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Spray Painting a Stainless Steel Mug

Hi Friends! Every so often I actually make stuff for myself.  Honestly, it’s hard making crafts to sell since I want to keep them all!  I really wanted to try spray painting a stainless steel mug so I decided to make it for myself (it has my name on it, so I have to keep it!).

In the past, I’ve painted Ozark mugs with chalk paint which you can find by clicking here since I hadn’t had success with spray paint.  But I found a few tips online and decided to use a different paint and I absolutely am in love with how it came out!!

Isn’t it pretty???  I had a lot of fun doing the ombre effect and of course using glitter paint!  Spray painting a stainless steel mug is super easy to do too.  Here’s how to do it!  If you want to really seal the glitter with epoxy, check out my tutorial here!

ozark pin

Materials for Spray Painting a Stainless Steel Mug with Glitter

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and/or I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links.

painted yeti ozark

First thing to do if you want an image is to cut out a decal with vinyl or buy one off Etsy.  It’s so easy to make your cut your own images with a Cricut cutting machine.  (You can find my Ultimate Guide to Cricut Ideas here! Think gift ideas, decor ideas, wall art, Christmas, great apps to use with it, etc!)

Clean the mug with rubbing alcohol and apply the decal to the mug.  Click here for my video tutorial on how to apply vinyl to a tumbler.

Before I start painting, I tape off the top with blue painter’s tape or electrical tape because I don’t like my mouth to touch the paint.  Make sure it’s pressed down firmly.  Watch the video at the top if you need help with this part.


painting a stainless steel mug

Go to a well ventilated area and place the mug upside down.  After you shake the paint, start spray painting the stainless steel mug from about 12 inches away.  Do a light layer moving around the mug.

spray painting stainless steel mug

Let it dry for about 10-20 minutes and paint another light coat.  It will need 2-3 coats.

painted yeti

If you want to watch a video of how I spray paint stainless steel tumblers click here!

Then I turned the mug over and added Glad press n seal around the top so that paint wouldn’t get in the mug.  With the glitter paint, spritz a light layer all over the mug.  Let dry for 10-15 minutes and spritz another layer from middle of mug to bottom.  Let dry and repeat again with spritzing just the bottom.

There is no right or wrong to this part.  It’s up to how you want it to look.  If you want it dark purple on the bottom, you need to add quite a few layers.

painting a yeti ozark
spray paint glitter ozark

I made the mistake here of taking off the press and seal and tape.  I ended up adding it back on to spray the top coat on so just leave it on.  Let it dry and now it’s time to take off the vinyl decal.  

I used my weeding tool to lift an edge up and then slowly pulled it off using my tool to pull up the little swirly pieces.

glitter tumbler tutorial
personalizing ozark yeti

Now spray a few coats of glitter sealer on, letting it dry between coats for about 20 minutes.  I did 2 coats.  It says it will dry to touch in an hour so don’t touch it before that.  

I did and now I have a small finger mark on my mug.  It’s so hard to wait sometimes!  The directions say to let it sit for 24 hours before handling it.

Since I took the tape off too early and had to put it back on, some of the sealer ran underneath the tape.  I used my favorite cleaning agent and a qtip to get it off.  

To read more about how amazing tea tree oil is to clean paint and sharpie with click here.

tea tree oil
cleaning with tea tree oil

Now it’s all clean around the top!

yeti ozark decoration

So here’s a few pictures of the finished product front and back!!  See that little nick at the top?? That’s what happens when you have that small little tail of the tape that slips down.  

Make sure your painter’s tape is in one long straight line!  (I have since started using electrical tape since it’s a bit easy to maneuver).

ombre glitter ozark
spray painting ozark

I love how it came out and now my daughter is begging me to make her one… oh the possibilities!  Post pics of yours if you do one!

spray painting a stainless steel mug

I recently applied epoxy to my glitter cups and it wasn’t as hard as I thought!  Check out  my full step by step plus video glitter tumbler tutorial here!


If you don’t like glitter, you can always just spray paint them!  Check out my tutorial here for how I  made these ones!


Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great day!

leap of faith crafting
painting a stainless steel mug
spray paint ozark

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  1. Nicole wilfong says:

    What font did you use?

