Turn a Mug into a Plant Pot with the Mug Press

Turn a Mug into a Plant Pot with the Mug Press main article image
Posted on July 12, 2021 by Wendy Boulay
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Ever since I brought home my new Cricut Mug Press machine, I’ve been making coffee and tea mugs for just about everybody that I know. 

However, after making what seems like a bazillion of them, I wanted to find a new purpose for these fun-to-make mugs; enter…planters! You can absolutely transform a plain old mug into a mini plant pot with the mug press that will not only sit perfectly on your windowsill; but also makes for an amazingly creative gift for a loved one!

Table of Contents: Turn a Mug into a Plant Pot with the Mug Press

  1. Supplies
  2. Digital Products
  3. Cricut Design Space
    • Mug WrapTemplate
    • Creating the Design
  4. Cutting & Layering
  5. Pressing
  6. Finishing – You Just Turned a Mug into a Plant Pot!

Supplies

  • Blank Cricut 15 oz or 12 oz mug (or sublimation mug)
  • Infusible ink transfer sheets
  • Butcher paper
  • Digital Product: Florist Bundle
  • Weeding tools
  • Lint roller
  • Heat-resistant tape (optional, but good to have on hand)
  • Cricut cutting machine (or another)
  • Cricut Mug Press
  • Small rocks (for drainage)
  • Potting Soil
  • Plant 

Digital Products

The first thing you will need to do before jumping into this project is to collect your design. Head on over to Creative Fabrica, then download and extract the Florist Bundle designs.

Designs in the Florist Bundle

This fantastic bundle contains twenty different designs; plenty to choose from – so go ahead and choose the quote that you like best. However, because we are using a coffee mug I found the “I Turn Coffee Into Flower Arrangements” absolutely perfect for this project!

Cricut Design Space – Mug Wrap Template

Once you have decided on which design that you want to use, go ahead and open up Design Space and then click on the “New Project” button at the top right of the app. Search for “Mug Design Setup” and choose either the large or small zig-zag edge, depending on the size of the mug you are working with. Click on “Customize”.

Screenshot of Cricut Mug Design Setup

Immediately you will see the mug wrap template inserted onto your canvas. This template consists of three separate, but grouped, components; the mask wrap, the wrap, and the alignment guide.

Screenshot of mug template

  • The Mask Wrap: This layer is the black outline around the entire template and it represents the sticky transfer tape that the Cricut cuts out. It’s designed to wrap fully around the mug; top to bottom. It also has a semi-circle cutout that you can line up between the handle to help ensure perfect alignment. 
  • The Wrap: This layer is composed of the infusible ink transfer sheet and your designs within it. This is the actual layer that will be pressed onto your mug, creating the final mug design. All of your images and fonts will be placed within this section.
  • The Alignment Guide: this red guide at the top of the template helps you with placement for the designs. It clearly shows the sides and middle of the mug so that you can decide where exactly you want your designs to be displayed. This layer must be hidden before you send everything to cut.

Now that you have a better understanding of the template, let’s make your new planter!

Creating the Design

Before you upload the design, feel free to change the color of the wrap section to the main color you want on your mug. This color will be the full wrap color. I chose to wrap the mug with Cricut’s “avocado” color  – fitting for a planter!

Now you can upload the quote/design that you want to use onto the canvas. Resize the uploaded SVG to fit within the wrap section of the template, under the left guide.

Design upload and template color change

You can now decide if you want to create some contrasting color layers, or if you simply want to weed out everything and leave all of the florist design white on your mug. I chose to add in some fun colors, so I changed the word “coffee” to brown, “flower” to pink, and little flowers to blue and red.

Get creative! You are only limited by the infusible ink color choices that you have on hand!

Mug design with color changes

When you are satisfied with the look, go ahead and duplicate the design and place it on the opposite side of the template. 

Mug Template with duplicated design

Select both designs, then align bottom and group Now select only the wrap section and the grouped designs and center.

  • 👉 Design Tip: I felt that the little flowers that came with the design might cause the Cricut to struggle in cutting the details – so I swapped them out! Feel free to do the same – just search for a simple flower shape in the “Images Library”.

Cutting & Layering

All that is left to do in the design portion of this project is to create your color layers on the canvas. Use your usual techniques for digital layering (duplicate/hide) and then hide the red guide, select each layer and attach. Now you’re ready to click on that “Make It” button!

Mug template attached with layers

  • 🔔 Do Not Forget To Mirror! There is nothing worse than forgetting to mirror and completely ruining your blank. Always remember to mirror when working with infusible ink and HTV! 

Choose “Infusible Ink Transfer Sheet” as the material and place your sheet shiny side down as shown on the mat display. Go ahead and cut each color layer, then weed out the entire design on the wrap. 

  • 🧐 Layering with Infusible Ink: This term is actually misleading. You cannot actually “layer” infusible ink, instead, you will need to “piece” – meaning, place your colors into the blank areas of the cut template, like a puzzle piece!

Weeding the mug transfer and applying layers

When the cut has finished, carefully remove the sheets off of the mat and slightly bend it to make weeding easier. Weed the entire mug wrap design, then place your color pieces directly on the transfer. Now you can prepare your mug for pressing! 

Pressing

Use your lint roller on your mug to remove any dust particles that could interfere with the transfer, and then apply your design. Line up the semi-circles in between the handle of the mug to form a complete circle. If needed, you can use some heat-resistant tape on the edges to make sure that everything is as smooth as can be. 

Warm up the press and when the machine has signaled that it is ready, place your mug into the press at a slight angle. I find that doing this helps to ensure that the sides of the press don’t catch the transfer mask as you are putting it in.

Slightly turn the handle to the left and as you push down on the lever, ensuring that the transfer sheet on both sides of the handle is completely inside the press – adjust the mug as needed by the handle. Do not put your hands inside the press!

Press all the way down on the lever and wait for the transfer process to complete, then carefully remove the mug from the press – be careful – it’s extremely hot!

Allow it to cool for at least 20-30 minutes. 

Finishing – You Just Turned a Mug into a Plant Pot!

Once the mug has completely cooled, remove the heat-resistant tape, butcher paper, and the mask to reveal your fun new plant pot!

Mug with Cricut Maker in the background

Voila! Now just place a few rocks on the bottom for drainage (just enough to cover the bottom), add your potting soil and a plant, and you’re all done!

Check out some of my other tutorials over at my author’s page at The Artistry!

Keep on Crafting! 💖

Mug with lavender


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