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How To Make A Custom SubliCraft Can Cooler

How To Make A Custom SubliCraft Can Cooler

I’ll be guiding you through how SubliCraft’s stainless steel can coolers can be made into fully custom items with sublimation, using the HPN Signature Series mug press. 


If soft can cooler sleeves aren’t to your liking, SubliCraft now has you covered with stainless steel can coolers for 12 ounce drink cans. Available for both standard and skinny cans, these accessories are ready to keep your drinks cool and present your vibrant, full bleed sublimation transfers with either a white or silver finish. But whether you’d like to present your image with the best contrast or with an elegant metallic style, it’ll be sure to last permanently, making this a perfect personal gift or shop item for others to keep and use on the go.

First, prepare and scale your image down to the imprint area of the can cooler. For both the standard and skinny can coolers, you can visit their pages at HeatPressNation.com below to download their PDF templates for graphic design software. On Adobe Illustrator in particular, you can simply import your image and organize it below the template’s bleed layer to use it as a clipping mask. Set the opacity of the imprint and safety layers to 50-percent, and you’ll be able to scale down your image and any extra elements more precisely within the limits of the can cooler. If you’re looking to set up a logo or similar element on opposite sides of the item, you can create a rectangle that’s 5-point-024 inches wide, move it to the center of the template’s layers, then place your elements at the center of its left and right edges. If preparing for a skinny can cooler, set this rectangle’s width to 4.396"instead.

As soon as your image is ready, you may print it through your sublimation printer. For Sawgrass printers, send it to Sawgrass Print Manager and use these settings: Substrate set to Stainless Steel Tumbler, Paper set to your paper’s profile, leave Mirror checked, and change the Color Mode in the Color tab to Photographic or Vivid depending on your image’s level of detail. With these settings in, go ahead and click Print on SPM. After the transfer’s been printed, trim around the image’s edges, tightly wrap it around the can cooler itself, then attach it in place using heat tape. Now we’re ready to press it with our HPN Signature Series mug press!

Before turning your machine on however, this would be a good time to test it to find medium pressure for the can cooler. All you’ll need to do is slide the can cooler inside the heating element, press it, and adjust the back two knobs accordingly in finding the right pressure. You may also need to adjust the front two knobs if they haven’t been fastened in all the way prior. Once you’ve found medium pressure, take your can cooler out and turn on your machine, setting it to 60 to 90 seconds at 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your machine reaches temperature, wear heat resistant gloves to slide your can cooler back in to press it.

If you’re applying a full bleed transfer like the one we’re demonstrating, you’ll need to press the can cooler a second time to ensure it's fully applied. As your machine reaches time in this case, continue to wear your heat resistant gloves to rotate it to its opposite side, pressing it again for another 60 to 90 seconds. Once the time reaches zero, open your machine and take your can cooler out to briefly cool down. After it’s cooled, quickly peel the transfer off and your SubliCraft can cooler has now been fully customized with your colorful image through sublimation!

If you’d like to share your custom SubliCraft can coolers with us, alongside an emerging community of heat transfer enthusiasts, feel free to join our HeatPressNation Creators Facebook group at heat.press/FBgroup. But to learn more about SubliCraft blanks and other sublimation tools and supplies, be sure to visit us at HeatPressNation.com. For any questions, you can get in touch with a MyExpert representative at heat.press/support.

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