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.