Dollar Store Mug Transformation

At our house we had one ‘special’ mug in the house.  The girls claimed it to be special because it was pretty and made everything ‘taste’ so much better.

Well, the problem with that was there was only one!  This lead to a lot of emotion when one child got the cup and the other had to drink out of a ‘non’ special cup.

So…I used my mommy problem solving skills and this is what I came up with:)

Make all mugs ‘special’

I found these mugs at the dollar store! (to think it only took a dollar to fix the problem…wouldn’t it be great if all your problems could be fixed for a buck:).

Dollar Store Mug solving problemsI applied permanent red vinyl lettering (Black Boys on Mopeds Font) and added poka dots to the girls mugs and voila.  Emotions over the special mug vanished.

Dollar Store Mug solving problemsI’ve even thought about throwing all the other mismatched mugs out and just having these.   It would totally (ya I like the word totally:) cut down on kitchen clutter!

Grab your cutter, order some vinyl for all of you projects, or if you don’t have a craft cutter, order some custom pre-made vinyl.  Wouldn’t these be the perfect gift for a family?  I know what the cousins are getting this year! {I can’t believe I am already starting to think about Christmas}.

Here’s to solving problems.

Dollar Store Mug solving problems

(This originally posted last November.  We figured most of you hadn’t seen it yet).

    1. November 25th, 2009 at 8:20 am
      Norma says:
      please tell me more about this "permanent vinyl." Is it washable? Microwaveable? Dishwasher safe? where can I get some? Thanks!
      • November 25th, 2009 at 8:33 am
        Alison says:
        Do you have a vinyl cutter, cricut or neither?
        It is washable. I have put mine in the dishwasher, but I usually just wash it by hand...and the microwave part, let me check into that!
        Thanks for your question!
        • December 6th, 2010 at 6:47 am
          sass72 says:
          Did you ever find out if it is microwaveable?
          • December 7th, 2010 at 4:57 pm
            Alison says:
            It's not. I just warm up mine in a big glass measuring cup and then pour it in:)
    2. November 25th, 2009 at 10:09 am
      Michelle says:
      I have to have that vinyl, I have a cricut...HELP!!!
    3. November 25th, 2009 at 10:17 am
      April says:
      I must know where to get the best deal on a cricut! I really want one this year. And although expensive, I think I deserve it! ;o)
      • November 25th, 2009 at 3:24 pm
        Alison says:
        Make sure to check back on Friday...we have a big post on where to find the cheapest Cricut!
        • September 4th, 2010 at 9:53 am
          Connie says:
          Yay! I was wondering the same thing!
          • September 4th, 2010 at 9:58 am
            Shelley says:
            Wondering what? About the permanent vinyl? Check all the comments from Alison before. I am not a pro at this, and she is on Labor Day weekend vacation. Let me know if you have any other questions. :) -Shelley
    4. November 25th, 2009 at 12:09 pm
      Amanda says:
      I love this! I have a cricut and would love to know where to get the permanent vinyl. Thanks!!
      • November 25th, 2009 at 3:10 pm
        Alison says:
        There are a lot of companies that sell it, but the ones I'm familiar with charge you for an entire roll ($150+).
        I am checking on some companies that are reliable and a LOT cheaper.
        I will let you know as soon as they call me back.
        If you have a someone that cuts vinyl for you...ask them if they can sell you a chunk of it!
        Thanks for your question...I'll let you know ASAP!
    5. November 26th, 2009 at 11:32 am
      Aubrey says:
      Agh! I do NOT have a Cricut, nor do I know anyone that has one. I would be willing to compensate someone if they would be willing to do the lettering for me and ship it??!!?
      • November 27th, 2009 at 11:59 am
        Amy says:
        I know there are quite a few people on that would do that for you
        • November 27th, 2009 at 1:49 pm
          Alison says:
          Good Idea! Thanks for the comment!
        • November 30th, 2009 at 3:50 pm
          Aubrey says:
          Thanks! I hadn't thought of that...I generally think of finished products when I think of Etsy.
      • November 25th, 2013 at 8:45 am
        amanda says:
        you can also draw what ever u like with permanent marker, pop it in the oven @ 450 for 30 mins and the marker will stay on. im going to have my kids color mugs for everyone this year :)
    6. November 28th, 2009 at 6:44 pm
      Carm Hernandez says:
      I love this idead I am planning to purchase vinyl to do this project for Christmas gifts for my friends/family. I have a silhouette, so I can cut vinyl. Which vinyl i.e. recommended brand and styple should I be purchasing? I am assuming they are going to putting the mugs in the microwave and in the dishwasher.

