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How to print Sublimation Keyrings

by karl Brydges on June 01, 2024
Guide to Printing Metal Sublimation Keyrings with inserts

Sublimation printing on metal keyrings is a fantastic way to create personalised and high-quality items. This guide will walk you through the entire process, from design to the final product.


Materials Needed:
  • Sublimation Printer: A printer equipped with sublimation inks.
  • Sublimation Paper: Special paper designed for sublimation printing.
  • Heat Press Machine: Suitable for flat items, such as a flat heat press.
  • Blank Metal Sublimation Keyrings: Metal keyrings with a sublimation-friendly coating.
  • Heat-Resistant Tape: To secure the sublimation paper to the keyring.
  • Protective Gloves: To handle hot items safely.
  • Design Software: Such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or any graphic design software.

Steps to Print a Metal Sublimation Keyring:
1. Create Your Design:

  • Use your design software to create or import your design.
  • Ensure the design fits the size of your keyring. Measure the keyring and create a design template with the same dimensions.
  • Mirror (flip horizontally) the image, as the printing process will transfer the design in reverse.
  • Print the Design:
  • Load the sublimation paper into your printer.
  • Print your mirrored design onto the sublimation paper using the sublimation printer.
  • Allow the print to dry completely before handling.
  • Peel off the protective film on the insert
  • Attach the insert to the paper with design
  • Secure the paper with heat-resistant tape to prevent it from moving during the transfer process.


2. Heat Press Settings:

  • Preheat your heat press machine to the recommended temperature for sublimation on metal (usually around 356°F or 180°C).
  • Set the timer according to the keyring manufacturer's instructions, typically between 60 to 90 seconds.
  • Adjust the pressure setting on your heat press to medium.

3. Transfer the Design:

  • Place the insert (with the paper attached) on the heat-resistant mat in the heat press.
  • Close the press and start the timer.
  • Once the time is up, carefully open the press and remove the keyring using protective gloves.


4. Cooling:
  • Remove the sublimation paper carefully.
  • Allow the insert to cool completely on a heat-resistant surface.


5. Finishing Up:
  • Inspect the insert for any imperfections.
  • Attach the insert to the keyring.
  • Your sublimation keyring is now ready for use or sale!

Tips for Best Results:
  • Consistent Pressure: Ensure even pressure in the heat press to avoid areas of the design not transferring properly.
  • Testing: It’s a good idea to do a test print on a less expensive item to ensure your settings are correct.
  • Quality Materials: Use high-quality sublimation inks and papers to achieve the best results.
  • Safety First: Always use protective gloves and handle hot equipment carefully to avoid burns.


With this guide, you can create stunning, personalised metal sublimation keyrings that are perfect for gifts, promotional items, or personal use.