These mugs are everywhere. I bet you’ve seen them on Pinterest a million times. I love them! They are so easy and they actually wash pretty well, despite what you may have heard. I personally love to doodle, paint – anything crafty, so I absolutely loved this craft. They are a great, fun craft as long as you follow a couple things.
First off, you’re going to want to buy a super cheap mug – cheaper the better. I bought a ton of mine at Ikea for $1 each. The reason you want the cheap glaze, I’ve learned, is that the cheaper the glaze is the better it’s going to melt and incorporate with the inked design in the oven.
Secondly, another thing I’ve learned is that you want to sanitize the surface of the mug with rubbing alcohol before doing your design, and make sure not to touch the area that you’re working on with your fingers so that the oils from your hands don’t interfere with the ink from incorporating with the glaze of the mug. Rubbing alcohol is also very helpful for cleaning up any mistakes 🙂
Thirdly, research (aka, other blog posts :)) has shown that oil-based Sharpies are the way to go.
(EDIT: The black marker has thicker ink than the rest and doesn’t bake well. The featured mug on this post is half chipped now. If you want black ink, it might be worth your time to try a regular Sharpie.)
Some say otherwise, but the majority goes with oil-based. You can find them in the same general area as the regular Sharpies at Michael’s. They’re a bit more spendy, but the pros outweigh the cons if you end up liking making these. Plus, that’s what those wonderful Michael’s coupons are for, right? Make sure to read and follow the directions on the markers before using them.
When the mug bakes, depending on the color, the design may fade to a different color. I’ve heard that the red turns to more of a reddish-purple and I’ve personally experienced the white turning to cream . . .
. . . but I didn’t mind how it turned out. Just keep in mind that your design might change a bit
Finally, have fun with it! You can freehand it like I did, or I’ve heard that tracing out your design with eyeliner first helps.
You can put a letter sticker of one of your initials on there and just do a ton of dots over it all like this gal did.
Then you pull off the sticker and – wah lah!
This craft is wonderful in that it gives so much freedom in all the possible designs you can do. The sky’s the limit. You can even buy some porcelain paints and go nuts with that if you prefer painting to doodling.
Once your masterpiece is complete, let the ink set for at least 48 hours. If the ink is thicker, it might be best to let it set for an extra 24 hours or so. I’ve even heard that some people let the mug sit for a week or more, but I can’t remember if they were using oil-based Sharpies when they did.
Then it’s on to the oven! Put your mug in the cold oven and then set your oven to 425º. Once the oven is warmed up, then you set the timer for 30 min. When it’s done, don’t put it on the counter. Let it cool down along with the oven until it’s totally cool.
They are hand wash safe from then on out! I’ve tried putting them in the dishwasher once and they held up, so if you want to experiment with it more, go for it. I just recommend hand washing to be on the safe side 🙂
It’s a great pastime to do with kids or even just to pull out when you need a last-minute gift! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!