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Cricut Mug Press-Tips And Ideas

I love to learn new crafts and am always on the lookout for easy new products and ideas to share with the crafting community.

The Cricut Mug Press

The Cricut Mug Press is the newest machine from Cricut. You can make custom mugs that are dishwasher safe in minutes.

The Cricut Mug Press is the newest machine from Cricut. You can make custom mugs that are dishwasher safe in minutes.

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.

Before the Cricut Mug Press, you would have to add bulky and heavy add ons to a standard heat press. Now you have a portable, easy to use mug press that stands alone. You do not have to buy an expensive heat press to your craft space to create personalized mugs.

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.

There are no limitations to the designs you can create with the Cricut Mug Press

There are no limitations to the designs you can create with the Cricut Mug Press

Simple Button System On The Mug Press

The Cricut Mug Press is easy to use with a minimal amount of steps

The Cricut Mug Press is easy to use with a minimal amount of steps

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.

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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. Cricut Mug Press has smart heat technology that knows when your mug is done heating. You don’t have to worry about adjusting time and temperature because you get the perfect transfer every time

You should have peace of mind when using your newest Mug Press. The auto-shutoff feature is one of the features to help you feel more comfortable when using it. Also, it has a cool-touch plastic on the outside of the machine. I was able to use my Mug Press right on my desk the same place I use my Easy Press.

Working With Cricut Design Space

The designs for the Cricut Mug press are all designed on the Cricut Design Space Program in combination with the Cricut Explore or Maker cutting machines. The Design Space program has a mug design set up that makes it easy for even beginners to set up and design their own personalized designs.

Once you set up your design, you’ll cut or draw your design with your Cricut cutting machine using Infusible Ink transfer sheets or markers.

Then, adhere the design to your Cricut mug or a sublimation-compatible mug.

Insert your mug, lower lever, and let the press do the rest! The advanced heat plate applies the perfect time and temperature settings, so you don’t have to think about that.

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.

Sublimation mugs contain a poly coating that react with ink and heat. Not all sublimation mugs are created equal when it comes to having a very evenly applied poly coating.

You will hear the mugs that you are working with referred to as blanks. Blanks will need to have straight sides in the area where you are putting the design. The mug press walls are straight so it will need a flat area to press against. Tapered mugs and tumblers are not going to work.

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.

You can find two different sizes of Cricut mugs – 12 oz and 15 oz. Both sizes come in packages of 2, 6, or 36.

There are two sizes in the Cricut Mugs:

  1. Small Mug- 8.75″ x 3.79″ (22.2 cm x 9.6 cm) 12 ounces
  2. 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.

  1. Use a lint roller to get any lint or bits off the mug.
  2. 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.

Best Tumblers For The Mug Press

Other Blanks For The Cricut Mug Press

Beyond the Mugs and the tumblers, there are more options for projects that can be used with the Cricut Mug Press.

  • Sublimation Stainless Travel Mug-Blank travel mugs for Dye Sublimation.
  • Sublimation Tumblers
  • Sublimation Clear Glass Beer Stein
  • 12-ounce Sublimation Blanks Can White Stainless Steel Can Cooler
  • White Stainless-Steel Sublimation 10 Oz Coffee Mug With Lid

Note-All of these products have the name sublimation within their description. Anytime that you purchase a blank, check the dimensions of the blank to make sure that it will fit in your mug press.

Optional Accessories To Use With The Mug Press

There are a few accessories that will make getting your projects done easier and safer. Anytime you are working with higher heat processes it is important to protect yourself and the surfaces you are working on.

The handles on the mugs stay completely 100% cool, but if you are pressing some of these other pieces, you will want to use the heat-resistant gloves to remove them. Allow them to cool, then remove all that tape to reveal your design. You can peel hot or warm just use your gloves, so you do not burn yourself.

Most of these can be purchased on Amazon at very reasonable prices

Heat Resistant Gloves

These are a must with some of these blanks as you don’t have anything cool to grab to remove it from the press. Standard oven mitts and potholders may not be able to protect you from the heat when you remove the mug from the press

Sublimation Mat

This is a heat resistant surface used to put your blank (mug) on while it cools. It takes a bit of time for the project to cool, and you will need to protect your surface.

Protective Paper (Butcher Paper)

Very necessary to used when working with either the Infusible Ink markers or sublimation prints to protect your press from any ink.

Heat Resistant Tape

Used when working with infusible Ink or sublimation as you will need to tape everything down.

Mug Pressed Mugs Can Be Washed In A Dishwasher

The infusible ink binds to the mug making it dishwasher safe

The infusible ink binds to the mug making it dishwasher safe

Cricut Infusible Transfer Sheets

They come in solids and prints. Easy to use designs with your Mug Press

They come in solids and prints. Easy to use designs with your Mug Press

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

You can create your own designs with these infusible ink pens

You can create your own designs with these 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

  1. Draw design using Infusible Ink Pens or Markers on laser copy paper.
  2. Choose a compatible Infusible Ink blank (sold separately).
  3. Transfer design with Cricut EasyPress or heat press that reaches 400°F (205°C).
  4. 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.