Design a Coffee Mug from Your Smartphone for #LoveYourLifeFriday

#LoveYourLifeFriday at KarenEhman.com

Do you like coffee mugs? I love a good coffee mug. I especially love when I can find one that says something unique, funny, or thought provoking. Even better is when I can find one for a friend that reminds her of an inside joke or something special to her.

My good friend had a birthday last spring. Before her birthday, I remember experiencing the feeling we all have where we aren’t a 100% sure what to buy. We want it to be meaningful, but we can’t spend too much… etc. Well, this friend and I both enjoy coffee. When I say enjoy, I mean that we actually just text each other pictures of our coffee throughout the week because it makes us feel happy.

I know, it’s pretty funny, but it’s true.

I knew I wanted to get this friend a coffee mug, but I wanted it to have one of her favorite Bible verses on it. (“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” James 4:8) The problem is, I couldn’t find a mug on Etsy with that verse. However, I did notice many of the Etsy shops that I visited said they would do “custom designs.”

I didn’t like some of their font choices. So, I decided that maybe I could just design it myself and send them a few pictures. I was pleasantly surprised with the final result so I wanted to share it with you!

Here are the steps for designing a coffee mug:

Step 1. Download the free app called Phonto. (If you are familiar with Canva, or Over, or other types of design apps, you could probably use those if you’d like.) I like Phonto the best!

Step 2. Open up the Phonto app. Click the camera at the bottom center of the screen. Choose the option that says “plain image.”

A window will pop up. Choose the white box to the top right.

Then click the icon to the top right.

Then click use.

Step 3. Now you will actually design the mug. When you tap the screen, it will say “add text.” You can type a word there. Perhaps you want to make a mug with your friend’s name on it. Let’s pretend her name is “Laura Smith.” So, you can type in the text box, “Laura.” While you are in the text box, click on “Font” to the lower left. Choose a font you like. Click Done. Tap the word, “Laura” and then click “style” to change the color or click “size” to change the “size.” Tap, hold, and drag, the text to move it. Click on “font” if you change your mind.

Tap another blank spot on the image to type the last name. Change the font if you want. You can add hearts, or stars, or little flourishes by tapping the icon to the bottom left on the home screen.

(I used two arrows to show you that you can look through the items offered within these tabs. You can also browse the other two tabs, but I think you might like the items on these two.)

Step 4. I chose hearts as an example. You can change the color by tapping on the item and tapping on “color.” I made my hearts pink. You can also tap on the text or hearts and click on “move.” Then on the bottom of the screen you can select the image with the arrows. This will center your objects. (Below is the screen shown to center your items.)

Save this design to your camera roll on your smartphone by clicking the icon on the bottom left of your screen.

Then click “save image.”

Step 5. You are almost done! This step will have some variation depending on your location, (find someone local if you can) and your price preferences. Go on Etsy and find a custom coffee mug seller with great reviews who also states in their description that they will do custom designs. I wrote a quick message to 4 different sellers by copying and pasting the same message. I sent them my image that I had saved on my camera roll (which we just created) and asked, “Can you make a coffee mug with this design on it?” Within a few hours one of the Etsy sellers said they would be happy to do it! I paid them the price for one of their custom design mugs which was around $12 or so. (I am telling you this just you have an idea of the cost. The cost will vary.) Then pay and complete your order on Etsy.

Step 6. Receive your mug in the mail and squeal with excitement! You now have a mug that YOU designed! Hopefully it looks just like you wanted it to look! As you know from the beginning of the post, I designed a mug with one of my friend’s favorite bible verse on it. When it showed up, it looked perfect! I was elated! I thanked the Etsy seller.  Here are some pictures of how the mug turned out.

This was the front that I designed within Phonto.  I also designed a back to the mug, which you can do also. I made sure to specify to the Etsy seller which was the front and which was the back according the which way the handle was facing.

This was me holding the mug on the day it arrived. This mug is dishwasher safe and as you can see, it is printed on the mug itself so there are no stickers that will peel off. Make sure you select an Etsy seller who is printing the mug with the method you want. IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Some Etsy sellers will draw on the mug with a paint pen, or do vinyl stickers. Personally, I like this digitally printed method. Make sure you specify or ask the Etsy seller. 

This was a picture of the other side.

This is a picture that she sent me once she poured herself a cup!

I hope you can make some cool creations for your friends, family, coworkers, or even for yourself! Happy coffee drinking and coffee mug designing! :)

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