How to Put Vinyl on a Cup: Tips, Steps, and Project Ideas

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Have you ever wondered why those Pinterest projects look so pretty? How do they put vinyl on a cup? Well, that’s simple, with a cutting machine, permanent vinyl, and transfer paper, you can put vinyl on any cup you want.

Surely you can’t wait to create your next personalized cup project, but there are many things you need to know yet. Read further to know more tips, steps, and project ideas you can create with permanent vinyl.


Image from TeckWrap Craft’s Facebook Page

What Are the Best Vinyl for Cups?

The best vinyl for cups is TeckWrap Craft’s Matte and Glossy permanent adhesive vinyl collection. For that matter, any type of permanent adhesive vinyl from TeckWrap Craft is best used to print on vinyl cups.

It’s important to note that permanent vinyl should be used to print on cups, not removable adhesive vinyl. For any product that needs to be washed frequently, like mugs or cups, permanent vinyl should be used.

You cannot use removable vinyl for cups or mugs as it may not adhere long enough even when hand washed. Permanent adhesive vinyl has a longer-lasting adhesive and is water-resistant.

How long does permanent vinyl print last on mugs? With proper care, permanent adhesive vinyl can last up to eight years in a cup. While removable vinyl can only last for only about one to three years on a cup.

Step-By-Step Instructions and Tips on How to Put Vinyl on a Cup

Now that we’ve cleared that out, here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to place vinyl on cups or mugs. Other than mugs, you can use this tutorial instruction for tumblers, wine glasses, or for that matter, any product you want to personalize. Follow these steps:

Materials List

  • Cup or merchandise of your choice
  • TeckWrap Craft permanent craft vinyl
  • Transfer tape
  • Weeding tool
  • Cutting mat
  • Silhouette or Cricut cutting machine
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Squeegee or credit card
  • Alcohol
  • Cotton pads or clean cloth

If you’re still in the process of gathering your supplies list, here are several products you can choose from:

Matte & Glossy permanent craft vinyl from TeckWrap Craft

A complete package of the TeckWrap Craft Tool Kit

Beer Can Glasses 16oz With Bamboo Lid from TeckWrap Craft

Prepare the Design

First of all, you have to prepare the design. There are three ways how you can upload a design to the Cricut Design space:

  • Make your own design on the Cricut design space
  • Purchase or download free SVG files online
  • If you have graphic design skills, you can create your own SVG file design using your iPad.

Screenshot from TeckWrap Craft’s YouTube Page: Beginner Craft Tutorial | Customize a Libbey Cup with TeckWrapCraft Adhesive Vinyl

After your design is done and you have envisioned what you to put the vinyl on the cup, use a ruler or tape measure to determine the right size of the decal. The size of the decal will depend on how big or how you want to place the decal.

Do you want to cover the whole cup? Or just a simple front and center label? As soon as you’ve determined the right size, upload the design to your design space, and adjust the sizing.

Clean the Merchandise

Screenshot from TeckWrap Craft’s YouTube Page: Beginner Craft Tutorial | Customize a Libbey Cup with TeckWrapCraft Adhesive Vinyl

Whether you’re printing on a mug or cup, you need to clean the merchandise. Make sure it’s washed and dried. If you want you can clean it with an alcohol and cotton pad. Cleaning the merchandise is important to remove any grease, dust, or dirt.

This ensures the vinyl will easily adhere to the surface and will stay stuck permanently. After cleaning it, set it aside and make sure to avoid touching it.

Change the Settings on Your Design Space

The next step is to change the settings on your design space. Whether you’re using Cricut or Cameo, they pretty much have the same settings. You need to change the settings of the vinyl material to ‘permanent craft vinyl or premium vinyl’.

As soon as you’ve changed the material settings, the force and speed will also change. But it doesn't mean it will cut right onto the vinyl. What you want to do is to ‘Test Cut’ and see if the vinyl comes off easily away from the paper backing.

Cut the Design

After the test cut and you’re confident the vinyl is easy to weed, cut the vinyl size you need. Make sure it’s at least 1cm bigger than your intended decal size so you can easily handle it.

Place the vinyl on the cutting mat, with the shiny side up. Load it on the cutting machine and cut. Remember never to mirror permanent vinyl!

Weed the Extra Vinyl

Using a weeding tool or tweezer, weed the excess vinyl. Weeding the excess vinyl means removing the unwanted parts of the design you want to transfer to the merchandise. Be extra careful during the weeding process as you don’t want the important parts of your design to come off.

