Can You Sublimate on Cardstock? (Solved)

Sublimation is a unique process of transferring ink onto different materials like metal, fabric, and ceramic. Cardstock is one material you might not have associated with the sublimation process.

But, can you sublimate on cardstock?

Yes, it’s possible to sublimate on cardstock, and create high-quality designs or projects! But you will also need the right equipment, tips, and tricks to ensure this process goes as required.

What To Consider When Sublimating Cardstock

Cardstock is a type of heavy paper that is thicker and more durable than traditional paper. Many use it for applications like card making, crafting, printing, and other similar functions. 

What To Consider When Sublimating Cardstock

Also Read: Can You Sublimate on Silicone?

Here are some additional tips you should consider when sublimating on cardstock:

Heat resistance

Cardstock often provides heat resistance, but you must ensure it can accommodate this process without discoloration or warping issues. 

Remember also to confirm details like the manufacturer’s instructions or perform a small test to check the heat resistance levels of your paper.

Coating or finishing  

Some cardstock papers feature a finish or unique coating that can influence the sublimation procedure. 

Therefore settle for cardstock paper that works well for procedures like printing or coating. Yes, and it’s also possible to sublimate on glitter cardstock paper.

Absorption rate

Cardstock has a varied ability when it comes to ink absorption levels. Ensure you settle for cardstock paper that has excellent absorption properties. 

Try and also test various cardstock brands before settling on a particular one.

Smoothness and texture

The smoothness or texture of your paper also influences the sublimation results you will produce. 

We recommend you go for products that have a smooth surface for the best results.

Size and weight

We also recommend you consider the weight and size of the cardstock paper

One reason is that you need paper that will fit into your printer and accommodate the sublimation ink accordingly.

Handling and finishing

Once the sublimation process is complete, consider the finishing options you have available for the cardstock paper. 

Handling and finishing

Factors like the intended use will determine if you will laminate or use protective clothing to improve your papers’ longevity..

How to Sublimate on Cardstock

Sublimating on cardstock might be complicated, but it’s a fun way to produce high-quality prints, especially with the proper process. 

Here is the step-by-step guide you can use for this process:

Materials Required

  • Sublimation printer
  • Sublimation ink.
  • Heat press.
  • Cardstock paper.
  • Sublimation tape.

Also Read: Can You Sublimate on Plastic?


  1. Pick the design, and print it on your sublimation paper using a printer and the correct ink product. Ensure you double-check these products for the best results.
  1. Cut the cardstock paper to your preferred size and for your personal preferences. Remember to use polyester-coated cardstock because it’s the only paper suited for this process. We recommend you use polyester-coated cardstock for the best results.
  1. Set a sheet of sublimation paper face down on the cardstock paper. Next, secure it using sublimation tape so that it’s stable.
  1. Preheat your heat press to achieve the recommended sublimation and cardstock paper temperature.
  1. Set the cardstock and sublimation paper on a heat press, and press it for the required pressure and time.
  1. Once the time goes off, carefully remove the cardstock paper and the heat press, and then remove the sublimation paper.
  1. Let the card paper cool for a few minutes before using it again.
  1. Cut off any excess sublimation paper on the edges of the cardstock paper. Your printing process should be complete by this stage.


Can I Sublimate on Cardstock?

Yes, it’s possible to sublimate on cardstock. However, you must pick the right cardstock paper type and perform this process correctly. We also recommend you learn more about the cardstock usage and selection process.

What Kind of Paper Can You Sublimate On?

It’s possible to sublimate on various types of paper. You can use 110-120gsm paper, which is what we recommend. Avoid using low-weight paper because it’s hard to print on and is prone to issues like damage.

Also Read: Can You Mix Sublimation Ink Brands

What Temperature Do You Sublimate Cardstock?

The best temperature for sublimating on cardstock averages 400°F (204°C) for 30-60 seconds. Factors like the type of paper and cardstock used are essential for this process. You must also track the paper usage process for the best results.

Can I Sublimate on Cardboard?

Yes, you can sublimate on cardboard. However, you must also use a specialized cardboard product and the correct process for the best results. Ensure you also check the paper first before usage. 

Can You Heat Press On Cardstock?

Yes, it’s possible to heat-press on cardstock. You must do it at the 280 degrees level and for up to 30 seconds. Ensure you also use high-quality and correct cardstock paper for the best results.

Can Cardstock Paper Go Through a Printer?

Yes, cardstock paper can go through a printer, and it happens like you would with traditional paper. You only need to keep the preference as a heavy paper, and the printer will handle the remaining process.

Bottom Line

There you have it! It’s possible to sublimate on cardstock, but this requires an informed process, tools and the correct technique. 

This guide has identified all you need to know about using this resource and achieving the best results.

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