HTV Mug Without A Mug Press

An Idea

Well, I’ve been hearing it and repeating it, so it’s about time I put it to the test.  You can apply HTV (heat transfer vinyl) to a mug, cutting board, serve-ware, or pretty much anything that can stand some heat.  Bonus: it will be more durable than 651 vinyl.  I will let you know just how durable once my test subjects (oh lucky, lucky family!) put it through the test.

First, let’s pick a victim.  It’s fall y’all, so first up is the classic orange mug.  What this mug falls short on is size.  Just not enough room for a suitable cup of coffee, pumpkin spiced or not, but we’re experimenting!



We then gather the necessary supplies: HTV smooth (never have I ever seen smooth mentioned, but I’ll see what it does), HTV glitter (glorious copper and a lime-y green), the fabulous stand my dear Hubby made, heat resist tape (which I ended up not using, mini-iron set to medium (then jacked up a bit), oven mitts (just in case, but again not needed), scissors to trim as I go, Teflon paper, tweezers, AND patience.  I’ll assume you’ve got the HTV cutting down, because you should have some basic HTV experience to take this next step to mug application.

I started with the pumpkin.  Please do not try a big hunk o’vinyl.  The ‘airier’ the better as you won’t have much luck on anything with much swell or curve (notice the curves on the clear glass ones).  I originally used my heat tape straight down the center (vertical) until I found out that I needed to trim the carrier sheet as I went and the tape just got in the way.  Once I figured out that little gem, I was off to the races!  I ironed it down the middle to help hold it level, and then slowly made my way out to the edges.  I did one orange and two of the glass, and by the third one I was actual started to enjoy it.

The consensus?  I will definitely do this again.  I won’t make more than a dozen or so at a time without some serious thought to my sanity and  I don’t see the need to purchase a special mug press to do this, at least not yet.  I will sparingly use the smooth HTV as well.  It’s not as forgiving as the glitter, and let’s face it, not as high on the visual impact.  I leave the question of the durability to my family and will post as I hear back from them.  Until we craft again….


Morning, Pumpkin!



November 23, 2016

Only heard from two recipients (guinea pigs) that the glitter started to peel off with the hot beverage. No one has put them in the dishwasher. The smooth HTV is holding tight-which is the opposite of what I’ve heard others say.

Verdict: Not worth the time or expense. Will go back to regular 651 vinyl and instruct hand washing.



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