Layered Infusible Ink Mugs: Customize These Cute Animals!

Instructions

STEP 1: FIND OR MAKE A MUG DESIGN

To make a layered Infusible Ink mug, you need a mug design with two or more layers. You will find some premade designs in Cricut Design Space by clicking on Images, then search for “mug” and scroll until you spot one you like. If you want to make your own from scratch but do not know how, my Custom Cut workshop explains the process of converting a flat image into a layered image. The most important thing to know is that Infusible Ink is layered with the slice and set method, which is explained here.

Slice and set means you slice colors out, rather than overlap them. This is important for getting true color representation, as Infusible Inks are transparent. If you simply overlay colors on other colors, you will get weird color combinations.

To make it easy for you to understand the technique of layering Infusible Ink with slice and set, I’ve created several cute and colorful animal design files that are ready to go, plus they are all perfect for easy layering with Infusible Ink. I’ve done the slicing for you! To find these free layered designs, look for design #291 in my free library. You can find the files by searching the page for the design number and then click it to download the SVG cut files, as well as DXF and PDF patterns.

Inside the folder are many different cute animal designs, including an elephant, a deer, a hedgehog, a bunny, and a teddy bear!

Layered Infusible Ink Mug Designs with cute animals -- free SVG cut files

Upload the SVG cut file for the animal you like best to Cricut Design Space. If you’re not sure how to upload a SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made.

There are TWO sizes of mug designs in all of my files — the smaller one on top is sized for the 12 oz Cricut mug, while the larger one on the bottom is sized for the 15 oz Cricut 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).

Showing the Layered Infusible Ink mug design in Cricut Design Space

You’re free to click on the Make It button now, but if you’d like to add a name to the heart, first ungroup all layers, then click on Text on the left side and type in a name or word, then choose a font and adjust the letter spacing and size as you like it until you’re happy.

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Adding text to a layered infusible ink mug design in Cricut Design Space

Now you want to slice the word out of the heart — to do this, select the word and the heart — you should see just two layers selected on the right side. Click Slice.

This will give you new two layers. Delete the black one, and change the other one to whatever color you want — I’m choosing pink.

Recoloring a layer in Cricut Design Space

Feel free to change the colors if you want to preview how colors will look together. To do this, click on a layer in the panel on the right side and choose a new color from the Color menu at the top of the screen.

Changing a color layer in a layered Infusible Ink mug design in Cricut Design Space


And that’s it — you can click Make It now.

STEP 2: 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.

Mirroring a design for a layered Infusible Ink mug made with the Cricut Mug press

Now 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 sheets.

Place your Infusible Ink transfer sheet 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, paying careful attention to what color mat you’re on so you know which color of Infusible Ink to put in your machine.

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.

Removing the Infusible Ink transfer sheet from the cutting mat for a layered Infusible Ink Mug made on the Cricut Mug Press

Note: If for any reason your machine 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.)

Repeat as necessary for all layers in your design.

STEP 3: WEED AND LAYER 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.

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Bending and cracking the Infusible Ink transfer sheet before you weed and peel it

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.

Once everything is weeded, it’s time to layer your colors. To do this, you want to keep the large rectangular shape intact and move other colors to it. Just peel off shapes and words from other sheets and set them onto the main rectangular design. The sticky liner will keep the color shapes in place.

Layering colors on an Infusible Ink transfer sheet

Once you’ve finished setting your colors, 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 or set. Here is the layered Infusible Ink sheet:

A layered Infusible Ink transfer sheet ready to put on a mug

STEP 4: APPLY YOUR DESIGN TO 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.

Cleaning a mug with a lint roller before applying the infusible Ink

If you have a full coverage design with lots of parts in special places, just wrap the whole design around the mug. I explain the best way to do this in my Fancy Wraps Mug tutorial.

Wrapping a layered Infusible Ink mug

If you have a less-than-full coverage design to apply to your mug, the best thing to do is to trim your liner as close to your design as you can, then just position and stick on your mug wherever you want it to go. Doing it this way will avoid transferring any little extra bits or dirt to your mug, and make for a cleaner transfer. If you need to tape it down, feel free to tape it with heat-resistant tape, but avoid covering any part of your design if you can manage it.

And that’s it! Your design is on 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 5: 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.

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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.

Loading the layered Infusible Ink mug into the Cricut Mug Press

Now push down the lever 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. And do not leave your mug in for more than 20 seconds before pushing the lever down.

Pressing down on the lever of the Cricut Mug Press to make a layered Infusible Ink mug

Pushing down on the lever 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.

Removing the pressed mug from the Cricut Mug 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.

A pressed mug from the Cricut Mug Press with layered Infusible Ink

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.

Letting a pressed mug cool on a heat resistant mat before revealing the design

Allow the mug to cool down before you remove the transfer sheet. This takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

STEP 6: 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!

Revealing the layered Infusible Ink mug with a cute yellow and pink bunny

All the color is SO pretty!

Cute animals in multiple colors made with a layered Infusible Ink mug technique

Now I know you’ll ask if you can press it again with another color layer, so here’s the deal. Yes, you could, it’s really better to press it just once. If you do want to press it again, either wrap the entire thing with a liner that covers the whole mug for a consistently colored press, or — if you must use tape — make sure the tape is not covering any other part of your design. And if you want to layer both Infusible Ink transfer sheets and pens or makers, first do your sheets, then do your pens and markers in that order.

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