How to Print Designs on Mugs

Written by jophiel aurora
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How to Print Designs on Mugs
Personalise a plain coffee mug by adding a printed design. (mug image by guy from

Mugs have become another small "must-have" in the lives of many people. From drinking coffee, hot tea, hot cocoa, and other warm beverages, mugs can be used for various personal uses. You can even bake small cakes or make a planter with your mug. They make great birthday or Christmas gifts as well as appreciation awards for employees. To add a personal touch to your mug, you can add printed designs such as logos and photos to the face of your mug.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Digital camera or scanner
  • Photograph (optional)
  • Computer with Internet and graphic software
  • Printer
  • Water slide decal paper and fixative spray
  • Small tray of water
  • Cloth

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  1. 1

    Plan the design for your mug. You want to consider the occasion or person for whom you are making the mug. Photographs of your children, parents, pets or self are good design ideas for mugs.

  2. 2

    Purchase one or more plain white or other solid-coloured mug.

  3. 3

    Design your mug. You can choose images from the Internet or your digital camera to create your design. Taking pictures of some of your favourite landscapes, promotional logos or architecture might be interesting.

  4. 4

    Download the images from your digital camera to your PC or scan a hard copy of a photo. You may choose to use an online image from the Internet.

  5. 5

    Edit your image in your photo or graphic software, like Photoshop. Alter your photo to fit the size of your mug. You can use the command "Crop" to trim the edges of the picture and "Text Box" to add phrases and messages to the image. You can be as creative as you like with your design.

  6. 6

    Check the resolution on your printer by referring to the owners manual or clicking "Print" to open the printer's dialogue box. Change the resolution to "High" and resize your image accordingly. The size of the image should not exceed the resolution capabilities. Check your software "Help" file if you have problems resizing the image. Print a test image on plain white paper to make sure the size fits your mug.

  7. 7

    Print your design. Load your printer with water slide decal paper so the image is printed on the glossy side of the paper. Click "Print" in your graphic software. Spray some fixative spray on the printed image according to the instructions on the pack of paper to avoid running ink. Allow the paper to dry.

  8. 8

    Attach your design to the mug. Cut the image out of the glossy paper and put it in the small tray of water. Let it sit until the paper curls. Peel the decal off and paste it onto the mug. Gently dab off excess water with the cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not put your personalised mug in the dishwasher. Wash it by hand to avoid damaging the image.

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