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Octopus Apron with Sublimation Acrylic Paint

October 14, 2022

Transcribed from the Artesprix Blog of almost the same title: October 20, 2022.

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Hello! I’m Chelsea Rose, a Momma, wife, artist and baker. I love making things for others and as a baker, I have my fair share of aprons, but my husband needs a new one! This project uses the Artesprix October 2022 Blank of The Month, a nicely weighted polyester apron. Each month Artesprix features a sublimation blank they love, the catch is it is only available for that specific month, so if you decide that you want to try this project, don’t hesitate to grab yours! 

artesprix sublimation apron with acrylic paint

What is Artesprix Sublimation Iron-on-Ink?

Haven’t heard of Artesprix before? Artesprix is a company in Florida that creates professional quality sublimation craft supplies for the home crafter. Sublimation is Iron-on-Ink that will fuse to the “blank” polyester based or coated product when treated with specific heat for a certain amount of time. Today we will be using Sublimation Acrylic Paint, which is an acrylic paint that will sublimate! There is red, yellow, blue, black and a lightening medium (white), the mix-your-own color possibilities are endless and it’s awesome. I’ve used the paint in a couple of other projects on my blog.

polyestern apron Artesprix acrylic sublimation paint

Materials for the Octopus Apron with Sublimation Acrylic Paint:

Step-by-Step Tutorial for Octopus Apron with Sublimation Acrylic Paint:

Step 1: 

Decide the orientation and size you would like to fill on the apron. I chose a square-ish space. I chose to free hand draw my octopus in pencil first for my design. You could also use an electronic cutting machine to draw an outline, or a printer to print a design on the back to use as a template. The pencil marks will not interfere with your sublimation paint, but regular printer ink could burn on your apron.

sublimation apron sketch before iron-on-ink is added

Step 2: 

There is a helpful color mixing chart from Artesprix here. The tricky and extra fun part of the sublimation acrylic paint is that the true colors are only revealed once the design is pressed onto the blank.

Step 3: 

When painting with these paints, I like to start with my lighter tones. Treat these paints almost the way you build layers with watercolor, you can’t really get your lights back. The white is used as a lightening medium for the sublimation colors but won’t mask your previously laid down colors completely. Here is a time-lapse of a portion of painting this octopus.

sublimation acrylic paint design of octopus before transfer

Step 4: 

When your painting is dry, set your heat press to 400℉ and make sure your blanks are clear of oils, dirt. Lint roll this product. Also, pre-press gently to remove any moisture in the fabric.

sublimation paint design with polyester apron before transfer

Pro Tip: If you want to double check the recommended press temperatures and times go to Artesprix’s directions site.

Step 5: 

Using heat tape, secure the design to the apron (aim to be centered). Avoid the parts of your design that have the paint or the tape’s heat resistant qualities will interfere with the transfer.

secured sublimation paint design face down on blank

Step 6: 

“Sandwich” the blank apron with the secured design between two pieces of Artesprix protective paper. This will protect your heat source from any “blow out ink”. This is a very important step!

sublimation design with protective paper before transfer

Step 7: 

Transfer the design at 400°F for 60 seconds with medium pressure. 

Step 8: 

After 60 seconds have elapsed it’s time for the “peek test”! Be careful since it is hot! Try to peek without removing any tape, that way if the project needs more time, your design is still lined up which can prevent ghosting!

sublimation paint design on apron after transfer

Step 9: 

If your “peek test” was successful, pull back the paper to reveal your transferred design! It’s so cute! Ahem I mean, manly!

before and after artesprix paint design on polyester apron

This weightlifting and cooking octopus is an awesome symbol for my husband on this apron. He thinks I should add the word “Hugs” under the octopus but I’m thinking about “All Brains and Muscle” or just leaving it textless. I love using the Artesprix Sublimation Acrylic Paints, learning how they color blend and how they can layer. The transfer on this design leaves the octopus looking a bit underwater and it’s so fitting!

sublimation paint octopus design on polyester apron

Fellow Artesprix Designer Sara also put a design on this blank of the month. Check out the awesome way she made her design pop here. Don’t forget to grab this blank before the end of October 2022 in the Artesprix Shop. You can find other tips and tricks on the Facebook group!

If you want to see what I’m up to as a Navy spouse in Japan, come follow along over on instagram (I put lots of fun foods that we try in my stories).

Thanks for reading and hope you get inspired to create!

Chelsea Rose 

**This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may receive compensation if you purchase through the links I have provided. The price you pay for the product or service is not higher, but I may get compensated.** 

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