  2. Jackie says:

    Did you have any problems with the paint chipping?

  3. Hi Jackie, Thanks for checking out my post! No, I haven’t had any problems with the paint chipping. I use my mug everyday, all day and the only problem I’ve had is dirty finger print marks on the top part where the glitter is a light coat. Since I used my cup so much for water I wasn’t very good about washing it!! I’ve even scraped some of the top glitter off with my fingernail and the paint underneath stayed perfectly intact!

  4. Hi Nicole,
    Thanks for checking out my post and your question! The font is AR Julian. It is one of my favorites since the letters are thick and it’s easy to weed! I’m pretty sure it’s just a standard font with a computer.

  5. Jackie says:

    Thank you!!!

  6. Tonja says:

    I love this. How do you prevent the “cracked” paint look? Thanks!

  7. Sara says:

    Is the cup smooth afterwards or is it kind of rough? I love the glittered look but I fear it would be harder to clean than a nice smooth surface, thoughts?

  8. THanks so much for the question Sara! You can feel it a little bit but personally it doesn’t bother me. Yes, the glitter is a little harder to clean. On the plus side, you can’t even really tell it’s dirty! I just hand wash it like my others.

  9. Thanks Tonja!! I think just spraying at least 12 inches away. With this type of paint I had no issues with it. I tried just a basic spray paint before and it ran a lot. Hope that helps!

  10. Melissa Shipman Edwards says:

    I was going to buy the Glitter sealer because I wanted clear with glitter, but I can’t find definitive answer if it has glitter IN it or if it just a clear sealer. I would appreciate it if you could let me know!

  11. Hi Melissa, no, it doesn’t have glitter in it! I sprayed some on a white piece of paper and it’s clear. Hope that helps!

  12. Tera says:

    I love it! All my nieces’ names are spelled different than normal so finding a personalized item is very difficult!
    1st question: did you take off the vinyl decal and then sprayed the clear sealer?
    2nd question: I don’t want to remove the painters tape until after everything has been sprayed & dried, correct?
    Thanks for the great idea!

  13. Stephanie Miles says:

    This is so great. I’m assuming this makes it hand wash only correct? Also, have you had any problems with it coming off/chipping or anything since doing this, now that you’ve had it for a while?

  14. Bethany says:

    Ugh! Mine wouldn’t dry, the glitter paint ran I think you need to sand the cup before painting the paint just slips off the cup. Disappointed.

  15. Oh No Bethany! I didn’t sand at all. Did you use the gloss protective enamel paint? If you use just regular spray paint it does drip off, I’ve done that before! The first time I spray painted one I used regular Rustoleum spray paint and it dripped right off so I tried sanding it but then I saw the sanding lines underneath it. This one I used the Gloss Protective Enamel spray paint and I had no issues. With glitter spray paint, just do spritz.

  16. Yes, I would only hand wash. I never put stainless steel in dishwasher, so I’ve actually never tried it. I still use mine all the time and the paint has not chipped off at all. The only thing that happened was that I’m a picker, and I started picking at the glitter at the top so I have been slowly scraping off the glitter layer with my fingernail, but the paint layer is still intact and hasn’t chipped at all!

  17. Hi Tera! Yes, unfortunately I did that to my daughter and she complains all the time that she can never find anything so luckily I can make her everything! I did take the decal off first but I think I would leave it on next time so that the sealer wasn’t on the cup. I ended up scraping the sealer off with my fingernail. Yes, leave the painters tape until everything is sprayed. I wouldn’t let it dry fully, sometimes it can pull the paint with it. I’d love to see a picture of how yours came out!

  18. Superwoman says:

    Okay so if I want my initials on it do I spray it 1st den let the lady do monogram it

  19. It depends on how you want your initials. On mine, I wanted the initials in the silver color so I put the vinyl on first and spray painted over it and then removed it. Some people will put permanent vinyl on top of the spray paint if they want a certain color. So, really up to you depending on what color you want it!

  20. Lily says:

    Did you create this monogram on your cricut or use a cut file? This looks really amazing. I love how the name sits in the middle of the letter

  21. Hi Lily, thanks so much! I used a cut file. There are a free few split monogram alphabet files out there. There are also a few YouTube tutorials on making your own split letter monogram. Hope that helps!

