Custom coffee mugs make excellent promotional gifts. But let’s face it, a plain old mug can get a little boring. Most of us have plenty of them, so who’s to say yours will be used more than one from a favorite vacation?
A mug doesn’t have to just be a mug, though. It can be the starting point for an awesome gift idea. There’s no limit to what you can do with a mug, so what will you do with yours this time around?
To get your creative juices flowing, here are 12 great mug gift ideas.
1. Give It with Cake
The whole “cake in a mug” thing is all the rage right now. And honestly, we agree. Who doesn’t want to make a perfect little cake right there in your own mug?
An entire cake all to yourself? Yes.
Way less clean up than when making a normal cake? Mess-free baking for the win!
No matter who you give your mug to, they’ll love that it comes with a recipe for making a mug cake. If you’d like to go even further, go ahead and include all the dry ingredients-they’ll fit perfectly right inside the mug.
This idea is great for birthdays, office Christmas parties, school events, and more. Feature a commemorative message on the mug and provide a treat at the same time. Brilliant!
Make sure you provide gluten-free recipes and ingredients for your friends who need them!
2. Fill It with Pencils
Who doesn’t love a good pencil? Pencils are perfect for just about anybody.
You can use them for homework. You can use them to write letters. A pencil may even help you achieve greatness, depending on what you write with it.
You don’t have to settle for just any pencils, either. Decorative pencils have been a thing for years, so don’t go for the cheap yellow ones at your local superstore.
Are you giving the mugs around Christmas time? Choose a festive design that matches the holiday.
How about a birthday party? There are pencils for that too.
Strap that pencil to the handle of your mug, or stuff them with a bunch inside–anyone who loves a good Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie will appreciate a bouquet of sharpened pencils.
3. Fill It with Tea
If the cake thing is a little too modern for you, go with something more traditional-peppermint tea. Tea drinkers and peppermint lovers alike will love this gift.
Peppermint is an especially appropriate gift for the end of the year, but it tastes great year-round. If you’d like to add some chocolate to the mix, throw in a mint hot chocolate mix instead. Or you could always give both.
Fancy up your mug by adding some decorative ribbon. All it takes is a strand or two. Just tie it around the mug and through the handle.
Use a simple white mug to make the colors stand out if you’d like. Tie it all together by using ribbon the same color as on the packaging for the tea and/or chocolate mixes.
If peppermint isn’t your thing, or your gift recipient’s thing, feel free to choose another type of tea. Go with an herbal tea so your anti-caffeine friends can enjoy the fun too.
4. Give Them to Yourself
Here’s a unique gifting idea-simply give yourself one of your fantastic new mugs. This is especially appropriate if the mug contains any branding.
What’s the point of giving yourself a branded mug for a brand you work for? Well, you invite people over, don’t you? If you don’t, you should probably get on that.
When people enter your home, make sure you pull out that branded mug (or mugs, if you’d like to give yourself a whole set). It’ll be pretty obvious that you like your company, school, or whatever you’re honoring on your mug.
If your guests don’t know you’re affiliated with the brand on your mug, even better! They’ll probably ask about it and you’ll be able to tell them all about it.
Is there something you genuinely love and would like to promote? Give yourself the chance to talk about it with people you care about by giving yourself a branded mug.
5. Make Some Snowman Soup
No, we don’t mean throw a bunch of melted snow and a carrot into each mug. Instead, include a hot chocolate pouch, some marshmallows, and a candy cane. Include a little note telling the recipient how to make their “snowman soup”.
Don’t forget there are tons of kinds of chocolate to choose from. Use several different kinds so your guests can choose which type they want, or do them all the same. If you really want to be different, use white chocolate or cookies and cream-flavored mix.
This fun idea works well in any kind of mug, so whether you want your brand on something large or small, consider this option. Round it all off with some festive ribbon and you’ve got the perfect holiday coffee mug gift.
6. Create a Mug Planter
Coffee mugs don’t have to be used to hold beverages. Why not have your branded coffee mugs hold plants instead?
Many people love having a tiny plant garden. Coffee mugs are the perfect size for an office or bedroom plant. Research types of plants that thrive well in low water, non-draining conditions before choosing which plant(s) to include in your mugs.
Once you’ve chosen what to put in your coffee mug planter, fill it with enough dirt, add your plant(s), and clean it all up so the mug doesn’t look messy. Choose plants that are easy to care for whether someone has a green thumb or not, and they’ll last a good long time no matter who ends up with them.
