Step by Step Guide: How to Make Epoxy Tumblers from Start to Finish

Do you want to create a unique, personalized tumbler that looks absolutely magical? If so, then epoxy tumblers are the perfect resin project for you! With just a few basic materials and tools, you can make your own gorgeous-looking tumbler that will last you many many years. These are also great to give as gifts or to sell them for profit.

So in this article, I will teach you how to do a basic beginner tumbler with glitter and a decal from start to finish.

I will go over how to prepare your blank tumblers, mix and pour epoxy/resin on them, add finishing touches such as glitter and decals, and how to properly take care of it so it lasts a very long time. So let's get started!

Tumbler art

Here's the tutorial video for the step-by-step process, but keep on reading for more details.

Blue Mtn. Rustic Channel transformed an ordinary stainless steel tumbler into a beautifully personalized one. The artist begins by sanding the tumbler, then adds embellishment glitters and designs, as well as epoxy resin, to create an amazing piece of art. The end result is gorgeous!

What are epoxy tumblers and how to make them

Epoxy tumblers are customizable drinkware made by coating a blank tumbler with epoxy resin. They offer an exciting way to create a unique and personalized drinkware for yourself, as a gift for someone special, or even to sell. There are many different ways to make them, but the basic steps required remain mostly the same.

What products do you need to make tumblers

When it comes to creating epoxy tumblers, there are a few materials and tools that you'll need to get started. First, you'll need blank tumblers in the size and shape of your choice. These are typically made from metal or plastic and can be found in a variety of colors, however, make sure you get one that is stainless steel and double walled. It is not safe to put epoxy on a tumbler that is not double walled.

Next, you will need epoxy resin and hardener. This can be found in craft stores or online and is available in both 1:1 and 2:1 ratios. You'll also need measuring cups, stirring sticks, gloves, silicone mat, respirator mask, mica powders, sandpaper, spray paint, stainless steel tumbler, spinner/cup turner, and some kind of embellishments for adding special touches such as glitter.

Here's a complete list of supplies you will need:

Stainless Steel, Double Walled Tumblers

The double-wall construction ensures both hot or cold drinks can be kept at optimum temperature for longer. 

Epoxy resin and hardener

 Premium clear epoxy resin to create beautiful pieces with a glass-like finish and no yellowing over time.

Measuring cups

20 pack of 10 oz Graduated plastic disposable cups. Perfect for mixing paint, stain, epoxy, resin and more.

Respirator Mask

Protects against oil based aerosols such as dust, fumes & lead with this professional-grade half face respirator; It also provides effective odor relief from organic vapors.

Sandpaper

Compatible with: Smoothing wood or mildew on toys or furniture, refinishing handrails or lawn furniture and even wet sanding stains from your vehicle

Stirring sticks

Wooden craft sticks for mixing resin and epoxy hardener. Made of natural high-quality wood material with smooth surface and no debris.


Gloves

 Vinyl disposable gloves are less form-fitting and elastic than latex or nitrile gloves, but more economical. 

Silicone mat

 Waterproof, durable reusable, not easy to deform. Protect your work surface from paint or resin spills.

Mica powders

They are compatible with all epoxy resin, casting resin, and quick set resin. Eco-Friendly GREEN formula boasts a limitless shelf life.


Spray paint

 This primer and spray paint can be used on wood, metal, wicker, most plastics, glass, plaster/ceramic and more.

Spinner/cup turner

Has two independant switch, metal bearings. This turner is very sturdy, stable, quiet and keeps your tumbler level.

Embellishments (e.g. glitters)

Ultra fine glitter that makes your art look glamorous... NOT cheap!. These powders are opaque and metallic with beautiful rainbow color flashes.


Prep your blank tumblers

Prepping your blank tumblers is the first step in creating epoxy tumblers. This step is very important as it ensure you have a nice surface to work on and that resin can stick to. Before you begin pouring resin on your tumbler, give it a light sanding with a 200 fine-grit sandpaper. Then, make sure that your tumbler is clean and free of any dust particles, dirt, or any debris. Wash it with some soap and water and then dry it off completely.

You might also want to cover the inside of your tumblers with some frog tape to prevent any resin from sticking to the inside of your tumbler.

Add a base coat

Add a base coat of spray paint in your desired color. If you plan on adding white glitter to your tumbler, than you might want to use a white spray paint. If you are adding a blue glitter, then choose a blue, black, or some other dark colored spray paint.

Use whatever color goes with the glitter that you will be using.

Mixing and pouring the epoxy

For this step, you will need to follow the directions on your epoxy resin package for how to mix and pour it correctly. Most resins are mixed in a 1:1 ratio, meaning that you have to measure out equal parts of resin and hardener into separate measuring cups.

Then, stir the two together with a stir stick until they are well mixed. Once your epoxy mixture is ready, you can pour it onto your tumblers and spread it around evenly.

