Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (2022)

Applying vinyl to a tumbler is a super easy and fun way to personalize your cup. Find out how easy it is to apply straight and make sure to watch the video tutorial!

Yetis and Ozark Tumblers are all the rage these days! There are so many options out there, that sometimes it’s hard to know what to choose.

And when it comes to decorating tumblers and making them truly unique, the possibilities are endless!

I personally like theOzark Tumblersor Built from Amazon or Walmart. They are a third of the price and work just as well. They keep ice and water cold for up to 30 hours.

They are amazing, it is the only cup I use anymore, for hot and cold drinks! I have about five different decorated stainless steel cups since I never leave home without one.

So along with being amazing tumblers, they are very fun to decorate. You can do almost anything and jazz them up to suit your personality.

So today I thought I’d share how to go about applying vinyl to a tumbler. I even have a video tutorial and printable directions at the bottom of the post if that’s more helpful.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (1)

Best Vinyl for Tumblers

So before we get into how to add a decal to a tumbler, let’s talk about the best vinyl to make the decal with.

When it comes to adhesive vinyl, there are two types: removable also called indoor vinyl, and permanent also called outdoor vinyl. What they are called depends on the brand you are using.

For tumblers, you definitely want to use a permanent or outdoor vinyl. These vinyls are intended to get wet and have a longer-lasting adhesive on them.

My personal favorites are Cricut and Oracal brands. Cricut calls the vinyl you want to use Premium Permanent vinyl. Oracal names their vinyls with numbers, so Oracal 651 is their outdoor vinyl.

Even though these types of vinyl are called permanent they can still peel off or be removed when high heat is applied to them. That is why you should never put a mug or anything with vinyl on it in the dishwasher or in the microwave.

Best Types of Vinyl Decals for Cups

Now that you know what type of vinyl to use on a mug, you might be wondering if a certain type of decal will last longer. In my experience, the answer is yes.

Thicker letters and images are ideal and will last longer. If I ever have an issue of vinyl coming up, it’s because the letter was super skinny or had an intricate loop at the end. The more surface area that the adhesive is on, the better it will adhere to the stainless steel or mug.

You can try to bold the font you are using to create a thicker font.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (2)

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler Tutorial

Disclosure:This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and/or Walmart.com.I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links.

This process will work for either Ozark Stainless Steel mugs or Yetis.

You can purchase Ozark tumblers by clicking here. Or for 20 oz click here and for 30 oz tumblers click here!

Or you can always browse my Amazon storefront with my complete DIY Tumbler supply list.

The first thing you need is a vinyl decal. I cut mine out with my favorite tool, myCricut Explore Air™. Weed the vinyl and apply transfer paper over it. (For more detailed information on this part see my post here.)

To learn more about a Cricut, make sure to check out my Ultimate Resource of Cricut Ideas.

(Video) How to put vinyl on a tumbler so its straight

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (3)

Prepping a Mug for the Decal

Make sure your stainless steel tumbler or mug is washed and dried. Next, clean the mug with rubbing alcohol. This helps get any remaining grease or residue off that will prevent the vinyl from adhering properly.

I just use a cotton pad or paper towel and wipe it around the whole thing to get all oils off so vinyl can seal better.

Getting Vinyl Straight on a Tumbler

I have a full video tutorial on the side of the post and also a tumbler web story here, so make sure to watch it with the volume on to see how to apply a decal in action!

Apply a piece of transfer tape to your weeded out vinyl decal.

Then with the paper backing still on position the decal on the tumbler where you want it.

I find it easiest to use the Hinge method. Place a strip of blue painter’s tape down the center to secure it in place.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (4)

Peel off one half of the transfer paper and cut off the backing while holding the sticky transfer paper.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (5)
Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (6)

Pull the transfer paper so it’s straight and lay it gently down on the mug. Rub on the decal so it adheres. Then remove the blue tape.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (7)

Now that it is secure in its position, peel off the other side of the paper backing. Pull a little bit so it’s taught, and gently lay it down while smoothing it out with your fingers.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (8)
Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (9)

After rubbing down the vinyl you can slowly start peeling off the transfer tape.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (10)

There you have it. Easy peasy!

