When Cricut announced the Mug Press earlier this year, I was so excited about it and I knew instantly that I needed it in my life. If you’ve been following me for a while now, you will know that my favourite types of materials to work with are heat-transfer materials and one of my favourite Cricut DIY projects is to make every type of glass wear – from wine glasses, to water tumblers and mugs.
The Mug Press essentially combines those two things! I finally was able to get my hands on one, and I’m blown away by how simple it is to use and the quality of the end result.
What is the Cricut Mug Press and what does it do?
The Cricut Mug Press is a heat transfer tool that allows you to make sublimation mugs using Cricut’s Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets or by using the Infusible Ink Pens onto their mug blanks. You simply create your design in Design Space, draw or cut it, place it on your blank mug and then transfer your design.
The designs are vibrant and permanent. Yes, permanent!
Mugs that are made with the Cricut Mug Press are both dishwasher and microwave safe. I’ve already tested some that I’ve made in both the dishwasher and microwave a few times and they still look like I just made them.
How do you use the Cricut Mug Press?
After I made my first mug, I couldn’t stop making them. They’re so much fun, and easy, to make!
To set up your Mug Press, simply plug it in to your computer using the USB cord it comes with and open design space. Once the welcome screen is loaded, log-in and go to the machine set up tab and select “Cricut Mug Press” from the list of accessories. Next, follow on-screen prompts to connect your press, check firmware, and complete the activation. Once the activation is done, you’re ready to get crafting!
To use the mug press, it’s as simple as turning it on and letting it heat up. Once it’s heated the machine will beep and the light will go green, signalling that it’s ready to start transferring. For more detailed instructions, keep reading for the step-by-step process.
There are a few different ways you can make designs with the Mug Press; you can do a wrap-around design, or just put the single design on. You can also use laser copy paper and Infusible Ink Pens to draw your design – either by hand, or with your Cricut Machine.
I wanted to test out both the wrap-around method and the single application method so I made a couple different mugs.
Can you use heat transfer vinyl with the Mug Press?
No, the Mug Press is only compatible with Infusible Ink.
How to make custom, vibrant mugs with the Cricut Mug Press
Here’s what you need:
- Your Cricut machine, I used my Cricut Maker 3 for this but any of them will work (including the Cricut Joy!)
- Cricut Mug Press
- Infusible Ink™
- Heat-safe tape
- Cricut Mug Blanks
- Cricut essential tools
- Standard-grip cutting mat
Step 1 – Creating your designs:
Open Design Space and select your machine from the drop down menu. Next, you can either search for a ready-to-make project, or you can open a blank canvas and create your own design using Cricut’s fonts or images, or if you’re graphic design savvy you can also upload your own designs in any of the following formats: .jpg, .gif, .png, and .bmp.
For this project, I used two images I found in Design Space. The monogram letter K was one of them, and the second one was the “less people, more dogs” quote. The third design is an original design I downloaded.
Step 2 – Cutting your designs:
If you’re making a mug with the a single application, like my monogram mug and the “life goes on mug” simply measure how large you want your design to be and resize the image in Design Space. From there, the process is pretty similar to any Cricut project – click “make it” when you’re ready to get cutting, select Infusible Ink as your material and make sure you have mirror image on.
If you want to make a mug that has a wrap design, like the “less people, more dogs” mug, there are few more steps we need to do in Design Space before cutting our design. Instead of loading a blank canvas, search “Mug Design Setup” in the projects section, or click here, to get the base template for wrap-around mugs. Next, click on “customize it” to edit the design and load the canvas. It should look like this:
You will use this design as a template to create and position your wrap design. At this point, you can now search for images to use, or create your own design.
Once you’ve found your design, use the guide to resize it and position it on where you would like it to appear on the mug. Once you’re happy with the positioning, be sure to delete or hide the layer that contains the red markets/guide. Next, select all the items and click on “attach”.
Your design should now look something like this:
From there, it’s time to start cutting! Click on “make it”, select Infusible Ink as your material and load your cutting mat into the machine – remember to make sure you have mirror image on.
Once your machine is loaded, follow the prompts on the screen and click the go button once it flashes.
When your machine is done cutting remove the design from the mat and start weeding out the negative space. At this stage, I like to turn on the Mug Press so that it can pre-heat while I’m weeding my design as it does take about 5 minutes to heat up.
The weeding process for Infusible Ink designs is a little bit different than other materials. Instead of pulling out the negative space with the weeding tool, remove your sheet from the grip mat and gently roll the material. You’ll start to see the edges of the negative space pop up, you can then pull it off. I found this video to be really helpful when I was figuring out the weeding process for the first time.
Once your finished weeding your design, it’s time to prep your blank mug and get ready to transfer your design with the Mug Press!
Step 3 – Transferring your design with the Mug Press:
First things first, it’s important to use a lint-roller on your Cricut Mug Blank before we place the design onto the mug. This step is important because if there is any fine dust on the mug, you won’t get an even or perfect transfer.
Once your mug is nice and clean, position your design where you would like it to sit on the mug and firmly press it down. Next, use your hand or your Cricut scraper tool to press out any air bubbles. You want to ensure you get all the bumps and air bubbles out to ensure for a smooth, even transfer.
When that is done, take your heat-resistant tape and secure down the edges of your design. You might think this step isn’t necessary, but with the Mug Press it is. This step is also important because it makes sure your design won’t move around when we press the design. If your design isn’t secure, you could get an uneven or smudged transfer. Once your done, simply slide your mug into the Mug Press by holding the handle – make sure you’re careful as it will be hot!
Once your mug is placed into the Mug Press, push down the level to close the Mug Press and start the process. You’ll notice the 5 little dots on the top of the machine will begin to flash – this is the timer. No need to set anything, the Mug Press will beep once the timer is done letting you know it’s time to lift the lever and carefully pull out your mug by the handle.
The Mug will be hot, so set it aside on a heat-safe surface (I like to use my EasyPress Mat), and allow it to cool down 10-15 minutes before attempting to remove the tape and transfer sheet from your mug. Once it’s completely cool, it’s time to reveal your design!
If you’re a mug-nut like I am and love to make different projects with your Cricut I definitely recommend that you check out the Cricut Mug Press. The results look professional and they make for the perfect, custom gift. I can’t wait to make even more mugs with my Mug Press!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. While I may have received compensation and/or product mentioned in this post, the opinions and text are all mine. This post also contains affiliate links.