After months of waiting, the Cricut Mug Press is finally set to land on Australian shores — and the better news? It’s absolutely worth the wait. No matter what level of DIY experience you have, the Cricut Mug Press is a real joy to use, and it’s sure to add a bit of spice and creativity to your kitchenware.
It’s important to note the Press isn’t a standalone product — you’ll need a variety of Cricut tools to make the most of it — but if you’re already locked into the Cricut ecosystem, it’s a very fun addition to the product lineup.
So, how does the Cricut Mug Press work? Essentially, the Mug Press lets you print and use Infusible Ink sheets to create fun patterns, images and stencils for Cricut mug blanks.
If you’ve ever wanted a custom mug with your face on it, you can now create one with the Mug Press. Seen a mug you like? Make a bootleg version of it. Is merchandise too expensive to ship from overseas? Design your own with the Cricut Mug Press.
The use for the machine is very, very niche but if you’re somebody who loves to customise and wants to create shiny, original mugs, this is the machine for you.
The process of creation is very simple, there are plenty of guides online to help and the end results are absolutely fabulous. There are some quirks you’ll need to overcome before you use the Press, but once you sort through those teething issues you’ll have an absolute blast with it.
How to use the Cricut Mug Press
Learning how to use the Cricut Mug Press does take some time and can be a little complex for first time DIYers. You’ll need the Press, along with a Cricut cutting machine (a Joy, Explore or Maker), Infusible Ink (sold in rolls) and a blank mug to get started.
First, you’ll want to design your mug in Cricut Design Space, the dedicated app where you can upload images, stencils and other designs to create your own printable artwork. In this app, you’ll find templates for the mug press that’ll let you create your own custom transfer.
Upload images, create fun designs and experiment in the app. When you’re happy with your work, you can insert the Infusible Ink colours into your cutting machine and let your Cricut cut out your mug design.
Once your cutting machine is finished, you’ll need to grab an unpicker and manually remove the design as carefully as possible. Note, any colour left behind is what will transfer onto your mug. Keep that in mind if you want to create a fully-coloured mug, or if you want to invert your stencil and keep your mug mostly white.
Infusible Ink rolls are fairly papery and can tear easily, so picking out your design will be a slow and arduous process, depending on detail. Personally, I found lettering difficult to keep neat because the Ink sheet kept tearing but as long as you’re patient, you’ll get it done.
The best practice is to remove everything you don’t want to appear on the mug and make sure your Infusible Ink design is cut cleanly.
When you’re happy, you can wrap your design around the blank mug, making sure there are minimal bubbles. When you’re happy with the positioning, simply turn on the Cricut Mug Press, make sure it’s hit temperature, and insert your mug and Infusible Ink design using the machine’s clamp to hold it in place.
After about a minute, your mug design will be infused, the machine will beep, and you can then remove your steaming hot, colourful mug.
Mugs can be tricky to get ‘right’
Custom mugs come out very cleanly with the Cricut Mug Press but there are a few minor things to watch.
First, make sure you’ve removed any little bits of Infusible Ink that may still be on your transfer sheet — these can add annoying dots to your design. Second, make sure your actual design is unpicked as cleanly and neatly as possible. If you leave paper behind, it can cause slight texturing and colour blotches on your mug (you can see some of this around the lower half of the mug on the right).
The process of creating is very simple, but you can end up with minor mistakes if you haven’t created a perfect transfer.
Design-wise, you can also underestimate how much text will wrap around your mug.
Creating each mug is a process of experimentation, and it’s fairly easy to stuff it up.
Personally, I was pretty happy with how my mugs turned out, but I would’ve cleaned up my designs a bit more if I’d known how finicky the Infusible Ink could be. Given it tends to be a little bit expensive (at $12.95 a roll) there isn’t a lot of room for error here and you can make some pretty nasty mistakes that’ll end up costing you.
That said, making an ugly mug is more down to user error than the actual machine.
From a technical standpoint, the Cricut Mug Press is a fantastic little DIY companion. Designs are transferred quickly and easily, the whole process is relatively stress-free, and you can create anything you set your mind to, whether that’s homemade pro wrestling merchandise (seen above) or a cute little pattern made of stars.
Once your mugs are done, the designs are dishwasher-proof and make for very cute additions to your kitchenware.
While some will balk at the machine’s $299 entry point (plus the additional need for Inks, mugs and a Cricut cutter), this is a very handy device for the right crowd. Custom mugs have a lot of applications (funny office banter, personalised presents) and there’s no better way to make them yourself than with the Cricut Mug Press.
There’s no doubt the machine’s target audience will be delighted when it launches later this year.
The Cricut Mug Press is available to pre-order for $299 at Harvey Norman and Spotlight from October 1, with stock landing in stores and online from November 1. Cricut Infusible Inks are currently available in stores and will run you around $12.95 per coloured roll. Mug blanks will be available in packs of two for $12.95, or in packs of 6 for $29.95.