Did you know that you can make your own customised mugs in bulk at home? It can be time consuming and expensive, but provided you have a design, some blank mugs, and the right equipment then it can be done!
While there are many different mug printing techniques, like screen printing, sublimation is the most efficient method if you want to print at home. Here’s what you need to bear in mind when it comes to the mug printing equipment you will need.
What printer do I need to print on mugs?
There are two options available. First, you can buy a special type of printer called a sublimation printer. Alternatively, you can use an inkjet printer with the right sublimation inks installed.
We’ll look at the special inks needed to print on mugs in more detail later.
What type of paper is used for mug printing?
Sublimation paper is used in mug printing. This special paper is lightweight, making it easy to wrap around your mug.
It also helps ensure the ink is transferred evenly to the mug without any patching or cracking.
Do I need special ink to print on a mug?
Normal ink in a standard printer isn’t suitable for mugs as it would just run off the surface. Sublimation ink turns into gas when heated, meaning it penetrates the surface of the mug and lasts longer.
Sublimation inks come in the same colours as standard printer cartridges; cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. These colours can be combined to create all other colours, making them ideal for both photo and logo printing.
How much sublimation ink is used to print on a mug? It’s hard to say, as it depends on the complexity of the design. For example, you’ll use more ink to print a photo on a mug than you would a simple logo.
It’s also important to bear in mind that sublimation ink dries out much faster than standard printer ink. This means you may run out of ink sooner if you live somewhere warm and dry.
How to print on mugs using a heat press
Once you’ve printed your design using subliminal ink and paper, you need to apply it to your mug. The easiest way to do this is by using a heat press (also known as a ‘mug press,’ which you can buy from most hobby stores for £100+).
A heat press uses heat and pressure to imprint a design on a surface. A heat press doesn’t just set the design of your mug, but it reacts with the ink to permeate the polymers in the mug, meaning you get a photo or logo that is hard-wearing and long-lasting.
You start by warming your heat press to the appropriate temperature and pressure. In the meantime, you wrap your design around the mug and fix it in place with heat tape. Then you insert the mug, clamp it in place, and wait for the heat press to do the work!
How long does mug printing take? You can expect it to take between four to five minutes for the mug heat press machine to work. Remember that most domestic heat presses only take one mug at a time, so if you have a lot of mugs to print, it can take a while!
Alternatively… use a professional mug printing solution!
While it might sound like a nice idea to be able to make your own mugs at home, it can very quickly cost more than you might think. You have to buy all the mug printing equipment, not to mention all the mugs you want to print on!
If this sounds like too much hard work, a company like ours at Prince William Pottery can print your promotional mugs for you. We use industrial techniques to print our orders in bulk, using machinery that people will not be able to access if they were to print DIY.
Just tell us what type of mug you want, send over your artwork, and we’ll keep you informed every step of the way. We’ll even send you a sample so you can make sure you’re happy with the design before we start the printing process.
Ask for your free, no-obligation quote today and see how much time and money you can save by working with us.