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  • Shelly Tschupp

DIY Gift Idea Mom's Recipes and Photo On Ceramic Cups Cricut Infusible Ink Pen

Updated: Jan 10

Infusbile Inks are both Microwave and Dishwasher Safe!
What a great way to remember Mom... and your favorite recipe that she made!

Mom’s are the most amazing, giving and wonderful people, their love knows no bounds given without reservation or expectation.  So how do you honor someone who is such an integral part of your life today? How do you keep their memory alive after they are gone? Here is one idea, why not put one of your favorite childhood recipes from Mom on a ceramic cup! You can even add her silhouette too. I completed these with Cricut Infusible Ink Pens on the Cricut Stackable 4 mug set. Once you heat the infusible inks they are permanently set, both microwave and dishwasher safe, making this gift idea a lasting family heirloom!


Throughout our childhood Mom made many recipes that we just loved, especially the deserts! Every Christmas she made Fudge, twice a month and always on a Sunday, she made her version of southern bread pudding (filled with pockets of yummy jam!), then on special holidays and birthdays there was her wonderful Lemon Pie. And of course my husband’s mom made her special recipes too, like their homemade Daly’s Chocolate Milk (which is actually their version of ‘Bailey’s Irish Crème’). This year I decided to put these recipes on stackable cups to gift to my siblings, to make the recipe you need all 4 cups. They were a hit, my brother's were teary eyed and touched as our mom passed back in 2010 from Cancer and we still make those recipes today. My sister n laws were thrilled to display them in their kitchen for their Mom and friends to see. If you have a Cricut and Cricut Access here is a link to the design I created, feel free to modify it with your own family recipes!


DIY Gift Idea Mom's Recipes and Photo On Ceramic Cups Cricut Infusible Ink Pen Instructions:

Difficulty: Medium, this should not be the first time you have used infusible inks, if it is, I recommend doing at least one test run on a sublimation mug to practice before doing it on the stackable sets as they are a little more expensive.  


Time: 4 hours if you need to make your own design, if you modify my design 2 to 3 hours


  • Infusible ink pens (I used up one .4 Black completely doing two 4 cup sets, and I also filled in areas using the 1.0 sizes: Black, Green and Cardinal Red)

  • Stackable Cups: I had the 4 cup set from Cricut, you can use any sublimation cup that has a foot for stacking, you can do this with two cups, three etc. Just test the font size, if it is too small it will not work.

  • Laser Copy Paper at least 2 sheets to create 4 mug images ( I buy copy paper that is both inkjet & laser so I can use it for both Cricut projects and home printing)

  • Butcher Paper (cut to the image size, 4 pieces are needed for each cup to prevent the ink from bleeding onto the mug press walls and staining them, so for a set of 4 mugs that is 16 total pieces, 3 in high x 9 in wide).

  • Heat Resistant Tape

  • Cricut Mug Press (or another mug press that works with ceramic coffee mugs)

  • Cricut Machine that will hold Infusible pens

  • From home: trivet or heat resistant location to put the mugs on while they cool; oven mitts, either a lint roller/lint free cloth & rubbing alcohol, scissors or a paper cutter.


If you have not used the infusible ink pens before, they are great for writing and coloring in. I did try to cut out the small words on a infusible ink sheet but it was just too small and too many pieces of the letters went missing during the weeding process.



Design Your Mug: Each mug image for my Cricut Stackable mug sets were 8.75 Wide X 2.992 high; with the wings on each end increases the total width to 10.308 inches wide (the wings are used to line up the image on the mug and wrap inside of the handle. Note: nothing will print in the wing/handle area as the mug press does not heat it). I then created a text box on each mug design smaller than the guide size and typed in my recipe, be sure to double checked it for accuracy! Click here for this blank template within Cricut Access.


Type in your recipe: You have 4 templates, one for each stackable mug. Create text for each of the 4 mugs, I used the 1st mug for my ingredients, and mugs 2-4 for cooking instructions.

Picture Silhouette: if you chose to add in a silhouette you can go to a free SVG converter website such as CuteCutter, upload your favorite photo then adjust the photo settings: blur, edge contrast, threshold and remove speckles until you are happy with the cartoon image. Try to eliminate as many of the tiny details in the hair as you can since they will not appear when the .4 infusible ink pen is used. You can remove more within Cricut when you import the image. Below is what mine looked like, be sure to download the image to your computer.

Next: upload your silhouette svg file into Cricut Access, make any adjustments you want, and import it as a 'cut' image. Add that to your Cricut design. Adjust the size to fit, decide if you want the photo on one mug or to cross over more than one. Change the sihlouette from a cut image to pen/draw. To remove additional small lines click the image and use the contour tool to unselect them.

