My artistic skills lies in doing stick figures and simple line drawings, a talent that I freely admit to. So why did I put my hand up to review the Cricut Mug Press? Temporary insanity maybe, or perhaps I have tricks up my sleeve.

Cricut Mug Press

First Impressions

The Cricut Mug Press is a single purpose device – creating masterpieces on mugs without complexity.

How simple is it? The only button on it is the power button.

On the left is the opening to insert the mug, one at a time. On the right is the housing for the parts that perform the magic.

The right side also has a lever lid that lifts up to release the clamp on the mug when it is in the process of being pressed.  You press down on it to push the heating plate against the mug.

That’s it. Just add power.



Getting Started

Full disclosure, I had a bit of trepidation when I first looked at the Mug Press. Why? I am not creative, and I need to figure out how to do something to write up this review and the clock was ticking.

The reality though was, like everything Cricut, you start with the Cricut Design Space software.

The Mug Press needs to be activated via the Cricut Design Space. It is freely available via the Cricut webpage but you do need create an account if you don’t have one already.

You go to New Product Setup, select Heat Press, select Cricut Mug Press and follow the instructions.

Cricut advises you to put the Mug Press on a heat-resistant surface and in a well-ventilated area. You are going to be using something that is going to requires a high temperature to work so, treat it like you would with a succulent roast straight from the oven. Handle with care!

Before you start using the Mug Press, it has to be activated via your Cricut account, but the wizard takes you through it. You do need to connect it to your computer with the Cricut Design Space with the provided micro-USB cable.

The wizard will also update your Mug Press with the latest firmware, after which you can disconnect it from your computer and essentially don’t need to ever connect it again unless there is an update. Simple right?

Cricut Mug Press setup
Cricut Mug Press setup
Cricut Mug Press setup
Cricut Mug Press setup
Cricut Mug Press setup
Cricut Mug Press setup
Cricut Mug Press setup
Cricut Mug Press setup
Cricut Mug Press setup


In Use

To create your masterpiece, you do need a craft cutting machine. I have tried out the Cricut Maker, and I’ve lost Lis down the rabbit hole with the Cricut Maker 3.

We are big fans of the Cricut machines and just how versatile they are. If the full size machines aren’t your taste, then there is always the Joy.

I won’t go through the process of using a cutting machine, you can read my review of the Maker here, and the Joy here, and Lis’ review of the Maker 3 here. On top of that, there are heaps of tutorials online and plenty of resources both officially from Cricut via subscription, or other makers that you can source from the internet.

But in a nutshell, you create your design on the Cricut Design Space and have it cut out onto a material with Cricut infusible ink.

Cricut Maker with Tapioca


There are two types you can use – transfer sheets which comes in different colours, shapes and patterns, or infusible ink pens onto blank transfers for the very personal touch.

Depending on your method and material, you may need some heat resistant tape as well.

So going back, Cricut Design Space is where you begin your creativity journey. One thing to bear in mind is the size of your canvas.

Cricut has two different size mugs available, and the templates cater for the differences in size. Some designs may be too intricate for the mug when it is shrink down to size. Just something to be aware of.

I had organised with Lis to make a Guanyin mug for her when I get going on the mug press. On screen the design looked workable with decent separation where I will need to weed out the design.

Cricut Design Space

When I shrink the design into the template to fit, I was already foreshadowing some potential difficulties. But of course I pressed on ahead because well … why not? I wanted to see just how fine it can go, what’s the worse that can happen right?

It is really important to note that you need to toggle the box to mirror the image when cutting. The transfer is done with the ink side facing the mug surface.

The Cricut Maker can cut any design, although very tight and fine cuts may sometimes kick up the material a little during the cuts. Tapioca is of course, fascinated by the noise and moving parts so he wasn’t going to be left out of the process.

After quite a lot of slow, tedious and careful weeding that was done over a period of time and rethinking how it could turn out, I was ready to … sublimate.

Before you put the design onto the mug, make sure the surface is clean from fingerprint oil, lint etc.

