimation designs (so you send them your design you get from me, they print it and mail it to you).

Since I have a sublimation printer, I haven’t had the reason to purchase a print like this, but I know there are whole businesses out there buying these prints and putting them on shirts, so you can do it too if you want.

It’s completely up to you if you want to set up your own sublimation printer or not.

finished sublimation tie dye back pack, only here for the books

What Do you Need to Make Sublimation Tie Dye Back Pack + Free Sublimation File?

You’ll need these materials to make your Only Here for the Books backpack sublimation project using the Cricut EasyPress:

  • 1 Sublimation-Ready Backpack
  • Heat Transfer Vinyl in Pink, Gold, Teal and Black

Then you’ll need the following tools:

  • Lint Roller
  • Sublimation Printer (with Sublimation Paper)
  • Heat-Safe Tape
  • Butcher Paper or Parchment Paper (not Wax Paper)
  • Cricut Machine
  • Weeding Tool
  • Cricut EasyPress 2
  • Sublimation blank, 100% polyester works best
  • the free printed design

You’ll also need the free Only Here for the Books file with the little rainbow and heart. You can grab it below.

finished sublimation tie dye back pack, only here for the books

Tips to Make This Only Here for the Books Sublimation Tie-Dye Backpack

If you’ve never made a backpack using sublimation (or heat press – that was a new one for me, too), here are my favorite tips to get making your back-to-school backpack come out perfect:

  • Get the right blank.
    • You need a sublimation-ready blank. Typically, drawstring backpacks like these are made of nylon and it will melt at higher temperatures when you’re heat pressing.
    • You can do sublimation on a colorful backpack, but the white portions of any design are going to be colorful, and the colors of your design are going to also be affected. So keep that in mind.
  • Always put a sheet of parchment paper or butcher paper inside your backpack or shirt – whatever you’re sublimating. Then cover your item with another sheet. That will keep the sublimation design from transferring to the back of your shirt or your heat press.
  • When you’re layering your vinyl elements, try to get them all on one transfer sheet or layer them onto the shirt without anything between the vinyl and the shirt.

Now that you are armed with all that information, get ready for the nitty-gritty tutorial. Just keep scrolling and get all the details on how to make a tie-dye sublimation backpack for back to school!

Be sure to pin this to a back-to-school ideas board on Pinterest so you can find it again fast when you need another back-to-school craft idea!

More Fun Sublimation Projects You Might Like

finished sublimation tie dye back pack, only here for the books
Yield: 1 Only Here for the Books Backpack

Only Here for the Books Backpack

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $10

Such a fun and easy DIY craft, you can make this sublimation tie dye back pack with the free sublimation file in just a few minutes!


  • Sublimation Paper
  • Sublimation Printer
  • Cricut EasyPress
  • Lint Roller
  • Butcher Paper or Parchment Paper
  • Card Stock Paper, optional
  • Cricut Machine or Silhouette Cameo 4
  • Weeding Tool


  1. Gather all of your supplies, print 2 copies of the tie-dye sublimation file. And Cut Vinyl. supplies for sublimation tie dye back pack
  2. Heat your EasyPress to 400 degrees.
  3. Use the lint roller to remove any lint from the backpack on both sides.
  4. Place the butcher paper inside the backpack blank and place the backpack back-up (the side that will be showing when the backpack is worn) on your heat-safe mat.
  5. Scrunch the backpack with your hands into a ball, exposing bits and pieces of the side that's facing up.
  6. Be sure the backpack's crushed-up size is smaller than the sheet of paper you have your tie-dye design printed on. scrunched backpack for sublimation tie dye
  7. Lay one of the printed tie-dye design sheets face down on your backpack blank, positioning it in place over the crushed backpack.
  8. Cover with butcher paper. sublimation sheet face down
  9. Press for 60 seconds with light pressure. easypress set to 400
  10. Remove your heat press and allow the paper to cool to the touch. Remove and throw the paper out. sublimation tie dye back pack still scrunched
  11. Flip the backpack over and repeat steps 3-10.
  12. Flip the backpack over and smooth it out with the paper inside being smoothed as well. You may need to replace the paper inside if it's too wrinkled.
  13. You need the backpack to lay as flat as possible where you plan to put the vinyl elements of the design. If necessary, replace the butcher paper with a sheet of card stock.tie dye sublimation back pack
  14. Resize the image to cover the area you want the image to fit onto your backpack.
  15. Follow the prompts to "make it" and to make sure the image is mirrored.
  16. Place the first color of vinyl on the standard grip mat. Because we're using heat transfer vinyl, make sure to place the vinyl shiny side down.
  17. Load the vinyl into the cutting machine.
  18. Choose the correct material for the type of vinyl that you are using, then cut it.
  19. Preheat your easy press to 330 degrees while you are waiting to swap out and cut each of the design elements in their coordinating color of vinyl.
  20. Remove the iron-on vinyl from the machine and the mat.
  21. Using the weeding tool, weed out the voided areas. Trim the sticky transfer sheet around the top of the text closely so that you have room to position the rainbow and heart on the backpack too.
  22. Place onto your backpack. Cover with parchment paper (to protect your press from the sublimation ink you so recently did) and press with light pressure for 30 seconds. finished sublimation tie dye back pack, only here for the books covered with parchment paper
  23. Remove the transfer sheet and discard. You're ready to use your backpack! finished sublimation tie dye back pack, only here for the books

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