DIY Sharpie Decorated Mugs

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Like many others, I spend too much time on Pinterest. Particularly, I spend too much time finding DIY crafts and home improvements. I’d seen before on Etsy mugs that had been redecorated. It wasn’t until Pinterest that I realized it might be a simple thing to do.

For this project, I used no one set of directions, but took advice from several sites and a friend who had done this project herself before besides. I used an ordinary Sharpie marker and white mugs (any colors would be fine, I’d guess, but I liked the black on white look, and the wedding registry listed white mugs, so I thought I wouldn’t mismatch the newlyweds’ kitchen too terribly). The mugs I used were both dishwasher and microwave safe but were ceramic not stoneware. I drew and wrote on the mugs. That bit needs no explanation.

A note to the wise, remove the stickers from the bottom of the mug before you start to draw on them and you won’t have to worry as I did about soapy water smudging the Sharpie as you try to scrub off the tack to prepare them to go into the oven.

I did find that scrubbing with a paper towel wet with soapy water did erase the marker when I wanted it to, but a drip of soapy water running down the side over the Sharpie had no effect.

This, I think, is wonderful. There are no do overs as clean with most traditional methods of ceramics painting.

I set my oven for 350 F, waited for it to preheat, put the mugs down on a cookie sheet, face-up, and waited anxiously for the crack that I was sure was coming.

In retrospect I ought to have set them in the oven on the cookie sheet, then turned oven on, and set the timer after the light went off, knowing as I do that you ought to let ceramic heat with the kiln rather than shoving cool clay in a hot kiln.

Doing so, though, made no noticeable difference.

I decided to twice-fire them, because, well, I hoped that maybe by doing so I could better set the marker and make it last longer. Only time will tell if it was worth it. This time I set the cookie tray with the mugs in the oven before turning it on. My oven, usually creaky, was making some noise as I waited for the light to go off. I got nervous, so I decided to heat the oven to only 300 F for the second firing.

I know enough about ceramics to know that I couldn’t open the door to peek, but I can’t tell you how tempting it was.

Between firings I was sure to let everything cool. I left the mugs on their tray in the oven and waited until the stovetop was as cool as if the oven hadn’t been turned on that day, then waited a bit longer besides to take them out, really waiting for the air inside the oven to cool to room temperature.

Neither time did the mugs crack.

The final result: Worth it.

DSCN6569

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About Kathryn

My love of books has been carefully cultivated by the adults who raised me and also by the friends who love to share. My life has led me down long library shelves, to online forums, fanfiction sites, the front of a lecture hall, and into the desks of college classrooms. With an English degree and a couple master’s classes in Children’s Literature, I am now a bookseller for Barnes & Noble. I have been an editor for Wizarding Life Networks (the people who brought you Wizarding Life, Panem October, and MyHogwarts now HogwartsIsHere).

3 responses »

    • They were wedding presents. They have the wedding’s date and quotes from “For Good” from Wicked (which has significance for the bride).

      I’m glad you like them, Jana. I hope yours come out well if you decide to give it a try.

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