Introducing the Cricut Mug Press. The newest tool from Cricut makes it easy to make personalized mugs at home. Mugs made with the Cricut Mug Press are permanent, dishwasher safe and microwavable. This long-lasting personalization is perfect for gift giving. The ultimate Cricut Mug Press tutorial will walk you through you everything you need to know to make your first project – a Dog Mom or Cat Mom Mug.
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Cricut Mug Press 101
The Cricut Mug Press (HERE) is a sleek, compact machine that quickly and efficiently heats and presses Infusible Ink designs onto a mug. Unlike vinyl, with Infusilble Ink the design becomes part of the mug through sublimation. It does not sit on top so there is nothing to chip or peel off, the ink is now part of the mug like it has always been there.
What sets the Cricut Mug Press apart from other presses is the simplicity of the machine. There is only one button. You don’t have to calculate temperature or pressure, the press does it all for you. All you have to do is lift the lever, load the mug, press the lever down and wait for the beep to tell you it’s ready. The machine takes into account the ambient temperature and automatically adjusts with the right time, pressure and temperature.
Cricut Mug Press Questions And Answers
The Cricut Mug Press makes creating beautiful gifts easy. All of my daughters’ teachers will be getting a personalized mug with a Starbucks gift card this year. Before I get into the Dog Mom Mug tutorial, I want to answer some common questions about the Cricut Mug Press.
What Do I Need To Get Started
When you first take your Cricut Mug Press out of the box, you must register it. To do so, you need to plug the included USB cable into a computer. This is the only time the USB cable will be needed, but it won’t work until you complete this step. (Full instructions come in the box.)
Assuming that you already have a Cricut Maker or a Cricut Explorer, there are a few accessories you need to make your first mug.
- A mug (see details in the FAQ section below)
- Cricut Infusible Ink transfer sheets
- Cricut Infusible Ink pens
- Heat resistant tape
- EasyPress Mat (optional)
- Butcher paper (when using Infusible Ink pens)
- Lint roller
- Laser paper (if using pens)
Will Any Mug Work In The Cricut Mug Press?
While you don’t have to use Cricut brand mugs, you must use a sublimation mug. Not just any mug will work. Mugs must have a poly coating to work with the Cricut Mug Press. Cricut Mugs have been vetted to ensure they are the highest quality, perfect size, and most even poly coat. When considering non-Cricut mugs, look for poly-coated sublimation compatible products with these dimensions:
- White or light-colored for more vibrant transfers
- Straight-walled drinkware only, avoid curves and uneven textures
- Capacity of 11 – 16 oz (350-450ml)
- Outer Diameter between 3.2″ – 3.4″ (82 – 86 mm)
- Maximum height of 4.72″ (120 mm)
Why Do I Need To Lint Roll?
Because Infusible Inks are transferred onto the mug and become part of the coating if there are any bits on your mug prior to pressing those bits will block the transfer leaving a missing spot on your mug. Always roll when using Infusible Inks, it’s easy to prevent the problem.
When Do I Need Butcher Paper?
When creating a mug using Infusible Ink Pens you need butcher paper to protect your Mug Press. Three layers of butcher paper are needed to ensure the ink does not bleed through to get on your press. If using transfer sheets, butcher paper is not needed because of the thick liner.
Note, the 12×12 Infusible Ink sheets come with butcher paper, the smaller 6×12 sheets do not. Be sure to cut your butcher paper to the height of your mug and the width of your design.
Can I Use HTV With The Mug Press?
No. The Mug Press is designed to work with Infusible Ink, HTV or Iron-On Vinyl can burn and melt in the Easy Press.
Can I Use Any Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets?
Yes. There are two sizes of Infusible Ink transfer sheets – 12×12 and 6×12. The 6×12 is the perfect size for Cricut Mugs and it also fits in the Cricut Joy. But you can also use the 12×12 transfer sheets and get two mugs out of each sheet.
The 6×12 Infusible Ink sheets come with two sheets for $6.99 and are available in the following colors:
- Cherry Red
- True Blue
- Warm Grey
- Ultra Violet
- Pink Lemonade
- Buffalo Check
- Green Watercolor
- Purple Watercolor Splash
- Blue paint Splash
Other sublimation materials are also compatible with the Cricut Mug Press.
Can I Use Infusible Ink Pens To Free Hand Draw My Design?
Yes, you can. But remember, all designs need to be a mirror image so you must either draw something symmetrical or backward. For those of us who can’t draw (me!), use your Cricut to draw. Don’t forget to mirror your image.
