These DIY Customized Travel Tumblers are my latest DIY creation. They stem from a collision of my enthusiasm to learn how to use my new Cricut, and my exhuberance to finally have a vacation planned after a 2-year travel hiatus.
Aren’t they so cute? I can hardly wait to drink our coffee from them! Hopefully surrounded by nature’s beauty, and lots of fresh mountain air. Can you tell I’m excited for a vacation? 😂
How to Make Your Own DIY Customized Travel Tumblers
What kind of tumblers?
You can choose any kind of tumbler you prefer. I selected these Contigo travel mugs to use for our coffee on the road. I have used this type of tumblers for years, and haven’t found anything better for keeping my coffee hot for hours, and for preventing spills, since they have a vacuum-sealed release button that has to be pressed to drink.
My husband wanted one with a handle, but I prefer one without. The color of his is called “Gun Metal“, and the pretty teal color I selected for mine is “Biscay Bay“. They both are perfect colors for our outdoor adventure road trip. 🏔🌲🐻
Feel free to choose your favorite Yeti Tumbler, or any stainless steel drink tumbler you like for your project, though. Many people customize plastic tumblers too, although I haven’t personally tried that yet.
What kind of vinyl?
You definitely want a permanent vinyl for this type of application. I chose black, because it worked well for the colors of my tumblers, but the vinyl comes in practically any color you’d ever want. I used a roll of Paper Studio vinyl that I got from Hobby Lobby for 50% off, but Cricut has their own brand, and many people really like Oracal 631.
You can also select the sheen that you prefer, from a matte, to a satin, to a glossy. I used a matte black for this project.
Where to find the right design?
I purchased both of the SVG cut files that I used for my DIY Customized Travel Tumblers from Etsy, for less than a couple of bucks. There are also quite a lot of free SVG files available online that generous crafters have shared — you just have to hunt around to see if you can find something you like. If you have a Cricut Access memebership, you can likely find all the images and fonts you need to create your very own design.
Choosing the design is the fun part! You can personalize it with names, dates, locations, and images that reflect your family and your trip! It’s sort of like a unique one-of-a-kind souvenir that you get to enjoy throughout the whole trip, and still have it afterward to remind you of your adventure!
Whatever you choose, I suggest you give some thought to the complexity and details in the design, especially once you size it to fit on a tumbler. The one I chose was fairly difficult to weed and prepare for the transfer to the tumbler, because of all the very small lettering and details. The birds, for example. The design actually included four birds, and two went missing someplace before they could make it onto the cups. 😂 RIP birds.
Another thing to consider is choosing a design that will adjust to the curve of the tumbler. I purposely didn’t choose a design that had an outline, because the curve of the cup would have caused the outer edge to wrinkle onto itself as it wrapped around the tumbler. An open-sided design will work better for an application that is not entirely flat.
Here are the SVG files I purchased from Etsy:
What tools are needed?
Weeding out the excess vinyl on small designs like this is the hardest part, I think. Having some helpful tools on hand makes this task tolerable. The pieces I used came in a basic set from Cricut.
Do I need to apply a sealer?
I did quite a bit of research on this topic, and for now, have decided not to apply sealer to my tumblers. Once we use them on our vacation, I’ll report back if that was the correct decision or not. 😂
Mod Podge has THIS product that claims to make crafts “top-rack dishwasher safe”. I bought a jar of it, but decided not to use it yet, because I read reports that brush marks show easily.
Other crafters claim to have good results with Minwax Polycrylic, but it’s not food safe, so you have to take care where you apply it.
And a third viewpoint of many crafters is that no sealant is needed if you use permanent vinyl and let it cure for about 72 hours before getting it wet.
Ultimately, I’m going to go with the no sealant option, and handwash our tumblers. Stay tuned to see how this works out. 😬
What else can I customize for vacation? 🤔
When my kids were little, I enjoyed making personalized, matching t-shirts for us to all wear on our Disney vacations. When they were small, they went along with it willingly, but now that they’re grown, they give me a hard time about “making” them dress like that. 😛 But planning and preparing for a much-anticipated trip is part of the fun, right? So rather than coerce my sweet husband into matching Yellowstone t-shirts, I went with the matching coffee tumblers instead. I think he’s silently relieved, don’t you? 😭
But, I do have another idea up my sleeve as well!
My husband had mentioned that maybe we should consider a better quality cooler for our trip, since we’ll be in the car for an extended amount of time, hiking, picnicking and exploring several National Parks, so I suprised him with this Otterbox cooler as an early Father’s Day present. It claims to hold ice for up to 14 days!
I’m thinking it would be kind of cool to make a personalized decal for it, and then collect National Park stickers as we go, to add to the cooler kind of like how some people collect refrigerator magnets on their travels. Each new roadtrip adventure we take in the future, we can add some more stickers. What do you think?
Have you made personalized crafts for your family vacations? I’d love to hear about them if you want to share in the comments. 🥰
Plus, if you’re headed out on a road trip adventure this year, check out my Road Trip Essentials Packing List!
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