Add a Coat of Resin

Put your tumbler in your cup spinner/turner, turn on the spinner, and start spreading out the resin all over the surface of your tumbler with your gloved hands.

Embellishing your tumbler

Once your tumbler has a wet layer of resin, it's time to add some embellishments that will make them truly sparkle and look absolutely unique and stunning. One of the most popular ways to decorate epoxy tumblers is by using glitter, decals, or other types of embellishments.

The most popular way of adding glitter to a tumbler is by directly applying it to the epoxy resin before it cures. Just sprinkle it on the tumbler while it is turning on the cup spinner and keep the tumbler spinning while the resin cures (usually 24 hours).

After the resin has hardened, add another coat of clear resin and let it cure for another 24 hours.

Sand it Off (Optional)

Sometimes when you use chunky glitter, you will be left with some glitter pieces that are sticking out of the cured resin. If this is the case, you will want to sand your tumbler until you have a smooth surface. Then wash off any dust particles.

Add Decals and An Additional Layer of Resin

If you want to add a decal on your tumbler, now is the time to do so. Stick it on the appropriate spot, then put your tumbler back again in the spinner, and add one more layer of resin to the tumbler to give it a nice, glossy finish!

Let it cure for another 24 hours.

Caring for your tumbler so it lasts longer

Once you have completed your epoxy tumbler, it is important to know how to properly care for it so it will last for many years. The most important step is to allow the epoxy resin to fully cure before use. Depending on how thickly the epoxy was applied, this can take anywhere from 24 hours up to 7 days.

Once the epoxy is fully cured, it can be washed with mild soap and water. Avoid using abrasive scrubbing pads or scouring powders as these may scratch off the epoxy coating.

Creating different styles

If you want more tips for creating better epoxy tumblers or want to learn how to create different styles of tumblers, check out the following video tutorials.

Sheri Vegas' Method - Glitter and Mica Powder Tumblers

In this full tutorial video, the artist Sheri Vegas will show you everything you need to know to get started making epoxy resin tumbler cups. She employs a unique technique to create this type of art. The artist transformed a stainless steel, double walled tumbler using resin, mica powders, and glitter.

Natalie Dicken's Method - Alcohol Ink Tumbler 

If you have alcohol ink and epoxy resin on hand and want to make a tumbler, try Natalie's method from Natalie Dicken Channel. You'll love this super simple alcohol ink epoxy tumbler. The artist used various colors of paint to generate a rainbow color design that makes this tumbler truly unique.

Beginner Tumbler Tips

Sandy's Organized Chaos channel shows you how to measure and mix epoxy in this video. The artist discusses three different application methods, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each. The videos are extremely informative, and the artwork are all fantastic.

4 Different Styles of Tumblers

Epoxy resin is a quick and easy way to turn a plain old mug into a fun, personalized tumbler! ArtResin shows how they created a cup turner made from a barbecue rotisserie and also four different ways to make your own DIY resin tumbler, including a glitter tumbler, an alcohol ink tumbler, a marbled tumbler, and a striped tumbler.

FAQ’s- People Also Ask

What kind of epoxy do you use for tumblers?

A heat-resistant epoxy like the one from Stone Coat Countertops is the best epoxy for tumblers.

Unlike other epoxy resin brands, Stone Coat Countertops epoxy is heat resistant up to 475 degrees when fully cured, scratch-resistant, food-safe, UV resistant (uses a formula that includes top-tier Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers to keep your resin from yellowing even when exposed to sunlight), and has zero VOCs.

Do you have to spray paint a tumbler before epoxy?

Adding a base coat of spray paint will make your epoxy cup look better in the end. Spray painting it first will prevent you from having to add too much glitter to give your tumbler great coverage.

Can you drink out of an epoxy cup?

Yes, you can drink out of an epoxy cup as long as the epoxy used is food safe and fully cured.

What machine do you need to make custom tumblers?

A tumbler or cup turner/spinner is the machine that suspends the tumbler horizontally and spins it while the resin cures. This little machine helps you prevent resin drips from forming on the lip of the tumbler and prevents all the resin and glitter from sliding off the tumbler while the resin hardens.

How long before you can touch an epoxy tumbler?

Allow your tumbler to dry for at least 24 hours before touching it. Once dry, you can remove the tape and allow it to continue curing for another 72 hours.

Do you need to sand before epoxy?

Not every artist sands their tumblers before adding epoxy, however, I find that sanding down non-porous surfaces before applying epoxy allows the epoxy to bond better to the surface, preventing the epoxy from flaking off in the future. You can use anything form an 80-grit sandpaper to a 200-grit sandpaper.

Final Thoughts

Creating your own epoxy tumblers is a super fun and rewarding project that will allow you to create gorgeous, personalized drinkware for yourself, family, and friends. By following the steps in this tutorial, you can easily make your own sparkly and unique epoxy tumblers from start to finish. With a little care and maintenance, they will last for many years.

So what are you waiting for? Get started on making your own epoxy enchanting tumbler today!

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