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How to Sublimate Pens? – 9 Easy Steps to Follow

Written by Robert S. Brown / Fact checked by Helen B. Harris

How to Sublimate Pens

Personalizing pens is not only a fun and intriguing process but also a fantastic way to create one-of-a-kind gifts or promotional items.

Wondering how to sublimate pens? To make custom pens, start by selecting a suitable pen and design. Then, using heat transfer techniques, apply your design onto the pen’s surface, allowing the ink to permeate and bond with the material.

You now have a beautifully customized pen. In our comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deeper into pen sublimation, sharing expert tips and tricks to perfect your technique.

So, keep reading to unlock the secrets of how to make sublimation pen wraps.

Ways to Sublimate Pens

Step 1: Gather Materials


Here are some tools you may need to sublimate pens in the oven!

  • Blank pens for sublimation (some kits may include shrink wraps)
  • Printed patterns
  • Sublimation printer
  • Sublimation paper
  • Oven or air fryer
  • Sublimation pen set
  • Lint roller
  • Heat resistant tape
  • Heat resistant gloves
  • Heat resistant mat
  • Heat gun

Creating customized pens with sublimation is a delightful endeavor that requires a touch of finesse. Here are detailed steps to customize your own pens!

Step 2: Design and Print


To begin, use graphic design software to create your desired design or pattern for the pens. Take advantage of the tools and features available in the software to craft your artwork precisely as you envision it.

Remember to mirror any names or text within the design, as this will ensure they appear correctly when transferred onto the pens.

Next, it’s time for sublimation printing. Print the design onto sublimation paper using sublimation ink. Sublimation ink is specially formulated to transfer effectively during the sublimation process, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting designs.

Ensure that the design is printed with high-quality settings to achieve the best possible outcome.

Step 3: Prepare the Pen


Begin by removing the ink cartridge from each pen you wish to sublimate.

Disassemble any removable parts, such as clips or caps, and set them aside. You’ll only need the white barrels for the sublimation process.

Each type of sublimation ink pen may have its own specific instructions for disassembly, so it’s important to ensure you handle the pen correctly and gently to avoid breaking any parts.

Step 4: Clean the Barrel


Take lint rollers and thoroughly clean the surface of each pen barrel. This step is crucial to ensure there are no dust particles or debris that could interfere with the sublimation process.

A clean surface will facilitate proper ink transfer and bonding.

Step 5: Attach the Design


Now, cut out the printed design to match the dimensions of the pen barrel.

Wrap the design tightly around the barrel to ensure a smooth and successful transfer of the ink. You should use at least three pieces of heat-resistant tape to secure the design in place.

In addition, make sure the main surface of the design is in direct contact with the barrel’s surface. This contact is crucial for proper bonding and vibrant results.

By strategically placing the tape, you can pull the print tight around the pen barrel, minimizing any potential wrinkles or misalignment throughout the sublimation process.

Step 6: Heat Press


To further secure the design and create a tight bond, place each pen barrel into a shrink wrap.

Using a heat gun, apply heat evenly around the wrapped pen.

The heat will cause the wrap to shrink, conforming tightly to the barrel’s surface. It is important to wear heat-resistant gloves during this step to protect your hands from heat.

Step 7: Sublimation Pen Press Attachment


Transfer the wrapped pens to the oven, ensuring the oven time and temp is set appropriately for sublimation. You can set the temperature to 375 degrees and leave it there for five or six minutes.

It’s important to note that once you use an oven for sublimation, it should no longer be used for food due to the release of gases during the process. To maintain safety, designate the oven solely for sublimation purposes.

Allowing the pens to bake at the specified temperature and duration will create the necessary heat and pressure for the sublimation process. This enables the ink to transform into a gas and effectively bond with the surface of the pen barrel.

Step 8: Peel Off the Shrink Wrap


Once the baking time completes, carefully remove the pens from the oven using heat-resistant gloves.

Promptly tear off the shrink wrap from each pen barrel, as shrink wrap can become more challenging to get rid of as it cools.

After that, you can start cautiously peeling off the design from each pen barrel to ensure that the vibrant and personalized design remains intact on the pen surface.

The removal of the shrink wrap and careful peeling will reveal the beautifully sublimated design that is now visible on the pen barrel.

Taking these precautions will help you achieve the best results and preserve the quality of the sublimated designs on your pens.

Step 9: Reassemble the Pen


Now that the sublimation process is complete, reassemble each pen by inserting the ink cartridge and any other removable parts. Ensure everything fits securely.


Sublimating pens is a creative and rewarding process. By following the steps on how to sublimate pens, you can transform ordinary pens into personalized works of art.

Designing and printing your unique patterns, preparing the pens, applying heat and pressure, and allowing for proper cooling are key to achieving vibrant and durable results.

Whether for personal use, gifting, or promotional purposes, sublimated pens offer a touch of individuality and style. So, unleash your creativity, explore various designs, and enjoy the exciting journey of sublimating pens to create one-of-a-kind writing instruments that truly make a statement.

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