Canva Sublimation Tutoriald

Tutorials: Sublimation in Canva

So last week, I shared with you besties in the group an awesome set of FREE summer clip art. I mentioned that, with the right summer quote, you could create some fun summer designs. YOU said “what?!” so let me show you want I mean.


The set included a few different girls, an adorable floatie, and some fun accessories. Each clipart piece was saved on its own with transparent backgrounds, making this SUPER convenient to create sublimation designs. 


If you missed the clip art, don’t worry, I have you covered. You can grab them using the affiliate link here directly from the designer over at Design Bundles. 

Say what?

Creating a sublimation design does not have to be complicated and you do NOT need expensive software to do it. I pulled all of the elements inside of the ZIP file and created 2 sublimation designs that are print-ready with no extra programs needed. 


*Disclaimer, I do LOVE the Adobe Suite, I “grew up” on it and have worked heavily in it for the last decade.  You don’t have to have it, but it does make creating stuff easier long term because you are able to have more control over your end product. 

Let's Get Started

What do you need?

  1. Clip art from the Summer Girls Bundle (If you grabbed it already, great, if not – check it out here)
  2. Canva (It’s FREE!)
  3. Summer quote

Yes, really, that’s IT!

Step 1 - Open Canva

It should go without saying, we will need to have Canva open. Canva is an online design platform that is available for FREE. I have been smitten with Canva for a moment now because it’s easy to use and convenient. Yes, I did go to school for graphic design, yes I know how to create stuff, but there is something about having to create for yourself that throws me into a serious FREEZE! Plus being able to create on the fly with the app is amazing. Oh did I not mention the app? Check it out for yourself – 🙂 

Step 2 - Set up document

Since we are creating a sublimation design, we need to make sure that it will be large enough. Typically you will want to start your designs in 15×15 inch size. You can create a new document in the top right corner by clicking “Create a new design” and then selecting “Custom Size”. Be sure you are using in for inches and not the default pixels (or px) 

Step 3 - Upload your images

Now that we have our base created, you will want to import your clip art files. Make sure to unzip your design to get full access to the files and either drag them onto the canvas or use the Uploads button on the left of the screen.  

Step 4 - Add them to your canvas

Once you have your designs uploaded, you will see them pop up in the panel on the left. Select the pieces that you want to add. I grabbed 3 girls, a beach hat, and a drink. When you click on an item, it automatically adds it to the document. 

It’s important to note however, that there may be extra space on the sides. While not a HUGE deal, if you want to grab your characters easier, you will want to cut down on the extra space. In order to achieve this, you will want to select your girl until the bars show up on the sides. Grabbing that and gragging it inward will get rid of that. 

Now that all of our girls are on the document, we can flip the one in the center by selecting her and tapping “Flip” in the options bar. With some quick rearranging, we now have our girls set up in a row. 

Step 5 - Add your text

Canva has a lot of fonts that we can use in their program.  With this particular design, we are using a couple of their preset text options. By tapping the presets, it will import those into the document as well and we can edit them from there, changing the colors, fonts, sizes, and more. I selected “love you” and scrolling down, you should see “fun”. You will want to ungroup “love you” by right clicking. 

By tapping on the text, it will import the designs just like what is shown above. By clicking on them, the options bar will change, and you will be able to edit the text more. See below for examples. When you select the glow text, you will want to move the intentsity bar to max stength. This will turn our inside text white.

Playing around with the text we are able to get this design shown below. When you are happy with your design it’s time to SAVE! With sublimation designs, you want to have the best quality for print. You’ll want to save it with PDF print settings which will give you the 300 DPI (dots per inch). Hit the download in the top right corner. Keep in mind, most sublimation printers will not print white, so anything that is white will be the color of your shirt. 

There you have it!

I hope that you found this walkthrough on how to create a sublimation design in Canva helpful. You don’t need expensive software to do amazing things. You can apply these same steps to other clip art projects, so next time you spot some in the free sections, be sure to grab them!

 If you have any questions, feel free to reach out in the group and I can help in any way possible.

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