How To Use A Mug Press

Mug press machines are innovations that enable mug lovers to make quality mugs in the comfort of their own homes. Gone are the days when you have no choice but to buy the mugs available at stores even when you don’t like the design. However, how do you use a mug press?

To use a mug press, get your supplies together. Set up your mug press machine and go to your Design Space. Put a design together. Prepare the transferable sheets and place them on the mat. Let the machine cut the design. Stick the design onto the mug, and place it in the machine. Remove when ready.

Who can say no to a machine that infuses an ink design of your liking directly onto a mug? Mug press machines make it possible for you to have vibrant and colorful mugs without having to spend a fortune. There is not much more that you can ask for. Are mug press machines easy to use? Here is all you need to know about using mug press machines.

How Do You Use A Mug Press?

Here is a tutorial on using a mug press to create personalized mugs. Although there are several mug press machines available, this tutorial will be focused on how one uses the new Cricut mug press.

1. Get Your Suppliers Together

The first thing to do to use a mug press successfully is to ensure that you have all the suppliers you will need in one place. Usually, the store you buy your mug press in should have the other additional supplies that you’ll need.

In the case of the Cricut mug press, the list of supplies is as follows:

  • Cricut Maker
  • Heat resistant tape
  • Lint roller
  • Cricut EasyPress Mat
  • Cricut infusible ink transfer sheets
  • Cricut standard grip mat
  • Cricut mug blankets and, of course
  • Cricut Mug Press

The supplies mentioned above can also be found online if they are unavailable at the store.

2. Get Your Mug Press Machine Set Up

Once you have your supplies ready, the next step is to set up your mug press machine. Simply go to your top left corner and click on the three lines to do this. There will be a drop list that pops up. Look for and select New Machine Setup.

You will be directed to a page that welcomes you to the Cricut setup. Select Heat Press, then Cricut Mug Press from the two options given. You will be prompted to prepare your workspace. These will be in the form of short clips showing you that you need to plug the mug press into a wall outlet and press the power button.

Next, you’ll want to connect the one end of the USB cord that came with the mug press to the mug press and the other end to your PC or laptop. Once that is done, click on continue and agree to the Cricut terms and conditions. Select activate and wait for the machine to do its update. Once it is done updating, it will be ready for use.

3. Start Putting A Design Together

Putting a design together in the Design Space is the fun part. You can do this simply and easily:

  • Go to Projects on your left-hand side.
  • Go to the search bar.
  • Search for mug design setups.

You’ll be given many mug setups that you can choose from that are ready-made. However, if you want to personalize it or add in your own flare, you should rather go to Mug Design Setup. This is where you can select a template depending on how many ounces your mug is.

There are also various designs to choose from, ranging from whether you want a straight edge, zigzag, etc. Select your template and design and click on customize. There will be two pieces on your Design Space, which will be the ink that the Cricut machine cuts into. Ensure that you do not move the pieces around.

Head over to upload and upload a design of your choice that you want to be infused onto the mug. Once the design has been uploaded, play around with the controls to fit it into the template. See if you want to make it bigger or smaller, to wrap around the entire mug or just the front, etc.

If you do not have a design you have already picked on your PC or laptop, simply head to images and find one you like. Select insert image and adjust it to your liking. You can also select to hide everything but the image you want to attach. However, ensure that you still use a template to size your image. 

4. Attach And Make The Design

The next step is to go down to your bottom right and click hide once you are done with the template. The most important thing is to attach the two templates. To do this, highlight your two pieces and design, go down to your bottom right corner and click attach.

Once the pieces are attached, go to your top right corner and select Make It. Slide the Mirror button on your left to the right to mirror your design. Afterward, go down and select continue. Select Infusible Ink Transfer sheets for your setting.

5. Prepare The Infusable Ink Sheets

The Cricut mug press comes with Cricut infusible ink sheets. These are the exact size that you need, so you need not worry about having to resize anything. You can also use any color of infusible sheets you have. Remove one of the sheets, place the standard grip mat on a flat surface and place the sheet inside out on the mat centered towards the top.   

Gently smooth the sheet over the mat. Be careful not to smug the ink. Now, you just need to place the mat in the Cricut machine. The Cricut machine will cut out the design. All you need to do is wait and let it do its thing.

