I love to learn new crafts and are always on the lookout for new products and ideas to make crating easier for the crafting community
The Cricut Mug Press
The Cricut Mug Press
Ceramic mugs designed with vinyl have trended and been popular for a long time. But the process to create custom mugs has been long and tedious. You cannot always get the best results. Even when you can get the vinyl just right, the mugs often have to be hand washed and do not last over time.
Well, happy to say for the crafters who love to make mugs, there is a new tool that will help you create professional ceramic mugs that will last as long as any other mugs that you can buy on the market.
In the past, you have had to use a heat press to get a decent mug. In order to have a mug that was dishwasher safe, you had to take extra steps and then cure the mug for 28 days.
The Cricut Mug Press uses infusible ink to adhere the design to the mug. The ink infuses the surface of the mug seamlessly.
How Does That Work?
The Mug Press uses special infusible ink sheets in a design that you create. You wrap your design around an infusible ink-compatible mug. The cup with the wrap is placed into the Mug Press. The machine takes into consideration the temperature of the mug and the room temperature to determine the right heat and pressure for your project. In 5-6 minutes, your mug is complete
Once the press is preheated, mugs get loaded in and secured tightly by lowering a lever. Small indicator lights illuminate to indicate progress. The press makes a beeping sound when the transfer is complete.
The mug handle remains cool to the touch throughout pressing, allowing it to be removed from the press safely. In a few minutes, when the mug is cool to the touch, simply peel off the paper or adhesive backing to reveal a personalized mug design.
Simple Button System On The Mug Press
The Features On The Cricut Mug Press
The Cricut Mug Press is so easy to use. The lever on the right side of the press opens and closes the press. So, when you want to open the press to place your mug in to be pressed, you raise the lever. Close the lever when you are ready to begin the process.
On the top of the press are a power button and five lights. Unlike the other Cricut heat press machines, there are no time and temperature settings on the Cricut Mug Press.
The light on the power button gives you the following information:
- No light: standby mode or off
- Flashing orange: connect mode
- Solid orange: heat mode
- Solid green: ready to use
- Solid red: error (contact Cricut Design Space support)
The row of five lights is to show the progress of your press. Because the press time differs based on ambient air temperature and other factors, the progress lights just give you a sense of how far along in the pressing process things are.
One thing to know about the mug press is that heating times may vary. Things like the type of mug you are using, the size of the mug, the air temperature, etc may vary the time it takes to complete the project. Not to worry. The machine will take all of that into consideration. Just know that different mugs may take more or less time to heat.
The Cricut Mug Press
Use The Right Mugs With The Mug Press
Of course, the first question that most people will have is what mugs can I use with the mug press.
The first thing that you should know is that mugs from places like your local dollar store will not work.
That is because, in order to get the infusible ink to stick on the mug, it has to have a special poly coating that the inexpensive mugs do not have. Essentially, the compatible blanks are polyester or poly-coated materials.
Cricut makes a mug designed just for this purpose. You can also use any mug that is a sublimation mug. Other considerations for mugs include:
- Mugs should be white or very light-colored
- Should have a capacity of 11oz-15 oz
- Should be straight-walled only-no curves or uneven textures
- Outer Diameter between 3.2″ – 3.4″ (82 – 86 mm)
- Maximum height of 4.72″ (120 mm)
The Cricut Mugs For The Mug Press
It is expected that the specialty mugs for the mug press will be available in Target's, Walmart, Joann's, Hobby Lobby, and Michael's. They are already available at Amazon.
There are two sizes in the Cricut Mugs:
- Small Mug- 8.75″ x 3.79″ (22.2 cm x 9.6 cm) 12 ounces
- Large Mug-8.75″ x 4.25″ (22.2 cm x 10.8 cm) 15 ounces
They come in packages of 2. 6, 12 and 36 mugs in a package in both sizes
Prepping Your Mug For The Mug Press
There are just two things that you need to do to prep your mug for the mug press.
- Use a lint roller to get any lint or bits off the mug.
- With a clean paper towel, wipe the mug inside and out with some rubbing alcohol. Make sure the mug is dry before you start processing it.
