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This project is one that has been a long time in the making. Years ago, when blogs were still few and far between (so this must have been one thousand years ago by now), I came across a site where the author had decorated her own coffee mugs using a porcelain paint pen. I loved her idea so much I went out and bought a porcelain paint pen that very day.
I couldn’t quite decide what design I wanted to make so I put the pen in a craft drawer, and promptly forgot about it. That poor little pen has remained in its package waiting all of these years for it’s moment to shine. Well, today’s the day.
As a part of my 2030make 30 day creative challenge, I decided to work on several projects like this during the month of June by dedicating 20 minutes a day to crafting. I took this pen out one afternoon and was not even sure if it would work. After all, it had spent a good part of its life in a drawer. But oh my goodness, it worked so well I began looking at all of our dinnerware with new eyes.
Because I like to sketch little vignettes of our lives in my sketchbook, I decided to isolate some of those characters and items into a “My Favorite Things” mug. I drew my husband (number one favorite) and our daughter. Then I began thinking about all of the things that make me smile and drew those as well. The walk we take each morning. Hot cups of tea (and coffee.) Chocolate. Laughter. You get the idea. (It’s basically a happy journal entry on a mug!)
I only wish I had created this project earlier because it was so much fun!
How to Decorate a Mug with a Porcelain Paint Pen
To make your own mug, you will need:
Plain white mug
Porcelain paint pen (this is the pen I used)
**First of all, follow the manufacturer’s directions on your porcelain paint pen. This is my experience with this particular brand.**
1. Shake the pen well, and press the tip onto a piece of paper to release the ink.
2. Draw your design onto the mug. You’ll notice that the pen I used has a very fine tip, which I like. I was able to make my drawings small and detailed, and they turned out great.
3. Let dry for 24 hours.
4. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes at 300 degrees.
You are now the proud owner of a personalized mug!
Here are some tips:
Sketch out your ideas. If you’re unsure of your design, take out a piece of copy paper and draw some ideas. Look at the mugs in your cupboard to see how designs are usually placed. You can also cut a piece of paper to the mug’s size, wrap it around the mug, and use that as a template of sorts to place your drawings.
Don’t be precious. If you wait until your drawings are incredibly awesome and should be sold at Anthropologie, it might be a while before you try this project. And you’ll be missing out because it’s really fun!
Buy used mugs at thrift stores and at garage sales. This might help you to be more brave since you won’t have to spend a lot of money on your project.
Work left to right. Maybe you already know this, but working left to right will ensure you will not smudge your design. (Unless you are left-handed. In that case, work right to left.)
Work slowly and steadily. The ink for the pen I used dried really fast, so I took my time to slowly draw the designs. I recommend writing the date on the bottom of the mug to test out the pen before you begin your project.
Though I like many of the Sharpie mug ideas out there, I really love how the ink for this porcelain paint pen stands out. You can run your finger over the designs and feel them. I tried to get a good picture of this, but alas, you’ll have to take my word for it. ;)