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How To Sublimate a 1.5oz Ceramic Shot Glass

Many custom shot glasses found at bars are customized using the sublimation process. Similar to our sublimation coffee mugs, the 1.5 oz. ceramic shot glasses are coated with a special layer of polymer to allow for sublimation. They can permanently hold sublimation transfers, are both hand and machine washable, and leave no surface feeling when sublimated.

Now if you’ve transferred onto a mug before, you’ll know that the process is straightforward. All you need to do is find or create the image you’d like to transfer, print it on your sublimation printing system, then transfer it using a mug heat press with a shot glass attachment. If you’ve purchased the Signature Series 2-in-1, 4-in-1, or 6-in-1 mug press from us, an attachment for shot glasses is included, which is also available on its own. Just disconnect and unscrew the default mug attachment from your machine, position the shot glass attachment to the center screw holes and fasten it, then connect it to your machine.

Because single logo designs work best with these substrates, I’ll be transferring this example brand design onto it. Notice how it’s slightly tapered so it doesn’t look too warped on my shot glass. You may use the PDF template on our site as reference for tapering your image, but remember to mirror the image before printing it. That should happen by default if you’re using a Sawgrass printer with Virtuoso Print Manager. But now the exciting part! First, we’ll cut the printed transfer by the image’s edges. Then we’ll wrap and tape it around the shot glass, make sure its tight enough so there's no slack on the transfer. Tape each side together with a long strip of heat tape, leaving a portion of tape about 2-3 inches off the shot glass. This is an important step. The long strip of tape not only sticks the transfer to the mug, but the long piece hanging off the edge of the shot glass will help keep it in place in the mug press. More on that soon...

Before we power on the mug press, let's adjust it to be as firm as possible, which will help us with the tape trick. This neat trick essentially holds the shot glass in place inside the attachment, as the rest of the tape will be attached to the mug press itself. This not only reduces the chances of ink ghosting and/or fading when pressing shot glasses, it also prevents them from popping out when closed.

Let’s turn on the mug press and set it to press at 385° Fahrenheit for 190 seconds. Once it reaches temperature, put on some heat-resistant gloves and carefully place the shot glass inside the attachment. The best placement for shot glasses is to have the paper side facing the heating element, and the tape side facing upwards. Placing the shot glass in any other way tends to pinch the transfer on the side above the heating element. Since we’re doing the tape trick, this will be pretty easy to avoid as the tape side needs to stick out for the extra grip anyways. Go ahead and place the shot glass inside, press it, then stick the tape to the mug press.

Let your shot glass cool away from the machine for about 30-60 seconds. Then peel the transfer to reveal your beautiful results. You should have an awesome sublimated shot glass with rich, vibrant colors.  Whether you’re preparing them for a local bar or a special occasion, these ceramic shot glasses are gonna look fantastic.

These Shot Glasses and more Sublimation Drinkware are available at HeatPressNation.com. If you have any questions about sublimation shot glasses or sublimation in general, please free call us at 800-215-0894, or email support@heatpressnation.com. Thanks for reading and drink responsibly!

1 comment

Bobby House

Bobby House

Where can I see a video or picture of the tap trick for the shot glasses. Thanks

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