  22. Cynthia says:

    Can you put the decal over the paint/final product? Thanks!

  23. Hi Cynthia, I never have but I asked my facebook friends and some of them have and they like it. I have put the decal over chalk paint and it works fine but I have never tried over the glitter. Sorry, I don’t have first hand knowledge of that! Let me know if you try it! Thanks!

  24. Stephanie Jansen says:

    I need a food grade sealant, do you recommend any??

  25. Hi Stephanie, that’s a good question. I actually don’t know. Are you putting food right on where the vinyl is?? I know mod podge makes a dishwasher safe sealant but have never used it. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!

  26. Diane Hauser says:

    How has this held up to being washed? dented? scratched? I’m thinking about doing this to stainless steel water bottles for my volleyball team

  27. The paint has held up perfectly! I’m a bit of a picker so I have been picking off the glitter with my fingernail but the paint doesn’t scratch at all. I still have the glitter all over the bottom half of the mug and the top half is mostly teal now. The paint hasn’t chipped at all!

  28. Doris says:

    Thank you for the easy to follow tutorial. Made one for a friend for her birthday and she loved it!

  29. Thank you Doris!! I’m so glad it came out well. They do make wonderful gifts!!

  30. This is a great tutorial! I made my first cup this weekend. I used Oracal 631 vinyl, and it left a residue behind when I peeled off my design. How do I clean that without messing up the paint around the design? Yours didn’t seem to have this problem. I am using tea tree oil and a q-tip on the larger bare parts of the design, but there are a lot of swirly curves in mine too and some tiny letters that I don’t want to mess up. I haven’t put the sealer on it yet. Thanks!

  31. Hi Lori, thanks for checking out my tutorial! You know, I use my fingernail a lot to scrape off sticky stuff. Not technical at all but it seems to work for me!

  32. What actually worked was even less technical! I tried everything – nail polish remover, paint thinner, toothpicks… it was all a tedious mess. I let the cups (yes, by this time I had two of them going!) sit for a couple of days and then took a damp paper towel and scrubbed the design. I had to use a little elbow grease but it worked great and was much faster than my previous methods, plus there was no chance of messing up my paint. After it was all clean, I lightly wiped the whole cup with alcohol to remove any paper towel debris and applied the sealer. Thought your readers might want to know in case their vinyl leaves more residue than they think is manageable. 🙂

  33. Staci Deedrick says:

    Would u say hand wash only on these? Also I have someone wanting the cup painted navy but the letters in red….how should I do that?

  34. Hi Staci! I only hand wash but I’m more of a hand washer with anything stainless steel. You could try to paint a layer of red on first, then after its add your vinyl , and then spray paint navy. I haven’t tried it so I’m not positive it will work. The other option is adding vinyl lettering on top of a navy cup. I’ve done that before, it’s just a different look.

  35. MECHILE says:

    Made my cup 2 months ago using the same paints listed above and have washed it over and over again and it still has a paint smell. How do you get ride of that smell?

  36. Hi, that’s so weird. I don’t have any smells with any of mine. I use mine daily and don’t remember it ever having a smell. I’m smelling it right now and it doesn’t smell like anything. I wish I could help you! Maybe trying to wash it gently with a little tea tree oil or diluted vinegar??

  37. De Dollar says:

    I am still a bit nervous about make one of these, but THANK YOU for sharing the details and also for the fantastic pics!!

  38. You’re welcome! I have just ventured into epoxy cups so I will be posting how to do that once I work out a few kinks. I almost prefer just the spray painted ones though! Good luck!

  39. C-Helton says:

    Hi. In regard to the sticky residue after removing the vinyl. I was told by a vinyl sign company that you can use the 631 vinyl. It’s meant to stick well but not to leave an adhesive residue after removal. Hope that helps someone. I’m going to try this! Great tutorial

  40. LaKeisha says:

    Try Amazing Clear Cast Epoxy to seal your cups. There are you tube videos to show you how to do it.

