So which is better for mugs – vinyl or heat transfer vinyl? I thought I would do some experiments applying both to glass and give you my opinion on this debate. Then you can use my information to decide which to buy for your craft projects. After all, you don’t want your gift to a friend to end up being in the trash after it has been washed a few times!
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Types of Vinyl
First, what type of vinyl do you use on a mug? There are different types depending on the application. For instance, you want a vinyl design on your wall to come off when you are tired of it so you would need a removable vinyl. On mugs, however, you want a vinyl that will last a really long time. The type I used for my experiments is the Premium Permanent Vinyl from Cricut. There are other brands but you want to look for something that is rated for outdoor or permanent use.
Types of Heat Transfer Vinyl
You may not even realize that you can add heat transfer vinyl to glass but you can! Most types will work you may just need a little patience. I like to do a lower heat and time and then like to do multiple passes over the mug. The glass does have a higher chance of breaking when heated so you want to use caution. Protect your hand from the heat and also from any potential breakage. This means that heat transfer vinyl products that require a higher temperature are not ideal. I am using Everyday Iron-0n from Cricut for all of my experiments.
Applying to Your Mug
Now we have to get both of these onto our mug. Adding the vinyl is easy as you just need to cut and then add to your mug with some transfer paper. What about that heat transfer vinyl? You can use a heat press, EasyPress, or even a mini iron. You can watch me use all three in the video below. For the mini iron, click here to purchase the version I am using.
Vinyl or Heat Transfer Vinyl for Mugs?
So which one is better? Which works best for your projects? I found that if you are going to wash your mugs in the dishwasher, the permanent vinyl is best hands down. It was the only one that I found would last with the heat and power of automatic washing. Now, if you are going to hand wash your mugs, you can probably use either of the products and any of the application methods for the heat transfer vinyl. I will say my favorite application method for the heat transfer vinyl on a mug was the mini iron.
So, will you be making some mugs for giving as gifts? I would say use premium vinyl as you will not know if your recipient will hand wash or throw in the dishwasher. For your own needs, you can decide which will work for you with the information above. I will say that this was my experience only. You might run some tests for yourself especially if you are going to make a ton of these for gifts or to sell.
So, will you use vinyl or heat transfer vinyl for mugs? We would love to hear about which you use and which works best for you! Want to make these mugs? Click here for the Cricut cut file!