Tips for Ensuring the Vinyl Sticks Well!

Let the vinyl cure on the mug for 48-72 hours to make sure it sticks really well. So do not get it wet for 72 hours!

I will also run an embossing heat gun back and forth hovering over the vinyl and then press down really hard with my finger to make sure it adheres really well. This heats the vinyl glue a little.

Just be careful, not to touch it when it’s too hot! If you have a heat protector glove that you get with a curling iron, use that to help protect your fingers.

Again, anything with vinyl should be hand washed and washed gently. No heavy scrubbing and no dishwashers! Stainless steel mugs should not be put in the dishwasher anyway, it messes with the keeping hot and cold mechanism.

(Video) 🍷 Applying Vinyl Straight: Trick to Putting Vinyl on Glasses Straight

Sealing Vinyl on a Tumbler

I get a lot of questions on how to seal vinyl on a tumbler. You might also get different answers on who you ask.

I only seal my vinyl decals if I am making a glitter tumbler or painting it to seal the paint. I never have to apply any kind of seal on my vinyl tumblers or vinyl mugs and they’ve lasted for years.

If you use the permanent vinyl and let it cure, you should not need a sealant. However, if you really want to add a sealant, the one that lasts the longest and is FDA approved is epoxy.

Tumbler Decal Ideas

Here are a few of the other ones I have made. Easy and fun! These make great gifts, especially for those hard to buy for people! For free SVG files you can use for tumblers, make sure to check out our heart svg files and cross svg bundle.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (11)
Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (12)

A Cricut machine can make so many personalized presents. I have an entire roundup of just Cricut personalized gift ideas if you want to check it out.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (13)

The same goes for applying vinyl to a mug. I love to use Dollar Tree mugs and add permanent vinyl for every season!

Once you get used to applying vinyl to cups, you can start to eye ball it as I demonstrate below.

DIY Fall Mugs

Disclosure:This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and/or Cricut.com.I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text).

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (14)

How to Apply Vinyl to Mugs

Prep your ceramic mugs by cleaning them off with rubbing alcohol. This removes any grease and helps the adhesion.

Find a file that you’d like to put on a Fall mug. I found both of these in Cricut Access. Cut the vinyl out with permanent/outdoor vinyl and weed off the extra vinyl.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (15)

Place a piece of transfer tape over the vinyl and scrape it down well.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (16)
Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (17)

Now instead of using the hinge method, let’s use the eye ball method! Peel the paper off the back of the vinyl (the vinyl should be sticking to the transfer tape).

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (18)

Center it on the mug and press down the image in the center first. Then press it down towards the sides. Press it all down well with your fingers or a scraper.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (19)
Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (20)
(Video) New Tumbler Blanks: How to apply a vinyl decal to a tumbler : how to get your vinyl decals straight

Peel off the transfer tape.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (21)

If you have a second color, repeat the same steps. Add transfer tape to it. Scrape it down and then center it where it needs to go.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (22)
Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (23)
Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (24)

Make sure the vinyl cures for 72 hours before it gets wet.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (25)

There you have it! I made these cute fall mugs to put in our neighborhood Boo basket. I made two different ones.

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (26)

Make sure the Vinyl can not be put in a dishwasher or it can come off. You can put my printable “handwash with care” in it if you’d like.

Taking It Beyond Vinyl!

If you’d like to learn how to seal your tumblers with epoxy, check out my tutorial here!

There are even more ways to decorate stainless steel mugs! If you’d like to check out my ultimate guide on personalizing stainless steel tumblers and what I like to use, click here!

Here are the printable instructions.

Yield: 1 tumbler

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight!

