How to put vinyl on coffee mugs + FREE sleepy face SVG
Yeeeey, today I wanna show you a super cool craft!
Let’s make customized coffee mugs with vinyl. It’s an easy craft, and you can make at least 1 mug for each of your friends and family members.
Do you prefer a fun design like a sleepy morning face? You can download my easy-to-cut and weed design from the library. But think outside of the box and design your own sayings in Cricut Design Space with the wide variety of fonts available.
These cute, funny vinyl on mugs can be a perfect gift for birthdays, Christmas, teacher’s gifts; the ideas are endless.
Plus, if you perfect your technic, you can even sell them and make some money from your favorite craft.
So, let’s not waste time! Let’s learn how to put vinyl on mugs the easy way.
Vinyl on coffee mugs supply list
You might need to buy rubbing alcohol and lint-free cloth if you don’t have any at home. It’s important to clean the mug before putting the vinyl on it.
Here are a couple of tips you might want to consider before you go shopping for supplies:
Which is the best vinyl for coffee mugs
My favorite vinyl for a mug DIY project is the Oracal 651.
It has a powerful permanent adhesive and can be used for outdoor projects too. It’s easy to cut, and weed, and I could use it for my detailed car decal the other day. You can choose glossy or matte for this project. I decided to use the glossy one.
If you prefer to stay with the Cricut brand, lucky you, they have a wide variety of permanent vinyl to choose from. You can try Everyday vinyl or holographic, even sparkled. Just make sure they have “permanent” in their description.
Which are the best mugs for vinyl projects
You got a lot of options here. 😉
The most important tip is that you don’t choose a mug with glitter, lines, or a fluted design. You need a clean flat surface to allow the vinyl to adhere.
If this is your first time working with vinyl and coffee mugs, you might want to practice on a flat surface mug. This way, you don’t have to deal with curves when you transfer the vinyl to the mug.
Cute and colorful blanks are perfect for making a set for your coffee bar. It takes a little practice and tricks to place the vinyl on the curved surface, but in the end, you’ll be happy you chose these colorful mugs.
I like all of these options above cause it is a bundle, and you can practice and make gifts for your loved ones.
BUT if you think that you are ready to make a mug with infusible ink, you want to choose a Cricut mug.
Cricut mug is already coated and compatible with infusible ink sheets and pens.
How to put vinyl on mugs step-by-step
Now that you gathered all the tools and the best mug and vinyl for your project, let’s jump into the heart of this tutorial.
I know some of you like to watch the video tutorial too. I’m making one for this project, and once you watch it, jump back in here for the detailed instructions and extra tips.
1. Choose your design
So when you choose a design for coffee mugs, keep in mind that these mugs usually come in 11oz or 15 oz. Which means you don’t have a large surface to work on.
Try to choose an SVG file with relatively simple strokes and lines. If the design has too many details or an intricate mandala, you might have difficulty cutting the vinyl and weed it without damaging the design.
Originally I wanted to use one of my mandalas, and the cutting wasn’t pretty at all. I didn’t even make it to the weeding process.
Feel free to download my sleepy faces vinyl mug SVG here.
2. Upload and make adjustments
After saving your file on your computer, open up Cricut Design Space.
- Click on New Project.
- Click on Upload an image.
- Click on Browse and look for the sleepy faces SVG you downloaded from my library or any SVG file you saved on your computer for this project.
- Click on Save.
The SVG file is uploaded in the Design Space, and you are ready to resize it and make adjustments if needed.
The file will appear under “Recently uploaded images.”
- Click on the uploaded file and click on insert images. You’ll find it in the lower right corner. (This will bring you to a new window with the mat and your design).
Resize: I used a pair of 11 oz mugs for this project.
They are around 4 inches tall. That means your design shouldn’t be more than 3.75 inches. If you would like to see the whole design on the side of the cup, you don’t want it to be wider than 4.5 inches.
My SVG is already sized for these mugs, but here are the quick instructions if you need to adjust.
- Click on the design. You’ll see a box around it. On the left bottom corner, there is a little arrow.
- Click and drag to resize.
- On the top of the canvas in the toolbar, you’ll find the Width and Height. Type in the desired measurements and hit enter.
3. Vinyl on mugs cutting process
Let’s set up the vinyl and the mat.
Use the roller to smooth out the vinyl on the mat. This will avoid bubbles between them. Please don’t skip this step. If there is a bubble or the edge of the vinyl is slightly lifted, your Cricut might cut wrong or jam the vinyl pieces.
4. Material and blade settings
Once all adjustments are made and you are ready with your design:
- Click on Make it in the upper right corner. It will bring you to the cut canvas screen, and you’ll see how Cricut arranged the coffee mug designs on the mat.
- Choose premium vinyl material. If it’s not in your favorites yet, click on Browse all materials and choose the type of vinyl you will use for this project.
- Make sure that the fine point blade is installed in your Cricut.
- Load your mat into the Cricut. The arrow on your machine will blink. That’s when you tap on it.
