Custom Coffee Mug Printing – A Complete Guide For Best Mug Printing Result 2021


A personalized mug makes the proper present for all kinds of individuals in your life, including your boss, a parent, a partner, and hey, even your self. If you’d prefer to get a mug printed with your personal design, which kind of paper would you utilize for custom coffee mug printing?

Custom Coffee Mug printing requires a specialty paper generally known as sublimation paper. It has a coating that enables ink absorption onto the material, such as your mug or T-shirt. It’s additionally necessary to make use of sublimation ink in addition to polymer-coated mugs so the design transfers precisely.

Custom Coffee Mug Printing

In this article, we’ll let you know all the things you could learn about sublimation paper for custom coffee mug printing. That consists of more on what this paper is, the other tools wanted, and the way the printing course works. Keep reading!

What Is Sublimation Paper? Why Do You Need It for Custom Coffee Mug Printing?

If you determine to print on a t-shirt or hoodie, you’d use a specialized printer to transfer the design immediately onto the material, in this case, the shirt. However, attempting to print onto a mug in that very same manner wouldn’t work. :

For one, what sort of printer are you able to fit a mug into? (They do exist, and we’ll discuss more tools within the next section.) Also, would the design transfer properly onto curved ceramic? This can be one thing we’ll get again to, however the reply, for now, is no.

When printing a design on a mug, you depend on a process known as sublimation, which is if you dye a material, similar to a mug, by way of pressure and heat. Sublimation printing isn’t restricted to only mugs, as you may also print on objects like mousepads and even hoodies utilizing this methodology.

You can consider sublimation like stamping a design onto an item of your selection. That “stamp,” so to talk, is named sublimation paper. This isn’t your common loose-leaf paper and even printer paper.

Custom Coffee Mug Printing | Sublimation Paper

Instead, sublimation paper has a coating on it that enables optimum ink absorption. This paper can be adept at holding the ink in place so your design doesn’t print off-center.  

Sublimation paper doesn’t do a lot by itself. It must be heated to activate, then it might transfer the design you chose onto your item, such as a mug.

We additionally need to take a second to discern the variations between the sublimation paper and iron-on transfer paper. Iron-on transfer paper indeed works in the identical vein as sublimation paper since transfer paper needs heat to activate too.

However, the iron-on design already has ink inside it whereas the sublimation paper doesn’t start with ink. Further, you can’t transfer a design on sublimation paper onto anything utilizing an iron. It won’t work.

We suggest using iron-on transfer paper just for jobs in the place it’s required. This paper can’t be substituted for sublimation paper and vice-versa.

What Else Do You Need for Custom Coffee Mug Printing?

Okay, so that you’ve acquired your sublimation paper, however, keep in mind how we mentioned it won’t be very helpful by itself? If you need to do sublimation printing, you’re going to want more specialized tools. Here’s what it is best to have before you start.

Sublimation Ink

First, there’s sublimation ink. This ink is suitable with sublimation paper whereas different forms of ink aren’t. As you can say, sublimation printing requires heat. With different types of ink apart from sublimation ink, there’s the chance of the ink breaking down by way of hydrolysis. In different words, it should smash your design.

Polymer-Coated Mugs

Polymer Mugs For Custom Coffee Mug Printing

You can also purchase any coffee mug at a grocery store or departmental store and anticipate to make use of it for sublimation printing. You need one with a polymer coating because the ink will create a bond with this coating. Here’s learn how to clarify it scientifically: the ink starts as a stable. Then, if you add pressure and heat by way of sublimation, that stable ink turns into a gas. The gas covers the polymer, getting deep into its surface. Without this coating, the design won’t transfer.

Paper Cutter

PaperCutter Used for the custom coffee mug printing

Depending on the size of your polymer-coated mug, chances are you’ll want a paper cutter to slice the sublimation paper to a certain size. For instance, when you have a typical coffee mug, you may trim both the shape and the size of your paper to better fit the mug.

Any paper cutter you will have lying around is enough for the job, as is a pair of scissors. Just cut carefully, beginning with more than you need. You can at all times cut more off, however, you’ll be able to add again what you trimmed, not without risking the integrity of the design.

Heat Press

By far, one of the necessary items of kit for sublimation printing is the printer itself, or the heat press. These presses can be found for each vertical and horizontal printing. If you had a taller design, like that for a coffee mug, you then depend on a vertical heat press. For all different mug sizes and styles, a horizontal heat press would work. 

How to do Custom Coffee Mug Printing

Now that you simply familiarized yourself with the tools necessary for sublimation printing, you’re able to print your very first mug utilizing a heat press. Here are the steps to follow for achievement.

Step 1: Selecting Your Design

The first step is probably the most enjoyable part of the method, as you get to decide on the design you’ll print onto your mug.

some desgin use for custom coffee mug printing

You have nearly numerous choices right here. If you drew up some cool artwork yourself, then you’ll be able to print this onto the mug. You may additionally take a photograph and transfer that, similar to a prized family snapshot, an amazing trip memory, or perhaps an image of your grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

If you’re more business-minded, then an organization logo would look incredible on a mug. You may promote these mugs and even give them to clients if you strike a deal.

Step 2: Choosing Your Mug

With your design picked, you now need to match it to a mug. If your design is taller than it’s wider, then you definitely need a mug with an equally lengthy profile. For a wider design, smaller, squatter mugs are your best bet.

custom coffee mug printing

As you shop for your mug, chances are you’ll need to print an image of your design (on plain printer paper) and carry it with you. If you find a mug you want, maintain the image up to it. Is the design too large or small for the mug? Then keep looking.

A tall design on a wide mug will cut the top or bottom off, which can look unappealing. Printing an extended design on a smaller, wider mug will look squished and awkward, neither of which you want.

If you find your perfect mug, keep in mind that it should have a polymer coating! Otherwise, you will not be able to print on it.

Step 3: Cutting Your Sublimation Paper

Next, you need to trim your sublimation paper to the size of your design. If you had previously printed your design on printer paper, then use this as a guide to cut your sublimation paper to the proper size. Again, regular kitchen scissors are effective for this, as is a paper cutter.

Step 4: Picking Your Heat Press

Like you needed to put some thought into which mug to use in your sublimation design, the identical is true of the heat press. If your design is taller, you then need a vertical press, and, for shorter designs, a horizontal press.

Step 5: Printing the Mug

Now comes an important part of the method, the real printing. Double-check that you’ve got the proper heat press for your mug design. Place the sublimation paper into the press. It’s up to you how hard and how long you’ll push down in your heat-press. Doing so creates the heat and pressure you want, however pushing too hard on the press may skew the accuracy of the design transfer.

Your heat press ought to include directions, together with usage instructions that let you know how long you should push on the press. Please observe these directions for the very best results.

Coffee Mugs

With the press in action, it turns into a type of like an inkjet printer, however of the sublimation kind. Spray nozzles release the ink, which passes by way of the sublimation paper. As the ink goes from liquid to gas form, it attaches to the polymer of your mug, printing the design.

If all goes properly, then if you finish along with your heat-press, your design ought to have transferred onto the mug flawlessly.


Mug printing is an enjoyable activity you can do at home with a heat press. You additionally want sublimation paper and sublimation ink, each of which reacts to heat and pressure to recreate your design on the mug. That mentioned, your mug must have a polymer coating because the ink will bond to the polymers.

Without the coating, the printing won’t work. The next time you want an amazing present for a special person in your life, a custom-printed mug will certainly put an enormous smile on their face. Best of luck along with your printing!

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