STEP 1: SETUP YOUR CRICUT MUG PRESS
If you’ve already done this, skip to step 2.
To setup your Cricut Mug Press, position yourself within two feet (24 inches) of your computer as you’ll need to connect the Mug Press to your computer. (Yes, you need to have a desktop or laptop running Cricut Design Space to setup your Mug Press — if you don’t have a computer of your own, do this at a friend or family’s computer initially.) You cannot skip activation, as the press will not power on without it.
Open the box and pull out the Cricut Mug Press, power cord, and USB setup cord.
Carefully remove the plastic and note that there’s a sticker on the power button — it tells you to get started and activate your product, go to cricut.com/setup
If you already have Cricut Design Space downloaded on your computer, going to cricut.com/setup will take you to Design Space and open the New Machine Setup. But you can also just open Design Space, click on the icon with three lines in the upper left corner, choose New Machine Setup.
In New Machine Setup, click on Heat Press, then click Cricut Mug Press.
Follow the directions onscreen to activate your Cricut Mug Press. Step 1 is to place the mug press on a heat-resistant surface in a well-ventilated area — so turn on the fan or work near an open window. If you’re using a self-healing cutting mat like I am, that’s fine for the initial setup as most cutting mats like this are heat resistant, but extended heat exposure will decrease the mat’s lifespan and weaken its bonds. I recommend you use a Cricut EasyPress mat instead, which you’ll see me using later — the 12″ x 12″ size fits the Cricut Mug Press with extra room for cooling mugs.
When you’re ready, click the right arrow.
Step 2 of the Cricut Mug Press setup is to plug your Cricut into a wall outlet and power on the Cricut Mug Press. The power button will turn orange when it is heating up. The heat plate may give off a smell when you first use it, which will likely dissipate with time, so don’t worry!
When you’re ready, click the right arrow.
Step 3 of the Cricut Mug Press setup is to plug the USB cord into the back of your Cricut mug press, then connect the USB cord to your computer. Do not try to connect it to your Cricut Maker’ machines USB port as that will NOT work — it needs to go into a desktop or laptop computer. If you have a laptop without a USB port, you can buy an inexpensive USB C hub adapter to use. Note that the setup cord is only 24 inches long, so if you can’t get within two feet of your computer, use a USB extension cord to get more reach (this is what I did).
When ready, click the Continue button, which will only become available once Cricut Design Space detects that you’ve connected the Cricut Mug Press.
Once you’ve connected the Cricut mug press to your computer via USB, you’re asked to add the Cricut Mug Press to your Cricut ID. Verify that this is the right email and account, then agree to the terms of service and click Activate.
Cricut will do a firmware update and make sure all settings are up-to-date. This is important, as so much of the hard work is done by the mug press as it figures out the heat and pressure settings FOR you.
When the update is done, you’re ready to go! From this point on, you can use the mug press without connecting it to your computer, so remove the USB cable and keep it safe in case Cricut asks you to do a firmware update again.
By this time, your Cricut Mug Press is likely all heated up — it will beep at you and the power button will turn green when it is ready to go!
Tip: Put your Cricut Mug Press on a 12″ x 12″ EasyPress mat — not only does this provide heat resistance wherever you are, but it will give you room to cool off mugs and it makes it easy to slide your mug press out of the way while you cut your mug design. If you don’t have a pressing mat like this, you can just use a folded bath towel.
STEP 2: DESIGN A PERSONALIZED MUG
Now you need a cute design to personalize for your mug! You’ll find a “Mug Design Setup” under Projects if you want to start from scratch, as well as pre-made mug designs under Images, but I want to make this super simple for you by creating an easy and beautiful design that shows off the awesomeness of the Cricut Mug Press.
So I designed several mug wraps perfect for personalization that you can download from my free resource library. The “Fancy Wraps” I used for these mugs are design #288. You can find the patterns by searching the page for the design number and then click it to download the SVG cut file.
Open Cricut Design Space and upload the SVG file. If you’re not sure how to upload a SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made for you.