Mug Pressed Mugs Can Be Washed In A Dishwasher
Cricut Infusible Transfer Sheets
Infusible Ink Transfer Sheets
The infusible Transfer sheets are used to impress your design onto the mug. They are the same material that is used in the large infusible transfer sheet, just cut to size to fit the mugs. This saves you time and waste. But you can use the larger sheets and cut them to size to fit your mug designs.
Cricut Infusible Ink transfer sheets employ a process known as dye sublimation. Sublimation is simply the process by which a solid changes to a gas without first becoming a liquid.
What Cricut has done is to put a solid dye that can sublimate (with the help of a very hot heat press like the Mug Press) into their Infusible Ink transfer sheets and Infusible Ink markers & pens.
These sheets will work with the Cricut Joy, the Cricut Explore and the Cricut Maker.
Infusible Ink products require a Cricut Mug Press capable of reaching 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
The sheets come in both solids and prints. The sheets once infused, actually bond with the material they are infused on. So, in this case, they become one with the mug itself. Because of that property, they are bonded to the ceramic once they are heated up in the mug press.
Regular Infusible Ink
These sheets come in many colors as well as patterns too. In one pack, you will get two sheets. Each sheet is 12" by 12". Each sheet can do a lot of projects, They can be used with the Mug Press as well as any of the other Cricut machines.
You will also find some of these sheets may be specifically marked "for use with the Cricut Mug Press" or "for use with the Cricut Joy." Make sure to read the information and description before you place your order. In these packages, you get 2 sheets, each one being 4 1/2 x 12 inches. The one marketed for the Joy is slightly more expensive than the one for the mug press. The only real difference, though, is that it includes some butcher paper and a little cloth.What you might not know is that all of these Infusible Ink products are the same! They can all be used in all of the machines. The only difference is the size of them and the fact that the ones marked for the Cricut Joy include some butcher paper and a little cloth while the Mug Press ones do not.
Always make sure when connecting your infusible sheets that the top and the bottom of the sheet are attached straight on the top and bottom of the mug.
If the infusible sheet does not feel tight on the mug, use some heat-resistant tape to make sure that the sheet is firmly attached to the mug.
Cricut Infusible Ink Pens
Using Infusible Inks and Pens With The Mug Press
You can create custom designs using infusible pens and markers. Regular pens and markers will not work. The Infusible Ink markers and pens fit right into your Cricut Maker or Explore and draw your design onto regular laser copy paper with Infusible Ink.
The Infusible ink pens and markers can be used with the Cricut Explore Air 2, The Cricut Joy and the Cricut Maker.
The pens come in several different styles:
- Classic Pens-5 colors 0.4 tip
- Classic Markers-5 colors 1.0 tip
- Bright Pens-5 colors 0.4 tip
- Bright Markers- 5 colors 1.0 tip
Besides the infusible ink pens, you will need an infusible ink blank.
You have the option of drawing a design freehand or using your Cricut Design Space to use a custom design of your choice.
How It Works
- Draw design using Infusible Ink Pens or Markers on laser copy paper.
- Choose a compatible Infusible Ink blank (sold separately).
- Transfer design with Cricut EasyPress or heat press that reaches 400°F (205°C).
- When you use infusible pens or markers, you need to wrap three layers of butcher paper on top of your design. Cut the paper to 3¾” x 9”. That will protect your machine from ink bleeding to the heat plates. Cricut only recommends using butcher paper for this purpose. Any other use may void your warranty. Make sure to check with Cricut Customer Service if you have any questions.
It is important to remember that your design will be reversed. Therefore, you can’t directly use your own handwriting—it will be backward on your final design (unless you are VERY talented and can write in reverse!). You can always hand-letter your design, and then upload to Cricut Design Space, and have your Cricut cut or write it mirrored.
More Infusible Ink Ideas And Resources
- Simple Infusible Ink Mug with the Cricut Mug Press - Hey, Let's Make Stuff
Create a simple infusible ink mug. All the steps you need to know to use infusible ink sheets
Infusible Pens And Markers With The Mug Press
Setting Up Your Mug Press
There is a one time set up procedure to set up your Mug Press. You will need a lap top or a desktop computer for this step (It will not work with an android or iphone) This step has to be completed before the Mug Press will power on. You will have to connect a USB port to your computer so your set up needs to be in close proximity of the computer.
