Decorating a Coffee Mug With a Sharpie

Updated on December 11, 2017
My supplies include 1 coffee mug and 1 black Sharpie.
My supplies include 1 coffee mug and 1 black Sharpie.

Decorated coffee mugs make great gifts for special occasions. They are inexpensive and quite simple to make. If you, or someone you know, enjoy coffee, tea, or hot cocoa, then this is a project for you!

While aimlessly browsing Pinterest, I came across a coffee mug with a quote written on it. I though it was adorable and decided to try it myself. Besides, how many projects had I saved to my boards and not accomplished? All of them! It was time to actually make something!

Of course I wanted to keep this project quick and simple, so I chose a cheap mug that I had used while I was in college and found a Sharpie. Deciding what to put on the mug was the most difficult part of this process. I'm not an artist, so drawings were out of the question. I figured writing something on the mug, like a quote, would be the easiest for me. You can put what ever you'd like on your mug!

I searched for quotes online and found one that fit the theme, "A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." You can search for "Sharpie coffee mug" online to find some inspiration. There are hundreds of images to browse!


  1. Choose an appropriate mug. I suggest using one you already have or looking for a cheap option in stores or online. I suggest a ceramic mug.
  2. Find an appropriate Sharpie. For long-lasting results, use an oil-based paint Sharpie. Regular Sharpies will fade and/or wash off over time.
  3. Choose a design, quote, name, monogram, dates, or number. There are endless possibilities for your mug.
  4. I suggest practicing on paper first. You don't want to mess up too much on your mug!
  5. Carefully use the Sharpie to draw or write on the mug. Watch that you don't smudge it with your fingers.
  6. After you have finished your design, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Place the mug on a baking sheet, put it into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the mug from the oven.
  9. Do not handle the mug with your bare hands until it has cooled.
  10. Once cooled, enjoy a hot beverage with your new mug! Or package it for gifting to someone else.

Finished Product

A woman is like a tea bag - You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. - Eleanor Roosevelt
A woman is like a tea bag - You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Afterthoughts . . .

After several cycles through the dishwasher, the writing on the mug started to wear off. I believe this happened because of the finish/glaze on my mug. For this reason, I would suggest using ceramic mugs. They have a slight texture to this finish, which I think would help the Sharpie to stick. Also, be sure to use an oil-based Sharpie for the best results. I have provided links to products I recommend. I would also suggest gently hand-washing this item. Putting it through the dishwasher, especially often, will eventually lead to the Sharpie dissolving from the mug.

Even with the potential for the Sharpie to wear off, I still think this is a good do-it-yourself project. I actually received decorated mugs when I got married. I really appreciated the handmade item, and I'm sure others would enjoy them too.


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