      Thank you,
      Carm Hernandez
    7. December 4th, 2009 at 11:02 pm
      Jennifer Grace says:
      How do if the vinyl is permament? And where did you get the red vinyl?
      • December 4th, 2009 at 11:03 pm
        Jennifer Grace says:
        sorry I meant to say how do you know if the vinyl is permanent?
    8. December 14th, 2009 at 10:44 am
      Jess says:
      Seriously so stinkin' cute! I looooove these!
    9. December 26th, 2009 at 4:11 pm
      Kirsten says:
      Is the Black Boys on Mopeds font the name of the cricut cartridge? Is this the same font you used on the mixing bowl?
      • December 28th, 2009 at 10:28 pm
        Alison says:
        Black boys on mopeds is the name of the font...not cartridge. I also used that font on the mixing bowl! Any font will make it cute though!
        • September 10th, 2010 at 7:02 pm
          Tanya says:
          I have a cricut but have no idea how to use other cutting files with it. I only know about how to use the cartridges. HELP...

          By the way, these are awesome...
    10. December 26th, 2009 at 4:51 pm
      Ashley says:
      You can buy permanent vinyl by the sheet at I buy the regular vinyl there for my cricut and love it!
    11. December 28th, 2009 at 10:06 pm
      Natalee says:
      I'm also wondering if the Black Boys on Mopeds font is the name of the cricut cartridge? Or did you have someone cut out the lettering for you?
      • December 28th, 2009 at 10:31 pm
        Alison says: has the font and can cut it for you!
        If you have a cricut...just use a font that you have. They turn out pretty cute using just about any font. has vinyl if you need some!
        Thanks for your comment.
    12. February 8th, 2010 at 9:30 am
      KarrieAnn says:
      Hello, Which cricut machine is the most versatile... or which one would you recommend for a "starter?" Thank you in advance!
    13. May 12th, 2010 at 4:05 pm
      Mary says:
      Would the vinyl for the silhouette work as well?
    14. May 13th, 2010 at 4:54 pm
      Laura Sziy says:
      Love the cups! Great project for senior citizens! Haven't tried the vinyl yet
      anxious to do so!
    15. June 21st, 2010 at 1:26 pm
      Robin says:
      I would love to know where to find these permanent vinyls. I have alot of children and this would solve all of my problems : )
    16. August 9th, 2010 at 2:00 pm
      Lisa says:
      Is the vinyl on the kind you used thats permanent? They said they have "cricut vinyl" and "outdoor vinyl"... help? :)
      • August 10th, 2010 at 7:04 am
        Alison says:
        The outdoor is the permanent and's the same brand and kind I used for mine.
        The circut is probably the removable kind that goes on crafts and in your home. Just make sure you ask them. We'd love to see what you are creating!!! Oh and make sure to hand wash your dishes instead of putting them in the dishwasher when you put the vinyl on them.:)
    17. September 4th, 2010 at 10:39 am
      Sharon says:
      I do not have a cutter so I was interested in finding out about the pre-cut vinyl. When I am looking at these websites, they seem to be more for a wall than a mug. Is there a specific section I can go to for this smaller item? Thanks!
      • September 4th, 2010 at 12:57 pm
        Alison says:
        Sharon Email them and ask if they carry outdoor vinyl. It's the kind that will be sure to be sticky and stick to the mug. Also ask them about ordering for a specific size. Let me know if that helps!
        Talk to you later!
    18. September 4th, 2010 at 11:05 am
      Sharon says:
      Sorry, one more question. What size font did you use?
      .-= Sharon´s last blog ..Watch what you say =-.
      • September 5th, 2010 at 10:58 pm
        Alison says:
        Black boys on mopeds
        • September 7th, 2010 at 2:17 pm
          Sharon says:
          Is it just one height that you use or can you change the font? What was the height you used for this?
          .-= Sharon´s last blog ..Watch what you say =-.
    19. September 4th, 2010 at 3:11 pm
      Pegg says:
      Hey, do all cricuts cut this vinyl? I've been using mine for just paper. Is there a special blade or do the regular ones work? Now maybe I can finally have those snowflake mugs that I've wanted and never been able to afford!!!!
      .-= Pegg´s last blog ..NOTE CARDS Woman Golfer =-.
      • September 5th, 2010 at 10:57 pm
        Alison says:
        Double check with the company, but I know a lot of craft cutters cut paper as well as vinyl...BUT please check with the company to make sure yours does:)
    20. September 4th, 2010 at 4:05 pm
      Clare says:
      Love this!! I've used the removable for marking dishes to take to dinners etc. I used some permanent to decorate my Halloween candy bowl last year.
    21. September 4th, 2010 at 4:32 pm
      Vicki says:
      So cute. These would make great gifts for my daughter's college apartment mates!!
    22. September 6th, 2010 at 10:52 am
      Diana @ The Girl Creative says:
      I've yet to use vinyl but this looks like such an easy project to start with. Kinda screams teacher Christmas gifts to me. :)
      .-= Diana @ The Girl Creative´s last blog ..Just Something I Whipped Up =-.
    23. September 7th, 2010 at 9:47 am
      Carol says:
      Love this idea!! As far as the permanent vinyl, you can get it at a few places for pretty reasonable. I have a cricut and have purchased from both places. One is and the other is HTH.
    24. September 7th, 2010 at 12:37 pm
      Kaysi @ Keeping It Simple says:
      Those are so great!!! I love that they are permanent!
    25. September 7th, 2010 at 3:08 pm
      Shelle says:
      I've been using the heck outta my vinyl and my Silhouette SD. I love mine. This is a cute idea.
    26. September 7th, 2010 at 3:55 pm
      Julie says:
      Oh my gosh, those are so stinking ADORABLE!!! I'm going to have to check on Etsy to see if I can find someone to make and ship the vinyl letters to me!
      .-= Julie´s last blog ..What really matters =-.
      • September 11th, 2010 at 4:28 pm
        Shannon J. says:
        If you haven't found anyone yet, I would love to do that for you. Let me know if you are interested.
    27. September 7th, 2010 at 4:47 pm
      Jessica says:
      love love love this! Thank you and all the info above helps to.
      .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Topsy Turvy Cake =-.
    28. September 7th, 2010 at 5:19 pm
      Debby says:
      ahhhhh christmas gifts galore!!!!! I <3 this idea!!!!
    29. September 7th, 2010 at 7:30 pm
      Ruth says:
      I was wondering....I have no idea which machine to purchase there are so many variations...can you advice on that?

