Fancy up your morning tea or coffee ritual with a custom heat transfer mug! This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to put heat transfer vinyl on a ceramic mug in just a few easy steps.
Did you know that you can use heat transfer vinyl on mugs?! I’ve done mugs with adhesive vinyl, DIY Sharpie mugs, and painted mugs before, but this was my first time trying HTV on a mug. And it turned out great! It is actually pretty easy to put HTV on a mug—this step-by-step tutorial will show you how.
I really love my morning tea ritual—coffee works for some people, but for me, it’s tea that makes me feel like an actual human being in the mornings. So I decided to make a fun mug for my morning tea. I used a quote by Douglas Adams from “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” and some glittery heat transfer vinyl from Expressions Vinyl, and I just love how it turned out!
The quote says “A cup of tea would restore my normality”, which is EXACTLY how I feel every morning, so I’m super excited to have a fun, glittery mug for my morning pick-me-up.
Using HTV On Mugs
I use heat transfer vinyl all the time for baby onesies in the Practically Functional shop, but I never thought to try it on anything other than fabric. Turns out HTV works great on ceramic mugs too! I wouldn’t put it through a dishwasher, but it will definitely hold up to a handwashing.
There is a printable version of this project tutorial at the bottom of this post; scroll down to grab it.
Be sure to leave a review by clicking the stars or by clicking the Review button!
- Silhouette Cameo or Cricut (or scissors or an X-Acto knife if you have super steady hands)
- basic Cricut toolset
- an iron
- a clean dish towel
- ceramic coffee mug (I love using these mugs for projects)
- heat transfer vinyl (I used black gold glitter HTV)
- rubbing alcohol, for cleaning the mug
- heat resistant tape, optional
Start by cleaning the mug with rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt and grease from your fingers. Once it’s clean, try to avoid touching the mug anywhere other than the handle.
Start by designing your quote in your cutting machine software. I used my Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software to design the quote, then cut it out using my Cameo, but you can easily do this project with a Cricut as well—any cutting machine will work!
Load your heat transfer vinyl into your machine and cut out your design.
Remember to mirror your design when cutting out heat transfer vinyl so it doesn’t appear backward in your finished project!
Weed away any extra vinyl, then position the heat transfer vinyl on your mug. After you weed away the extra vinyl, the clear backing will be slightly sticky which will help hold the design in place as you iron it. You can also use heat resistant tape to tape down your design if you’re worried about it moving while you iron.
Turn your iron on and set it to the cotton or linen setting (about 400-425 degrees F).
Place a clean dishcloth over the heat transfer vinyl and press down with your iron for about 10-15 seconds until the vinyl is really well stuck. Then pick up the iron and press down in a new spot that isn’t stuck down yet.
Depending on how rounded the exterior of your mug is, you may have to do this a bunch of times to make sure it’s stuck everywhere! Once the vinyl is stuck everywhere, peel away the clear plastic backing, and you’re done!
Fill your heat transfer mug up with a cup of tea and enjoy!
I’ve seen other tutorials for similar projects that say you can wash these in a dishwasher, but I wouldn’t risk it. If you’ve firmly pressed the heat transfer vinyl onto the mug, you’ll be fine washing it by hand, but dishwashers are a lot hotter and more forceful, which could soften the adhesive and cause the design to peel up.
When your heat transfer mug is dirty, just wash it gently by hand and your mug will be fine!
Want to share this project with your friends? Share to Facebook, Pinterest, or send the article by email—just click on any of the share buttons floating on the left, or find them at the top and bottom of this post.
How To Use Heat Transfer Vinyl On Mugs
- Clean the mug with rubbing alcohol to remove any dirt and grease from your fingers. Once it’s clean, try to avoid touching the mug anywhere other than the handle.
- Using your Cricut or Silhouette, cut out your design on a piece of heat transfer vinyl.
- Turn the iron on and set the heat to the cotton or linen setting (about 400-425 degrees F).
- Weed away any extra vinyl and position the design on your mug.
- Place your dishcloth over the heat transfer vinyl and press down with your iron in one single spot for about 10-15 seconds until the vinyl is really well stuck.
- Press the iron down for 10-15 seconds in a new spot that isn’t stuck down yet. Continue until the heat transfer vinyl is attached to the mug everywhere. Depending on how rounded the exterior of your mug is, you may have to do this a bunch of times. Peel away the clear plastic backing and you’re done!
Save your favorite projects!
Create a free account to easily save your favorite projects, tutorials, and recipes.Create Account