DIY Sharpie Mug

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

When the first DIY Sharpie mugs started popping up on the internet, I couldn’t believe that I could make whatever design I wanted to on a mug with just Sharpies!  Oh the ideas!  Oh the gifts!  Oh the…disappointment when I realized it wasn’t quite that simple.  But not to worry, it’s still simple enough if you follow my instructions.  I’ve done the research for you so you don’t have to!

Here are a few important tips I discovered:

  • You cannot use regular old Sharpies and expect it to stay on the mug.  If you want the design to be permanent, you have to use oil-based Sharpies, which are $3-$4 each.  
  • The type of mug (ceramic, porcelain, stoneware, etc) you use doesn’t matter and neither does the color.  You can use white, black or any other color you want. 
  • You need to bake the mugs in the oven and let them cool down.  
  • I highly recommend hand washing the mugs rather than sticking them in the dishwasher.

If you keep these things in mind when gathering your materials and designing your cool new mug, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration.

Now for the tutorial…

Supplies needed:

  • mug(s)
  • oil-based Sharpies, in any color
  • rubbing alcohol
  • Q-tips and cotton balls
  • pencil and paper (optional)
  • masking tape (optional)

First, you’ll need to find your mug(s).  I went to Walmart and got mine for less than $2.  (There might be some cool ones at your local thrift store too, but I didn’t have time to look at ours.)  Bring them home, wash and let them dry.  (You do not want them to be wet at all, otherwise the paint won’t stick to the mug, since it is oil-based and water and oil don’t play well together.)  If you want to make sure they are extra clean, use some rubbing alcohol.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

Then, you will need to lightly sketch out your design/words.  I pulled out a piece of paper to practice on first so I could get my design and the spacing the way I wanted.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

After it is how you want, you transfer the design to the mug.  I recommend using a pencil since it’s easy to write over with the Sharpie and will rub off with your finger or a Q-tip.  You can also use the masking tape to help you write straight lines, create geometric shapes, etc.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

If you make a mistake, just grab your rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip or cotton ball (depending on the size of the mistake) and wipe it off.  Good as new!  I included an example so you could see that it really does work.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)! 

Once your mug is decorated to your liking, clean off any smudges with the rubbing alcohol and set it somewhere safe and dry for 72 hours.  That’s right.  Wait 3 days before baking your mug.  This allows the paint to set.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

After the 72 hours have passed, put the mug in the cold oven at 425 degrees for one hour.  (I put my mug on a small pan so I didn’t have to worry about it falling over.)  At the end of one hour turn off the oven, leave the mug in the oven to cool completely.

The reason this step is important is because when you allow the mug to heat up gradually with the oven, you will avoid cracking.  A good time to do this would be in the evening so that you can just let the mug cool overnight and not worry if you’re pulling it out too soon.

After baking my mug, I noticed that the red color came out a little darker than before.  This worked out great for me since it matched the inside of the mug.  I would expect that most, if not all, colors will come out a little darker after the mug has been baked so take that into account when you are choosing your color.

DIY Sharpie Mug--These mugs make the perfect gift for any occasion (or just because you really want a cute mug)!

I love how my mug came out!  Actually, it’s not my mug anymore.  I sent it off as a birthday gift to a dear friend who lives far away in North Carolina.  So now it has a new home and I have an excuse to make another fun mug!

These mugs are really the way to go if you’re looking for a simple, cute, inexpensive gift.  You could give these as wedding gifts, bridesmaid gifts, house warming gifts, birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, Christmas gifts…the list goes on and on!

*Note: These mugs need to be hand-washed.  Do not put them in the dishwasher, or you risk damaging your design.

Have you made Sharpie mugs before?  Do you have any other tips that I didn’t include?

How to Make a Holiday Glass Block

How to Make a Holiday Glass Block--an easy decoration to make for yourself or as a gift for holidays, birthdays, weddings, etc

Over the last few years, I’ve been working on discovering my own personal home decorating style and slowly but surely things are coming together.  This has, of course, extended into my holiday decor.  Each year, I’ve been getting rid of decorations that I no longer like or use and buying or making some that contribute to the overall cohesiveness of the look I’m going for.

A while back I was browsing through a local boutique that was closing their business.  They had a back room with tons of random items I wouldn’t have expected to find there considering it was a clothing and jewelry boutique.  Out of everything in the store, I didn’t buy jewelry or clothing–I bought glass blocks.  They only had three of them but I took them all and at a killer price.  I had the best of intentions to make something cute out of them for my home but never got around to it.  (This happens fairly regularly and it drives my husband crazy.  But I do get around to it eventually. *wink*)

When I bought these glass blocks, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to use them for but this year I figured it out.  Once again I pulled out my trusty Silhouette machine and started designing different layouts and words to see what I liked best.  (The blocks I have are rectangular–about 5×7–but I’ve seen different sizes as well.)  I decided to go with a more simple design due to the smaller size of the block I was working with.

(Note: While I found my glass blocks in an odd place, you can also find them at home improvement stores, like Home Depot, or craft stores, like Hobby Lobby.)

I used glass cleaner to wipe the block clean of any fingerprints and dust so it was ready for the vinyl.  Then I cut the vinyl lettering out using my Silhouette machine.  I pulled the vinyl off the cutting mat (leaving the backing on) and then trimmed the pieces down so I could more easily see how they needed to fit together.

How to Make a Holiday Glass Block--an easy decoration to make for yourself or as a gift for holidays, birthdays, weddings, etc

Then I got my transfer paper (affiliate link) out and placed each piece of vinyl in the correct place.  I kept the backing on until I was sure it was in the right place.  Then I pulled the backing off of each piece and placed the vinyl on my glass block, making sure it was centered.

How to Make a Holiday Glass Block--an easy decoration to make for yourself or as a gift for holidays, birthdays, weddings, etc

Using the back of your fingernail or a credit card, press down on the vinyl (on top of the transfer paper).  This smooths it all out, gets rid of bubbles and helps adhere the vinyl to the surface.  Then you can pull off the transfer paper.

(Side note: When I first started working with vinyl, I was kind of resistant to using transfer paper, but it sure makes my life a lot easier, especially when I’m transferring intricate designs or words. It’s worth the time and money in my mind, but it’s also completely up to you whether or not you use it. Also, I tend to reuse smaller pieces that haven’t lost their stickiness which saves a little money.)

To complete the block, I wrapped coordinating ribbon around the bottom and sides, tied it in a knot on the top and cut the ends on an angle.  I didn’t have red and white ribbon that I liked so I used a narrow ribbon on top of a wide ribbon and I think it turned out so cute!

How to Make a Holiday Glass Block--an easy decoration to make for yourself or as a gift for holidays, birthdays, weddings, etc

How to Make a Holiday Glass Block--an easy decoration to make for yourself or as a gift for holidays, birthdays, weddings, etc

These blocks would be such an easy gift to make for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, baby showers, etc.  I love that they are completely customizable and not time consuming at all.  You could even make a few of them to keep on hand for last minute gifts.  Start to finish, this project took me less than an hour (including design time in my Silhouette software).

What are your favorite projects to make with vinyl?