      for instance:

      Cricut Expression Black Die Cut Machine Value Bundle (Expression Machine, Design Studio Pack, Tool Kit, Spatula Tool)

      or Joanne

      Provo Craft® Cricut® Expression Cutting Machine
      # 9200601 reg. 399.99

      and then

      Silhouette SD Digital Craft Cutting Tool (QuicKutz)

      So I'm just confused about which one is the best one.

    30. September 7th, 2010 at 7:58 pm
      Stephanie says:
      I am wondering why the font is called "Black Boys on Mopeds?" I will be checkig with the source unless you can give me some insight!
      • September 7th, 2010 at 9:34 pm
        Alison says:
        I have no clue why it's called that. Please check with the creator of the font. I'd love to hear why they choose that title for a font:)
    31. September 8th, 2010 at 8:58 am
      Angel says:
      Anyone know if there is some sort of clear stuff to put overtop of the vinyl so you can wash and microwave these? Wouldn't that be fabulous?
      • September 22nd, 2010 at 1:27 pm
        Angel says:
    32. September 8th, 2010 at 3:48 pm
      genevieve lebel says:
      Really?!!! This craft is CRAZY awesome!!! Will be sharing on my blog and sending trafic your way! Can't wait to do this!
      .-= genevieve lebel´s last blog ..Are you a sandwich slacker!!! =-.
    33. September 9th, 2010 at 9:31 pm says:
      Okay so I was just at TidyMom's I'm Lovin' It Friday and I picked two tiles out of the whole bunch to click because the looked the most interesting, and they were both yours. Just wanted you to know... you must be doing something seriously RIGHT!!! ;)
      I love this gift idea, and I loved looking at your golf party. Great details, great ideas, and great photos.
      Rachymommy -
      .-=´s last blog ..Robot Birthday =-.
      • September 9th, 2010 at 9:46 pm
        Shelley says:
        Awww thanks!! This comment totally made my day. I'll pass it on to the other girls. :)
    34. September 10th, 2010 at 1:28 pm
      SouthernScraps says:
      These are great!
    35. September 10th, 2010 at 2:14 pm
      Michelle says:
      For those of you ladies looking for a deal on the Cricut watch on the Wed before Thanksgiving...every year they have a big sale. I bought the small Cricut for $49.99 (yes I said $50)then I added a few more deals and @ $100 my order shipped FREE!
    36. September 16th, 2010 at 2:37 pm
      Tiffanee says:
      WOW!! These are so cute. What an incredible idea. They would make such cute frugal gifts!! Thanks!
      .-= Tiffanee´s last blog ..Cookie Monster Cookies =-.
    37. September 23rd, 2010 at 1:59 pm
      giana says:
      Hi, I know I have seen on here your comparisons of all the cutters but now I can't find that post. Can you direct me? please! Thank you so much, I really want to buy one but am not sure which one. From what I understand the Cricut needs cartridges which have to be purchased, with the Silhouette can you download things from the internet and print those out? Thanks again, Giana
    38. November 14th, 2010 at 9:52 am
      Kristi says:
      I just received my silhouette and am wanting to make mugs, mugs, clipboards, etc for Christmas. Any ideas on where I can get blank acrylic mugs, clipbards and novelties?
      • November 14th, 2010 at 5:41 pm
        Alison says:
        Try the dollar store:)
    39. November 18th, 2010 at 7:46 pm
      Gina says:
      Are the polka dots made of red vinyl too? I love these!
    40. August 12th, 2011 at 12:10 pm
      Susan Pike says:
      Wow - just saw a grandma I love this idea for the grandkids. However, crafting has changed since I last had time to work on projects! Where do I start...
      1. I saw the link to getting lettering cut from vinyl and that's great, but how do I make sure it's the permanent vinyl you recommend?

