If you've seen my Tiktok video experimenting with fold over elastic (FOE), I am here today to show you step by step on how I went about sublimating (printing) on the elastic to make the hair tie bracelets! A lot of people thought I went too quickly in my Tiktok video, and I did! But to help you all out and to try something new, I've made this tutorial for you! I want to keep writing for you so please let me know if this helped you at all. This is my FIRST written tutorial and I hope you can follow along. Reach out if you need help. DM me on Instagram or Tiktok, comment below or shoot me an email! If you're interested in getting some custom bracelets, I do now offer them on my store! Check them out here.
- Sublimation Printer/Ink - I use a Sawgrass printer: https://amzn.to/3DPFkDW
- Sublimation Paper - I use A-Sub https://amzn.to/3Edjsnp or HTVRont https://amzn.to/3UAM7YJ Sublimation paper (Both are great!)
- Fold Over Elastic (FOE) - I use this one: https://amzn.to/3GdMhSb
- Heat Tape - I use this one: https://amzn.to/3FRDMvL
- Heat Press - I use a Fancierstudio 15"x15" heat press: https://amzn.to/3zVCNqJ
- Blowout paper / butcher paper / copy paper https://amzn.to/3UERYMW
- Heat resistant gloves - I like these: https://amzn.to/3FX4Qdc
- Good scissors: https://amzn.to/3WILbU3
- Lighter to seal ends of elastic: https://amzn.to/3hkZsGk
Step 1 - Prepare your artwork!
Personally, I use photoshop to prepare all of my artwork but you can use something you're more comfortable with like Canva. The size of the canvas or image for my design is: 10 inches by 0.787 inches. This gives a little bit of a bleed or wiggle room when you go to lay down your elastic on the sheet to sublimate.
Step 2 - Make your artwork for the bracelets!
I like to make sure both ends have about 1" of space that doesn't include important information on it since that's where the hair tie bracelets are tied. I also like to make sure I don't put anything too far from the center of the design.
This is my setup in Photoshop, the blue lines are just there to show my margins I try to keep my design in. It might take some trial and error and you might have to go back and adjust your design to fit on the elastic after you do a test press/print and that's okay!
Step 3: - Print and Prepare!
Now that you have a design saved the size you need for your bracelets, make a new canvas / project the size of your print media - for me that's 8.5" x 11"
I always do this when I am printing orders or projects with my sublimation printer so that I can maximize my paper usage. I will create a 8.5" x 11" canvas and then place all my artwork to fit on the page. You should be able to fit 10 of the bracelet designs on one page with a 1/8" page margin. Go ahead and print this out on your sublimation printer!
Step 4 - Lay out your elastic and press!
I would recommend cutting off one of the design strips so you can do a test print / press.
Cut your strips of fold over elastic into 10" pieces to fit the design we just made and printed out. Put the shiny side of the elastic facing the ink on your paper and heat tape to make sure it's center with your design and not going to move.
Sandwich your prepared sublimation print and taped down elastic in between some scrap copy paper or butcher paper so you don't get ink blowout on your heat press and then we will heat press this 400 degrees F for 60 seconds. Medium to firm pressure.
Once the time is up, using your heat gloves, take the elastic off the sublimation print. It should look good!
Step 5 - Fold, seal, tie and done!
Fold your elastic in half so the white inside is facing each other. If there's any blank/white parts on the ends, cut those off.
Seal the ends of the elastic with a lighter about 1 inch away. It only takes 1-2 seconds, don't let it catch on fire! Only hold the flame there until the frays are gone.
Then, take the ends held together and tie into a knot close to the end and you're done!
If you think that maybe you need to adjust your design because the end of your website or something is tied up in the knot, then go back and adjust your design accordingly and repeat these instructions before making 10 at a time!
Once you're happy with your design and the way they look, you can tape down 10 at a time and the process goes pretty quick! The taping takes a bit of time but it's worth the time and effort to make sure it's right the first time. I might experiment with using spray adhesive instead of tape. I heard that Krylon Easy-Tack Spray Adhesive worked pretty well with sublimation prints but I haven't tried it yet!
Comment below if you need any more help! Thank you for reading my FIRST written sublimation tutorial!