Use Transfer Tape to Transfer the Permanent Adhesive Vinyl

Get a transfer tape, and cut it at least 1cm bigger than the vinyl decal you have. Take the backing paper off the transfer tape. Then place the transfer tape over the decal. The goal is for the permanent craft vinyl to transfer to the transfer tape.

You can use a squeegee or a used credit card to flatten the transfer tape over the decal. Start from the left corner and work your way to the middle. Flatten the surface well and remove all bubbles and creases in the transfer tape.

Then remove the paper backing of the vinyl and prepare to transfer the design. Make sure to secure the sticky side of the vinyl and not let it stick any to your work surface. You don’t want to mess with the vinyl’s ability to adhere to the cup.

Transfer the Design

Now it’s time to transfer the design of the merchandise. Make sure the decal has proper alignment and keep the vinyl straight all throughout before transferring it. Start with one corner and work way inwards. Use a squeegee to flatten it out on the surface.

One challenging step when it comes to dealing with cups or mugs is it doesn’t have a flat surface. So what you want to do is snip several edges of the transfer tape.

Snipping the edges is the secret to putting vinyl on a curved surface like a mug or cup. Sniping means creating small cuts on the transfer tape using a scissor without affecting the vinyl.

Creating small snips around the edges of the transfer tape will be easier for you to deal with the curved form of the cup. However, if the design is small, and there’s not much curve on the cup to deal with, you don’t need to snip on the edges of the transfer tape.

Allow the vinyl to transfer to the cup naturally. Smooth it all down with a squeegee until all creases or bubbles are removed. Once you’re confident the vinyl has adhered to the mug, remove the transfer tape slowly. Viola! You have your personalized cup.

If you want a step-by-step video tutorial, you can watch this video on TeckWrap Craft’s YouTube Page: Beginner Craft Tutorial | Customize a Libbey Cup with TeckWrapCraft Adhesive Vinyl

Optional Step: Apply a Sealant

Screenshot from YouTube: How To Seal Vinyl on a Mug by Makers Gonna Learn 

There’s one thing you need to know about merchandise with vinyl: only hand wash it. Never place vinyl-printed merchandise on the dishwasher or microwave.

So if you want your vinyl to adhere longer to the mug or if you want to place your mugs in the dishwasher, apply a sealant on it like the Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Sealer.

This type of sealant can hold up in heat, even though a repeated wash in the dishwasher. It is non-toxic and will surely fix the vinyl on the cup for many years to come. Remember that this step is optional only if you want to ensure the mug will be dishwasher-safe.

If you intend to use the cup for personal use and remember not to place it in the dishwasher, you don’t have to go through this step. Here’s the step-by-step process on how to apply sealant on your Cricut projects:

Materials Needed

First, you have to gather all supplies needed on applying a sealant:

  • Paintbrush
  • Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Sealer
  • Cotton pad
  • Rubbing alcohol

Clean the Merchandise Again

While putting vinyl on the cup or mug, surely your fingerprints were left in it, so it’s better to clean it again using alcohol and a cotton pad. If you're working with a mug, hold the handle and avoid touching any surface of the mug after cleaning it.

Brush the First Coat

After the alcohol has completely dried off, brush the first coat of Mod Podge thinly, evenly, and as quickly as you can. The sealant tends to dry quickly, and you want all surfaces to be even. So make sure you do this quickly with a few brush strokes if possible.

When applying the sealant, the brush strokes should be in the same direction. This matters especially if you want the coating to look neat and clean. There’s no need to apply sealant under the rim or the handle (if you’re working on a mug).

To be clear, you need to apply the sealant all over the vinyl decal and the rest of the mug’s outer surface (except the inner part and the rim where the lip touches when drinking). You want everything to look even.


Screenshot from YouTube: How To Seal Vinyl on a Mug by Makers Gonna Learn 

Repeat the Process

After applying the first coat, let it dry for an hour and repeat the process until you have applied three layers. How do you know if the sealant has completely dried off?

The sealant will look streakier when wet, when it completely dries off, it will have a matte finish. If you want the sealant to dry off much faster, you can use a hairdryer.

Let it Cure

Curing the mug means letting the vinyl set in place. This means right after putting the sealant, let it sit for a while and do not use it just yet. There are two ways how to cure merchandise:

For vinyl mugs, whether it is made of ceramic or glass, you can place them inside the oven for 30 minutes, and set the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After 30 minutes, don’t take out the mug just yet.

