How to Use a Heat Press to Make Custom Masks

How To Use A Heat Press To Make Custom MasksDue to the recent state of affairs, people around the globe are resorting to wearing face masks in an attempt to protect themselves. While they certainly aren’t enjoyable to wear, face masks do present business owners with an opportunity to advertise and create brand awareness. You can turn an ordinary cloth masks into a walking billboard by adding your company logo, the name of your organization, or any other imagery or phrases related to your business. The average person can dress up their plain cloth face masks, too, by adding decorative elements or phrases to the front.

But how do you go about decorating a face mask? All you need is a heat press, a printer, transfer paper, and plain cloth masks in your favorite color. A word of caution: make sure that you are using safe, breathable masks and that you thoroughly wash the masks prior to each use and change them frequently, avoid touching your mask while you’re wearing it, and change the masks often, as wearing a dirty face mask for a prolonged period of time, or fiddling with it, could increase your risk of illness.

With that said, here are some simple tips that you can use to create a custom cloth face mask.

Choose a Design

Begin by choosing a design for your mask. You can print out any pre-made image, or you can create a custom image. If you’d like to create a custom image, you can do so by using Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, or another type of graphic software.

Print Out Your Image

Once you have found or create an image that you like, the next thing you’ll need to do is print it out. Do note that you can’t use ordinary paper, but rather you’ll need to print the image out onto heat transfer paper, a specialized form of paper that features a wax pigment that your design will be printed on. The image is then transferred to your mask using a heat press. There are a few different types of heat transfer papers. The option you should use depends on the type of printer and the color of the material you’ll be using. Examples of the different types of transfer paper include:

  • Inkjet transfers
  • Laser printer transfers
  • Ready-made transfers
  • Sublimation transfers

Whichever type of paper you use, keep in mind that you want to make sure you print your image on the right side. Furthermore, make sure that you are printing a mirror version of the image displayed on your computer screen. The mirror image will be reversed during the heat press process, so it will appear in the correct layout.

Set Up Your Heat Press

Prepare your heat press for use. Preparation depends on the specific type of heat press you’re using; however, generally speaking, the process includes turning on the press, setting the temperature, and allowing it to heat up.

Print the Image on Your Garment

Place the garment inside the press. Make sure that it is straight and flat. Once properly positioned, bring the handle on the press down, set the timer (according to the instructions that came with the paper). Open the press, remove the garment, peel off the transfer paper, and voila! – The image will be transferred to the mask.