How to Design Your Own Cups, Mugs & Tumblers

Written by marianne moro
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How to Design Your Own Cups, Mugs & Tumblers
Designing a cup or mug as a gift or promotional item can be a great way to express your creativity. (red cup image by Roman Sigaev from

Designing personalised mugs, cup, or tumblers to give as a gift or use as a business promotional item is easier than ever. With the advent of "do it yourself" online services, you can create, pay for, and receive your order in a few weeks, or even a few days. Personalised cups can be used everyday, so they keep friends and clients thinking of you long after other gifts have been packed away or discarded. You can even design a mug or cup with your own personal imprint to make meals and coffee breaks more fun.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Browse cup and mug design. You can do this through an Internet design website like Zazzle or Cafepress, or simply check out the dinnerware sections at local retailers. Options include ceramic coffee mugs, plastic tumblers, on-the-go travel cups, and beer steins.

  2. 2

    Consider the appropriate background colour or design and how it will fit with your personalised logo, photo, or artwork. Sketch out a design on paper before making a final choice. Some cups and mugs have striped, dotted, or multicolour patterns while others are solid colours. Certain designs target teachers, nurses, or military personnel and have logos pre-printed on them.

  3. 3

    Choose your logo or photo. If you're designed a mug as a promotional item for your business, use a catchy slogan or graphic that will keep customers thinking of your product without a hard sell. If the mug or cup is a gift for a personal friend, find a funny or memorable photo that will make them smile.

  4. 4

    Click on the online order form. It will instruct you to choose a mug style, colour, and size. Size may be indicated by ounces or as small, medium, or large, depending on the online service.

  5. 5

    Create your own photo or logo using the site's design template. If you prefer to use a totally original design, follow the instructions as to photo dimensions, file format, and resolution. Review the design on the screen before finalising your order. Once you press "confirm", you won't be able to cancel or revise the design in most cases.

  6. 6

    Enter the number of mugs or cups you wish to order. Check the pricing. Look for available discounts for businesses, non-profit organisations, or schools and use it if available. Review the final price and your shipping information and complete your order.

  7. 7

    Create your own mug design at home using decal paper and a plain ceramic mug. This will require a graphic software program, plenty of printer ink, and decal paper. Create a design using Photoshop or another program. Print it out using decal paper. Cut and paste the decal paper into the design you desire. Place the decal on the mug. Wipe off any air bubbles or water. Let it dry for three hours, or use a blow dryer to speed up the process.

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