      2. are your polka dots the same permanent vinyl as well?

      3.HOw can I find other shapes? I'd love a train or football for the boys' cups, for example - I don't have a cricut or a silhouette and probably don't want to go to the expense of purchasing these for 4 mugs! Any suggestions?

      4. LOVE your site. This could spell trouble for the future....;)
      • November 10th, 2011 at 9:17 am
        Lisa says:
        If you still need anything, you can contact me through my etsy shop, and I will post a listing just for you. I can cut whatever shapes you want, but I will need to order the vinyl, get it in, and then ship the shapes to you, so there will be a slight time delay. Send me a message if you are interested, and let me know what colors you are wanting so I can order it. For color ideas, go to and look at their "Outdoor Vinyl".
    41. December 9th, 2011 at 6:02 am
      Snow says:
      I love these dollar store mugs & can think of several folks I would like to make these for but I don't have a cutter. Where do I find the vinyl letters, do you know of anyone who has a Silhouette who makes & sells the lettering? Thanks so much for your help!
    42. December 12th, 2011 at 7:47 pm
      Jess says:
      I have a cricut but I don't understand about the red vinyl lettering, do I use a special type of paper or what do I do. Please help!
    43. February 19th, 2012 at 10:46 am
      Maggie C says:
      I need a password to download ans don't know how or where to add one.
    44. June 18th, 2012 at 11:35 am
      Wendy says:
      What kind of vinyl do you use?
    45. August 8th, 2012 at 5:39 pm
      Kathy Cummins says:
      I love this idea. Can you hand wash these? Do warm liquids effect the stickers permanence? Maybe an idea for personalized pencil holders. You're the best. :)
      Kathy Cummins
    46. August 13th, 2012 at 9:06 am
      Jennifer says:
      Is there a trick to peeling and sticking the letters? I have tried and always have little bubbles or creases. Any suggestions?
    47. August 28th, 2012 at 12:15 pm
      Renae Bohnet says:
      If you don't have a cricut machine, a porcelain or vitrea marker (can be purchased @ Michael's for around $3) will work to personalize your mugs, plates, platters, etc. After personalizing, wait 24 hours, then bake in over at 300 degrees for 40 min. and it's permanent and dishwasher safe!
    48. September 16th, 2012 at 12:34 pm
      Anna P says:
      Did you use a cricut to cut out the letters? I have that font but I do I apply it or use it with a cricut?


      Anna P.
    49. October 23rd, 2012 at 8:58 pm
      Stacy says:
      I want to start doing them vinyl letters on acrylic cups. Do you recommend a certain machine? I have read the cricut you have to buy cartridges. Is there a machine that works with fonts from my computer?
    50. October 26th, 2012 at 2:33 pm
      Grace says:
      I love those mugs. Can you tell me about the vinyl? Can I find them already cut at the craft stores? If not how do I go on-line and what store? Tryed to get in-touch with you before and never got a reply. Hope this work this time. Would love to do this. Thanks
    51. October 26th, 2012 at 6:41 pm
      Kidosmom says:
      I have heard you can use sharpies and put them in the oven to seal the marker on them. You would have to take the vinyal off every time you washed them wouldn't you? They are so cute, even so.
      • October 27th, 2012 at 2:52 pm
        Missy says:
        This used permanent vinyl which can be washed. :) But good idea with the sharpie!
    52. October 27th, 2012 at 7:52 am
      Carla says:
      I am severely "craft handicapped" :) What exactly is permanent vinyl and where can I get it? Thank you! Im determined to make this a very "homemade" Christmas this year.
    53. November 2nd, 2012 at 8:29 am
      Janet says:
      PLEASE make a disclaimer for your followers to check that they are MADE IN AMERICA! You don't want to be poisoning anyone with all the lead & melamine that 'other country' had been putting in our baby bottles, pet food, etc. There are no regulations there.
    54. November 17th, 2012 at 9:33 am
      Tania says:
      Could you please list a site in which I could place an order for the customized vinyl.