Once it finishes, remove the mat from the machine and carefully remove the sheet. To do so, remove the mat bending it backward on itself. This way, the material will be removed properly, and the chances of hiccups are slim.

6. Separate Your Chosen Images

Ensure that you weed out your images. You do so by removing the outside pieces. These will generally be the cuts seen in the Design Space on the sides. After the sides have been removed, go around the sheet and slightly bend sections of the infusible ink to loosen the sheet so you can easily take out the pieces of the image and outside border.

You’ll be left with the image you uploaded or selected from images. You can do the opposite and weed out the negative space instead.

7. Turn On The Mug Press And Place Sheets On The Mug

Now that the sheet has been removed from the template, turn on the mug press and let it heat up. This is very easy as you simply need to press the power button. While the mug press is heating up, add the sheet design onto the mug.

Cricut comes with its own mugs that you will now use in the next process. Although they may be fresh out of the packaging, running your lint roller on the outside of the mug is always a good idea. This is simply to help the design transfer successfully. Doing this is not a must, but it leads to a better overall transfer.

The next step is to place the transfer sheet on the mug. One great way to do this is to place the mug bottom down, with the handle facing you, so you can wrap the transfer sheet around it. Ensure that there is roughly half an inch of space between the transfer sheet, and the mugs handle on both sides.

Once you have adjusted the design to your liking, press the sticky part of the infusible ink firmly onto the mug to keep the transfer sheet in place. To ensure that the transfer sheet does not move around, use heat-resistant tape to stick and smooth down any edges and to also hold the transfer sheet in place.

If the transfer sheet is not taped down securely, there will be a ghosting effect on the mug, and that’s not something you want. To ensure there are no gaps between the transfer sheet and the mug, place the mug bottom down and look down into it. If gaps are showing from the top, place more heat-resistant tape all around the top and even the bottom for good measure.

8. Place The Mug In The Mug Press

Now that all the designing and preparing is done, the next thing to do is to place the mug in the mug press machine. Wait for the mug press to show a green light. This indicates that it has warmed up enough and is ready for use.

Lift the mug press’s lever and set the mug in, bottom first, with the handle facing you. Rotate the mug if need be to ensure that the entire design on the mug is covered. Once you have settled the mug in, close the lever.

Do not touch the inside of the mug press machine when adjusting the mug. Suppose you’re wondering how you’ll know when the mug press is done infusing the ink design onto the mug. In that case, the five dots above the power button are your go-to for determining when you can remove the mug. Once all of the five dots have lit up, it means that the mug press machine is done.

It takes roughly 10 minutes for all five dots to light up.

9. Remove The Mug From The Mug Press

After the five dots light up, lift the lever and carefully take out the mug. Ensure that the mug’s handle is the only part of the mug that you touch as the rest of the mug is still hot. Once the mug is removed, press the lever closed.

Place the hot mug on the EasyPress mat and give it time to cool. Leave the mug to cool for roughly 15 minutes. Do not touch the mug or attempt to remove the transfer sheet during this time. Patience is key. Once the mug has cooled down, start by removing the tape and then the transfer sheet. And voila, there you have a pro-design mug.

10. Repeat The Process As Many Times As You Like

The process of infusing an ink design onto a mug can be repeated as many times as you need. Ensure that you follow the above mentioned steps each time, so the designs look good. 

Do Other Mug Press Machines Work Like The Cricut Machine?

Generally speaking, all mug press machines are similar when it comes to having a design space, placing the sheet in the machine to cut the design, etc. However, with other mug press machines, you would need to actually use a scissor to cut out the design. You will also have to set the temperature, time, how you position the mug in the mug press machine, etc.

With the Cricut mug press machine, there is no need to use scissors, as designs can be weeded out from the template. The machine does all the job of setting the temperature and time for you. All you need to do is to press the power button, wait for the green light, and then wait for all five dots to flash. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.


A mug press is one of the easiest gadgets to use. You can make all kinds of mug designs in the comfort of your own home. This can be a hobby, or you can even decide to turn it into a side income source. All in all, there are different kinds of mug press machines that will meet your needs. It is up to you to decide which one you prefer.


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