Let the oven and mug cool for 30 minutes. After that, place the mug somewhere clean and wait at least 72 hours before using it. You can follow this curing process for stainless steel mugs as well.

If you’re trying to cure plastic cups, you can’t cure them inside the oven. The heat inside the oven will melt the plastic cup. When curing cups made of plastic, set them in a dry and clean location for 28 days before using them.

Other than cups what kind of items can I personalize with vinyl?

With the step-by-step instructions you have learned above, there are many craft projects you can personalize. Other than cups, here are other project ideas you can create with a permanent craft vinyl and your cutting machine:

Coffee Mugs

You can place vinyl decals on ceramic or glass mugs. It has the same process of personalizing as the cups above. You can cure mugs as well. These are great gifts for your family and loved ones for any occasion. You won’t need a mug press to create this kind of craft.

Water Bottles


Other DIY projects you can create with a Cricut Machine are water bottles. See all the extra vinyl colors on this project? Isn’t it pretty? You can do this at home too. Follow the step-by-step instructions above except for the curing part since this is made of plastic.

Beer Can Glasses

If you’re looking for gift ideas for men, applying vinyl on beer can glasses sounds like a good idea. Vinyl sticks well on glasses and it’ll be a perfect gift idea not just for men, but for everyone. It can be used for outdoor lunch parties, much better if you use color-changing vinyl on it.

You can buy these beer can glasses at TeckWrap Craft. So when you’re gathering your material list, add to the cart all the TeckWrap Craft tools, color-changing vinyl plus beer can glasses with bamboo lids.

Creation by dazzlemecups using TeckWrap Craft Vinyl

Christmas Balls or Any Type of Ornaments



With craft vinyl, you can basically personalize any type of merchandise. Why not apply vinyl on Christmas ornaments including Christmas balls? Many craft stores sell blank acrylic ornaments and Christmas balls. You can give this gift to your fellow crafty friends too.

Drinking Glasses

You can place a vinyl decal on drinking glasses as well. You just need cute designs for your cut files and you can create any project you like. You’re probably wondering what kind of vinyl was used above, Rainbow Stripes Adhesive Vinyl from TeckWrap Craft was used.

Acrylic Organizers

Image from TeckWrap Craft’s Facebook Page

Aside from glass or ceramic, you can personalize acrylic storage boxes or organizers as well. In the photo above, it’s an acrylic makeup brush organizer. This is a great idea for bridesmaid proposal boxes or Mother’s Day gifts.  


Who says you can only personalize mugs or tumblers? You can personalize foil balloons too. This is a great idea for any occasion or as a bouquet balloon gift too. There are many TeckWrap or Cricut crafts you can do out there!

Alcohol Spray Bottles

During the pandemic, one of the best-selling products is personalized alcohol sprayers. So if you want to start our personalized sticker business, this is a great idea you can try. Do you need to use permanent craft vinyl for this? Yes! Since alcohol bottles tend to get wet, you need to use permanent vinyl for this.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Get Vinyl Decal to Stay on a Cup?

To make sure the vinyl decal stays on the cup, you can apply a sealant like a Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Sealer on it. Also, make sure to use permanent craft vinyl to make sure it adheres longer.

How Do You Put Vinyl Design on a Cup?

To put a vinyl design on a cup, you’ll need a Cricut Maker or Cricut Joy cutting machine and permanent craft vinyl. Cut your design, weed the excess vinyl, use a piece of transfer tape, and transfer the design to the cup.

Do You Use Permanent Vinyl on a Cup?

Yes, you should use permanent craft vinyl on a cup, not removable vinyl, most definitely not heat transfer vinyl. You can create a great project using TeckWrap Craft’s permanent vinyl craft collections. The Cricut Vinyl is a great option, but TeckWrap Craft has more craft vinyl collections you can choose from.

Do You Need to Seal Vinyl on Cups?

Generally speaking, you don’t need to seal vinyl on cups. However, if you prefer not to handwash the cup all the time, you can seal it with a Mod Podge Dishwasher Safe Sealer. If a decal has sealant on it, the vinyl lasts longer even when placed in the dishwasher.

Final Thoughts

Applying vinyl on a skinny tumbler or a coffee mug may seem intimidating at first. But as you follow the instructions above and have practiced, you can master these crafts in no time! As you’ve started to customize a cup, you can personalize almost anything you want! Happy crafting!

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