If you decide to split the image across two mugs here are the steps: you will need to add a square/rectangle shape to your design on Cricut access (The photo should be less than 5.894 inches high, your square/rectangle needs to be 2.992 high by the same width as the photo. Center the rectangle horizontally over the photo, highlight both, align the top, then align the left side. this should place the rectangle across the upper half of the photo. Highlight both and click slice. This should split the photo into two images that will be drawn.

Add any other design elements, I added eggs and a lemon, and be sure to change it to a 'draw' image.

Test Print on your printer: (pro tip) rather than use up my Infusible inks only to find out the size was wrong I did a quick test print. To do that I flattened each cup image and clicked make it, which brought up the print then cut feature. After printing them on copy paper I cut them and laid them over the mugs to be sure I was happy with the size. I then unflattened the images.

Prepare to Draw: clicked on each item within the image making sure they are all set to 'Draw at a .4 pen size and in the infusible ink pen color you want to use'. The outer square is a cut only line. The 'guide' image will not draw or cut, its only there to help you with the design. Highlight everything for each cup design and click Attach. Click to make it and verify that everything is where it should be on the Cricut Access design screen. Click to turn on mirror for each of your matts so they will be drawn backwards. I was able to fit two mugs on each 8 1/2 x 11 piece of copy paper. Using a light blue matt (or a standard green that is not too sticky) put the laser copy paper on it with the 11 inch width laid our horizontally, then selected 20lb copy paper as your material.  Cricut Access will tell you me when to put in the different colored Infusible Ink Pens. When finished I unload and remove the mat from the paper. Pro Tip: do not pull the paper off the matt as it will curl, instead flip the mat over and hold the paper one right hand while pealing the matt off with your left hand. If the wings were completely cut off attach them to the copy paper using heat tape.


Infusible ink pens bleeding through copy paper.
Infusible Ink on Copy paper bleeds through so use 4 layers of butcher paper to protect your Mug Press.

Here are 4 layers of butcher paper and the copy paper after heat pressing one mug, you can see the ink bleeds through the butcher paper. If you do not use the 4 sheets of butcher paper the ink will bleed through to your machine and later transfer to future projects ruining them.

Coloring in your design: the Cricut did a great job on the words and design outlines, so you only need to color in the photo Silhouette and any other image you had it draw for you. Let the paper dry, it should only take a few minutes (you will know because the ink will no longer be shiny). After completing all of your designs, you are ready to transfer them onto your mugs in your heat press. If you own a different brand heat press I would think this would work however I only own the Cricut Mug Press and have not tried other brands.


Heat Pressing your mug:

1. Cut 4 strips of butcher paper for each mug to wrap up to the handle area, for my mugs this was 9 inches wide X 3 inches tall, set these near the heat press (you need at least 16 of them for each mug to prevent ink bleeding through and staining your press).

2. Gather these items and place them in your work area:

  • Mug Press (plug it in, turn it on so it can warm up, and lift the handle)

  • Butcher paper that you just cut (tape 4 strips together for each mug as you will wrap this around the mug on top of the design, do not reuse these, instead after each mug is completed throw them out)

  • Trivet or other heat resistant surface material to put your hot mugs on so they can cool

  • Oven mitts

  • Scissors

  • Lint Roller (or lint free cloth & rubbing alcohol)

  • Heat resistant tape

  • Mugs (unpackaged and ready to print)

  • Colored infusible ink designs

3. Hold one mug by the handle and remove any lint on the sides where you will be printing (either using the lint roller on it, or the lint free cloth with some rubbing alcohol), from this point on do not touch the sides of the mug as your skin oils can affect the transfer. Carefully take the first design, make sure it is right side up and the ink side is facing the mug, wrap the mug so that the wings meet inside the handle, tighten it so that it is fully snug against the mug and apply a piece of heat tape to hold them together where the wings meet. Then apply 3 or 4 pieces of heat tape to the top and bottom of the design and mug, spreading them around the rim and base. If you see a gap between the design and the mug a the top or bottom, add more tape. Then take the 4 pieces of butcher paper you taped into one bundle and wrap the mug, use the heat tape to attach it to the design, a couple at the top and bottom. By now your Mug Press should be lit up and ready for use. Carefully place the mug in the press centering the handle in the opening being careful not to touch the heat pads. Push the handle down and it will beep when it is done.

4. While the first mug is being pressed prepare the second mug.

5. Removing the mug: be sure to wear your oven mitts to remove the mug, the handle might only be warm but the rest of the mug is incredibly hot, I wear the mitts to make sure I don’t get burned. Do not touch the papers or image area of the mug, just set it mug down on your heat resistant surface and allow it to cool to the touch (about 15 minutes or so). Repeat these steps until all of the mugs have been pressed.

6. Revealing your masterpiece:  When the mug is cool (this can take a half hour or more) remove the tape and papers to see your wonderful creation!


Note: some links are affiliate links, they do not cost you more to use however may pay me pennies on the dollar which helps cover the cost of this blog.




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