Quick and Easy Mugs with the Cricut Mug Press
Did you know you can make mugs with the Cricut Mug Press without even using a design? It's true, and I am going to show you how it's done. You only need a few items, which are listed below.
Cricut has so many beautiful patterns of infusible ink in different color combinations. They provide enough design that you don't need anything else for your mug. You could even make a set of mugs with the same pattern. What a great gift idea!
This started with a mug project I did here at Craft-e-Corner. Once the project was done, there would be mugs for the employees to choose from, and each would be filled with various items. I was tasked with making most of the mugs, and I had so much fun doing it. I found or created designs for each one based on the employees' likes and hobbies. Here are just a few of the mugs from that project.
With that project, I had made a mug that was simply wrapped with Black Botanicals infusible ink, and it was very popular. More than one person wanted that mug, but there was only one available.
I recently decided to make more mugs like that one to give to the others who liked it, and that led to this project. I used several different patterns of Cricut Infusible Ink and made a total of five mugs. I used plain white Cricut mugs and other mugs with colored handles and insides that I already had on hand.
It really changed the look of the mugs depending on which type I used. Some people may prefer a more plain mug, and the all-white Cricut mugs are perfect for that. For those that prefer more color, the ones with the colored handles and insides work great, too. I found those on Amazon, and they come in all different colors.
I started in Design Space with a simple mug template. You can choose to use a straight edge or vary it with a more interesting edge. I used the wavy edge, the scalloped edge, and the straight edge for my mugs. I made sure to select the template for the 15-ounce mugs since that's what I was using. You can find this under Projects in Design Space or by going to Images and typing in "mug design."
I did not have to set the mug wrap templates to any particular color or make any changes to them whatsoever. That's why these are "quick and easy." The beauty of this is that you end up with gorgeous mugs that look professional without a lot of effort.
I had chosen to make two mugs with the Botanicals pattern, one on a plain white mug and one on a mug with a black handle and black inside. I wasn't sure which type my coworkers would prefer, so I made one of each and hoped they wouldn't fight over them (I knew they wouldn't really fight). Here are the mugs below with the infusible ink attached to the mat.
I did vary the type of edges for the two mugs, so I ended up choosing one of each from Images in Design Space.
Then I grouped and attached the two templates so I could cut them at one time on the mat and use an entire sheet of infusible ink. I didn't bother to trim any of the extra infusible ink from the 12 x 12 sheet, as there would not be much left, and it would save me some time.
Once the mug wraps were cut out, I weeded the extra infusible ink from the edges, and they were ready to go. Here they are with the mugs, all ready to be wrapped.
I simply wrapped each mug with one of the infusible ink wraps (with the ink side against the mug) and used heat resistant tape to secure them. I always try to keep the edges of the ink wrap an equal distance from the handle on each side.
Then I placed the mugs, one at at time, into the preheated mug press and let it do its thing.
When the first mug was done, I took it out and set it on my Cricut EasyPress Mat to cool and placed the other mug in the press. I wondered if it would work okay, since I did not let the mug press cool in between, but the second mug came out just fine. Here they are both done and cooling.
The hardest part is always waiting for the mugs to cool before peeling off the infusible ink wrap, but it is necessary to make sure the ink doesn't get smudged when you remove the wrap.
When the mugs finally cooled, I removed the infusible ink, and they turned out quite well. The color of the mugs looks a but different, even though they are both white. I did not expect that. The Cricut mug does seem to be a bit brighter.
Now it was time to move on to the other mugs with different infusible ink patterns. I started with the Cabbage Rose pattern and followed the same procedure. There were a couple differences with these, however. First, I used a mug with a navy handle and inside for one of them, as that color seemed to go better with the infusible ink pattern. Second, I used a straight edge on the ink for both of those mugs.
Here they are all done. Notice how the pattern on each mug looks a little different based on variations in the design on different parts of the transfer sheet. I'm sure you can also see that the mugs with the colored handles are slightly taller than the Cricut mugs, even though they are both 15 ounces in size. The same mug wrap template works for each. I almost like the one with the all white mug better for this pattern, but the one with the navy accents looks great, too.
I made one more mug and used the Tropical Floral infusible ink pattern. Here is how that one looked once it was done. The pattern for this one had more clearly defined lines, and it was so bright and happy looking. I kind of wanted to keep this one, but I can always make another one since it's so easy, right?
Here are all five mugs done. The process to make them was exactly the same, but they sure look different with the various patterns of infusible ink and the different mugs I used.
See how easy it is to make mugs without creating and weeding a design before applying the infusible ink? I will definitely be doing this again. It would be great to keep some pretty infusible ink patterns and some mugs on hand for times when you need a quick gift for someone. I love the idea of making a whole set of mugs with the same infusible ink pattern.
Which patterns of infusible ink would you choose? There are so many different patterns and colors available.
See below for a tip on applying infusible ink to mugs. This is something I learned while doing this project.
How to Avoid Blurry Ink Transfers on Mugs
Since I started making mugs with the Mug Press and Infusible Ink, I had been having problems with the infusible ink design being blurry at the top edge of the mugs, which is especially noticeable with the Black Botanicals pattern. Perhaps you can see this below on the all-white Cricut mug on the right.
At first, I thought maybe I wasn't letting the mugs cool long enough, or maybe I was touching the ink too much before wrapping the mugs. But why would that only affect the top edge of the mug?
Since I was using different sized mugs for this project, I discovered the problem. The blurred ink seemed to happen only with the shorter mugs. I realized that with those, there was a bit of infusible ink sticking up above the top edge of the mugs when I wrapped them. When I taped them with heat resistant tape, I used a lot of it and was careful not to bend the wrap over the top edge because I wanted the edges to look crisp, but this did not prevent the problem.
I now believe that the extra infusible ink sticking up above the top edge of the mug was the real issue. From now on, when I see this happen, I will trim the extra infusible ink from the top of the wrap before wrapping it around the mug for heat application.
So my tip is: Do not allow the top edge of the infusible ink to extend above the top edge of your mug.
I do want to mention that there seem to be some size variations even with the same type of mugs.
This will probably not be an issue with every mug, so it's a good idea to just pay attention to how the ink wrap fits on each mug and be sure to trim any of them as needed before applying heat.
It was worth doing this project just to discover this. Maybe this is common knowledge to some, but I had to figure it out for myself. Perhaps it might help someone else, too. I hope so.
There is nothing impossible to they who will try. Alexander the Great