Fun With Custom Basketball Accessories
If you’re pumped up for a big basketball game coming up, you might feel the need to set yourself with the right gear. So I’ll be showing you how to customize a few items that can suit well in and out of the basketball court. To get yourself and others hyped for basketball, it’s definitely worth customizing some accessories that can help set the mood. They can be items complementing your visit to either the stadium for the big game, or to the park or gym to get into the game with your friends! While there are a ton of items worth customizing for such occasions, we’ll just be covering a few that are easy to boot. This should give you an idea of how far you can get with not only heat transfers, but also adhesive vinyl. With this in mind, we’ll start off with a sports bottle that can help keep anyone hydrated for the day.
Especially if the bottle has a plain or clear finish, these stand as the one of easiest items to customize. All you’ll need other than the bottle is a cutting machine, a sheet or roll of adhesive vinyl, and the vinyl’s application tape. We should note that we’ll be demonstrating our customizations in this video with smaller crafting equipment, like the Silhouette Cameo and HPN CraftPro. But whether you’re a hobbyist or a business owner, many of these steps and principles should still apply to any equipment regardless of what you’re using. On that note, let’s get right into getting this bottle customized!
We’ll first need to refer to the measurements of the bottle. You can either do this by hand with measuring tape, or by referring to the manufacturer’s item dimensions. You’ll then find or create the design within these measurements through your vinyl cutter’s software. To have your design be fully visible on one side, we recommend scaling its width at or slightly below the bottle’s diameter.
If you own a Silhouette Cameo cutter, you can always use your free library of shapes or find new ones at the Silhouette Design Store. Though if you already have your own personal library of basketball shapes, you can always import and trace them on Silhouette Studio. You’re also free to add text to your design by using the Text tool, which can use all the fonts installed on your computer. If you’re looking to skip the tracing process with SVG and PDF files, this will require Silhouette Studio Designer Edition.
Once you’ve prepared your cut design, load the adhesive vinyl onto your cutter and you may begin tweaking your cut settings. To change these for Silhouette cutters, go to the Send tab in Silhouette Studio and you’ll have several options to choose from. As we’ll be cutting Siser EasyPSV for our bottle, we’ll be changing the following: Material set to “Vinyl, Glossy,” blade depth to 2, Force to 7, and Speed to 8. Cut settings for other machines and Siser vinyl can be found at their website at SiserNA.com. But assuming that you’ve successfully test cut your material, let’s go ahead and send the design to cut. On Silhouette Studio, click Send, then Send Mirrored to start cutting.
With the vinyl now cut, unload it from the machine to trim and weed it out. Next, trim and use your material’s application tape to squeegee it, then lift the cut design off its backing. To lift adhesive vinyl, we recommend smoothly peeling its backing by a corner to make sure that it’s able to detach itself from your cut design. Now that the vinyl’s on the application tape, simply attach it to your bottle, squeegee it a few more times, then peel the tape off by a corner. This bottle is now decked out with a basketball-inspired design that’s sure to keep you pumped up for basketball games in and out of the gym.
Now it’s time to get the presses going, as we’ll be showing how this polyester headband can be fully personalized with sublimation. While this serves as another fitness accessory for your basketball team or the like, a headband can also stand as great custom memorabilia to wear for your favorite team or athlete in the stadium. But first, you’ll need to measure the headband itself with either a ruler, or by referring to the manufacturer’s specifications. There’s no need to measure how much the headband stretches when worn, though in general it’s worth keeping in mind if you plan on regularly wearing it.
With your headband’s measurements noted, you may prepare an image or graphic to print within them through either photo editing or graphic design software. We recommend adding about a quarter of an inch or more to your measurements, so that you can print your image with extra bleed. This will help make placing headband and transfer together easier, with a reduced risk of image clipping. If you own a Sawgrass sublimation printer and don’t have access to photo editing or graphic design software, you can always use their online CreativeStudio tool to prepare your headband. You’ll just need to start your project with a custom canvas, setting the measurement units to either inches or millimeters, then adding the appropriate measurements to width and height and click Create.