  41. I have! That is the next tutorial I’m working on! It’s definitely a different look.

  42. Taylor says:

    You should check out Plasti Dip. I don’t think they have glitter but they have lots of color options and other than a clean tumblers there’s no real prep you just need your tumbler, painters tape and the Plasti Dip. 🙂 Also, It’s used on cars so you shouldn’t have to worry about it peeling off.

  43. Serina Lees says:

    What type of font did you use for your Cricut for this cup?

  44. Jackie Rogers says:

    When i attempted this the glitter came off in big pieces with the decals. Why did it do this

  45. My name is AR Julian I believe and the monogram was a free file I found on Google. Thanks!

  46. Darnell Cambre says:

    I wish I could find a D like your A

  47. Hi Jackie! Hmmm, I haven’t had that happen. You might have put too much on or let it dry too long??? I would take the stencil off when it’s dry to the touch, maybe within an hour and see if that helps!

  48. Jo Ann La Manna says:

    I love your creations! Thank you for your very clear and detailed instructions. Your pictures, videos and links to the items needed are great. I read all the questions in the comments. Your answers and the tips from the other gals are so helpful. It makes me think I could make a few. My daughter, granddaughter and nieces have unique spellings of their names (as well as my own). I’m going all in. Wish me luck! ????

  49. HI Jo ann! Thank you so much for your kind words! So glad I provide some inspiration! Yes, you can do it, it just takes some practice and patience at the beginning but it gets so much easier. My daughter complains all the time about the spelling of her name since you can’t find anything with it so it’s such a blessing to be able to make her almost anything she wants! Good luck and have fun!!

  50. Katherine says:

    Hi Amy, thank you so much for your detailed instructions!! I did my first cup & I’m excited to do more!! I need more practice (like getting my tape evenly around the cup!!) but overall, following the steps you gave, the cup looks great!

  51. Katherine says:

    Hi Ms. Amy, I have a question. On the Ozark cups, how did you get the raised emblem covered? The cup I did, I can still see the emblem. What would you suggest? Thanks!

  52. Hi Katherine, unfortunately there is not much to do with the emblem. I always make sure mine is on the backside and put the monogram on the front. You can’t see it too much unless you really look. The only time they are pretty much covered up is in the epoxy glitter cups. Thanks for checking out my post!

  53. Hi Katherine! Yay, so glad it came out well! Yes, it is a learning process. My tape is still not always perfect either!

  54. Katherine says:

    Thank you so much!! I gave a cup to each of my co-workers & they all like them! Thank you for the tip on where to place the monogram. I just got a cricut machine today & am excited to try it out! I looked at some of your other crafts & can’t wait to try them out! So glad you took that Leap of Faith!! ????

  55. Hi Katerine! Thank you so much, you just made my day! So glad my little blog helps you! You will love your Cricut – congrats on taking the plunge! Can’t wait to hear what you make with it! Have a good day!

  56. Dianne says:

    Hi, I painted the first two coats of base blue paint, waited 20 minutes in between for drying and then had to leave for dinner. When I came back around 3-4 hours later and sprayed coat #3 now I have a cracked looking paint job. What in the world do you think happened?

    Thanks Dianne

  57. Oh no, so sorry to hear that Dianne! My first thought would be temperature? Maybe the change in temperature between the two if you were doing it outside. Or I know some of the those paints say to apply layers within an hour or not until after 24 hours so maybe it has to do with how it dries. I’ve never had that happen so that’s interesting to hear. I hope it wasn’t too bad or that you were able to scrape it off!

  58. Tomara says:

    Hi, can you put the decal on the tumbler then instead if spray painting the cup can you do the Mod Podge and glitter method? Would it be possible to weed the decal off the tumbler once the glitter is on the cup?

  59. Robin says:

    Hey!! Wanted to give a quick tip with the tape, Use electrical tape! It gives a lot more and you can manipulate it as you see fit for the curve of the tumbler. ????

  60. Hi Tomara! I’ve had quite a few people ask this so I tried it. It didn’t work that well. After two coats of glitter it was really hard to see the decal and when I pulled it up the mod podge and glitter moved. It worked ok for a large decal but not for the smaller letters in a name. I’ll show pics when I’m done! Thanks for stopping by!

  61. Yes! Great tip, I have started doing that too! I switch back and forth depending on which one I can find at the time!

