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How to use a mug press

Updated April 17, 2017

A mug press is an electric machine that allows the user to print images onto ceramic coffee mugs. A cylindrical press holds the mug in place while the press applies high, even heat to the surface of the mug, thereby transferring an image to the mug surface. Most presses can accommodate a variety of mug sizes. Check the manufacturer's information for mug size ranges appropriate for your mug press, as well as heat and pressure level recommendations.

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  1. Print your desired image on heat-transfer paper and cut it to fit snugly and completely around the mug. For text, print a mirror image.

  2. Wrap transfer paper facing in around mug, and tape sparingly in place.

  3. Place mug inside press, and close the press around the mug.

  4. Adjust the mug-holder pressure based on the size of the mug you are using.

  5. Adjust heat and heating time based on mug surface area. Start with low heat and a short heating time, and increase until the image transfers successfully.

  6. Open the press and remove the mug. Peel the heat-transfer paper off the mug slowly from one side to the other.

  7. Dip the mug in cold water to cool.

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Things You'll Need

  • Heat transfer paper
  • Printer
  • Mug
  • Masking tape
  • Oven glove or heat-resistant gloves

About the Author

Darci Pauser began writing in 2001. Her work has been featured in publications such as the "UC Berkeley Undergraduate Journal," Indybay and the West Texas Weekly. Pauser holds a certificate in sustainable agriculture from California's Green String Institute and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley.

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