Decals for Cups, Mugs Etc

Hi Everyone,

I recently purchased a Glowforge pro and wanted to see what type of material could I use to make decals for mugs? I am still waiting for it to arrive but wanted to be prepared as I’ve read you cannot engrave on round surfaces or use vinyl. These are some of the examples I would like to make.

Mug with decal


You are right, vinyl is a big NO. Have you come across Laser foil? I am not sure if this is what you are looking for or if it is dishwasher safe for mugs. I haven’t tried Laser foil but it is on my list of things to get to. Trotec has laser foil (in Canada that might be worth a look. (I am sure the US and other Trotec supplies site like will have it too). Keep us posted if you find something that works really well.

I agree with @andrewmchaffie that laser foil might work.

Actually, trotec US doesn’t have laser foil, I asked them :unamused:. But there are other suppliers. I think jpplus has it. Trotec told me it would cost me more on shipping than the foil is worth.

Sometimes the Glowforge isn’t the best tool for the job. I really recommend a Silhouette Cameo for this and use vinyl. Seems like it would be the easiest solution.


I have used this stuff. It is FDA compliant and is a special formula to use on mugs/glasses etc and I believe is dish washer safe. I’ve used it on my cutting boards.

Oracal 352 is a polyester based self adhesive metallic material that cuts nicely in the laser cutter and comes in several shades of gold, chrome, brushed metal finish, etc. You can get it from many vinyl suppliers, and probably Etsy and eBay as well. The only thing is I don’t know how permanent it would be on mugs. I thing it would be similar to the other laser foils though.

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If you want to use vinyl, you would need to use something such as the Cricut machine/Cameo to cut it as I read vinyl is toxic if used in a Glowforge. I’ve been doing some testing and found I really like the Engraving Foil from JPP. This stuff is really sticky, the parts I needed to remove from the design was really hard to come off the acrylic and left residue. When cleaning the residue, note that isopropyl alcohol and goo gone can remove some of the color on the brushed gold foil.

I’ve been using my Cricut to cut the engraving foil then applying to the acrylic with transfer paper which turned out to be much cleaner. The vinyl can be easier to work with but does require another machine to cut it unfortunately. There is a lot of testing involved but it is always rewarding and exciting to see what the final outcome is. Have fun! :grin:


it doesn’t like to conform around compound curves, so you would want to choose a straight-walled mug/glass. I would not put it into the dishwasher, but it should hold up to handwashing for a while.

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