The new Cricut Mug Press has given us a whole new canvas to work on with its Infusible Ink pens and markers, but as with any new machine, knowing how to use these tools is key to getting the awesome results they’re capable of. Which is why I’m briefly going to go over how to use Infusible Ink pens with the Cricut Mug Press.
All thoughts, opinions and ideas are my own, but this post is sponsored by Cricut. Affiliate Links ahead!
I’ve already got more than half a dozen tester mugs from playing around with the machine in my cupboard, so today I thought I’d make a nice little gift for my parents who’ve just sold their house and moved south to Florida. My father–thrilled for this move. My mom? Not so much.
I used a Cricut Design space image and Cricut font to make the front–a cute little state of Florida! The back says “Gone but not forgotten.” My mom’s going to mourn this move for a bit, so we’re injecting a bit of levity.
And with the one touch settings, safety features and all around awesomeness of the Cricut Mug Press, this pro-level gift was done in minutes!
It’s really easy to use the images already in design space kind of like coloring book pages, but for mugs. There are SOOO many images to click and insert and make (in minutes) you’ll have a hard time choosing. Like this sweet monogram mug.
Or this hand drawn flower set. I had the Cricut Maker draw the image onto the laser copy paper ((be sure to use laser copy paper for transferring images!!)) and colored on it a bit more for a little more brightness.
I did experience a bit of frustration with the color of the pen or marker body not quite coming out the same color after cooking in the Cricut Mug Press as I wanted, so I got smart and drew all the colors on a mug so I could tell what they would look like when pressed. Number the markers to keep them all straight!
Designing a Mug Project for Infusible Ink Pens
Open the Drawn Mug template in Cricut Design space and choose your mug size. Insert any imagery or text you wish to appear on the mug.
Be sure to select the image and choose "draw" with pen, not "cut" under Operation in the top toolbar. Your Cricut will know to use the pen function instead of the cutting function for your project.
Hide or delete the guidelines, then select all the images and in your project along with the template. Click "Attach" in the bottom right hand corner. This ensures that the images will be places where you desire and the wrap template positioned correctly.
Cutting your Infusible Ink Pen Design
Nothing complicated here...just be sure to have your Infusible Ink pen loaded in the machine (or ready to swap out) and MIRROR the image before you send it to cut and press that blinking C. Peel the wrapper off the mat when you're done.
if you've got an image like the one here, you'll see a little space between the two lines. Spend a few minutes filling that in by hand. While you could use the Infusible Ink sheets for an image like this, I find it a little more difficult to work with than I'd like when the lines are so thin. Also, I otherwise have a pack of pens sitting here going to waste!
Preparing the Mug for the Cricut Mug Press
First, turn on your Mug Press. I discovered it took me about as long to do all the prep work with wrapping up the mug as it did for the Cricut Mug Press to heat up.
Prepare yourself three rectangular sheets of butcher paper that fit around the mug. I haven't been bothering to actually cut three sheets, rather, I make an accordion fold with three layers to save a bit of time. Make sure your paper is at least 11" wide. These sheets will protect your mug press from any errant ink that bleeds through in the transfer. They aren't reusable--I did try once and ended up with some ghost images from my last project.
Take the wrapper that has your drawn transfer on it and wrap it around the the mug with the tabs starting and ending by the handle. Put a piece of heat resistant tape on it to secure. I also like to tape the paper to the top of the mug to keep the image from shifting around and to make sure the top of the image gets a full transfer. You DO want to use heat resistant tape here; anything else is going to melt and ruin your project and/or Mug Press.
Now wrap the three layers of butcher paper around your mug, securing with more heat resistant tape. You don't need to do any taping of the top this time.
Put your Mug in the Mug Press
Once the green light appears on the Mug Press, you're ready to put the mug in! Slide it gently between the heat plates then press down the lever on top. When it beeps, it's done. Nothing more to think about!
VERY IMPORTANT: Take your mug out of the heat press and put it on a heat-safe pad or a few towels, as it will be blazing hot.
ALSO VERY IMPORTANT: You're desperately going to want to tear off all that wrapping and see how your project came out. Restrain yourself. Let it cool completely--first, to save yourself a few second degree burns and more that you want to let all the ink to settle down in place in its most vibrant place.
Once completely cool, unwrap your project and gaze in amazement at your pro-level project!