A convection toaster oven is the way to go to sublimate mugs! Here’s why!
Gosh, I researched and tried sublimation mug presses until I was beyond irritated and ready to give up! A mug press is an expensive contraption that appears to make it easier to sublimate a mug, right?! After all, you stick your mug into the round sleeve, pull the leaver and out pops a perfect mug! Well, NO! It doesn’t. Not even close. UGH!
1. A mug press is expensive and harder to use
A mug press can be a hassle to use. They require perfect pressure or they can literally shatter your mug if too tight, and ink can stick to your silicone foam and imprint on future mugs. I truly dislike those all-in-one heat presses that do mugs, hats, and several other mediums because it’s a constant changing out of devices for whatever you are trying to do. I also don’t like mug presses that have to be attached to a sublimation heat press in order to work. I prefer a dedicated unit that does one thing RIGHT–not lots of things mediocrely. There are no pressure worries with a convection oven–the green silicone mug wraps do all the work for you because they clamp down with the perfect pressure.
2. Any size sublimation mug fits into a convection oven
Yep! It doesn’t matter if you want to sublimate a mug that is 11oz, 15oz, latte style with a tapered bottom, shot glasses or water bottles–if can all fit in a standard toaster convection oven. As long as you have a silicone mug wrap you can clamp around your mug, it can be sublimated. Most mug presses will only fit ONE size mug unless you purchase extra parts to accept other sizes.
3. You can sublimate many mugs at once in a convection oven
You can only sublimate one mug at a time in a typical mug heat press, but you can do TWO, THREE or even FOUR in a convection oven if you have one that’s big enough. The key to doing multiple mugs in a convection oven is to rotate them so you get even heating all around. Two mugs are 12 minutes for 400 degrees, and I add an extra minute for 3 mugs. Add another minute for 4 mugs (total 14 minutes). The trick is to rotate them after 7 minutes so all sides heat evenly. Just keep checking your oven thermometer to maintain the proper temperature. 😉
4. You can use a convection oven to sublimate mugs anywhere
Since you aren’t tethered to a mug press or heat press, you can put your convection oven to sublimate mugs anywhere–your craft room, your garage or even outside on your patio if you need to. Sublimation creates gases that have a pretty strong odor and you should have proper ventilation. In the winter, I will set my convection oven in the garage when I am sublimating mugs. In warm weather, I don’t hesitate to plug my convection oven in my porch and do mugs outdoors. I can also open the window in my craft room and sublimate mugs there in my convection oven. Don’t hesitate to move your oven where you feel most creative, and yet keeps you safe from fumes generated by sublimation.