How to Sublimate a Puzzle

How to Sublimate a Puzzle

Nov 3rd 2021

Sublimation is a very unique process in which ink converts from a solid to a gas without going through the liquid phase! That means you can’t physically feel the ink, it is absorbed into the material entirely. The great thing about sublimation is how versatile it is. You can sublimate so many things like shirts, water bottles, mugs, keychains, photo panels, and so much more! In this blog we will go over how to sublimate a puzzle!

Materials Needed:

Puzzle Blank

Heat Transfer Tape

Dye Sub Transfer

Heat Press

Kraft Paper


Some people take the cardboard off of the puzzle first, but we found that it is easier to keep the cardboard rectangle behind the puzzle to hold it in place. Then place some Kraft paper on the bottom platen of your press.

Next, you are going to make a “sublimation sandwich”. Place the puzzle face up on top of your Kraft paper. Then put your sublimation transfer face down onto the blank puzzle. Use thermal tape to ensure the transfer doesn’t move during pressing. After that, it is a good idea to place another sheet of Kraft paper on top of the transfer to protect your upper platen.

Once you have made your “sublimation sandwich” you can press your puzzle. Use the recommended application instructions and adjust if necessary. For this puzzle, we pressed it at 380 F for 60 seconds using medium pressure.

After you have pressed the transfer, peel back the thermal tape and sublimation paper to see the final results!

If you are planning on giving the puzzle to someone or relocating it after you have pressed it, keeping the cardboard piece under the puzzle during pressing allows easy transport!

Decorating a puzzle is a fun gift for family, friends, or any loved ones! Some other unique idea would be for invitations, birthdays, proposals, and anything else you can think of. Check out this video from our partner Lorrie Nunemaker for step by step instructions on sublimating a puzzle: