Customize Your Graduation Cap with Sublimation Printing

Customize Your Graduation Cap with Sublimation Printing
Table Of Content

Introduction to Sublimation Graduation Blanks

Graduation is one of the most exciting and memorable events in a student's life. After years of hard work and dedication, it's time to celebrate this huge accomplishment. Many graduates like to customize their graduation caps to make them unique and capture the spirit of their achievement.

This is where sublimation graduation blanks come in. Sublimation is a printing process that allows for full-color, photo-quality printing on specially coated hard substrates. This makes it the perfect printing method for customized graduation caps.

What Are Sublimation Graduation Blanks?

Sublimation graduation blanks are white polyester graduation caps that are coated with a special polymer resin. This coating allows the caps to be printed using a sublimation printer. The blanks have a matte white finish that provides an ideal printing surface.

The sublimation printing process uses heat to infuse dye into the polymer coating on the cap. This allows the colors to become a part of the graduation blank rather than just sitting on the surface. The result is permanent, full-color printing that will not crack, fade, or peel.

Benefits of Using Sublimation Graduation Blanks

There are many benefits to using sublimation graduation blanks for customized graduation caps:

  • Vibrant, permanent colors - Sublimation allows for full-color printing with colors that will not fade over time.
  • Photographic quality - With custom sublimation printing, photos can be printed in high resolution and capture fine details.
  • Creative freedom - Any image or design can be printed, allowing complete creative freedom.
  • Soft hand feel - The polymer coating gives the caps a soft, non-plastic feel.
  • Durability - Sublimation printing is bonded to the polymer so designs don't crack or peel.

Overall, sublimation offers superior image quality and durability compared to other printing methods. Graduates will be thrilled with how their custom designs come out.

How to Customize Sublimation Graduation Blanks

Customizing sublimation graduation blanks is a fun way for graduates to make their caps unique. Here is an overview of the process:

  1. Choose a sublimation blank graduation cap - Make sure to get the right size and shape.
  2. Decide on a design - This can be photos, text, clipart, or any combination. Sketch ideas first.
  3. Create your images - Use Photoshop or other software to create your complete design.
  4. Print your design - Send your file to a sublimation printer or print yourself if you have one.
  5. Heat press the cap - Use a sublimation heat press to permanently bond the ink onto the cap.
  6. Attach your tassel - The finishing touch to complete your customized graduation cap!

The process allows for complete creative freedom. Many graduates choose meaningful quotes, inspired messages, or photos from their time in school. The only limit is your imagination!

Tips for Designing Custom Sublimation Graduation Caps

Want to design a graduation cap that stands out? Here are some useful tips:

Incorporate Photos

Adding photos is a great way to personalize your sublimation graduation cap. Include shots with friends, favorite memories, or milestone moments from your school journey.

Use an Inspiring Quote

Find a quote that resonates with you and your accomplishments. Look for inspirational sayings from historical figures, artists, authors or celebrities.

Highlight Your Interests

Show off your hobbies, passions or future plans. For example, add images related to your major, career goals, or favorite activities. It's a chance to express who you are.

Give Thanks

Sublimation printing allows you to add text easily. Write a heartfelt message thanking parents, teachers, friends or anyone who helped you achieve this milestone.

Coordinate with Your Cap & Gown

Make sure your customized design complements the traditional graduation outfit colors. Black, white and your school colors are classic combinations.

Proofread Thoroughly

Don't let a typo or spelling error ruin your cap design. Have multiple people proofread your text before you print it.

Consider Legibility

Make sure text is large enough to read from a distance. Bold fonts and proper spacing will ensure your message stays clear.

Print Extra Copies

Mistakes happen, and you may want extras for photos. Print a couple extra caps so you have backups on hand.

Unique Sublimation Graduation Cap Ideas

Need some inspiration for your sublimated graduation cap? Here are some unique ideas and designs:

School Colors and Mascot

Show your school spirit by incorporating your school colors and mascot into the design. Add stripes, logos, or images of your mascot.

Collage of Memories

Make a nostalgic collage with photos from your best school memories like football games, prom, group photos, etc.

Inside Joke or Quote

Make your friends laugh with an inside joke or quote from your class. It's a great way to capture your shared memories.

Thank You to Teachers

Give a shout out to your favorite teachers by name and thank them for inspiring you and helping you learn.

Meaningful Lyrics

Find lyrics from a song that captures your graduation emotions. Add the words artfully around your cap.

Quirky Graphics

Express your fun, quirky side with playful graphics. Unicorns, sloths, llamas and more add a whimsical touch.

Movie or TV Quotes

Fans of movies and TV shows can use iconic quotes. Make sure your peers will recognize the reference!

How to Heat Press Sublimation Graduation Caps

After you design and print your graduation cap, you need to sublimate it using a heat press. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Pre-press your cap at 400°F for 30 seconds to remove any moisture.
  2. Place the printed transfer face down on the cap and line it up correctly.
  3. Cover with a silicone sheet to protect the heating element.
  4. Set your heat press to 400°F and set pressure to medium.
  5. Heat apply for 60 seconds.
  6. After 60 seconds, open press and remove cap.
  7. For best results, also tape down edges of the transfer before pressing.

Be sure to follow any specific time and temperature instructions from your printer and substrate manufacturers as well. Proper application will ensure colors stay bold and designs don't crack.

Where to Buy Sublimation Graduation Blanks

Now that you're ready to make your own customized graduation caps, the next step is getting the right sublimation blanks. Here are some top places to buy them:


Amazon carries a wide variety of sublimation graduation cap blanks in different sizes and styles. You can also find complete kits with blanks and heat tapes.

This site offers a huge selection of polyester graduation cap blanks perfect for sublimation printing. Free design templates are also available.


Many JOANN locations sell sublimation blanks both in stores and online. They also offer graduation cap kits.


Check Michaels stores or website for sublimation ready graduation caps, tassels and decorations.


At SubliBlank, you can purchase quality sublimation blanks in bulk to get discounts. Fast shipping is also available.

With high-quality sublimation blanks, you'll have the perfect foundation for creating dazzling, customized graduation caps you'll treasure forever.


What is sublimation printing?

Sublimation printing uses heat to infuse dye into coated surfaces, resulting in permanent, high-quality full-color prints. The ink bonds with polymers in the coating to become part of the product.

What materials can be sublimated?

Polyester and polymer-coated substrates work best for sublimation printing. Common sublimation materials include mugs, apparel, puzzles, phone cases, tiles, and hard substrates like aluminum.

How is sublimation different from screen printing or inkjet printing?

Unlike other printing methods, sublimation ink bonds to the surface so designs don't crack, fade or peel. Sublimation also allows for seamless, wraparound designs not possible with screen printing.

What's the best image software for designing sublimation prints?

Photoshop and Illustrator work great for designing sublimated products. Be sure to save finished designs as high resolution PNG or JPEG files for best print quality.

Can you sublimate on cotton or natural fabrics?

No, sublimation only bonds to polymer-coated synthetics. For fabrics like cotton, screen printing would be a better option.

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