A photo mug is an easy and thoughtful gift you can order for someone special. If the gift is for someone who lives with you, you can ensure a complete surprise by requesting that the item be sent to a store nearby for pickup. Even if you are not ordering the photo mug as a gift, it is often beneficial to request in-store pickup, as many times this is a less expensive option than having it shipped directly to your house.
Choose a store to order your mug from and sign up for a membership on the photo portion of their website. The membership part is free and allows you to upload photos. Three well-known national sites that provide this service are Walmart.com, Walgreens.com and CVSphoto.com. Other photo websites allow you to order photo mugs, but may not be able to offer in-store pickup.
Upload a photo or photos. Some websites may ask you to create an album first. An album is simply a way to organize your photos. Open the folder on your hard drive where your photo is located and click on the photo file. Once you select on the photo or photos, click on "upload" and wait while the file is uploaded. Most sites let you upload several photos at a time, and if needed, you can always add another batch later.
Edit the photo if necessary. Most photo websites have tools that let you do simple photo editing. You can crop the photo or rotate it, and you may have other options as well, such as red-eye reduction. This step is optional, as not all photos will need editing.
Navigate to the section where the photo mugs are located. To do this, you may have to leave the photo album page and click on "shop" or "gifts" to get to the right section. Choose the mug you want out of the options they have.
Choose the photo you want to put on the mug. If you want a photo collage, you can choose several photos and arrange their placement if the site and mug you've chosen offers this option. You may have the choice of horizontal or vertical orientation and other alternatives. If the photo you chose is not of a high enough resolution, the software will tell you so. If that happens, you should choose another photo for best results.
Finalize the options and approve a preview, if provided. Then click "Go to Checkout" or "Place Your Order" or some similar button that will bring you to a place where you can pay. This is where you can choose the option to have the mug sent to a store, and you will be able to choose from a list of locations if there is more than one store in your area. You may be given the option to pay at the store when you pick it up, or you may have to pay online, depending on the website and their policy.
Place your order. Look for an email confirmation. It should indicate how many days it will take for the photo mug to be created and arrive at the store. Watch for another email or phone call notifying you that your order is ready.