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (29)

Learn how to apply vinyl to a tumbler or mug so that it's always straight!

(Video) How to Get Vinyl Straight on my Tumbler

Active Time5 minutes

Total Time5 minutes

DifficultyBeginner

Estimated Cost$10

Materials

Instructions

  1. Design and cut out vinyl decal with a cutting machine (or buy a decal!)
  2. Weed off the extra vinyl.
  3. Clean your tumbler with rubbing alcohol and let dry.
  4. Apply transfer tape to your decal and scrape it down (do not remove paper backing yet!)
  5. Position decal on tumbler and use a ruler if necessary to make sure it's straight.
  6. Apply a strip of painter's tape down the middle of the decal.
  7. Fold over one side of the decal and peel it off the backing. Cut the backing off.
  8. Place down the decal and firmly press it on the tumbler.
  9. Remove painter's tape.
  10. Flip over the other side of the decal and remove the paper backing.
  11. Flip it back over and lay it down on tumbler.
  12. Scrape down well and remove the transfer tape!
  13. Let the vinyl cure for 72 hours before it gets wet.
  14. Enjoy your nice new tumbler! Hand wash only!

Notes

Make sure to read step by step instructions with photos in post and watch the video!

Permanent vinyl is waterproof but it can not be washed in the dishwasher or heated too long in the microwave.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Thanks for stopping by!! What would you decorate a mug with??

Have a creative day!

Applying Vinyl to a Tumbler So That's It's Always Straight! (32)
(Video) How To: Applying Vinyl to a Curved Travel Tumbler | Beginner Tumbler Tips

FAQs

How do you vinyl straight a glass? ›

Rubbing alcohol works great just make sure to let it dry before applying the vinyl. One helpful trick to applying vinyl to a curved surface is to place a bean bag, pillow, or rice bag under the wine glass. I'm using a neck pillow. It works great as the glass lays on it and it helps prevent the wine glass from moving.

How do you make vinyl sticks better on tumblers? ›

To seal vinyl, simply apply a coat of mod podge over your vinyl decal using a brush, just like you would with paint. Mod Podge works great for adding a personalized touch to mugs, tumblers, plates, and other dishwares.

How can I make my stickers straight? ›

The only way to ensure the sticker is straight is to use a piece of cardboard and painter's tape to delineate where the sticker should be placed correctly and level to the ground.

How do I stop my stickers from curling? ›

Top Tip: Stop Labels Curling Up

If you find that your labels begin to curl up when you peel them off the backing sheet, try peeling them off in a different direction (i.e. start with the bottom edge and pull them upwards, rather than starting with the left/right edge and pulling them sideways).

Can You Use soapy water to apply vinyl decals? ›

You can apply most smaller decals without using water, but for large and very large stickers, this trick is a life-saver. After cleaning your surface area, wet the area again using a spray bottle and a solution of about 5% soap / 95% water. Apply the sticker while the area is still wet.

Can You Use soapy water to apply vinyl wrap? ›

Some people purchase application fluid, and others make their own with soap and water. If you choose to make your own, you can add three drops of soap for every one liter of water for the right solution. If you add too much soap to the mixture, it can counteract the adhesive properties in the vinyl.

How do I make sure permanent vinyl stay on a mug? ›

Clean the surface of your mug with 91% isopropyl alcohol. This will remove any oil or dirt and get the surface as clean as possible. This will make sure the vinyl decal sticks and stays stuck permanently. If your coffee mug surface is straight, you're good to continue on.

Do you need to seal vinyl on tumblers? ›

For example, with a mug, you're going to want to hand wash it if you don't plan to seal the vinyl. If you're going to be submerging it in water or want to run it through the dishwasher a couple times a week, then you do need to seal it.

Do you mirror permanent vinyl for cups? ›

The vinyl is placed on the transfer tape, then the paper backing attached to the vinyl is peeled off and placed on the project surface. Basically, it's like a sticker, that's why you don't need to mirror the image when creating a project using a permanent or removable vinyl.

