Printing Sublimation Metal Keyrings

by Longforte Team

28th April 2023

Sublimation printing onto metal keyrings is a popular and effective method of creating personalized keyrings. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started with sublimation printing onto a metal keyring:

Materials you'll need:

1. Metal keyring blanks

2. Sublimation paper

3. Sublimation ink

4. Heat press

5. Protective gloves

6. Heat-resistant tape

7. Soft cloth or paper towel

Step 1: Design your image

Using a graphic design program, create or import the design you wish to print on your keyring. Make sure the image is at a high enough resolution for printing onto the keyring. 

Step 2: Print your image

Print your image and make sure to print it as a 'Mirror Image' (so that it appears as reverse to go on the right way round when pressing onto the metal insert) onto sublimation paper using sublimation ink. Make sure the ink is dry before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3: Preheat the press

Preheat your heat press to the recommended temperature for metal sublimation (usually around 180°C / 355°F).

Step 4: Prepare the keyring

Remove the protective plastic film on the printable insert. Wipe the keyring blank with a soft cloth or paper towel to remove any dust or debris. Place the keyring onto the press with the printable side facing down.

Step 5: Tape the image onto the keyring

Place the sublimation paper with your design face down onto the keyring. Use heat-resistant tape to secure the edges of the paper to the keyring, making sure the design is centered.

Step 6: Press the keyring

Place the keyring and paper into the press face down so that you are heating the back of the insert. This helps to reduce overcooking the insert and gives a better finish overall. Close the press and heat for 60 seconds.

Step 7: Remove the paper

After the time is up, carefully remove the keyring from the press using protective gloves. Remove the tape and discard the sublimation paper.

Step 8: Inspect the keyring

Inspect the keyring for any defects or smudging. If the image appears to be incomplete or the colors are off, you may need to adjust the temperature, pressure, or time on your heat press.

And that's it! With these steps, you can easily create personalized metal keyrings using sublimation printing. Remember to follow all safety precautions when handling the heat press, and to practice until you achieve the desired results.

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