How to put a photo on a coffee mug

Updated April 14, 2018

Personalised coffee mugs are common in the workplace coffee room or a home kitchen. You can purchase mugs with pictures or sayings on them, but you may end up with the same cup that other people in your office already own. For a truly personalised mug create a vessel with photos of your children, your dog or your dream vacation on the side. You'll have a reason to smile every time you take a coffee break, and you'll be certain that no one else has the same coffee mug as you.

Scan your desired picture into your computer or find a picture online and save it. Use photo editing software to size the picture, making sure that the finished photo will be smaller than the surface of the sides of the mug. Print the photo on normal printer paper.

Cut out the photo, leaving a 1/4-inch border of blank paper all around the picture. Lay the photo on newspaper to protect your work surface and spray the entire photo with acrylic sealer spray. This will help to fix the printer ink and prevent it from running when you attach the photo to the mug. Allow the photo to dry thoroughly.

Spread a thin layer of d�coupage medium over the outside of the mug. Cover the area where the photo will be applied. Lay the photo onto the outside of the mug, sliding it around on the surface until it is in the correct place. Use a craft stick to smooth the paper and remove any bubbles or wrinkles.

Apply a thin coat of d�coupage medium to the outside of the mug, covering the photo, and carrying the coat onto the surface of the mug itself. This will seal the photo to the mug. Allow the d�coupage medium to dry completely. Add another layer of medium to the mug and allow it to dry.

Paint a layer of polyurethane over the entire mug. This will waterproof the mug and ensure that the photo will not come off when the mug is washed. Allow the polyurethane to dry completely, then add another coat. Let the second coat dry 24 hours before using the mug.


Wash this mug in a sink instead of a dishwasher to help keep the design in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Printer
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic sealer spray
  • Newspaper
  • D�coupage medium
  • Brush
  • Craft stick
  • Polyurethane
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About the Author

Working in sunny Florida, Anne Baley has been writing professionally since 2009. Her home and lifestyle articles have been seen on Coldwell Banker and Gardening Know How. Baley has published a series of books teaching how to live a frugal life with style and panache.