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How to Use Custom Coffee Mugs (Other Than Drinking Coffee)

If you love a mug of java or hot chocolate, you may have noticed how popular custom coffee mugs have gotten. They’re an in-demand item for gift ideas for coffee lovers or mug collectors. I collect coffee mugs; it’s my “mission” to have a mug from each of the United States!

Some states I have no desire to visit, but I still want mugs from those states, so I’ll have to get those mugs either used or from a family member or friend who visits that state.

With so many different types of mugs to choose from and customize, you have hundreds of options for finding the perfect one for your loved ones — or even yourself.

But with so many options available, how do you know which type of mug will be right for each person? Here are nine ways to use custom coffee mugs that go beyond just drinking beverages from them.

1. Custom Coffee Mugs as Gifts

Coffee mug sets are a great way to give coffee lovers two of their favorite things in one gift. You can purchase the mugs individually, but they usually come as a set with two matching cups and saucers. Some sets are available in three different sizes; an 8 ounce mug, 12 ounce mug or 14 ounce mug.


These items make excellent holiday gifts for family members, friends or co-workers who enjoy their morning cup of coffee. Here’s how you can DIY your mugs for gift-giving:

2. Fill your coffee mug with sweets for a delicious holiday treat.

Mix together buttercream frosting and powdered sugar until it becomes thick enough to form small balls that will fit into the opening of your coffee cup. Spoon the icing onto a coffee mug set that has been covered with wax paper so it won’t get ruined from sticking.


Drop these sweet treats into the coffee mug and then add more toppings such as chocolate chips, sprinkles or chopped nuts on top before serving.

3. Color inside coffee mugs are also a fun DIY gift idea.

color-your-own-mug-dollar-treePurchase a paint marker and then color on coffee mugs, or fill coffee mugs with paint that comes in multiple colors so children can practice their hand-eye coordination.

These gifts make great presents for children who enjoy painting and coloring. You may also want to provide additional supplies for them to use along with their custom coffee mug set.

Keep your child’s favorite crayons and markers handy so they will be able to continue using them once their present has been opened. You can get the design-your-own mug at Dollar Tree!

4. Turn your coffee mugs into a colorful décor display

Create seasonal or holiday scene using tiny figurines, small toys and other miniature items. You can make a set for each season such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter or Thanksgiving. Group your figurines together around a single coffee mug and then choose colors that are associated with that specific time of year.

For example, use red and green colored trees during Christmas along with elves, Santa Claus, snowmen and presents to create a holiday themed coffee mug set.

5. Monogrammed Mug Gifts

If you’re looking for a monogrammed gift, personalized coffee mugs are perfect! You can put their initials on the mug or just have their name. These mugs come in many shapes and sizes so there’s something for everyone. They make great personalized gifts whether they’re using them at work, at home, in the office, at school or even traveling.

Another way that you can use personalized coffee mugs is as a gift for teachers. These are a great item for end of year gifts or teacher appreciation gifts! Your children will love being able to give their teachers a thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gift. You could also put your child’s artwork on it if they are in school and hand it out at back-to-school night.

You could also use personalized coffee mugs as a wedding gift for your best man or maid of honor! This is a great way to show how much you appreciate their role in your wedding. The bride and groom would probably love getting these at their bridal shower or wedding from people who aren’t able to make it. You could also do these with just one initial if you’re on a budget and want just a monogrammed gift!

6. Office Accessories

Coffee mugs are a great way to liven up your office environment. Here are five ways you can use custom coffee mugs in your office setting:

  1. Espresso Machine Tool – Fill the mug with grounds and water, place under the espresso machine and press the button. The tool will allow you to see how much water is going into the mug.
  2. Paper Clip Holder – Place a few paper clips inside of the mug and set on your desk for easy access.
  3. Push Pin Holder – keep all those push pins in one place, right next to your paper clips.
  4. Magnetic Knife Holder – Place a magnetic knife holder underneath your desk and place knives into custom coffee mugs. The knives will stick onto the magnetized base of each mug.
  5. Pens Holder – Place your pens in a custom coffee mug, place them on a magnetic base and put under your desk. Pens will stay put and not roll around on your desk.

7. Make a Mug Planter

Everyone needs a good mug for their morning coffee, but what about other uses? Here are some ideas for unique coffee mugs.


If you don’t like drinking from a mug, how about a planter? If you’ve got a large cactus or succulent that you love, why not create your own succulent planter using a unique coffee mug. You can also use it to add moisture and water your plant, thereby eliminating any worry about drowning them with too much water!

8. Desk Decor and Accessories

Coffee mugs are an excellent gift idea, especially for those who love coffee. But you don’t have to just give them as a gift. You can also use custom coffee mugs as desk décor or even an entertaining centerpiece. Coffee mug gifts make excellent housewarming presents, and there’s always the option of using them in a wedding favor arrangement.

Plus, there are so many other fun uses for coffee mugs. Whether you want something to sip on your favorite hot beverage or want to add some character and personality into your home, custom coffee mugs are the way to go!

9. Votive Candle Holder

A votive candle holder is a great way to use your coffee mug as something other than a drink. Simply place a votive candle in the bottom of the mug and enjoy the ambiance. Plus, it’s eco-friendly because you are re-using an item for another purpose!

From Blanks to Custom Coffee Mugs – DIY

You can save a ton of money by doing your own customization starting with blank, plain white mugs. If you have a Cricut or other die-cutting machine, you can use vinyl or sublimating infusible ink pens to make your own customizations.

Amazon actually has a set of six ceramic mugs specifically for sublimation. Dollar Tree is one of the best places to buy all kinds of ceramic mug blanks to work with. If you don’t have a Dollar Tree near you, can can purchase them online.

You can take any or all of the ideas above and make your own mugs for yourself or as gifts for others.

What are your thoughts? What ideas do you like or do have more ideas to share?

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