Guanyin mug pre-heatingMug Press clampedMug Press clamped

To achieve a good transfer, the design needs to be tightly wrapped around the mug. This could take some time and practice to position it correctly and then pull the material tight against the surface. If you don’t have the material consistently against the target surface, you will get some colour variations in the end result. If you are using some of the Cricut colours with patterns, it will probably hide it fairly well. But if it’s a single bold colour then it will stick out.

It helps to put the mug onto a flat surface, and have the transfer sheet touching the surface to keep it aligned with the bottom of the mug then carefully place the design and wrap it around the mug. If necessary, use heat resistant tape to keep the design in place and tight against the surface of the mug.

After that, the only thing left to do is to pop it into the Mug Press itself.

A raiy of sunshine

As mentioned earlier, there is only one button on the Mug Press, and that is the power button.

It took about 4 minutes 20 seconds to be warmed up to working temperate from a cold start. Noting that on the night it was a fairly balmy spring night here in Melbourne.

You can definitely smell and feel the Mug Press heat up. It will beep when it is at operating temperature.

Pop the mug into the holder and press the lever down to make it fit very snuggly. You want the heating plate (the bit in sage green) to be in contact with all of the infusible ink. All. Of. It. So don’t try making a fancy design that is a complete wrap around because you will not get the heat all the way around particularly where the handle is.

You may need to reposition the mug quickly if you placed it out of alignment. I found that I have to have the handle a little towards the left for best coverage.

After that, you wait about 6 minutes for the process to finish. As you can see in the video, I am enjoying a Matcha IPA while the Mug Press does it’s work.

You can track the progress with the row of five LEDs on the top next to the power button. It will beep when the job is done and you pop the lever, and very carefully take the mug out and put it onto a heat proof surface.

The handle itself is cool to touch, as you can see I used bare hands in the video. Just be careful when you reach in because the heating plate is still hot so don’t accidentally burn yourself there.

Give it time to cool down completely before attempting to remove the transfer and infusible ink sheet.

The results really speaks for itself. The infusible ink transfers cleanly and sharply. The edges of the design are crisp, even the fine lines where I thought would be a problem in the Guanyin mug ended up being a non-issue. Just a simple faithful transfer of the design onto the mug. Colour me impressed.

Mug Press Finished ProductMug Press Finished Product


I put together Cricut Mug Press – DRN review. The waiting bit was cut out but you get to see all the steps involved, right down to enjoying my beer while I wait. You can also see where I messed up and forgot to cut the project in mirror image. I caught that mistake just before I was about to put the mug into the Mug Press.


Other Notes

You can’t just use any old mugs or glasses for the Mug Press. The process is sublimation and your target surface needs to have a poly-coating in order for the ink transfer to take place.

Cricut has them in two sizes, 300ml or 450ml. There are others out there available but make sure the size will fit the Mug Press.

There are no settings to fine tune, the Mug Press will do it all for you.

Cricut Infusible Ink



None. The only issue is an operator issue, where I forgot to mirror the image before I cut it. I suppose it would be nice to get a warning about it when you select the infusible material.



With the many resources available both from Cricut and the online community, you can make incredible personalised creations with the Cricut products.

With the mugs I made with the Cricut Mug Press, someone without much in the way of artistic talent can still get a great outcome. I really don’t understand why I was so worried to start of the journey. Turns out I didn’t need much more than an idea and some willingness to work with Cricut Design Space to get results.

You do need a cutting machine to go with it, otherwise the Cricut Mug Press has a RRP of $299 and at the time of publish, Spotlight has it for $239.20. Christmas present anyone?

DRN would like to thank Cricut for providing the review unit.

Also credit to Jennifer Maker for the love hearts mug template I used for Arraiya’s mug.



  • Capacity of 295 – 450 ml (10 – 16 oz)
  • Drinkware with smooth, straight pressing area only; avoid placing design on curves, bevels and textures.
  • Diameter between 82 – 86 mm) (3.2 in – 3.4 in)
  • Maximum height of 120 mm (4.72 in)
  • Surface must be suitable for sublimation