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Cricut Mug Press for Beginners: How to Set Up and Make a Cricut Mug!

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All about the Cricut mug press! This Cricut mug press how to tutorial shows you how to make customized DIY dishwasher-safe mugs that last the life of the mug!

This is a sponsored post by Cricut. However, all of the opinions and projects are my own.

Have you seen the newest addition to the Cricut family?? I actually have been hoping for this for a while. I always wanted a mug heat press but never pulled the plug and got one, and I’m so glad I waited!

When Cricut held a training on their newest product to hit the shelves, I couldn’t be more excited when they announced that it was a mug press that used Cricut Infusible Ink and is super easy to use!

The Cricut mug press takes personalized gift giving to another level. You all know I love giving sentimental and custom gifts, but some people (especially men) are a bit harder to think of gifts for. But everyone uses mugs!

Those hard to shop for people on your list use mugs for coffee, tea, hot cocoa, ice cream, soup, you name it… everyone uses mugs. And adding a favorite quote, monogram, animal, or image creates a truly unique and cherished gift.

I’ve been playing with my Cricut mug press over the past month and have made way too many mugs so I wanted to share with some tips and tricks of using the machine and some Cricut mugs I have already made.

how to use cricut mug press

Here is what we will go over in this post (it’s long and detailed so stay with me!) There is a video and printable instructions at the bottom.

Let’s first talk about this amazing machine and the materials you can use.

How is the Cricut Mug Press different from other mug presses?

Most mug presses are either additions to huge and heavy heat presses or are huge and bulky themselves. The Cricut mug press is small, portable, and doesn’t get hot on the sides.

picture of cricut mug press

The Cricut mug press also takes out the guess work of heat settings and times! There are no time, pressure, or temperature adjustments to make. There is only one button to push – the ON button – and the machine does the rest.

cricut mug press on button

This one touch setting applies the optimal amount of pressure and heat to each mug and the time will slightly adjust depending on the ambient temperature.

So now, no need to worry about crafting when it’s super hot or cold in my house. The mechanism in the Cricut mug press figures all that out for me!

Cricut’s patent pending heat plate ensures even pressure all the way around different sized mugs just by pressing down on the large handle.

lever on cricut mug press
mug in cricut mug press

And the Cricut mug press is pretty and uses my favorite color, teal!

What mugs can you use in the Cricut Mug Press?

As with other mug presses, the Cricut mug presses uses sublimation mugs. 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.

So, Cricut has come out with its own line of Cricut mugs specifically for the mug press. These mugs have been thoroughly tested to make sure they offer the best results with Infusible Ink. And I think they are pretty affordable and come in different sizes.

cricut mug press supplies

What size are Cricut mugs?

You can find two different sizes of Cricut mugs – 12 oz and 15 oz. Both sizes come in packages of 2, 6, or 36. You can find the 2 and 6 packs at stores, however, the 36 packs will only be available online. 2 pack blanks start at $6.99 for the 12 oz.

You can also find an inside colored 15 oz blank for $5.99. The 15 oz mugs also come with a gift box that you can personalize for the recipient! No extra shopping needed!

The Cricut mugs will also be easy to find at crafting stores and online.

Can you use other mugs in the Cricut mug press?

Yes, you can use other sublimation mugs in the mug press. Again, I haven’t tried any other mugs so I can’t give you any advice on ones that work well.

But again, they need to be sublimation mugs. You can’t just pick up a plain white mug at Dollar Tree or Walmart and expect that it will work. Sublimation mugs are relativity hard to find in stores.

Advantages of Using the Cricut Mug Press

I have posted quite a few tutorials on making sharpie mugs, adding vinyl to mugs, and also using waterslide decals on mugs. The one drawback with all of those mugs is that they are not dishwasher safe.

For some that it is fine, they don’t use dishwashers very often. But I know for the majority of people (because I get a ton of questions on whether the mugs are dishwasher safe) they want to be able to put mugs in the microwave and dishwasher and for the decals to not fall off.

Besides the ease of using the Cricut mug press, another huge advantage is that the colors and images will last the life of the mug. No peeled off or cracked vinyl on these babies!

Throw them in the dishwasher everyday and the colors will not fade… woo hoo, right?