Does rubbing alcohol make vinyl stick better? ›

Spraying the area with a cleaning spray or rubbing alcohol will allow the adhesive to stick without a problem. After cleaning the area, make sure your surface is completely dry before applying your decal.

Why does my vinyl keep wrinkling? ›

Double check your time settings for your vinyl. If you press your HTV for too long, the vinyl will shrink thus causing stress lines in the HTV. Solution: Another reason your HTV may have wrinkles in it, is if it was pressed at too high of a temperature.

How do you get smooth wrinkles out of vinyl? ›

A garment steamer is typically enough to remove the wrinkles without melting the vinyl fabric. You can also use a heat gun or a hairdryer if you don't have a garment steamer, but you'll need to be very careful not to melt your vinyl.

What to spray when applying decals? ›

A liquid soap and water solution in a spray mist bottle may be used to aid in positioning and removal of air bubbles (Wet Method). Use overlapping strokes when applying decals to remove all moisture and air-bubbles.

What to put on vinyl to make it stay? ›

There are three ways that you can seal craft projects, including those with vinyl. Those are a spray sealer like polyurethane polyacrylic spray, dishwasher safe Mod Podge, or an epoxy.

How do I keep my vinyl from lifting? ›

Before you start, make sure your stainless steel tumbler or mug has been cleaned and dried. And clean the cup with rubbing alcohol. This helps to remove any remaining grease or residue that will prevent the vinyl from adhering properly. Let the vinyl cure on the cup for 48-72 hours to make sure it sticks well.

How do I make stickers stay permanently? ›

Decoupage glue is ideal for making stickers stick to plastic permanently. This type of glue is similar to white glue in that it goes on opaque, and it dries clear. However, it is stronger and works as both a sealant and an adhesive.

Why do stickers curl up? ›

The reason that a sticker curls when it is peeled, is that the force needed to peel it off, stretches the the bottom (the glued side) of the sticker beyond its elastic limit. This causes the bottom to be longer than the top, causing it to curl up.

Will bubbles under vinyl go away? ›

One last note - many times, time is your best friend when it comes to air bubbles under vinyl. Give the vinyl a week or so and you'll notice that even unpopped bubbles will disappear just with time.

Does heat get rid of air bubbles in vinyl? ›

Start with low heat on vinyl decals to get the bubbles out. For stubborn bubbles, you can use high heat. Just make sure you don't apply too high a heat that might destroy the adhesive backing of the stickers.

Why do I get bubbles when layering vinyl? ›

Putting too much heat on vinyl will cause the glue that helps adhere it to the material either evaporate and your hold won't be as strong OR it will push up the glue and cause bubbles to form. This happened to my gnome hat because I kept putting the EasyPress on the metallic hat while I was pressing other layers.

Can you use Windex to apply vinyl? ›

Household surface cleaners, such as Windex, are acceptable; however, we recommend a 2-to-1 mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol. After thoroughly washing, wipe the surface dry with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.

Do you apply vinyl wet or dry? ›

Nevertheless, for most vinyl installations, you should not apply the graphics wet, especially if you can do a dry application.

Can you use Windex to put vinyl stickers on? ›

Spray the adhesive side of the decal with Windex after or as you peel away the backing paper. Use the squeegee to squeeze out all the Windex and air bubbles from underneath the decal. Wipe away the excess Windex and let the decals take a set. This is key, and it's a good time to walk away from the car.

What is the best way to apply vinyl? ›

Instructions for applying Vinyl Lettering and Graphics
  1. Vinyl should be applied in a wind free environment at room temperature. It will not adhere if it is too cold or it may stick but will lift off easily.
  2. Make sure the surface is clean and dust free. ...
  3. Do not touch the adhesive backing. ...
  4. Do not apply to fresh paint.