Inside the folder are six different mug wrap designs, all of which match some of my most popular projects — butterflies (which matches the butterfly heart canvas), hearts (which matches my paper heart tree canvas), flowers (which matches the flower dress canvas), stars (which matches my star lanterns), filigree (which matches my filigree cards and favor boxes), and a blank wrap. For this tutorial, I’ll show you how to personalize the butterfly wrap, but just know that they will all work the same way.
Here’s what the “mug-wrap-butterflies-jennifermaker-SVG” file looks like in Design Space when you upload it.
There are TWO sizes of mug designs in all of my files — the smaller one on top is for the 12 oz. mug, while the larger one on the bottom is for the 15 oz. mug. Hide or delete the size you do not need by selecting the layer and clicking the eye icon (to hide it) or the trash can icon (to delete it).
At this point, this design alone makes for a pretty mug and you can go ahead and cut this out as is — just skip to step 3. But if you’d like to PERSONALIZE your design, you can add text, images, or both. Let me show you how to add text and a small image.
Click on Text on the left and type a word, name or phrase. Then click the font menu at the top and choose a font you like. I’m choosing a font called Tingler because it’s both a beautiful script font and a stencil font, which will make weeding super easy.
Note that the letters are not touching yet, which we want for a pretty look and easier weeding. To change this, click on the dropdown menu below Letter Space at the top of the screen and reduce letter spacing until all letters are touching and look good.
Reposition and resize the text on your mug wrap until you’re happy.
If you want to add more text with the same sizing and letter spacing, right click on the layer and choose Duplicate, then move the new text line into position, double-click it, and add your new words.
You can resize both text layers by selecting both (hold down the Shift key as you click on each layer) and use the resize button in the lower
Now I want my text to lift and dip like the flight of a butterfly, so I’m going to curve each of these two layers separately. To do this, I click on the first text layer, then click on Curve at the top and slide the diameter over to the right to make it curve up. Then select the second text layer, click on Curve again, and slide the diameter over to the left to make it curve down. Adjust as necessary until you are happy with the results. Isn’t this pretty?
Now we need to cut these words out of the mug wrap itself. To do this, first weld the text layers together. Next, select both the weld layer and the mug layer — which should just be two layers — and click Slice. This removes the text from the mug wrap. Just delete the sliced out words until you are left with just the mug wrap, like this:
If you’d like to add an image, click on Images and search for something like a butterfly. You can click on Ownership and choose Free to only see free images. When you find one, click it to add it to your Canvas.
Now just position, resize, and rotate until you think it looks good. When you’re happy, click on the image and your mug wrap to select both, then click Slice again. Delete the extra sliced layers until you have just ONE layer remaining — your mug wrap with the image sliced out.
Ta da! A beautiful and personalized mug design!
STEP 3: CUT OUT YOUR INFUSIBLE INK
Once you have your mug design, click on Make It in the upper right corner.
On the Prepare screen, be SURE to MIRROR your design. All Infusible Ink designs for the Cricut Mug Press should be mirrored. Just click the toggle on the left side until it turns green, then click Continue.
Now set your material. Click on Browse All Materials and search for Infusible Ink. I also recommend more pressure to be sure it cuts through the Infusible Ink transfer sheet.
You can use the full size Infusible Ink transfer sheets, or the smaller Infusible Ink transfer sheets that are already sized for the Cricut Mug Press. I’m going to use a scrap of Infusible Ink I have leftover from another project. Mugs make for great scrap buster projects because they don’t often require a lot of Infusible Ink.
Place your Infusible Ink matte color side UP (which means shiny carrier sheet side down) on your cutting mat. Make sure the fine-point blade is loaded into the Cricut.
Note: I recommend you wash and dry your hands immediately before handling Infusible Ink to avoid transferring any oils to the surface.
Load your mat and press the flashing button to begin cutting. The butterfly wrap takes about 8 minutes to cut.
When you are done cutting, unload the mat, flip the mat over onto your work surface, and peel the mat away from the Infusible Ink carefully. I’ve designed my mug wraps so that the outside template will cut out of the larger Infusible Ink transfer sheet — this makes it super easy to apply to your mug later on.
Note: If for any reason it doesn’t cut all the way through the outside as mine does, you can either trim it later with scissors or next time you cut increase your pressure in your Custom Material Settings. (I have my Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet material settings on 268 pressure and it works like a champ.)
