Personalized Mugs


Ever want to decorate or design your own coffee mug? You’re in luck! You are only limited by your ability to draw. Which, for some of us is quite a handicap but hey. This is a pretty fun, cheap (ish) project if you want to give it a whirl.

My sister is moving into her very first apartment after living with my husband and me for a year now. I wanted to make something cute for her as a housewarming gift, and she is obsessed with owls. So I decided to make two owl mugs. They turned out pretty cute considering I generally cannot draw to save my life. I won’t lie. I’m mildly impressed with myself.

Twas a lovely crafternoon last weekend.

Twas a lovely crafternoon last weekend.

Things you will need:

Sharpie pens and/or paint pens (oil based is better, read note below)

Ceramic dishware, undecorated (see note #2)

An oven that can be heated to 400 degrees (had I attempted this in MY very first apartment, in which our oven did not surpass 200 degrees , I may have failed)

Oven mitts or something else to take your hot ceramic dishes out of the oven with safely.

Optional: Acrylic paint and paint brush

Quick and dirty directions: decorate with oil based paint. Bake in your oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Note: Thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest, I read ahead of time that some people had issues using regular old Sharpie pens on the ceramic dishes they tried to decorate. So, I made sure to use acrylic paint pens instead (mostly).

Note #2: I grabbed a few cheap mugs from the dollar store for this craft attempt. Then I immediately felt guilty about supporting sweatshops/slave labor/generally deplorable working conditions in other countries (yes, the sticker says made in China. I checked.)  I try to be mindful of where I purchase things and what the costs for cheap materials are to others. I’m way far from perfect as a consumer, but I encourage you, dear readers, to check out and consider your own impact and purchasing power. /social worker tangent about social responsibility

Plates and mug fronts

Plates and mug fronts

The plates came out only ok- it’s worth noting the paint pen I used on them was alcohol based, not oil based, and the color darkened considerably during baking. It kept seeping under parts of the stencil, too, so it wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked.

Craft Weekend08

Mug backs

Yeah, see that splotch all across it? The silver sharpie pen I used…well, I pressed down too hard while I was drawing one of the owl eyes and it leaked EVERYWHERE. Including a few splotches on my jeans. (Side note- nail polish remover applied very swiftly actually rescued my pants). Handily, you can basically scrape the paint off of your mug if you mess up. With a wet paper towel and my finger nails, I managed to salvage my owl eyes. I decided I kinda liked the weird line going around the mug and left it.

When you have everything all decorated, you put it in your oven. I just put it straight on the rack. Heat to 400, and I let mine bake for about 30 minutes.

Bake bake bake

Bake bake bake- oops, forgot to take the sticker off the bottom of my cups.

And since I’m at it, I made a mug for me and the hubs too.


That would be my husband’s nickname.

Remember before when I said I mostly used Sharpie paint pens? Well, this is the part where I also used some acrylic paint I had on hand and a tiny paintbrush. Because the Sharpie pens are kinda pricey ($13 for a 4 pack!??!) and I wasn’t about to buy three packs of them to get all the colors I needed.


Counterparts. Hopefully the scissors make it clear that I don’t think I’m God, I just like to make stuff.


She likes it!

Full disclosure, she totally thought the pink, purple, and yellow one was a bunny when she first unwrapped it. I now feel less impressed with my drawing skills and have been humbled.


Obviously I made her pose for this picture. Is she actually drinking anything? You’ll never know.

Mmm coffee goodness.

Mmm Sunday morning coffee goodness. I MIGHT have woken him up for the express purpose of taking these pictures so I could finish this blog post. He maybe was not super thrilled.

This might be when I told him explicitly not to look at me like he wanted to murder me.

This is when I told him explicitly not to look at me like he wanted to murder me. Mission accomplished!

Finished mugs ready for tasty beverages.

Finished mugs ready for tasty beverages.

Thanks to my family for always putting up with my photo blogging habit. I love you, my coerced models.

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