The last time that I grabbed my suitcase, I realized that the luggage tags still had our old address (yes we moved 4 years ago, but in my defense we haven’t travelled too much in that time). As we’re thinking about upcoming travels, I decided that I wanted to make my own using sublimation.
I fell in love with sublimation over the past few years and have loved making my own (and selling) sublimated kitchen towels. The process for sublimating luggage tags is similar to other flat objects.
There are multiple options for the sublimation luggage tag blanks. Some can only be sublimated on one side, and include a pocket for the personal information on the other side. Others, including the blanks I used, can be sublimated on both sides.
My preference was to sublimate on both sides because I wanted the personal information permanent on the luggage tag along with a fun design on the second side.
These sublimation luggage tag blanks are sized 2.4″ wide by 3.8″ tall. I sized my print 2.75″x4.25″ so I had a bit of wiggle room in cutting and placement before I pressed the image onto the blank. If you add this bleed area, make sure that the important information is within the luggage tag dimensions (and don’t forget the cut-out for the strap).
To design the sublimated luggage tag, I headed to Canva and did each tag as it’s own “page”. Once I had it set, I downloaded each page as an individual image, pulled them into Silhouette Design Studio to lay them out on a single page, and then printed to my sublimation printer. Make sure to mirror the design before printing!
These could be designed within Silhouette Studio itself, or any of your favorite design programs; I chose Canva to take advantage of the included clip-art.
I use an Epson EcoTank printer that I converted to sublimation. This has worked awesome for all of the sublimation projects that I’ve attempted over the years. I like to use Hiipoo sublimation ink with the Epson EcoTank printer because the bottles have a special top to easily refill the tanks.
While making sublimation luggage tags is very similar to kitchen towels since they are both flat surfaces, one difference is that these will need to be pressed on both sides. I recommend adding some parchment paper to the heat press in order to capture any ink that may bleed off the substrate. I found these pop-up sheets which are PERFECT because I don’t have to deal with the sheets curling or making sure that I cut the right amount off the roll.
The luggage tags have a protective film over both sides, so make sure to remove this film before sublimating.
I cut out each tag separately for ease of aligning and taping. I used 2-3 pieces of Kapton tape for each tag to secure the paper to the substrate. A tape dispenser that cuts each piece for me (similar) is one of my favorite sublimation tools.
The time/temperature for pressing the design will be dependent on the recommendation of the blank, and it might take a bit of trial and error. I did mine at 375* for 60 seconds and they turned out absolutely gorgeous.
Multiple tags can easily be pressed at once. I made three for now, but I have discovered that 8 at a time fit perfectly on these sheets.
These tags will be HOT after the first press. I let them cool for a bit (just until I could handle them), and then repeated the process by taping on the second side and pressing.
I cannot wait for our next vacation when we can use these luggage tags!