Transferring a Picture to a Cup or Plate

Category Decoupage
With easy access to digital prints, making a personalized cup or plate can be a great gift for a friend or family member. This is a page about transferring a picture to a cup or plate.


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Keep motivated during the day with simple memories of your loved ones by putting their faces on your coffee mug. A daily glance to your family's photo will get you inspired throughout the day.


  • photo printout(s)
  • white glue
  • ceramic mug (preferably white)
  • scissors
  • small amount of water


  1. Cut out the family picture.
  2. Apply white glue onto the mug. Spread it evenly on the space.
  3. Stick photo on the mug with its printed side facing inwards. See photo.
  4. Carefully press it with something to make sure it sticks very well and doesn't form any lumps.
  5. Apply small amount of glue over the photo.
  6. Spread it lightly all over. Let dry for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. When it's completely dried, wet your fingers with water and rub it lightly. Remember, do not use too much water.
  8. Continue rubbing it lightly and very carefully. Do not rush, just slowly rub off the layer until the photo is revealed.
  9. Apply another light layer of white glue and allow to dry to make it shiny. Then it's done.

Tip: When using a photo with words in it, set it to "mirror" before printing it out so that when you stick it onto your mug it will be readable.


  1. Be patient in rubbing the photo. It should be done very lightly, slowly and not too much pressure. I performed the last steps repeatedly as it tears apart on the rubbing process. Also do not apply too much water in it.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 26, 2010

How do I transfer a photo to a plate or cup?

By susie from Madison, AL


April 26, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

There are kits available in craft stores like Michael's, that allows you to do it. I think the dish or plate has to be made from a certain composite that will allow the heat to seal the photo on the surface.


I have also seen kiosks in the local malls here that can do it. They are a bit pricey but the quality they display looks very good. Photos are crisp and not blurry.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 26, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Any company that specializes in sublimation can do this for you. Unless you decoupage the item (which then means that it cannot be used for food/drink), you will probably need to have someone with a proper heat press and sublimation equipment do it for you. This is not a process easily or cost effectively done at home.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 13, 2008

I'm looking for information on how to transfer a picture on to a cup or plate. I know how to use an iron-on to put a picture on a T-Shirt. Can I use a similar method to iron a picture on a cup? Any information would be helpful.

Faye from Texas


Transferring a Picture to a Cup or Plate

This company has all kinds of transfer equipment and supplies: (05/16/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Transferring a Picture to a Cup or Plate

The process is not really too simple and unlikely to be economical enough to do at home. try here:

Best of luck (05/16/2005)

Transferring a Picture to a Cup or Plate

I don't do plates, but you can see my cups at

If you don't need them to be dishwasher proof, you could just print your picture on decal stuff from Wal-mart, cut it out and stick it on there. Mine are dishwasher proof, btw.
Deb (05/17/2005)

By Deb

Transferring a Picture to a Cup or Plate

This plate procedure is simply for decorative use. I have used the decoupage method of transferring pictures onto clear glass plates. I begin with a copy of the picture. It is much easier to adhere the picture, to the plate, than photo paper, because of the texture. " I used standard typing paper".


First cut the photo out, and place behind the plate, (facing toward you) along with all the other pieces that will be glued onto the back of the plate. This step is just to preview the finished plate. Then, begin by spreading a thin layer of Elmer's or decoupage glue, onto the back of the plate. Before putting glue on the front side, of the picture, moisten the back of it with a washcloth or a spray bottle (be careful not to pull, it might tear, just press moisture into the paper(it will make it easier to work with), now pour ample amount of glue onto the photo.

Lay your picture front side down onto the back of the plate. Press out all bubbles and wrinkles, using your fingers is best. Then continue with background pieces. (You can use almost anything as a background: gift wrap, tissue paper, more pictures- to make a collage, napkins, or wait till it dries and paint it with acrylic paints.


To seal you may use special sealers, clear spray paint or layer the glue in several coats allowing it to dry in between coats.
The possibilities are endless.
Have fun!

By Mary Ann L*

Transferring a Picture to a Cup or Plate

I hope this is what you need! NEED, 1 clear plate or cup. Decoupage medium; brush or sponge applicator. Aerosol acrylic sealer and sponge or brayer. Now, apply a thin layer of decoupage medium to the front of picture using a sponge applicator. Position the picture on the back of the plate; smooth out bubbles or wrinkles, using a sponge. Allow decoupage to dry.

Apply thin coat of decoupage medium to the back of the picture as a sealer, allow it to dry. Use acrylic paint in a light color around picture, use a natural sea sponge; apply sparingly. Apply remaining layers of paint, finishing with darker color. If desired, paint back of plate a solid color, using an aerosol paint. Apply light coat of aerosol acrylic sealer; allow sealer to dry. Apply second coat, DONE (04/06/2006)

By Diann

Transferring a Picture to a Cup or Plate

Check this out
I'm ordering some to put a picture of my parents on a plate. The plate is the only piece left from their first dishes when they were married over 60 years ago. I can't wait to see how it works.

By Neva Randall

Transferring a Picture to a Cup or Plate

Look at lazertran transfer paper allows you to print just about anything and put it on any kind of surface. (09/21/2008)

By Dina Parker

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