Personalized Mug Gift Idea

Looking for a simple but thoughtful gift for your neighbors, teachers, and friends? How about a personalized mug filled with goodies? Lots of stores sell gifts like this that are pre-packaged, but it’s way more fun (and less expensive) to put exactly what you want on the mug and fill it with things you know your recipient loves. Here’s how to create this Personalized Mug Gift for the people in your life.

You’ll need:

a blank mug (I like these because they’re more square than round)

Cricut Joy or other Cricut machine

Smart Vinyl, Permanent


Goodies for inside: hot cocoa mix, ornaments, stirring sticks, marshmallows, etc.

Step 1: Choose your design in the Design Space software and size it to fit your mug.

You can use any shape, size, and color mug you like. I had hoped to find some festive colored ones, but ended up with plain white ones from Target. I do like these, though, because the surface is relatively flat, so it’s easy to apply the vinyl!

Step 2: Load permanent Smart Vinyl into your machine and let it work its cutting magic.

One of my favorite things about using Smart Vinyl is that it doesn’t require a cutting mat!

Step 3: Weed your design.

This means removing all of the vinyl that is not part of your design, including the centers of letters. You will be left with just the things you want to put on the mug. A scraper tool or tweezers can be helpful for this step if you don’t have long fingernails.

Step 4: Apply transfer tape to your design.

This is a clear adhesive material that you place over top of your design, then use it to peel the vinyl off of its backing. You’ll want to firmly rub the design with a burnishing tool or the flat side of a butter knife to help the vinyl adhere to the transfer tape so it peels up easily.

Step 5: Transfer your design to the mug.

Place the transfer tape and design where you want it on your mug, then firmly rub to attach the vinyl to the mug’s surface. Peel off the transfer tape and your design will stay on the mug!

All that’s left to do is fill your mug with goodies, like hot cocoa packets, stirring sticks, candy, ornaments, or anything else your recipient will love! These mugs are safe to use and even safe to put in the dishwasher, although hand washing will help ensure that they stay in great condition as long as possible. Who in your life would love to receive one of these as a gift?

What would your perfect mug say? I’d love to see your holiday DIY projects and gift ideas; be sure to share your photos in the Amy Latta & Friends Facebook Group so we can all be inspired.

If you like this idea, don’t forget to save it to Pinterest and/or share it with a friend!

Personalized Mug Gift

Before you go, check out these other holiday gift projects:

Cookie Baking Kit

Holiday Tote Bag


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  1. Hi Amy,
    I really like your idea of gifting personalized mugs, but I’m curious to know if the vinyl is truly permanent or is there any other option that would be more permanent like ink?


    1. When cared for well, the vinyl really does last! It is dishwasher safe, but after about five years of being washed in the dishwasher, small areas may start peeling off, so I recommend hand washing for the most long-lasting results.

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