Anne Marie Carr is a writer, teacher, crafter, DIYer, herbalist, and terrarium hobbyist.
Decorating Your Own Coffee Mugs
Have you every wanted to create your own coffee mug designs? There are so many cool ideas that you can come up with to create your own, unique designs, and it is fairly simple and easy to create your own. This is a great project to do with kids or just by yourself. See what kinds of creative designs you can come up with to make your coffee mug truly unique! Use the following steps to design your own coffee mug.
Can I Decorate a Mug With a Sharpie Permanent Pen?
Many tutorials claim that regular Sharpie permanent markers will work fine. However, I have learned that these typically rub off and wash off easily, but oil-based paint markers are likely to stay.
The Best Marker to Use to Decorate a Mug
The cool thing about designing coffee mugs is you really don't need many supplies to get started, and it is typically very cheap to do. Firstly, you will need a blank mug, typically a white mug is good to start with. You can usually get these from the Dollar Tree for very cheap. You will also need oil based paint markers to create your designs. Many tutorials on this topic say that Sharpies will suffice, however, Sharpies typically rub off and wash off easily, and oil based paint markers are likely to stay. You can get these at your local craft store, and Sharpie even makes oil based paint markers. You can usually get a set of these for around 15 dollars depending on how many colors you would like.
Design Your Mug
Before starting, it is best to figure out what kind of design you would like to draw. Many people use stencils or other things to help them get started. Because of the surface of the mug, it is best to practice on some paper to see how and what you want to fit on your mug before writing it on the mug. In my experience, this really helps you to get an idea of how much space you have, and where to put it. Once you have drawn your design on paper, wrap it around the mug to ensure that you know where and how much space you will need.
Bake the Mug
Once you are finished decorating your mug, you will need to bake it in the oven to set the marker. This ensures that the design isn't just going to wash off or rub off when you use it or when you wash the mug. Place your mug on a cookie sheet and put it in the oven. Then, set your oven to 350 and bake for about 30 minutes. Make sure that you keep the mug in the oven while it is preheating. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off but keep the mug in the oven until the oven has cooled completely. The reason you need to do this is because if you take the mug out after or put it in after the oven has preheated, you will risk the mug cracking. Once everything is completely cooled, take your mug out of the oven. (FYI, while the mug is baking, you may notice an odd smell. This is totally normal.)
Before completely finishing your mug, test it to make sure none of the marker rubs off. This is best done by just lightly washing the mug once it is cooled enough. If you notice that some of the marker is still rubbing off, try going back over it and baking your mug for another 30 minutes in the oven to let the marker set even more. This is an important and essential step as not all oil based paint markers work the same way, and sometimes, certain colors take longer to set than others. I have found that black oil based paint markers typically take longer to set than other colors.
Because your mug is handmade, you will not be able to put this in the dishwasher, as the extreme heat from dishwashers can ruin your mug. However, lightly hand washing the mug should not cause any issues. Make sure that you do not use anything abrasive like Brillo pads on your mug; only use a sponge, water and soap. If you follow these guidelines, you should be able to keep your mug from getting damaged.
Enjoy Your New Mug!
This is a great craft idea and project with so many possibilities. Enjoy creating designs and being creative with it. It makes a great gift and is also a great craft project to do with the kids, with proper supervision. What you decide to do with your mug is totally up to you!
RTalloni on February 11, 2019:
Appreciate this tutorial. Have been wanting to make a serious go at this craft for some time.