How to Decorate a Travel Mug

Things You'll Need

  • Create-your-own travel mug (often available at Starbucks or on or eBay)
  • Blank paper (8½ inches by 11 inches)
  • Scissors
  • Pens, pencils, crayons, markers, stickers, photos
  • Color printer (optional)

The use of reusable travel mugs has the potential to save billions of coffee cups from ending up in landfills each year. Starbucks, for example, reports buying 2.7 billion paper cups during the 2008 fiscal year. One way to make your travel mug distinctive is to personalize it. Many coffee shops offer a discount when you use a reusable cup.

Unscrew the bottom of the mug and remove the temporary insert.

Trace the insert onto a piece of blank paper and cut out the shape. Consider using construction paper, newspaper, a funky magazine ad or a take-out menu as the background of your design.

Decorate the cut out as you desire. You can be really creative with this part. Consider glitter, stickers, crayons/markers/paint and photos. You can also cut out pictures and/or letters from magazines to form a collage. When creating a gift, you can cut out words that describe the person you're giving it to, or perhaps use words that remind you of them (the places you've been together, for example).

Insert the decorated paper into the sleeve and screw the bottom back on.


  • When using photos, it’s best to use photocopies--just trace the temporary insert onto the paper you’ve printed your photos on--to prevent your insert from getting too thick to fit into the sleeve.

    If you use glue, make sure it is completely dry before inserting the design into the sleeve, otherwise you could ruin your artwork.

    To make an extra special gift, fill the mug with nuts and dried fruit or candy.