Can you use a hair dryer for vinyl wrap? ›

Can I Use a Hair Dryer? This is a frequently asked question and the answer is yes! It doesn't take much heat for the vinyl to become malleable. As a matter of fact, we recommend using a low setting if possible.

Should you wax a vinyl wrap? ›

3M does not recommend using wax or other similar coatings on vehicle graphics. Vinyl wraps may be run through car washes. Touch less car washes are the best for graphic care. Use of brush car washes (depending upon the frequency and quality of brush) may cause dulling/scratching/lifting edge of the graphics.

Why are my stickers curling up? ›

Your label material may be too thick or stiff: If possible, avoid rigid label materials as they increase the likelihood of a label curling up since they're harder to bend. Instead, use more flexible, lightweight label material and a high-performance adhesive can ensure that the label stays on the container.

Can stickers be ironed on? ›

You can iron on stickers and iron on designs to customize your clothing and make them one-of-a-kind.

Can you iron out creases in vinyl? ›

Several sources say that you can use a hair dryer or an iron on your vinyl material to remove any wrinkles and fold lines.

Why is my vinyl curling? ›

Heavy concentrations of ink, especially eco-solvent inks, will contribute to shrinking and edge curling of the media. If the maximum ink limit exceeds the one the media is able to take, the more likely it will be that curling will take place because of the interaction between the ink and the adhesive.

Will air bubbles in vinyl decals go away? ›

One last note - many times, time is your best friend when it comes to air bubbles under vinyl. Give the vinyl a week or so and you'll notice that even unpopped bubbles will disappear just with time.

Will water bubbles in decals go away? ›

Stubborn bubbles can be removed using a hairdryer as the adhesive on the decal will soften upon heating. Apply heat to the decal for a minute by switching on and aiming the hairdryer towards it. Iron out the bubbles toward the sides of the decal to eliminate them.

Can you use parchment paper to iron-on decals? ›

Using parchment paper for heat press works perfectly fine with fabric surfaces and vinyl. There's really no difference between this paper and Teflon.

Can you use wd40 on stickers? ›

WD-40 Multi-Use Product is a no-nonsense, easy solution to remove any sticker stain and residue without damaging the surface. Suitable for glass, plastic, metal, and many other surfaces.

Does acetone melt stickers? ›

Method #11: Acetone

Acetone is a strong solvent that will quickly dissolve almost any sticky adhesive residue. Simply dab a cotton ball with a few drops of liquid, then rub the sticker off.

How do you straighten paper folds? ›

To flatten crumpled paper, mist it very lightly with distilled water to loosen the paper's fibers without making the paper hard. Then, sandwich the paper between 2 layers of blotting paper or wool felt and weight it down between 2 books. Check it every day and replace the absorbent material if it seems damp.

Videos

1. How To Apply Vinyl To Tumblers
(Makers Gonna Learn )
2. Applying full vinyl wrap to tumbler
(Kristina Forbes)
3. How to Apply Cricut Vinyl to a Tumbler
(Lorrie Nunemaker)
4. Sublimation Glitter Tumbler Hack! Use Sublimation Instead of Patterned Vinyl! (TikTok Live Replay)
(Better Call Moll Creations)
5. 😍 How to Apply Printable Vinyl to a Tumbler
(Silhouette School)
6. How to wrap a full sheet of vinyl on a tumbler
(LittleLee and Rose)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Rubie Ullrich

Last Updated: 09/04/2022

Views: 6589

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rubie Ullrich

Birthday: 1998-02-02

Address: 743 Stoltenberg Center, Genovevaville, NJ 59925-3119

Phone: +2202978377583

Job: Administration Engineer

Hobby: Surfing, Sailing, Listening to music, Web surfing, Kitesurfing, Geocaching, Backpacking

Introduction: My name is Rubie Ullrich, I am a enthusiastic, perfect, tender, vivacious, talented, famous, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.