Follow your machine’s instructions and cut the vinyl for the mugs.
5. Weeding vinyl for mugs
Once cutting is finished, press the blinking button on the Cricut machine to unload the mat.
Peel the vinyl from the mat by turning it upside down and gently moving the mat away from the vinyl.
Remove all “negative” pieces you won’t transfer to the coffee mug using your basic toolset.
- Start with peeling the vinyl away from one corner and the edge first.
- Once you removed the edges and the bigger pieces, you want to use your weeding tools to remove the little more stubborn bits.
6. Prepare your mug for the vinyl
- Clean the surface of your mug with 91% isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth.
- Let it dry.
We don’t want to skip this step. Oil and dirt from our fingerprints might be on the mug’s surface.
The vinyl might still stick to it, but if you want to keep the vinyl from peeling off, make sure it is free of oil and lint.
7. Prepare the vinyl to be transferred
Yeeeey! We are almost finished! Now the vinyl design comes alive on the mug.
- Cut a piece of the transfer tape. Make sure the tape will cover the whole design.
- Place the tape on the cut-out vinyl with the sticky side facing the design.
- Use the scraper to make sure the vinyl sticks to the tape. Sometimes part of the design is stubborn and doesn’t want to stick right away. Push the scraper a little harder on those spots, or use your nail to press the tape to the vinyl.
- Peel it off of the carrier sheet.
8. How to apply the vinyl to mugs
- Position the design where you want it to be shown. Usually, the mug design will face forward. If you are right-handed, place the handle to the right, and now you know which side will be the front of the mug.
- Make sure you press the transfer tape on the mug. We need to push out all the bubbles. You can place the middle of the design first, and little by little, press the vinyl towards the left and right. Like you would install a sticker or decal on a car.
- Once the whole design has adhered to the mug, peel away the transfer tape.
Admire your new coffee mug!
9. How to seal vinyl on a mug
The easiest way to seal the vinyl on mugs is to let it cure. What it means is that don’t wash it for a minimum of 48 hours.
Other methods suggest using heat to seal your vinyl coffee mugs.
- Bake the mugs in the oven. You can set it to 300 degrees and put the mugs in for 15 minutes.
- Blast the mugs with a hairdryer. I consider this method safer than the oven since we really don’t know if the vinyl releases any fumes while being baked.
Note these are some of the practices others tried and worked for them. I simply used the heat of the sun by placing my brand new vinyl coffee mugs to direct sunshine for a few hours.
It’s been weeks, and they are still perfect!
Let’s answer some of your questions:
Will vinyl stay on my coffee mugs?
The short answer is yes.
Make sure that you clean the mug with 91% rubbing alcohol. This way, you’ll remove any oil, lint, and dirt before transferring the vinyl.
Once the vinyl design is on the coffee mug, let it cure for at least 48 hours. No touching, no washing.
Can you bake vinyl on a mug?
Yes. However, there is a debate whether vinyl releases fumes while baking. Some crafters prefer to bake the vinyl mugs; I decided to place them in direct sunlight for a few hours. They are still well and perfect-looking mugs. 😉
How do you get vinyl to stay on a coffee mug for a long time?
To keep vinyl from peeling off of the mugs make sure it is cleaned before transferring the vinyl to the mug. Then let it cure for 48 hours.
Don’t use them or place the mugs in the microwave and only handwash them.
Can you use removable vinyl on cups?
Well, you can if you want to, but it will live a short life. Removable vinyl does not adhere that well, and it is not intended to be used on mugs.
They are perfect for signs and other DIY projects, not so much for coffee mugs.
Is vinyl on the mug dishwasher safe?
I love this question! Officially no, they are not.
However, there are a lot of crafters who put them in the dishwasher, and they say thanks for asking my mugs are alive and well.
I wash mine by hand.
How to put vinyl on mugs experience
I think it was a success! I loved how easy the whole vinyl on coffee mugs project was.
It takes about half an hour from the beginning to the end, and if you follow the steps, your vinyl design will live a long life on the mug.
- Make sure you choose an easy design. Not so detailed, not so intricate.
- Pick a flat-surfaced coffee mug. Avoid glitters, lines, and fluted shapes.
- Don’t forget to clean the mug before you transfer the vinyl.
- Let it cure for at least 48 hours.
- Don’t put the vinyl coffee mug in the microwave or the dishwasher.
You can choose so many different designs. If you want to make a humorous gift to your colleagues and friends, choose a saying.
Using different colors of permanent vinyl, you can really personalize each coffee mug for teachers, your mom, your family, and friends.
These personalized coffee mugs are the best affordable gifts you can make for any special occasion.
Ready for more Cricut crafts? Check out these tutorials:
- Infusible ink coffee mugs tutorial
- Pantry label DIY with Cricut
- Make banners for every special occasion
- Gift a handmade iron-on shirt
Happy crafting! 😉
Don’t forget to PIN it and come back anytime you need a refresher on how to put vinyl on mugs.