Decorating Mugs

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Decorating Mugs

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For our work in Sunday School for the year 2019-2020 the boys have designed a new logo.  This will go on several on-going items we are working on, such as a board game, puzzle book, etc., all with Biblical themes.

I also decided it would be nice if we used the same logo to decorate individual mugs for us for Sunday School.  And at the same time allow the boys to decorate some other mugs with whatever the wanted.

It is a bit of a learning curve to get the design onto the mugs, and I’m sure that with time and more practice we will get better at it.  But we now have the first ones ready to be used – not sure how long the design will stay on the outside, but the mugs will still be useable if the designs come off.

What I Did

We started by taking a copy each of the Sunday School Logo into Publisher and having a play at makeing a design unique to each of us.  For one of the boys personal designs he decided to use the same starburst background as we’d used for the Sunday School logo, but to put on the name of the boys YouTube channel “George Boys”.  The other nephew decided he wanted Fergerson tractors on his mugs and chose two photos to use.  We fitted four designs onto an A4 working area.

These were printed out on an inkjet printer and allowed to air dry.

The A4 sheet was then cut into the individual designs before spraying over with a clear varnish.

Once this was completely dry we double checked that the design would fit top to bottom on the mug and where around the mug each of us wanted our designs to go.  I chose the opposite side to where I usually drink from.

In turn we put our design into a tray of water and waited for it to soak through.  The mug was also dunked into the water.

We had a few trial and error and completely messed up tries before we got ones that we went with.  Not fantastic – but the work of me and the boys so obviously not looking as if they were shop bought or profesionally printed.

The piece with the design on was then placed where we wanted it to go on the mug.  We found that we had to firstly gently apply pressure to the leading edge to pull it off the edge of the backing paper onto the mug.  Gor this reason having a blank cm of area before the design started proved to be the best way to go.  Then we went to the other side and gently pushed the design to give us a small clear edge on the backing paper to grab onto.  To prevent the thin layer with the design pulling and stretching as we slid out the backing paper we found that using a sheet of backing from one of our messed up tries, putting it in the water first and then laying it flat over the design and applying gentle pressure to hold it there, without preventing the sliding of the backing out worked best.  We had tried using just fingers to hold but found that stretching and tareing or wrinkling up was far more likely to occur.

Once we had slid out the backing paper we smoothed over the design as much as possible to get out bubbles of air or water and flatten any wrinkes that would be flattened.  The mugs were then left to air dry over night.

The following day the mugs were put on a sheet of foil on a tray and put into a cold oven.  The oven was turned on at around 110 degrees centigrade and left to come up to temperature.  Once the light indicated that the temperature had been reached we left them at this temperature for around 15 to 20 minutes before turning the oven off and leaving them cool naturally.

What I Used
Finished Cups

The first ones were not fantastic, but we got better at sliding the image over at each try, and the final ones were much better than the first ones, although a bit more practice is needed to get them perfect.


Although I am very much on a go slow at the moment, due to having two different infections in my damaged leg within a couple of days of each other and being on antibiotics for a month, I do have several bits of different crafting on the go at the moment which I am working on slowly, so keep an eye out for them over the next few weeks.


  • You can see my Gwyneth George area on Facebook by clicking – here.
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  • You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on – here
    (Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)

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