Plus you get to design everything with an easy-to-use mug template in Cricut Design Space and cut with any of the Cricut machines.

What ink to use for Cricut mugs?

The Cricut mug press is designed to work with the Cricut Infusible Ink line of products. So, Infusible Ink transfer sheets, markers, and pens are optimized for the best results.

cricut mugpress supplies

Cricut Infusible Ink now also comes in small sizes just for the mug press. No more wasted material!

cricut mug press infusible ink sheets

If you have other sublimation inks, they probably will still work, but again the press is not optimized for those.

Also, do not use iron-on vinyl or adhesive vinyl with the press. You can ruin the heat plate.

You can purchase the Cricut mug press at Cricut.com (or if for some reason they sell out, you can find them at Target, Walmart, Amazon, Michaels, Joann, Hobby Lobby, and HSN).

The cost of the Cricut Mug Press is $199 for the regular price. There will be some bundles available at Cricut.com that will make the price a little lower. I’m not sure when it will go on sale or how much a sale price will be!

Ok, so now that you know all about the Cricut mug press, let’s use it!

Setting Up the Cricut Mug Press for the First Time

The first thing you’ll need to do when you get the Cricut Mug Press is to set it up. You will need a laptop or desktop computer for this step!

The Mug Press needs to be able to connect to your computer with a USB port. The Mug Press will come with a USB cable and a connector cable for set up.

what comes in cricut mug press box

The majority of laptops and computers have a USB port, but if you have a Mac sometimes they don’t have one, so you’ll need an adapter. I have this adapter from Amazon and it works well to use with one of my C port.

When you open the Cricut mug press box there will be a step by step pamplet on how to set it up.

unboxing cricut mug press
cricut mug press instructions

Open up Cricut Design Space on a computer and click on the three white lines in the upper left hand corner. You’ll get your settings drop down.

Click on New Machine Setup.

how to setup cricut mug press

Click on Cricut EasyPress and then on the next screen click on the picture of the mug press.

how to setup cricut mug press

Then you’ll get a screen that says to plug in the Cricut Mug Press and to turn it on.

The next screen then tells us to connect the Mug Press to the computer. For me, I had to plug the supplied USB cord into my laptop first.

Then I plugged the other end of the cord into the Cricut Mug Press on the backside.

hooking up mug press cricut to laptop
how to set up cricut mug press cords

Note: At first I tried to hook the cord into the press first and then my laptop and it wouldn’t work. Not sure if that’s just me or for everyone, but if you are having problems unplug the cord from both the computer and mug press and make sure you first plug the cord into your computer.

how to setup cricut mug press

Once it reads the machine, click on Continue and you’ll get some screens about updates.

setting up cricut mug press

And then one that says “That’s It!” and that’s it, the Cricut mug press is ready to use.

how to setup cricut mug press

Materials Needed for Cricut Mug Press Project

The Cricut Mug Press will be available March 11th!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Shareasale and Amazon.com. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

cricut mugs

Designing a Mug in Cricut Design Space

Cricut has made it really easy to design the mug within Cricut Design Space with an all in one mug template.

If you are new to CDS, make sure to check out my series of Cricut Design Space 101 tutorials to get started.

Within projects you can find the Mug Design Setup.

mug design setup cricut design space

If you scroll down a little, there will be a drop down menu to pick what you want to make. It has both the 12 oz and 15 oz mug sizes to choose from and then a bunch of edge designs. You can pick a straight edge, ripped edge, scallop edge, wavy edge, and zip zag edge.

mug options in cricut design space


A super cool feature is that the photo at the top will change to the edge that you specify so you can see what it looks like. Here is what it looks like when I selected a scallop edge.

scallop edges cricut mug

Click on Customize and the mug template will be brought onto your canvas.

Notice a few things. There are three small mug images on the top of the template. These are there to help guide you on where to put the images. The cup images show a dotted line where that image will show up (either on the right of the handle, the center, or the left of the handle.

centering mug design

Designing a Wrap Around Color Mug

There are a few different ways to design mugs with the mug template depending on what you want. I will explain how to make the wrap around color mug first and then show you how to design a mug with leaving the background white.

Find images or add text of what you want to add to your mug and size it to fit on the provided template. One thing about Infusible Ink is you don’t want too intricate of images because sometimes they don’t weed easily.

