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How to Use a Cricut Mug Press
  • By Nadine Spires
  • 22 Mar 2023
  • 12 Mins
  • Beginner
  • Cricut Tutorials

How to Use a Cricut Mug Press

In 2 steps discover how to use a Cricut mug press and create a beautiful mug with us

We can’t wait to show you how to use your Cricut Mug Press with your favorite Cricut crafts. Easily customize mugs for friends, family and customers in a very short time. The Cricut Mug Press is so intuitive, you don’t need to worry about pressure, heat or time. Today we are going to make a colorful mug that we know you’ll love.

Mockup - How to use a Cricut Mug Press

Our chosen design is this vibrant Mermaid Coffee and Cocktails sublimation PNG.

If you prefer a visual guide, Crystal is here to help!

Materials Needed for this Project

Printed design on sublimation transfer paper using sublimation ink - Mermaid Coffee and Cocktails, there are tons of Sublimation Mug wraps available if you are looking for other options

If you are unsure of the sizing, check the size used on mug templates in Cricut Design Space. You will want the measurement of the green area.

You can also measure the width and height of the cup with a tape measure. Make sure to leave at least 0.5" (1.27 cm) of space between the design edge and cup handle.

When designing sublimation prints, DON’T forget to mirror your prints! While this is very important for wording, if you want the design to look as it does on your screen, it needs to be mirrored.

Learn more about sublimation printers and materials with our free guide

Cricut Mug Press

Sublimation blank - this can be any 12oz sublimation mug or a Cricut Mug

Parchment paper or extra copy paper

Heat resistant tape and Lint Roller

Materials needed - Cricut Mug Press tutorial

If you haven’t yet set up your mug press, follow the very helpful instructions included with your device.

Step 1 - Prepare the Mug for the Mug Press

Once you have set up your mug press, place it on a heat resistant surface in a well ventilated area. We used the EasyPress mat, seen in the image below. Now, press the Power button to turn it on (leaving the handle up). While the mug press is heating up, the power button will show as orange.

Cricut mug press in the process of heating up

For our sublimation idea, we duplicated the mermaid PNG and then flipped the design. This was placed on the opposite side of the original design. You can use any design software to do this, including Affinity Designer.

Mug wrap design created in Affinity Designer

Is Procreate your favorite go-to app for your designs? Then you’re going to love our tutorial on how to use Procreate to make sublimation designs!

Cut your sublimation down to size to fit your mug. We printed two mug designs (the one we are using for this project) and keychain sized designs that will be used later on. Clean your mug with baby wipes, a cloth or lint roller and avoid touching the area with your hands afterwards.

Position the sublimation paper on the mug with the design facing the mug. Tape down the first side with heat resistant tape, and then, pull the other edge towards the handle before taping down. This will help to create a tight fit.

You want to avoid any gaps between the paper and cup as this will cause blurring while the gas escapes. As sublimation ink heats up, it turns into a gas and is transferred to the blank.

You can also save time if you are making multiple mugs by taping the paper to the mugs before letting the mug press heat up.

Secure sublimation paper to mug

Add two more layers of copy paper or parchment paper cut a little bit longer than the design template. The sublimation paper needs to be covered completely to avoid any transfer to your mug press.

Step 2 - Heat Set the Design with the Cricut Mug Press

When the mug press is ready to use, it will beep once and the Power symbol will change to green.

Mug press ready to use - Cricut tutorial

Place the mug right side up into the mug press with the handle pointing out. We like to position the mug handle about halfway over the gap at the bottom as seen in the image below. Then, push down the lid and the mug press will begin the process.

Position of handle in Cricut Mug Press

Here is a top view of the mug in the Cricut Mug Press.

Top view of how mug is placed in Cricut Mug Press

Above the Power button you will see five lights. As the mug press works its magic, each light will blink and light up. The process takes about five to six minutes to complete depending on the temperature of the mug and environment.

Cricut Mug Press in progress

When the process is complete, the mug press will beep again and all five lights will be lit. Lift up the handle to release the mug and gently slide it out of the mug press. Place the mug on a heat resistant surface.

Be patient and let your mug rest until it has completely cooled down. While there is still heat, the sublimation process is still active. Removing the sublimation paper too early can cause ghosting and blurred images.

Once cooled down, remove the extra copy paper and sublimation paper. The reveal is always our favorite part when creating mug projects. Can you feel the mermaid vibes in the beautiful piece of art? Best of all, as the design has fused into the blank, it won't lift or fade.

Completed sublimation transfer with Cricut Mug Press - Left side view

In the image below you can see the middle view. This shows how we duplicated the design and then flipped it to create a full mug wrap. The space could be used to personalize mugs with names or events. These make wonderful mug gift ideas for any occasion.

Middle view of transferred sublimation design with Cricut Mug Press

The right side view.

Right side view of mermaid sublimation mug - Cricut Mug Press

We think it might be a little hard to part with this amazing mug! Just imagine drinking your favorite cappuccino topped with cream and sprinkles, or a decadent milkshake…in a mug. There is no end to what you can create with Cricut project ideas. We hope that you have enjoyed following this tutorial and making a beautiful mug with us.

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