- When you open up the Mug Press Box, you will find the press, a power cord and a USB computer cord.
- Remove the plastic.
- Pay attention to the sticker on the power button. It has directions how to activate and set up your press.
- Go to https://design.cricut.com/#/setup
- Open to New Machine Setup
- Or you can just go to Design Space on your computer . Click on the icon with three lines in the upper left corner, choose New Machine Setup.
- In New Machine Setup, click on Heat Press, then click Cricut Mug Press. Follow the directions to activate your Mug Press
- Place the mug press on a heat-resistant surface in a well-ventilated area — so turn on the fan or work near an open window. You can use a self healing mat for the set up. But as you start doing projects, you will want to invest in a 12" by 12" heat press mat. You can get one very reasonably at Amazon. After a number of uses the self healing mat will break down and become not useable.
- Next click the right arrow.
- Plug your Cricut into a wall outlet
- Power on the Mug Press. The power button will be orange when heating up. The heat plate may give off an order that will eventually disappear.
- Click the right arrow.
- Plug the USB cord into the back of your Cricut mug press.
- Plug the other end of the USB cord into a port in your computer. Do not plug it into a port on you Cricut Explore or Maker. It will not work ! Note that the setup cord is only 24 inches long, so if you can't get within two feet of your computer, use a USB extension cord.
- Now click the Continue button. It will only be available once the machine senses the mug press.
- Next, it will require you to add the mug press to your Cricut ID. Remember to use the correct ID
- Then agree to the terms and activate your machine !
- Disconnect the USB port
You are now ready to use your mug press without ever having to use the computer !
Design Space And Your Mug Press
The Design Space program for your Cricut Explore and Maker works together to create the perfect design for your mug every time.
You can preview designs before you chose them in the Design Space program. There are ready-to-use designs or you can create a custom design of your own.
You will need to pick your mug size and edging. You can choose either a 12 oz mug or a 15 oz mug and then which edge
Cricut Mug Press Tips
- Only use Cricut INk Ready Mugs or sublimation blank mugs. Cheaper dollar store mugs will not work. Dollar store mugs do not have the poly coating that the ink adheres to.
- Always use a straight-sided mug between 11 and 16 oz.
- Always protect the surface underneath your mug press with a pressing pad. It will protect the surface of your work area and will give you a place to rest your mug to cool.
- Wrap the design around your mug from the back center to around the front. That will help you get your design on straight and centered.
- Make sure that your liners are pressed tightly around your mug. You can use heat-resistant tape if you need to.
- When removing your mug from the mug press you can touch the handle of your mug. The handle should not be hot, but the rest of the mug will be hot. Be careful when handling the hot mug and place it on a heat-safe surface to cool like a potholder or EasyPress mat.
- Nudge your handle just to the left after you place it in your mug press and before you push down on the handle, as this will allow your left design edge to be fully covered by the heat plate.
- Allow your mug to cool before you remove your liner, regardless of how tempted you are to look at it. Leaving the liner on helps the ink infuse into the surface and prevents you from burning your fingers!
- Don’t put the mug in upside down — the zone heating system will help heat the bottom of the mug so you get consistent transfers (a feature missing in other mug presses) and you’ll lose that perk if you put it in upside down.
- You can use both the large size of Infusible Ink transfer sheets and the special mug-size sheets. If you use the large size, put your transfer sheet on your cutting mat FACE UP with the sheet curl going from side to side, rather than top to bottom, as this will make it easier to wrap around your mug later.
Photo Mugs With The Cricut Mug Press
© 2021 Linda F Correa
What Are Your Thoughts On The Mug Press?
Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on March 26, 2021:
Ah so exciting! You're welcome. Have fun!
Linda F Correa (author) from Spring Hill Florida on March 17, 2021:
It is getting rave reviews here in the states. Hopefully, you will get it soon, I know it is on Amazon and the major craft stores here. Thanks for the comment
Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on March 16, 2021:
This seems like a remarkable bit of kit! I do hope to see it released in the UK soon!