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How to Create a Kawaii Coffee Cup in Inkscape
  • By Nadine Spires
  • 13 Apr 2022
  • 25 Mins
  • Intermediate
  • Inkscape Tutorials

How to Create a Kawaii Coffee Cup in Inkscape

In this step by step tutorial, learn how to create a cute Kawaii Coffee Cup in Inkscape.

Have you ever wanted to create a Kawaii coffee cup in Inkscape? Then this tutorial is just for you. Kawaii characters are undeniably loveable with bold yet simple designs. We are going to show you just how easy and fun it is to create a Kawaii coffee cup. So let’s jump in and get started.

Mockup create Kawaii Coffee Cup in Inkscape

If you prefer ready made designs, Design Bundles has an awesome collection of Kawaii Cup characters available.

Step 1 - Set Up a Grid

To help with designing our Kawaii coffee cup in Inkscape, we need to set up a grid. Once you have opened Inkscape, go to File > Document Properties. Depending on your version this may open as a floating window on the right side.

Now, select the Grids icon.

Open Document Properties in Inkscape

Add a Grid

Under Creation, make sure that Rectangular Grid is selected then click on the New button next to it. A blue grid will be placed over the work area. Change the setting Major grid line every: to about 20. You can increase or decrease this as needed.

If you want to delete the grid, click on Remove bottom of the Document Properties panel. Click on the “X” top right to close out of the panel.

Create a new grid in Inkscape

Lower the opacity of the grid by clicking on the box icon next to Major grid line color. In the new window, input the number eight for the Alpha (A:) box.

Adjust grid line opacity in Inkscape

Enable Snapping

We are also going to use the Enable snapping tool top right. Click the tool so it’s highlighted, indicating it is active. If you don’t see the Snapping toolbar, go to View > Show/Hide then tick Snap Controls Bar.

Enable snapping tool in Inkscape

Drag Out Ruler Guides

Let’s add some ruler guides. If you don’t see the rulers, go to View > Show/Hide and tick the box for Rulers.

Now, click + drag out a ruler from the left to the right side of the document. Click + drag out a second ruler and place on the left side. A spacing of about fifteen grid blocks was used but this is optional.

Do the same with the top rulers, using a spacing of 20 grid blocks.

Add rulers to grid in Inkscape

Step 2 - Use the Bezier Curve Tool

On the left side toolbar you will find the icon Draw Bezier curves and straight lines. We will refer to this as the Bezier Curve tool.

Draw the Cup Base

Select the Bezier Curve tool from the left side toolbar. Make sure that Mode is set to Create regular Bezier path and Shape is set to None.

Starting from the top left corner, click to place the first node. Then place the second node at the bottom about three grid blocks in. Carry on to place a third and fourth node to complete the coffee cup base.

Use Bezier curve tool Inkscape

Add Lid Rim to Coffee Cup

Using the Bezier Curve tool, start creating the lid rim for the coffee cup. We placed the rim above the coffee cup so it looks a bit like a flower pot. You can refer to the image below as a guide.

Add rim to coffee cup in Inkscape

Edit Coffee Cup Lid Rim

Add a curve to the rim. On the left side toolbar, click on the Edit path by nodes icon. When you click on the rim, you will see nodes appear.

Place your cursor over the bottom part of the rim, then click + drag down to create a curve. Do the same for the top part of the rim.

Curve coffee cup rim in Inkscape

Smooth the Corner Nodes

We are going to smooth the two bottom corner nodes. Click on the bottom left node then hold Shift + click on the bottom right node. With both selected, go to the top toolbar and click Make selected nodes smooth.

Make selected nodes smooth in Inkscape

The nodes will need to be adjusted. Both nodes will show handles, or lines with circles. Click + drag up the bottom right node handle. Then do the same for the bottom left node handle. We have created a visual image to make this easier.

Smooth corner nodes in Inkscape

Fill Base and Rim with White

To make this next part easier to see, let’s fill the base and rim of the coffee cup with white. Click + drag a selection box around both elements. Then click on the white box from the Color Palette at the bottom of the screen.

Fill design elements with white in Inkscape

Step 3 - Finish Creating Cup Lid

To complete the rim we first need to cut the rim from the cup base. This is necessary for creating a clean and easy cut file.

Cut Rim from Cup Base

Make a duplicate of the cup rim by right clicking > Duplicate.

Duplicate rim of Kawaii coffee cup

Now, with this selected, hold Shift + click on the cup base. Then go to Path > Difference.

Use Difference Path action in Inkscape

It may look like nothing has happened until you move the rim.

Base of cup cut to rim shape

Add Oval Top to Lid Rim

Next, we need to complete the rim by adding an oval top. On the left side click on Create circles, ellipses and arcs tool.

Place your cursor on the top left corner of the coffee base. Now, click + drag to the right side then drag up. The ellipse will snap to the guidelines and grid.

Add ellipse to coffee cup rim

Reposition and Cut Oval Shape

To reposition so it sits neatly on the rim, hold Alt then click + drag the oval downward. Place so it just covers the top part of the rim. Fill with white then duplicate.

Select both the oval duplicate and the rim, go to Path > Difference. The rim will be cut to the shape of the oval. The image below is how the design looks so far.

Cut rim from oval path in Inkscape

Duplicate Rim and Oval Shapes

Now create the smaller part of the lid. Select both the rim and oval shape, right click > Duplicate. Hold Ctrl then click + drag upwards. Don’t worry about the distance right now, we will adjust the position.

Duplicate rim and oval of lid

Resize and Reposition Duplicate Lid

For this part, we need to turn off Snapping so we can fine tune the position. On the top right, click on Enable snapping to deactivate.