Most of the images I use, I end up making them about 3 inches tall.

Once you have the images centered below the lines, you’ll need to hide the guide layer. It even says on that layer “Hide This Layer”. Click on the layer and then on the eye to hide it.

hide in cricut design space

You can select the images and the long template and Align them Vertically. Then with everything selected, click on Attach in the lower right-hand corner.

attach infusible ink cricut desgin space

The template will now look like this. The images will only show the cut lines.

after attach in design space

Designing a Mug with a White Background

Another mug option, is to cut out images in the color you want them to be and to leave the background of the mug plain (or white).

I like to still use the mug template so I can tell how to size the images I picked. For this mug, I chose a monogram for one side and then a coffee saying for the other.

The mug press plate will press images up to 1/2 inch away from the mug handle so you want to make sure the images aren’t too big and get put too close to the handle.

I placed them over the template so I could make sure the size would fit well.

sizing for cricut mug

These images will be cut out like normal, so no need to attach anything.

cricut designs for mugs

Save your design and then click on Make It. As with all Cricut Infusible Ink, you’ll want to cut it out in a mirror setting. Click the toggle so the Mirror setting is on.

mirror on cds

Select Infusible Ink transfer sheet as your material in the drop down settings and make sure your fine point blade is nice and sharp!

infusible ink transfer sheet setting

I would like to say this project went off without a hitch from beginning to end, but things were not going in my favor! I forgot to mirror one of the mats and my blade was not sharp enough and didn’t cut through some of the material. It happens to all of us!

However, once I got to actually using the mug press, everything went super smoothly! It was definitely the easiest part!!

Getting the Infusible Ink Ready to Press

I’m using the Infusible Ink packs specifically designed for the Cricut mugs. Lay the transfer sheet on a mat and press it down with clean hands or a brayer.

If you are unfamiliar with using and weeding this material, make sure to check out my full tutorial on using Cricut Infusible Ink, making coasters with Infusible Ink, and applying Infusible Ink onto metal.

Cut the Infusible Ink transfer sheet with any of the Cricut cutting machines.

cutting infusible ink with cricut for mug

Remove the sheet from the mat by peeling the mat off the sheet.

peeling ciruct mat from infusible ink

Fold the II so it cracks a bit and then start peeling off the excess. If you are using the full wrap, weed out the words and images and the edge. There should be a bottom layer of plastic that sticks out of both sides.

extra infuisble ink peel
weeding cricut infuisble ink
infusible ink mug transfer sheet

Since my Monogram mug had two colors, I trimmed the plastic as much as I could for the middle words and then just stick it right on the larger plastic backing with the top and bottom words.

two colors of infusible ink

You’ll want to trim the designs so there is only about 1/2 inch of plastic on the sides. This helps prevent dust or hair from getting caught under the plastic and getting infused into the mug!

weeded infusible ink sheets

Adding the Infusible Ink to the Mugs

Once the images are weeded, it’s time to apply them on to the mugs.

At this point I like to turn the mug press on since it takes about 5 minutes to heat up. Click on the On button.

cricut mug press on button

The first thing you’ll want to do is lint roll the mug well! I go over mine like three times.

lint rolling cricut mug

Taping down the single images…

A great tip Cricut gave us was to use a piece of heat resistant tape and tape it across the top of the mug in the center. That way you can center the images using the tape as a guide.

tips for cricut mug press

I centered the image so the middle of it was in the middle of the tape. Then I pressed it down really well. The plastic backing is sticky so it will stick to the mug.

Remember you’ll want the infusible ink at least 1/2 inch away from the handle to ensure a great pressed product.

You’ll notice I use a lot of heat resistant tape! You will come to get a feel for what you like to do.

To ensure the sides of the plastic backing are adhered well I tape all the sides.

cricket mug press tutorial
circut mug press instructions

Taping down the wrap around image…

Now for the wrap around mug. Use the plastic backing as a guide. The tabs will fold over each other under the handle.

I placed my mug upside down on the table and centered the sheet (upside down also) around it so that there were equal margins on each side of the handle.

