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An ultimate guide on how to make personalized Yeti cups or other stainless steel tumblers including applying glitter, vinyl, your own pictures, and monograms! Updated July 2020.
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Hi Friends! Want to learn how to make your own personalized Yeti cups, Ozark tumblers, RTIC cups or even plastic tumblers with straws??
Customizing your own stainless steel mug is easier than you think and there are so many ways to go about it.
This list of ways to decorate a Yeti cup goes from as easy as buying a decal to adding your own glitter and monograms.
Personalized Yeti Cups
Decorated Tumblers For Beginners!
Probably the easiest way to personalize Yeti cups, if you don’t own a cutting machine, is to purchase a vinyl decal on Etsy or Amazon. There are a ton of sellers who will make customized tumbler decals and mail them to you.
Then all you need to do is apply them. If you have a cutting machine like a Cricut Explore Air or Cricut Maker (which I highly recommend if you want to get good at personalizing all kinds of things), you can cut out a simple name or SVG file and apply to your tumbler.
Follow this step by step video tutorial on how to apply vinyl to stainless steel by clicking here.
Still Easy, but requires another step!
Another easy way to make decorated yeti cups is to paint them. It really is pretty easy!
I have painted them a few ways using both chalk paint and spray paint. The advantage of painting them is that you can remove the vinyl decal so that you won’t have to worry about it coming off.
One downside is that the paint can chip off. However, I have had mine for a couple of years and there are only a few spots that have chipped.
To learn how to chalk paint a stainless steel tumbler click here.
To learn how to spray paint a tumbler, click here for tutorial
If you’d like to learn about different spray paints you can use and watch a video on how I spray paint tumblers, click here!
Hydro dipping a tumbler is an easy way to create a marbled look appearance on a stainless steel mug.
Intermediate +: Glittering Stainless Steel Tumblers – even more steps but you can do it!
Now on to my favorite way of making personalized Yeti cups…. adding glitter!! This starts getting more labor-intensive and has a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of them, they really are pretty easy.
When you glitter a tumbler, you need a way to secure the glitter so it doesn’t come off every time you touch it.
Epoxy Resin vs. Mod Podge as a sealant on Glitter Tumblers DIY
The easiest and more affordable way is to apply mod podge or triple thick over the top. Some will say that vinyl needs to breathe and adding a coating over is a no-no. I’ve made a few this way and over a year later they still look great!
So, it’s up to you on which way you want to go. The other downside of mod podge is that it feels a little bumpy, but again some people prefer this textured feeling.
Epoxy resin is a 2 part coating and casting resin that is long-lasting and FDA approved to be used on food items. I always tape off the top part of my tumblers so that a mouth would not touch the coating or paint but some people have their glitter go all the way to the top.
You can see in the picture below that the epoxy creates a smoother surface than using mod podge. The disadvantages of epoxy are that it is time-consuming if you don’t have a motor turner and that it can crack if it’s dropped at a certain angle.
DIY Glitter Tumbler Tutorials:
In this tutorial, learn how to apply the first layer of mod podge and glitter with a video tutorial. Also, I have a whole split letter monogram alphabet you can download to use on your own personalized yeti cups!
If you use a plain stainless steel mug, I advise spray painting a layer of paint so that you don’t need to use so much glitter.
In this tutorial, I’ll take you step by step on how to make DIY glitter tumblers, from how to spray paint the cups to a few video tutorials on how to apply the epoxy (click here!).
Making ombre glitter tumblers is another fun way to add more color. Watch the entire process in one video! Plus learn how to use your kids’ handwriting to personalize cups for Mom, Dad, or Grandparents!
When it comes to applying epoxy resin to a tumbler, making an easy DIY tumbler turner is a game changer! Find out how I made a cup turner for cheap by clicking here.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to use mod podge instead of epoxy to seal the cup. Plus you will also learn how to decorate your glitter cup with your own pictures!
So, you don’t need a cutting machine to decorate one this way but I still think a Cricut cutting machine is the best invention ever! Click here to read my ultimate guide of what you can do with a Cricut!
If you want to add even more glitter to your tumbler, find out how to use cheap double-sided adhesive sheets to create beautiful images by clicking here.
You don’t even need to use stainless steel mugs! Check out my tutorial on how to make glitter personalized tumblers with straws and how to upload images in Cricut Design Space to make your own unicorn cup..
Other Fun Ways to Decorate Tumbler Cups
Another fun way to decorate a stainless steel mug is to apply fabric to it. Check out my tutorial here on how to make a DIY fabric tumbler !
If you just want to learn how to easily make monograms or learn how to make shadow layers, check out my video tutorial here.
Using alcohol inks is another fun and easy way to personalize yetis and tumblers. Check out my video tutorial on how to apply alcohol inks to custom tumblers here.
Wood grain tumblers are super easy to make with alcohol inks also.
Where to buy stainless steel tumblers and which one should I get?
There is a huge variety of stainless steel mugs on the market, which is great! I’ve read a couple of studies and have heard from friends that have done tests with all of them, and it seems like there is really not a clear winner on how long your water stays cold.
From what I’ve read, the lower cost mugs work just as well as the higher end with the big names. Check out this hot drink comparison article here from Slick Deals. Basically, they all say the same thing, don’t waste your money unless you want to. They all perform the same!
I personally like Ozark Tumblers and Mossy Oak from Walmart. They aren’t always in stock at your local store, but when they are a lot of times they will go on clearance.
I’ve heard of some Walmarts dropping their prices to only $5 for a 2 pack! So, if you’re ever at a Walmart, check the camping section for Ozarks to see what price they are. If you don’t have a Walmart around, you can get them on Amazon. They sell all the brands for usually pretty cheap.
You can always browse my Amazon storefront with my complete DIY Tumbler supply list.
When I started making glitter mugs, Youtube was a lot of help! There are many other great tutorials on there if you need more info.
Troy Tube is a great channel, he makes a lot of different kind of Yetis. There are also Facebook groups for anything! Search there and I’m sure you’ll find a group full of ideas.
I hope this helps in getting you started on making your own personalized Yeti cups or any other stainless steel mug you prefer! Remember as with any new craft, there is a learning curve and it gets easier and you get better with time and practice!
If you have any questions or if there is something you would like a tutorial on, please let me know in the comment section!
If you’d like to save this list for later, you can Pin it now if you’d like!
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a creative day!