With both shapes still selected, hold Shift then click + drag a corner sizing handle inwards. This will resize the image from the center. Hold Ctrl and click + drag downward to reposition on the larger lid area.

Resize and reposition smaller lid area

Step 4 - Add a Label to the Coffee Cup

Before we add a Kawaii face, let’s add a label to the cup case. If, at this point the ruler guides are in the way or distracting, place your cursor over the ruler line. When it changes to red, hit Delete on your keyboard.

Activate the snapping option top right.

Use the Bezier Curve tool to draw out a rectangle. The shape needs to extend outside of the cup base. Place this shape in the middle or a little further down if you want.

Add label to cup base in Inkscape

Use the Intersection Path Action

We want this to sit neatly within the cup shape, so we need to intersect the shapes. Duplicate the cup base, which will appear on top of all the shapes. Select this duplicate and the label shape, go to Path > Intersection.

Intersect objects in Inkscape

Next, add a curve to the label. Deactivate snapping if it makes this easier and be sure to click on Edit path by nodes on the left side.

About half way, click + drag down the top line of the shape. Now, repeat for the bottom.

Curve label on coffee cup base

Step 5 - Create the Kawaii Face

Now that we have the design done, let’s add some cute Kawaii faces. You can drag out rulers for this part if needed.

Add the Eyes

Using the tool Create circles, ellipses and arcs, hold Ctrl then click + drag out a circular shape. Fill with black from the bottom Color Palette.

Next, duplicate the circle then fill with white. Resize to a smaller size by holding Ctrl then clicking + dragging the sizing handle inwards. Reposition towards the top right corner of the eye.

Create eye for Kawaii Coffee cup

Duplicate the white circle, make it smaller and position to the bottom left of the eye. Select all three circles, right click > Duplicate. Now hold Ctrl while clicking + dragging the duplicate to the right side.

Duplicate eye for coffee cup


Create the Mouth

To create the mouth, click on the tool Create rectangle and squares on the left side. Drag out the shape and fill with black. We need to change this to a path to make it easier to edit. At the top go to Path > Object to Path.

Change object to path in Inkscape


Edit the Mouth Shape

Select the Edit nodes by path tool, then select both of the bottom nodes on the shape. Hit Delete on your keyboard. You may need to adjust the one handle so it creates an even curve.

Delete nodes on coffee cup mouth

Add Mouth Detail

Duplicate the mouth, fill with a light pink and resize to a smaller size. If needed, you can turn off snapping. With the duplicate selected, go to Object > Flip Vertical. Reposition so it sits just a bit over the bottom of the mouth.

As before, duplicate the black shape. Select this duplicate and the pink shape and use the Intersection action under Path. We now have a tongue.

Use Intersection path action in Inkscape

Use the Up direction arrow on the keyboard to shift the tongue up just a bit. This will add definition.

Shift position of shape in Inkscape

Closed Eyes Option

If you want to create closed eyes or a wink, it’s pretty easy. Duplicate the black mouth shape and flip this vertically.

Duplicate shape to create closed eye

Then, click + drag up the center until you get an almost half moon shape. Resize then adjust the handles as needed until you are happy with the result. Next, duplicate the shape and move to the other side.

Create closed Kawaii eye in Inkscape

Create Cheek Spots

Time to add some pink cheek spots to our Kawaii coffee cup. Draw out an oval shape using the Create circles, ellipses and arcs tool. Fill with the same color pink as the tongue.

If you need to change the stroke color, go to Object > Fill and Stroke. The Fill and Stroke panel will open on the right. Select the Stroke paint tab, then click on the eye-dropper tool. Now click on the pink color to apply the same color to the stroke.

Duplicate the cheek spot and move to the other side.

Add cheek spots to coffee cup

Step 6 - Edit Color and Stroke Width

We are just about done creating our Kawaii coffee cup in Inkscape. All we need to do now is make the stroke width thicker and add a bit of color.

Fill the Coffee Cup with Color

You can color in your design with the Color Palette below or use the Fill and Stroke panel. We used two colors from the Color Palette. A darker shade was added to the oval areas on the lid.

Fill design with color in Inkscape

Increase the Stroke Width

Give the coffee cup more character by increasing the stroke width. Go to the Fill and Stroke panel on the right side. Select a shape, then click on Stroke style. Leave the units as mm and enter a value of 1.000 for the Width.

Change stroke width in Inkscape

Do this for the rest of the design except for the facial features.

Increase stroke width for design

Make Some Changes if Needed

When working with vector designs, you can edit any part whenever needed. Say, for example, you wanted to decrease the width of the lid.

Select all of the lid elements, then click + drag in the right side then the left side. Now, keep in mind, this will edit the shape of the rim and cup base.

So you will need to duplicate the bottom rim again. Then select with the cup base and use the Difference action like we did in Step 3.

Make edits to design in Inkscape

Step 7 - Save your Kawaii Coffee Cup

You can now remove the grid by going to File > Document Properties then clicking on Remove.

We now want to export our design as a PNG file. You can also save it as a SVG, just click on File > Save As. In the window, click the drop down menu for Save as type. Next, select either Inkscape SVG or Plain SVG.

Save as SVG file in Inkscape

There you are, we have finished creating our Kawaii coffee cup in Inkscape. Our little characters are just so cute!

How to Create a Kawaii Coffee Cup in Inkscape

Kawaii designs can be used across numerous projects. Create stickers for customers, add as a final touch to an order or even create t-shirts. Bring a smile to someone’s face when you create a Kawaii coffee cup in Inkscape!


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