  62. Kerri Overbeck says:

    Is there a link to your monogram? I love it!

  63. Hi Kerri, I found this one online. I just googled split letter monogram. I tried to look for it again but couldn’t find the exact one. There are quite a few other free ones though. I have one on my holographic mug tutorial but it’s just a script letter. Have a great day!

  64. Sasha says:

    Thank you for the tutorial. Question, if my spray paint is running and also splotchy, how do you recommend fixing it?

  65. Hi Sasha! I’ve had mine run once and I was able to wash it all off with tea tree oil and soap. Make sure you’re standing far enough away from it and there isn’t much wind! Hope that helps! Good luck!

  66. Cheryl Putukian says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Love the tutorial and I’m excited to try the process, I have a question though. Is it easy to see the vinyl under the paint once you’re ready to peel it off?
  67. Cheryl Putukian says:

    Great tutorial! How hard is it to find or see your vinyl decal once it’s covered with paint?

  68. HI Cheryl, not too hard! I held it up to the sun light and moved it around so I could see the intricate details. I’ve made a lot of spray painted cups and have never hand a problem seeing the vinyl. It definitely sticks up a bit!

  69. Cassidy says:

    I’m in the middle of doing one now. Even ended up with the same colors as yours b/c that’s what Home Depot had in stock that day lol. My ombre is going to be upside down though lol. I wasn’t expecting the glitter paint to spray with such force. I guess practice will make perfect eventually. Thank you for this tutorial! I can’t wait to share my finished cup!

  70. Sherry Orozco says:

    For the life of me cannot get the glitter Rustoleum can to spray . Its stuck and Im ready to quit. Ive tried WD100 and needles to unclog the can . Any suggestions will help. The glitter spray was the only issue.

  71. Ugh, I hate when that happens. Is it a brand new bottle?? Do you have another paint can you can switch out the tops? I’ve done that quite a bit and it works. Here’s a video of some different ways. I’ve tried the air pump before too and it worked.

  72. HI Cassidy! I can’t wait to see it. Yes, the glitter paint is a learning curve. Try doing spritzes!

  73. Samantha says:

    Just finished my first cup…..I have the cracked paint look…and very uneven glitter because it was kinda hard to spray. Can’t wait to get a good look at it after it drys. I definitely need to keep practicing with it.

  74. Hi Samantha, yes it is definitely a learning curve!! I scraped off paint off a few tumblers when I first started!

  75. Keyata says:

    Hello, what are the height and width of the monogram? I love your cups and you do a great job at explaining. Thank you 😊

  76. Hi Keyata, thanks so much! For my 20 oz cups, most of the monograms are between 2.5-3 inches in height and width.
    Have a great day!

  77. Harlie says:

    Is the surface smooth after it’s finished? Or is it rough because of the glitter?

    Also, do you think I could put a decal on top of the glitter paint and then do the final coat to hold it on? Instead of doing a negative space with the decal if that makes sense.

  78. Hi Harlie, it is a little bumpy. I think you could put a decal on top of the glitter but it will probably look a little bumpy underneath. To make it really smooth, epoxy resin is great to put on before a vinyl decal and then after. Hope that helps!

  79. Dee says:

    Great tutorial!
    Can you use paint on entire tumbler?

  80. Hi Dee, thanks so much! You could, but I don’t like the paint being where my mouth will be so I always tape off the top. Taping off the bottom is completely optional!

  81. FAy Competio says:

    How much should one charge for these cups?

  82. Hi Fay, that’s a tough question. I don’t sell mine. You could look on Etsy and see what people charge. The glitter ones would be quite a bit more with because of the time and materials.

  83. Fay competio says:

    We did one and it as fine and the we used it, washed it ect another one we did exactly the same way and it became tacky even after two weeks. We washed and the glitter is coming off. Any suggestions

  84. Hi Fay! That is so weird that it would turn out differently! I’m just guessing… Maybe the weather?? If it’s colder, maybe it doesn’t stick as well?? Or needs longer to adhere. Check the ideal temperature on the cans.

