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How to Make Custom Tumblers With Pictures

Learning how to make custom tumblers is a wonderful way to get crafty and unleash your artistic side. Many tumbler projects explain how to make cups glittery or change their color, but did you know it’s possible to add pictures to your tumblers?

You can add cool designs, logos, or even family photos to your personalized tumblers. What a great way to customize a gift or create something entirely unique. Let’s get into it and discover how to make custom tumblers with pictures.

How to Make Custom Tumblers With Pictures

How to Make Custom Tumblers With Pictures Three Ways

There are many ways to make custom tumblers, so we’ve picked out three of the most popular for you to have a go at. Each of these methods adds pictures to your cup in a slightly different way, so make sure you read the instructions fully before getting started.

Olive color reusable tea cup

Use Pre-Made Vinyl Decals on Your Tumblers

This method comes top in our simple tumbler customization guide. It’s relatively inexpensive and vinyl decals come in virtually limitless designs. You’ll need a plain or colored stainless-steel tumbler to start with. Then, simply shop around until you find a decal you like, and follow these steps:

  1. Clean the tumbler including removing any labels — rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipes are ideal.
  2. Decide exactly where you want the decal.
  3. Remove the backing paper from the decal to reveal a sticky side.
  4. Carefully place the decal on the tumbler.
  5. Rub to remove bubbles or wrinkles

Decals can be as varied as letters for initials, animals, or even entire logos. If you want something more personalized, check out our next method.

Add Your Canva Design to a Personalized Tumbler

Learning how to make custom tumblers with your own hand-crafted designs means understanding a skill called sublimation. When you sublimate an image, you transfer it from special paper onto another surface using heat to ensure it stays there permanently.

Professional printers and expert crafters often invest in sublimation printers. If you don’t have one of these, you can simply purchase sublimation transfer paper and ink and print your own designs. Always check with the printer manual or manufacturer for the correct settings for transfers.

Cropped image of hand holding plant against trees

Canva is a free-of-charge design studio. There are premium versions, but you can create awesome designs with the free version. There are other free design studios available, but we’ve picked Canva for this example as they offer pre-made tumbler templates. Once you’ve picked a template you like, you can customize it to your heart’s content. Check out YouTube for hundreds of easy-to-follow Canva tutorials.

Follow the instructions of your printer to print your chosen design onto sublimation transfer paper. Top tip: Before you print, ensure any text is mirrored or it won’t transfer correctly.

Place the transfer with the image side up on a flat surface. Position the clean tumbler on the transfer and wrap the paper around it to understand the size. Trim off any excess paper so you will have a perfect fit with just a slight overlap. This overlap prevents unseemly seams.

Carefully wrap the transfer around the tumbler ensuring the edges align. Double-check that the image is touching the surface of the tumbler and not on the outside. Ensure the wrap is tight as air bubbles will spoil your design. Use a small amount of tape to secure the wrap.

Sublimation transfers require a heat of 350 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure they set properly. You can achieve this by placing your tumbler in a convection oven or using a heat gun. Note: You must use metal tumblers for this process as plastic ones will melt.

Aluminum metal thermos container bottle close up on table

If you use the oven method, set it to 355 degrees with a two-minute timer. Place the tumbler vertically in the center of the oven. Bake for two minutes, rotate slightly (using tongs), then bake for another two minutes. Keep doing this to ensure an even finish. The tumbler is finished when you can see the transfer through the backing paper. This usually takes around eight minutes.

Finally, never touch your hot tumblers. Let them cool then use tongs or oven mitts to remove them from the oven. Remove the transfer paper and enjoy your newly customized tumbler.

Customize a Tumbler with a Photo

Bright, bold designs on your tumblers are one thing, but can you add a photo to a cup? Yes, you absolutely can. This is the ultimate in personalization and allows you to make perfect gifts and memorabilia.

Follow the exact steps highlighted in the last section, but once you have a tumbler template, replace the art or logos with photos of your choice. Most design studios allow you to import photos. Make them as clear and sharp as possible for the best printing results. You can also add stickers and colors to make them even more interesting.

Beautiful floral patterns insulated drinking flasks to take with you on vacation

If your photos are only on your smartphone, look out for mobile app versions of your chosen design studio. Canva and PicCollage, for example, allow you to do designs directly on your iPhone or Android device.

How to Make Custom Tumblers the Easy Way

As much as we’d all love to have crafting studios and printers, it can be costly and time-consuming. If you need custom tumblers fast, take a look at Custom Cups Now. There are so many choices for customized tumblers, including engraved options and personalized insulated cups — ideal for those family camping trips.

Create custom tumblers in just a few clicks via our website, or call us anytime at 1-833-217-1898 for more information.

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