It can get a little tricky when you apply a decal with words to a tumbler since a tumbler is a curved surface and the words of the decal are meant to be straight. In this quick tutorial I’ll show you how to apply a decal to a tumbler or any curved surface and get it straight every time. Make sure to watch the video at the end.
Curving Text in Design Space
When you’re in design space you’ll want to curve your words. Take each line of text and curve it according to its placement on the cup. Lines of text at the top of the cup will need less curve than lines of text toward the bottom of the cup. Play around with the curve until you find what is right for the cups you’re using. In my example I have the top line curved to 68 and the bottom line curved to 88.
Choosing the Right Font
When you’re using a font that is perfectly straight across the bottom you really need to curve it. If you’ve chosen a font that doesn’t have a perfectly straight line across the bottom (see examples below) you may not need to curve those at all. A lot of times those will look just fine in the middle of a tumbler because they aren’t meant to be perfectly straight to begin with.
How to Apply a Decal to a Tumbler
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Once you have your design created, cut it with your Cricut, weed it and apply your transfer tape. I really like to use clear contact paper for several reasons. It’s cheaper and it doesn’t have the lines. Those lines are great for some things but when your text is curved those lines will drive you nuts! I actually use clear contact paper for all my crafting and I’m able to reuse the same piece over and over. Okay, moving on… Once you have the contact paper on your design, burnish it and then remove the paper backing. Now it’s time to apply the decal to your tumbler.
For this part I like to hold the tumbler in my lap so it doesn’t roll from side to side and I still have room to work. I hold the design up to the cup and just eyeball the placement. I’ve gotten pretty good at this with time and practice but it is helpful to bend the design backwards (pull each side up toward you so the middle is closer to the tumbler and the sides are closer to you). This gives the illusion of the design being straight again and will help you decide the perfect placement on your tumbler. When you feel like you’ve got it just right stick it down and peel the contact paper off.
Practice Makes Perfect
This kind of thing takes a little time and practice but once you’ve got it down you’ll be able to do it super quick and you’ll be able to apply a decal to a tumbler like a pro! Make sure to watch the video below and happy crafting.