When using Infusible Ink Pens, Cricut recommends laser paper. I did not have laser paper, so I used regular copy paper and it worked just fine.
Can You Double Press?
Yes, but… While you can do a double press for layering, doing so can fade your design and cause some funky things to happen. (I speak from experience.) Double pressing should only be done when you are pressing a transfer sheet first then a design done with pens (using three layers of butcher paper). Be careful that you do not put heat-resistant tape over a design already on the mug or the ink will transfer to the tape leaving an outline of the tape.
For layered designs, the best results come from placing all of the items on the mug in a single press.
Where Can I Get A Cricut Mug Press?
The Cricut Mug Press available from Cricut, Michaels, Joann, Hobby Lobby, Target, HSN, Walmart and Amazon. It retails for $199. You can also buy Cricut mugs at these locations in the following combinations:
- 2 pack 12 oz white – $6.99 (3.49 each)
- 6 pack 12 oz white – $19.99 (3.33 each)
- 36 pack 12 ox white – $74.99 (2.08 each)
- 2 pack 15 oz white – $8.99 (4.49 each)
- 6 pack 15 oz white – $24.99 (4.16 each)
- 36 pack 15 oz white – $99.99 (2.77 each)
- 1 pack 15 oz white mug with gray handle – $5.99
The 15 oz mugs come with a white box for gift giving. I used my Cricut Maker and removable vinyl to cut quick stickers to decorate the boxes. It took less than five minutes and makes the gift even cuter. (The font is Quirky Script in Design Space if you want to replicate the idea.)
Cricut Mug Press Tips For Success
- Be sure to have clean, dry hands when handling Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer sheets.
- If your mug has been handled a lot, use a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol to clean the mug before your lint roll.
- Always lint roll your mug
- Use heat-resistant tape (not regular tape!) to secure your design tightly to your machine.
- Mirror your image.
Dog Mom Mug Tutorial
I think everyone knows a Dog Mom or a Cat Mom who would love to sip their coffee from one of these mugs. I made these special mugs with specific recipients in mind – one as a birthday gift and the other as a thank you gift. I know they will each love their mugs.
The wrap-around mug was the first mug I made, so I thought it would be a great place to start for a first-mug tutorial.
- Infusible Ink transfer sheet
- Heat resistant tape
- EasyPress Mat (optional)
- Lint roller
- Dog Mom / Cat Mom mug template
Download the Dog Mom / Cat Mom mug template HERE. When you click the link, it will open directly in Design Space. You need to choose “Customize It” to get started. Since I have both designs set up on one canvas, you will need to hide the design you don’t want to make. Everything else is ready to go, so once you hide the design, you can “Make It.”
*** If you prefer Dog/Cat Mama or need some other variation, I used the fonts Cricut Sans for Dog and Cat and Chloe for mom. Both are available in Design Space.
Don’t forget to mirror!!! When working with Cricut Infusible Ink Transfer sheets, you always need to mirror your design before cutting.
While your Cricut machine is cutting, go ahead and turn on your Cricut Mug Press to heat up.
After cutting the design you will need to punch out the mug wrap shape, which has been double cut by your Cricut and should just pop out. Then weed the design by removing the letters – be sure to leave the centers of letters.
Use a lint roller to remove any debris from your mug. If you might have touched your mug with oily fingers, you can also rub an alcohol pad on your mug before lint rolling.
Remove the tabs at each end of the transfer. Set your mug on a flat surface and wrap the transfer sheet around the mug. Carefully center it, and stick one of the tabs down firmly. Wrap the transfer sheet around the mug carefully, smoothing any air bubbles as you go and stick the other tab down under the handle. You want to get the wrap nice and tight around the mug.
If there are any areas the transfer sheet seems loose, use heat-resistant tape to secure the transfer sheet more securely. I like to use some right at the edge.
Now it’s time to press. Lift the lever on the right-hand side. Place the mug in the Mug Press and press down on the lever. You may need to adjust the mug slightly as you press the lever to center the mug handle.
The LED lights on the Mug Press indicate progress. When all of the lights are filled in, the machine will beep letting you know it is finished. Lift the lever and remove the mug. CAREFUL IT IS HOT! Place mug on an EasyPress Mat and allow to cool for 15-30 minutes.
Once the mug is cool to touch, peel off the transfer sheet to reveal the design. (This is the best part!)
Watch this sped-up video to see the whole process.
Learn more about the Cricut Mug Press HERE.