Unfortunately for the time being, you won’t be able to save any custom canvas projects on CreativeStudio. But we’ll proceed with this for now. Once the custom canvas is set, you can simply upload your image or pattern to add and scale to your project on CreativeStudio. Feel free to also add text and other small elements to your design from CreativeStudio’s growing asset library! Now in terms of sublimating your headband from front to back, you can either use the same design as-is, or change elements of it for the next side. To give the headband a more consistent look, it’s best to maintain the same background. For quick demonstration, we’ll be printing our design twice to cover both sides of the headband.
But as soon as your design is ready, select Print on the top toolbar and use these settings: in the General section, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve selected your Sawgrass printer connected to Sawgrass Print Manager, then enable Auto Print to have SPM print your design instantly. Next in the Materials section, set the Product to Polyester, then Paper to your paper’s profile. Finally in the Color & Quality section, you can set the Color Mode to Photographic or Vivid depending on your design’s level of detail. With these settings ready, you may click the Print button below.
Now we’re ready to customize our headband for the basketball court. Turn on your heat press and set it to 50 seconds at 385 degrees Fahrenheit with medium pressure. Once your machine reaches temperature, cover the lower platen with a sheet of parchment paper, then add your printed transfer on top. Now you can place and flatten your headband above the printed image, then attach it to the transfer with either heat tape or adhesive spray. Though as you use adhesive spray, we recommend doing so away from your machine, as well as applying a light spraying on the transfer itself, which you’ll then attach your item onto.
But once everything’s together, flip the headband so that the transfer side faces up, cover it with another parchment paper sheet and press. While our headband is thick enough to prevent dye leakage through the opposite side, you may need to trim and slide a sheet of parchment paper inside of yours before pressing either side of it. After 50 seconds, open your machine and allow the transfer to cool down for a moment. Once cooled, quickly peel it from the center and one side of your headband has now been sublimated! Allow it to completely cool down away from your machine, then you can follow these same steps to cover the opposite side of the headband. When attaching it to the second transfer, you may need to stretch your headband a bit further to cover any borders. After pressing this side of the headband, you’ve now fully decorated it with an awesome design that feels right for basketball!
To top this video off, we’ll look into a more fun item: this is the mini basketball goal from Unisub. It may look like a plain white hoop at first, but as with every Unisub item, you’ll be able to decorate it with a colorful image or graphic that can make this the perfect desktop toy that celebrates basketball. Ready to be given as personalized gifts for friends and family, whatever is sublimated onto these hoops will last as long as the item itself, meaning that your transferred images will stay vibrant for a long time.
In preparing an image or design to fit within this item, you can refer to Unisub’s measurements of 7.5 x 9 inches. Continuing from Sawgrass CreativeStudio, you can start another project with these measurements set on a custom canvas. We recommend continuing to add about a quarter of an inch to both the width and height for extra bleed. In addition, you’ll need to have your printer loaded with at least 8.5 x14 inch paper due to the item’s size.
Assuming your design and printer are ready, select Print on the top toolbar and configure these settings: in the General section, make sure your Sawgrass printer is still selected, Auto Print still checked, and set the Page Size to US Legal. Then on the Materials section, set the Product to Polyester, with the Paper set to your paper’s profile. Lastly, in the Color & Quality section, set the Color Mode to Photographic or Vivid, based on your design’s level of detail. Once set, go ahead and click the Print button. Going back to your heat press, you’ll need to set it to 80 seconds at 400 degrees Fahrenheit with medium pressure.
As soon as your machine hits temperature, you may cover the lower platen with a fresh parchment paper sheet, then add your transfer on top. Place the hoop board above the printed image, removing any protective film prior as you place it with the white gloss side down. Then you may attach it onto the transfer using heat tape. When it’s attached, you may flip the hoop board with the transfer side facing up, cover everything with another parchment paper sheet, then press. After 80 seconds, open your machine and give the transfer a moment to cool down. As soon as it’s cooled, quickly peel the transfer off the board and it's now customized with your design. Next up is to assemble the rest of the hoop accordingly, then it’s now ready to go!
Now if you’d like to share your basketball themed accessories, apparel, and similar items with us, along with a large community of customization enthusiasts, feel free to join our HeatPressNation Creators Facebook group.
For any questions, feel free to contact a MyExpert representative at support.heatpressnation.com.