  85. TAMI says:

    Hi Amy
    Thank you so much for sharing your crafts and how to make.
    I want to try and make the tumbler with the letter “A”. Where can I get the letter fonts?
    Thank you, Tami

  86. Hi Tami, you know, I found that split letter monogram for free a few years ago. I can’t remember if it was in a FB group or if I just googled it. I did just make a video tutorial on how to make a split letter monogram in CDS – you can check it out here Thanks for stopping by!

  87. Susie Q says:

    Epoxy scares me, i have had some for a while. 😯

  88. Hi Susie, I was scared of epoxy for a long time too. But now I love it! It’s much easier to use than I thought and I prefer the epoxy tumblers, they hold up better.

  89. shelly finegan says:

    Hi Taylor,
    [tee hee hee that’s my daughter’s name too]
    I’ve been wondering how long it was going to take before someone mentioned PlastiDip in regards to these tumblers!!
    Did YOU actually do it?? I want to ..but don’t know enough about Plastidip, just that my daughters bestie sprayed her rims, windshield wipers ..and the air caps on her tires with it….
    I mean could you ombre it ya think?
    Add glitter to it??
    i’m wondering the possibilities, but the endurance of it is what interested me lol
    PLUS, BONUS: you can always peel it off later and wallah, brand new cup to start over with a new idea, I mean come on we are ladies right, we GET to change our minds later!!
    hope to hear that you’ve tried this with success!!

  90. Alora Baker says:

    What do you suggest if putting a vinyl decal on these? Should I seal the cup first with something? (And if so what?) and then afterwards but the decal on and seal again?

  91. You don’t really need to seal vinyl if you are using the outdoor/permanent vinyl. I have some tumblers where there is no seal over the vinyl and others than I applied a layer of triple thick or mod podge over. Either way works. If you are painting and then adding vinyl, I would put a coating over the whole thing for the paint. Mod podge, triple thick or a spray sealant.

  92. Carol says:

    Hi Amy. Thanks SO much for this amazing idea! I was considering purchasing an ombré tumbler when I came across your tutorial and immediately decided to diy it instead because yours is SO much cuter! Question: is there a reason you turn the tumbler right-side-up before spraying on the purple glitter? Does spraying the glitter on the bottom make the tumbler unstable? Thanks for the help and all the great crafting ideas!

  93. Hi Carol, I’m sure yours will come out super cute! I just find it easier to spray at a down angle. I suppose you don’t need to turn it around, but the glitter spray paint might fall farther down the cup with gravity. If you try it, I’d love to know how it comes out!

  94. Christie says:

    Great tutorial ! Our youth church group are going to make these for this year’s VBS project. They will only be spray painting not using the glitter. Can you suggest the best thing to seal the cups with ? We don’t want to use exopy. Something that is FDA approved. Any other tips would be appreciated. Thanks so much!!

  95. HI Christie, unfortunately, there are not a lot of options when comes to sealants that are FDA approved. Epoxy is definitely one of those. Mod Podge is non-toxic and I have used it to seal tumblers before and it works pretty well.
    I always tape off the top of the tumblers so none of our mouths come into contact with the paint or sealant. I agree using epoxy with kids wouldn’t be easy to do! Mod Podge came out with a thicker sealant this year but I haven’t actually worked with it, so I can’t say how well it works, but you could definitely look into that!

  96. Richard P Lewis says:

    will the mug’s finish be dishwasher proof?

  97. No. Stainless steel mugs should not be put in the dishwasher even without being painted. The high pressure messes with it’s temperature mechanism.

  98. Sarah Quinn says:

    How long does it seem to last on the cups? Thinking of doing it for my girls for Easter. Thanks!

  99. It’s lastest quite a few years. My daughter’s is starting to chip just a little bit around her name but they are about 3 years old.

  100. Nicole Pease says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    Thanks so much for sharing! Did you ever experience bleeding? I’m wondering if I sprayed too close but after I removed the vinyl it looked like in bled in some places and the paint came off in others. I did let it set 24 hours before removing vinyl. Thanks!
  101. P Chupp says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    I like your videos. Nice job!
  102. Sarah says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    I think I’m misreading something. I even searched the comments and didn’t find an answer. After you removed the decal then you sprayed the glitter sealer? And if so did you only remove the vinyl and leave the tape and press and seal in place? is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to