STEP 4: WEED YOUR INFUSIBLE INK DESIGN
Once you cut out your Infusible Ink, you want to weed it, which means to remove all the extra bits that you don’t want to transfer to your mug. To get started, roll and gently bend the transfer sheet up and down until the edges of the design begin to lift from the carrier sheet.
Now you can just weed the extra bits away with your fingers. You are welcome to also use a weeding tool, but I find it works best if I just bend the sheet away from me slightly and pull it right up with my fingers. I designed this mug wrap so it would be super easy to weed, because I am not a big fan of weeding! I kept large areas connected so you could peel them off in one fell swoop.
I was able to weed this design in about 3 minutes.
Once you’ve finished weeding, flip your design over so you can see how it will appear once it is on your mug and look for any missing bits you forgot to weed. Also check for any tiny bits that may be stuck somewhere but do not belong … like a little dot from a letter.
STEP 5: WRAP YOUR DESIGN AROUND YOUR MUG
Now it’s time to wrap your design onto your mug!
Begin by cleaning the surface of your mug with a lint roller. This removes any dirt or dust and get the surface as clean as possible, and makes sure the Infusible Ink transfers cleanly and vividly.
To get the design on straight and centered. position the mug with the handle pointing at you, just like this.
Now position the wrap behind the mug, with the matter color side facing the mug and the bottom of the sheet touching your work surface, and center it on the mug.
Slowly wrap the design around the mug, watching how much you have on each side as you do so to keep it centered. Keep the design touching the work surface to keep it straight.
Your goal is to stretch the design tightly across the mug. It’s also important that your design be at least a 1/2 inch away from the handle — if you go beyond that, you may see fading at the edge of your design. Feel free to reposition it until it is right.
When it looks good, press down on the sticky carrier sheet to adhere it to the mug’s surface. If your carrier sheet doesn’t seem to want to stick very well, you can add some heat resistant tape just under the handle to bridge the two sides, but avoid putting the tape over any place where you see Infusible Ink.
And that’s it! Your design is wrapped around your mug and it’s time to press it! You do NOT need to cover your design with butcher paper if you’re just using Infusible Ink transfer sheets!
STEP 6: PRESS THE MUG WITH THE CRICUT MUG PRESS
With the Cricut Mug Press powered on and the power button green (which indicates it is ready), hold your wrapped mug by the handle and place it in the heating chamber.
Note: If your Cricut Mug Press does not power on, this means you haven’t activated it yet — review step 1.
Pay attention to where the mug handle is and make sure the heat plate appears to be covering all of your design. I usually move my handle a bit to the left rather than center it.
Now close the clamp on the top of the Cricut Mug Press and check that the heat plates are completely covering your design. If not, immediately open the clamp, reposition the mug (you’ll probably want to rotate the handle a bit to the left), and close the clamp again.
Closing the clamp starts the pressing process. There is no other button to push or settings to worry about. The Cricut Mug Press takes the temperature of your mug and the ambient temperature of your room, and determines the correct settings for you. The little lights on the top of the Cricut Mug Press indicate the progress of your press — an average mug takes about six minutes to press.
When the Cricut Mug Press is finished, it will beep at you. Lift up on the clamp to release it and pull the mug out by the handle, which will NOT be hot. Be careful not to touch the heat plate with the back of your fingers or touch any other part of the mug, as it will be quite hot.
Immediately place your mug on a heat-resistant surface to cool. I place my mug on the same mat I am using for my mug press itself as it’s right there and super convenient.
Allow the mug to cool down before you remove the transfer sheet. This takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
STEP 7: SHOW IT OFF
When the mug is cool enough to handle, pull off an end of the transfer sheet under the handle and unwrap your beautiful mug! The color is gorgeous from top to bottom, vivid and consistent.
And that’s all there is to this! Once you’ve used your Cricut Mug Press for the first time, you’ll see how simple it is to make consistently beautiful mugs in minutes. I know I was amazed at how great it looked on my first try. The Cricut Mug Press is easy, which is really good because easy means we’re more likely to use it when we need it and be happy with the results!