Then I placed one side down really well and pulled the rest of the sheet as I wrapped it around so that it’s nice and tight. You can watch these steps in the video at the bottom!

infusible ink sheet on mug

Then I went a bit tape crazy and taped the full bottom edge down and the top.

cricut mug press tutoral
cricut mug taped off
taping cricut mug

You want to really make sure the bottom is taped down at least. When I first started making mugs, I didn’t tape all of it and I had a few spots that weren’t as vibrant.

trouble shooting cricut mug press

How to Use the Cricut Mug Press

Once the mug press is preheated, it will beep and the light on top will turn white (from orange).

I recommend checking with the Cricutheatguide for step-by-step directions for all these parts. The process will differ if you use Infusible Ink markers.

Place the mug in the press with the handle facing out.

placing mug in cricut mug press

Push down on the lever and look at the handle to make sure the plate encloses it with an equidistant on each side.

lever on mug press cricut

Now just wait! A mug will take about 6 minutes to finish pressing. More white lights will light as the time progresses until all 5 are lit. Then they will start blinking and the press will beep.

cricut mug press lights

Once it beeps, lift up the lever. Remove the mug by the handle! The handle will be cool to the touch but the rest of the mug is hot!!

using cricut mug press

Place the mug on an EasyPress mat or towel to let cool for 15-30 minutes.

cricket mug press

Now comes the fun part!!! The unveiling…

Pull all the tape off and then remove the plastic backing. I’m sure oohhs and ahhs will escape your lips!

cricut mug press mug
dog mama mug cricut
cricut infusible ink mug

If any of the Infusible Ink stays on the mug, just wipe it away with your finger.

removing infusible ink off mug
coffee is my spirit animal mug
monogram cricut mug

There you have it! Gorgeous, personalized, waterproof, and dishwasher safe DIY mugs that will never peel loose color. Ohhh, the possibilities!!

monogram cricut mug tutorial
unnamed file
dog mama mug cricut
unnamed file
cricut mug press projects

Mug Press How To Video Tutorial

I have a short video on how I made the wrap around Dog Mama mug below. Just click on the play button to watch it!

If you’d like a longer detailed tutorial on how I made the Be Kind and a Mr. and Mrs. mug set, make sure to check out my YouTube mug tutorial here.

cricut mug press projects

If you’d like to save this tutorial on using the Cricut mug press for later or share you can PIN It now! If you are on a desktop hover over the top left of the image below and if you are on a phone simply tap on the image and a PIN It button will pop up to click on!

cricut mug press tutorial

Here are some printable Cricut mug press instructions.

cricut mug press projects

Cricut Mug Press for Beginners Instructions

Yield: 1 mug
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $5

Learn how to use the Cricut mug press to make permanent and dishwasher safe DIY personalized mugs using Cricut Infusible Ink transfer sheets.

Materials

Tools

Instructions

  1. Open up Cricut Design Space and search Mug Design Setup or use this link.
  2. Select the size of mug and edge designs in the drop down menu.
  3. Click on customize. Add images, names, monograms, or text to the canvas. Use the mug guides at the top to center the designs.
  4. Once everything is set, hide the mug guideline layer (click on eye in right panel).
  5. If using the wraparound, select all images and template and Attach.
  6. Click on Make it and select Mirror setting in the prepare screen.
  7. Cut out of an Infusible Ink transfer sheet. Remove from mat and peel off the extra so you are left with your design on a plastic blacking with clear tabs at each end.
  8. Turn on the Cricut mug press and let it preheat.
  9. Lint roll a compatible Cricut mug. Center the Infusible Ink image ink side down on the mug. Press down the plastic backing well so it is a tight fit.
  10. Use heat-resistant tape around the bottom and edges to ensure the sheets are adhered well.
  11. Place the mug in the preheated mug press and press down on the lever, making sure the handle is in the opening with equal sides showing. Let the press do it's thing!
  12. After about 6 minutes, the press will beep and the lights will flash. Raise the lever and remove the mug by the handle. It will be hot everywhere else!
  13. Place on a heat-resistant mat and let it cool for about 15-30 minutes.
  14. Remove the tape and plastic backing and be amazed at your new gorgeous Cricut mug!

Notes

See the post for full detailed step by step instructions with pictures and a link to a full video.

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Nila ROSE-HOBBS

Sunday 7th of March 2021

I've alot to learn with Cricut Maker already. I'll put this on my to-do list. TYSM

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