      Thank you.
    55. November 26th, 2012 at 10:32 am
      Justina says:
      You could also just write on it in permanent marker and then bake it in the oven for a few minutes to make it permanent. I've seen it on Pinterest before. It's a cheeper alternative to ordering vinyl or a cricut (whatever that is!). I don't know how long to bake it exactly, but search DIY mug or something similar on Pinterest and you'll find it.
    56. December 9th, 2012 at 7:39 pm
      Julie says:
      Hi there! So, my sister decided to get married in 2 weeks instead of 7 months and wants me to do something like this for her favors. She already ordered 192 mugs (8 cases of 24 - not just a random number) from Dollar Tree. I got one off the shelf and have been experimenting... The final product looks nice and clean but when I put hot water in it, the letters start to move. I tried making a stencil and filling it in with paint but the letters are too small and the inside of the e's keep flying off. What did I do wrong? I'm pretty sure it's a good quality vinyl. Any suggestions? I gotta make this work!
    57. January 15th, 2013 at 6:23 pm
      Yolany says:
      Love ur idea. However, I am not crafty nor do I own any crafty tools. So please be extra specific on where I can find the tools for making ur fabulous projects. Gracias!
    58. April 1st, 2013 at 11:17 am
      Brandi says:
      I seen on pintrest where they used permanent markers and drew whatever they wanted on dollar store plates then baked them in the oven. I suppose you could do the same thing with mugs? That may even be easier & cheaper for those without access to the vinyl lettering. What do you think?
      • April 1st, 2013 at 1:50 pm
        Shelley says:
        I love the idea. Thanks Brandi!
    59. April 1st, 2013 at 11:22 am
      Brandi says:
      Ha just wanted to apologize! I should have read all the comments before I added the one about the permanent marker idea that I found on Pintrest. There were several! Sorry to waste your time!!! This one is unique in the fact that I didnt even think about mugs. I am going to do that as gifts next year for christmas for all my nieces and nephews!
    60. July 12th, 2013 at 9:48 pm
      Penny says:
      I love your site. :) Thank you for sharing all of these fantastic ideas.
    61. August 10th, 2013 at 1:59 pm
      Sarah says:
      What are the cups made of? plastic or glass ?
    62. September 19th, 2013 at 9:19 pm
      Rita Daniels says:
      How Does She?com. I love the mugs. They are a nice and dainty gift to give to friends at Christmas without spending a lot of money.

      Vinyl favorite: Lime Green
    63. November 13th, 2013 at 4:53 pm
      Alison Frost says:
      Now Iknow that Iam not the only person that spells Alison the way you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)
    64. November 16th, 2013 at 4:29 am
      Jenni K says:
      Such an awesome idea! I might incorporate it into our Christmas list somehow :)
    65. November 26th, 2013 at 8:29 am
      Jasmine Nielson says:
      I love this project I'm going to try to do it with my cricket mini.
    66. February 4th, 2014 at 11:50 am
      Mickie says:
      Where do you purchase your permanent red vinyl at?
    67. August 28th, 2014 at 10:54 am
      Tonya Coursey says:
      My dad has 15grandkids and 2 great grand kids and is still young.This is an awesme project we will do.
    68. December 1st, 2014 at 12:49 pm
      Jenna says:
      What size did u use for the vinyl from your cricut?
    69. December 21st, 2014 at 1:49 pm
      Emily says:
      So if i can't find any permanent vinyl then can i put it in the oven for a certain amount of time at a certain tempurature and it'll stay on?
    70. March 26th, 2015 at 11:01 am
      Andrea Kuster says:
      Hi Alison, i just started experiencing with my Silouette Cameo and wanted to do a Mug but I was wondering if the Vynil doesn't come out when you wash it. Or do you cover it with some "glazing coat"?
      Thanks, Andrea
      • March 26th, 2015 at 11:14 am
        Katie says:
        Hi Andrea,
        You're going to only want to hand wash your mug. I wouldn't do a glaze coat, it's going to make the vinyl be more likely to peel off. Make sure you have the right type of vinyl and hand wash only and you should be good to go! Thanks so much!
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