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The Easiest Way to Make Teacher Waterslide Mugs!

Make your own personalized teacher mugs with waterslide decals and a printer.

Hi Friends!  I have been having a lot of fun making mugs lately and I have a few more to show you. For this round, I have been working on personalized teacher mugs using waterslide decals. 

Like my last post on his and hers mugs, I have two different ways to show you and free teacher appreciation cut files!

teacher mugs

On a previous post, I showed you how to design heart-shaped photos to add to a mug with water slide paper and today you are in luck because you don’t even have to design anything! 

I have free designs for you to print so you have a few to pick from.

Materials Needed for Teacher Waterslide Mugs

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

teacher png
teacher mugs
teacher png

If you’d like to download a FREE SVG cut file of all of them click here!  If you have a cutting machine, you can cut out the files with vinyl and add them to a mug.  

As with all my files, these are for personal use only.  If you would like to purchase a commercial use license, click here.

waterslide mugs

How to Make Waterslide Decals

I’m going to show you how to make teacher mugs even when you don’t have a cutting machine!

Water slide decal paper to the rescue.  All you need is a printer and some water to make these cute teacher gifts.

The first thing you’ll need to do is print out the file or image on water slide paper.  Size it to however big you want it. 

I usually want the waterslide decals about 2.5-3 inches depending on how big my mug is.  You want to print on the shiny side of the decal paper and set your printer to photo glossy paper so it prints at the highest quality.

Let the water slide paper dry for a few minutes.

This water slide paper is for an inkjet computer which is what I have.  Since the ink will run from an inkjet printer you’ll need to seal the water slide decal once it’s dry.

water slide paper on mug

If you are not using the entire paper, make sure you cut out the decals so that you don’t waste the paper. 

How to Seal a Water slide Decal

Place your printed water slide paper in a well-ventilated area. I place mine outside on an old sheet and spray a light coat of sealant over the decals. 

water slide paper on mug tutorial

Then wait 20-30 minutes and spray it again in a different direction.  Wait another 30 minutes and spray it one more time. So you should spray a sealant over the water slide decal three times.

Let the decal dry fully for 20-30 minutes. 

If the image is not cut out yet, cut it out so that there’s about 1-2 mm around the image.  (This was a decal from my his and hers mugs)

his and hers mugs

How to Apply Waterslide to a Mug

Now you are ready to apply the printed decal.  Clean your mug with rubbing alcohol.

water slide paper on mug

Have a bowl of warm water, a paint brush, and paper towel nearby ready.

Drop your decal in the warm water for about 20-30 seconds.

water slide paper on mug

The decal will start pulling apart from the backing paper. 

Pull it up a little and place the top part of the decal on the mug, hold it down, and pull the backing down and off.

applying waterslide decal to mug

Move the decal around the mug so that it’s straight and then you will take the paint brush and push out the water and air bubbles. 

Start from the center and gently slide the brush to the edge.

Lift the brush up and repeat from the middle to another edge until you’ve brushed down the whole image. 

water slide paper on mug

Grab a paper towel and gently blot the decal to get the rest of the water off.

water slide paper on mug

Baking Waterslide Decals

Let the mugs dry for a few hours and then you need to bake the waterslide mugs. 

There should be baking waterslide decal instructions on the package of the specific brand of waterslide paper that you are using.

This is how I bake the waterslide decal mugs:

Put them in a cold oven, turn it on to 300F and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Then let them cool in the oven.  Let the mugs cure for a few days before you get them wet.

Water slide decal mugs need to be hand-washed only! (I have a Hand Wash only printable that you can stick in the mug).

teacher mugs

I was trying to take a picture of the edge of the decal but as you can see, it’s really hard to see it!

teacher mugs

See how easy it is to make personalized teacher mugs??!!  Here are 4 different mugs that are all made using water slide decal paper.  

water slide mugs

If you’d like to check out my post on how to make a sharpie mug either with stickers or a vinyl stencil click here.  These mugs are dishwasher safe and so easy to make!

small gifts for teachers

For a whole bunch more of teacher appreciation ideas click here!

If you’d like to save this tutorial on making waterslide cups 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!

teacher mugs

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great day,

leap of faith crafting

Irene Rodgers

Tuesday 5th of April 2022

Beautiful cups. I make right and left handed cups. 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