Remember, some of your intended recipients may choose or need to stay away from sugar or other foods, so this is an option that works well for everyone. Don’t forget to steer clear of plants that cause allergy flair-ups!
7. Bouquet of Cinnamon Buns
Who wouldn’t love a cinnamon bun bouquet in a comforting coffee mug? We know we’d want them. This idea shows your creativity, your love for mugs and the brand you’re promoting, and your sweet tooth.
Place mini cinnamon buns on wooden skewers or other culinary sticks to make a “sucker” sort of treat. Then place several in each mug to create the bouquets.
No cinnamon bun is complete without icing. Throw in some icing packets and your mugs will be a hit.
To make things extra fun, use different types of sweet rolls. These could include cinnamon, orange, raspberry, and other flavors. Brown sugar is a good one, too.
8. Include a Kit for Crafty Folks
If you’re making mugs for a bunch of people who love crafts, consider including a simple craft kit with each mug. You have a ton of options when it comes to this idea.
Think of craft supplies your recipients love. These could include yard and knitting needles, or a cross-stitch pattern and string.
Do your friends love scrapbooking? Throw in some die cuts, stickers, acid-free tape strips, or speech bubbles.
What about painting? Include a small set of watercolors and a paintbrush.
You can really go all out with this one, so make sure you get creative!
9. Movie Night in a Mug
This mug idea is perfect for the movie lovers in your life. It’s perfect for just about anyone who likes a good movie night, really.
The idea behind this gift is to give the recipient a movie night, right inside their mug. You can do this in several different ways.
If you’d like to give your guests a night out on the town, throw a couple of movie tickets or gift cards in the mug. Or, for a less expensive, stay-home movie night, include a simple Redbox coupon. That way the recipient can rent a movie and enjoy cuddling up with someone they love.
Don’t forget the movie treats! Mugs are great for holding popped corn. Or, if you can find them, add a couple of fun-sized boxes of the candy typically available at the movie theater.
For a fun display idea, lay one big red carpet across a table for your mugs to sit on. Your guests will love the nod to cinema premiers when they pick up their gift.
10. A Lunch Mug
You’ve heard of lunch boxes and lunch bags, so why not a lunch mug? It may sound impossible, but it’s not!
It’s as easy as a can of soup, a plastic spoon, a pouch of crackers, and a candy bar. Throw all these things in the mug, then surround it with clear plastic to make sure nothing gets lost.
Make sure you use the smaller cans of soup unless you want to use large mugs. Try using a few different types of soup or crackers so your guests have something to choose from.
If you’d rather go for a snack-type lunch, throw in some individually packaged meat and cheese snacks and an eight-count package of Oreos. Or come up with an idea that’s entirely you’re own!
11. Stuff It with Baking Supplies
The bakers in your life will absolutely love this idea. So will anyone who gets to share in the baked goods that come from it.
You can really run wild with this one if you want. It’s for those friends who don’t think a simple mug cake is good enough-they want the real deal.
Try adding cinnamon sticks and packets of sugar. Mini kitchen tools would go a long way too, such as small whisks and rubber spatulas. Measuring spoons would work well, too.
Center your items around a specific recipe if you want. Include the recipe card, then add a few of the ingredients or tools that are needed in order to make it.
Just about any small baking-related item will work for this idea, from ramen seasoning packets to chocolates to sprinkles.
12. Plain Ole’ Coffee
And last, but not least, you could actually put coffee in your coffee mugs. It doesn’t have to be plain old coffee, though.
Find small pouches of your favorite blends of coffee. If you can’t find them, make them yourself. Cute little paper pouches with a coffee-related message are sure to be well received.
To accompany the coffee, add some small containers of flavored creamer, cinnamon for seasoning, or cookies for dipping. While this won’t work for all-ages recipients or those who stay away from caffeine, many adults will love this coffee mug idea.
To make this even more fun, set up a coffee-making station so your party-goers can use their gift right there and then! If you choose to set up a station, make sure you have plenty of creamer options and other fun add-ins.
Spruce up Your Gift Giving with These Branded Mug Gift Ideas
However, you choose to give your mugs away, make sure it’s fun. Giving a gift just to promote your business or school isn’t nearly as nice as turning it into a gift the recipients will love.
Get your brand name out there and spread some fun and cheer with these fun mug gift ideas. Not only will the recipients love the mugs and use them over and over, but they’ll also remember the fun way they were presented.
We have coffee mugs that will suit your needs no matter how you present them. Click here to check out our options and start customizing your mugs today!