Can You Sublimate on Cardboard?

Can You Sublimate on Cardboard

Sublimation printing on cardboard is a unique and innovative technique that allows for vibrant and durable designs on this versatile material. Unlike traditional printing methods, sublimation involves infusing ink into the fibers of the cardboard, resulting in exceptional print quality and longevity. 

Yes, you can sublimate on cardboard, but it’s important to note that not all types of cardboard are suitable for this process. The best type of cardboard for sublimation is white or light-colored, with a smooth and non-porous surface.

Can You Sublimate on Cardboard?

The answer is yes, but you need to use a special type of cardboard that has a polymer coating on it. This coating allows the sublimation ink to transfer and bond with the cardboard fibers.

Type of Cardboard for Sublimation:

For sublimation printing on cardboard, it’s crucial to choose the right type of cardboard to ensure optimal results and vibrant prints. Here are a few types of cardboard commonly used for sublimation:

Coated Cardboard: 

This type of cardboard has a special coating that allows for better ink absorption and print quality. The coating helps the ink adhere well to the surface, resulting in sharp and vivid prints.

White Cardboard: 

White cardboard provides a bright and neutral base for sublimation printing. It enhances the color reproduction and vibrancy of the prints, making it suitable for designs with intricate details and vibrant colors.

Kraft Cardboard: 

Kraft cardboard is known for its natural brown color and rustic appearance. It can be an excellent choice for creating vintage-inspired or eco-friendly packaging and projects. Sublimation printing on Kraft cardboard can add a unique touch to your designs.

Specialty Cardboard: 

In addition to the above types, there are also specialty cardboard options available that cater to specific needs. For instance, you may find metallic cardboard, glossy cardboard, or textured cardboard that can add an extra dimension to your sublimation projects.

When selecting cardboard for sublimation, consider the desired outcome, the design complexity, and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. Ensure that the cardboard is compatible with your sublimation printer and inks to obtain the best results.

How To Sublimate on Cardboard?

Sublimating on cardboard is a great way to add a personal touch to your projects.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:


  • Cardboard
  • Sublimation printer
  • Sublimation ink
  • Heat press
  • Butcher paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Step By Step Guide | Sublimate on Cardboard

Prepare Your Cardboard:

Cut your cardboard to the desired size and shape. Make sure the cardboard is smooth and free of any bumps or imperfections.

Print Your Design:

Print your design onto sublimation paper using a sublimation printer. Make sure to mirror your design before printing.

Prepare Your Heat Press:

Preheat your heat press to the recommended temperature for your sublimation ink.

Place Your Design on The Cardboard:

Place your printed sublimation paper design face down on the cardboard.

Cover With Butcher Paper:

Cover the design with a sheet of butcher paper. This will help to protect the design from the heat press.

Press The Design:

Press the design for the recommended time and pressure for your sublimation ink.

Remove The Design:

Carefully remove the butcher paper and sublimation paper from the cardboard.

Enjoy Your Sublimated Cardboard Project:

Your design is now permanently sublimated onto the cardboard.


In conclusion, sublimation printing on cardboard offers a unique and innovative way to create vibrant and durable designs. By choosing the right type of cardboard and following the proper steps, you can achieve exceptional print quality and longevity for your sublimation projects.

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