When September 1st rolled around, I realized something terrifying: I had exactly $20 left in my Teen Budget until mid October. It wasn’t entirely unexpected. My annual budget is miniscule. Still, $20 is awfully tiny – especially when you’ve got a Teen Craft to host.
So I did some surfing on Pinterest and discovered DIY Mugs, specifically Sharpie mugs in a variety of colors and designs.
I do NOT recommend using regular sharpies (see below for more details), but this craft IS cheap, user-friendly, and lots of fun.
- cheap, white mugs
- ceramic paints OR oil-based paint markers
- bowls of water
- hair dryer
- tape / stencils / sponges / misc design materials
Step 1: Decorate
If you plan on drinking from your mug, place a piece of tape around the top (or just avoid painting the top). Otherwise, you’ll be ingesting chemicals that could be toxic. Also, you MUST use ceramic paints OR oil based markers to create your design.
I made the mistake of using regular Sharpies on my example mug. Despite following the directions I found in various Pinterest tutorials, all my artwork washed off instantly the first time I cleaned it. Guess I should’ve remembered the old saying that “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
So make sure you learn from my mistake: only use oil-based Sharpies/markers or ceramic paint.
Step 2: Bake Your Mug
Put your mug in the oven. Set it to 360 degrees. DO NOT PREHEAT THE OVEN. Otherwise, your mug will crack. Set the timer for 30 minutes. When the timer rings, turn off your oven but LEAVE THE MUG INSIDE. Wait until the oven is completely cool before taking your mug out.
Pro Tip: Be patient. It takes at least an hour to cool.
Step 3: Seal Your Mug (optional)
Some crafters online have done just fine by following the directions above. They’ve microwaved, scrubbed, and drank from their mugs and the colors are still vibrant. Others, however, have complained that their mugs designs fade over time.
The best way to prevent this is to spray your mug with an acrylic sealer. I used ModPodge’s Matte Acrylic Spray.
IMPORTANT: acrylic sealers are not food safe. Make sure you only spray on your design – not where your lips will be!
All of our craft supplies were purchased at at Michael’s. I was able to get both the paint and the mugs for $20! Bonus: this craft is fun for kids of all ages – not just the teens. I highly recommend this craft! We can’t wait to do it again.