Have you ever wanted to decorate a coffee mug with your custom-made designs? With a Cricut Mug Press, you don’t have to fork over your precious dollars to local printers. Instead, just fit a coffee mug in the insert, pick a design, and print away! However, you have to be aware of what coffee mug size will fit in the insert.
Cricut Mug Presses are compatible with 10- to 16-ounce mugs. The mugs must be 4.72 inches or shorter and measure between 3.2 and 3.4 inches in diameter.
For those who have no idea what a Cricut Mug Press is, don’t worry—in this guide, I’ll introduce you to the basics of Cricut printers and what size mug blanks work in the Cricut Press.
What Is a Cricut Mug Press?
Have you ever wondered how professional printers print awesome designs on coffee mugs? Well, you don’t have to worry any longer since you can pick up home-use printers for mugs and other small, cylindrical objects.
The Cricut Mug Press is arguably the most user-friendly mug press available. All you need is infusible ink that you hand-draw or print onto transfer tape, which is then pressed onto the side of the mug via the machine. The entire pressing process takes just about 6 minutes.
Now, if you’re only going to customize 1 or 2 coffee mugs, this machine might not be suitable for you. According to the official website, the Mug Press costs a whopping $199.99. However, if you want to custom-design dozens or even hundreds of mugs to use at home or to sell, this Cricut-made machine is a definite must-have.
How Does the Cricut Mug Press Work?
Basically, the Cricut Mug Press uses the power of heat to transfer infusible ink from transfer tape to the surface of your mug. You have 1 of 2 choices for doing this—either by drawing on transfer tape with the specialized ink or by plastering cut-outs onto the mug and peeling away the leftover paper.
While you can use any printer to print your designs on the tape, Cricut obviously recommends using one of their printers. Cricut has its own designing program that allows you to easily use pre-made templates or make your own designs from scratch.
After you’ve plastered the transfer tape onto the side of your mug, you’re ready to insert the mug into the Mug Press. Simply turn the machine on and let it preheat for 3 minutes. A green LED indicator and sound notification will let you know when the machine is fully heated and ready to go.
Now, slide the mug into the insert and adjust the side lid so that it sits flush against the side of the mug’s handle. That way, the mug won’t move around while the machine burns the infusible ink onto the mug’s wall.
After roughly 6 minutes of heating, the mug will notify you that it’s done. Now, remove the mug from the insert and let it cool completely before removing the transfer tape. And just like that, you’ve permanently pressed your creative and fun design on the side of your mug!
What Mug Sizes Can I Use in the Cricut Mug Press?
According to the Cricut’s FAQ section, you can insert 10- to 16-ounce mugs in the insert. The measurement ranges are as follows:
- Height—Up to 4.72 inches
- Diameter—Between 3.4 and 3.4 inches
There are other factors to consider when choosing a mug for the Cricut Mug Press. While Cricut sells mug blanks, such as this 6-pack of 15-ounce mugs, you can use off-brand mugs if they’re more accessible.
However, you have to make sure that the mugs are poly-coated specifically for sublimation. If they’re not, your designs may not stick to the surface, and you’ll be down a few square inches of transfer tape and infusible ink.
In addition, you should notice that the insert in the Cricut Mug Press only fits cylindrical mugs. That means mugs with tapered walls or irregularly shaped coffee mugs won’t work with this machine or many other mug presses like it.
What Supplies Do I Need to Get Started?
The Cricut website will inform you of what supplies you need to have on hand before transferring your printed or handmade designs to your coffee mugs. If you don’t have time to check it out, I’ll provide you with a quick list of the required supplies:
- Infusible Ink Transfer Tape (available in 12 feet or 120 feet)
- Cricut Mug Blanks (available in 10- to 16-ounce sizes)
- Lint roller
- Heat Resistant Tape (available in 33 feet and 52 feet)
- Cricut Smart Cutting Machine (optional, used for printed designs)
How Does the Cricut Compare to Traditional Mug Presses?
One of the first things you should notice is that the Cricut Mug Press is only suitable for perfectly cylindrical mugs. That means the walls must stand perpendicularly from the base and not have tapered sides. Basically, you’re limited to one coffee mug form factor, which can be a bit too limiting for those who want to become professional mug printers.
Traditional mug presses, or at least those used by professional printers, will have different insert sizes, which allow them to work with tiny 8-ounce mugs all the way up to large tumblers.
Since simplicity is Cricut’s top priority, that means you don’t require special graphics design knowledge to create your own fun and creative print-outs. As long as you can operate a computer, the Cricut designing program will do most of the heavy lifting for you in terms of creating and finalizing your design.
A notable feature is auto-shutoff, which automatically turns off the heating element after a few minutes of inactivity. That way, it doesn’t burn out, and it lowers the risk of causing accidental burns to your fingers and palms.
Overall, your mug choices are quite limited with the Cricut Mug Press. However, for a machine that requires no special knowledge of designing, it’s definitely worth considering, especially if you want to customize your coffee mugs at home.