My mom loves initial mugs. It has become a tradition that she gets a new one every Christmas. This year, I couldn’t find any that I liked (or that she didn’t already have) but then I found this one from Starbucks. I had my older son write a message on the black band on the bottom and I drew a nice letter “K” for her on the white part. She loved it (I’m sure seeing her grandson’s hand written “I love Grandma” message had a lot to do with it). But, I kept thinking there has to be a cheaper way to do this myself. Turns out there is, and it is apparently very popular (just google “sharpie mug”).
So, out to the dollar store I went to buy some plain white mugs and Amazon delivered me a nice set of oil-based Sharpie markers and clear acrylic spray and I was good to go…
My pen set came with black, white, red, silver and gold. I opted to make my design in gold but all of them (except the white for obvious reasons) should work well.
Next I used some electrical tape to tape off my design. They electrical tape works better than regular tape because it has a bit of stretch to it and that helps keep it level on the curved and slightly tapered shape of the mug.
Now start coloring. The gold Sharpie didn’t cover as evenly as I originally thought it would so I ended up drawing my first lines diagonal, letting that dry and then going over it with horizontal lines (see the picture below). I actually love the effect it created.
Once I finished coloring the top, bottom & handle and let it dry, I removed the electrical tape and was ready to write my message in the remaining white space.
Next step is to bake it at 350 degrees in the oven for 30 minutes to help set the design on the mug. Be careful when removing the mug because it will be hot!
Once the mug cools, take it outside (or somewhere well ventilated) and spray it with the clear acrylic spray. The curing process in the oven should set the sharpie and allow you to wash the mug but this extra step will give the mug a more finished look along with making it even more durable. Let it dry for a few to 24 hours and then wash it well before you use it.
Finally, make some coffee and enjoy!