How to Make Your Sharpie Mug (The Right Way)
- A ceramic (not plastic) mug (use these if your Dollar Store doesn’t carry ceramic mugs)
- Oil-based Sharpie markers (these are NOT the typical water-based ones you have at home. You need these oil-based ones or the marker will wash off.)
- Damp paper towel
- An oven
First, pick your design.
Here’s 5 designs that I came up with recently (plus one my daughter made!):
Or, go here and you’ll find tons of inspiration too.
Next, sketch your design on a piece of paper.
Here’s my tip: think simple.
Use phrases with only a few words, and make sure your design fits into a space that can be seen from one angle (without turning the mug).
You want lots of white space so that it doesn’t feel crowded.
And, in most cases, I’d stick to two colors (maybe three) max.
Last, draw your design on the mug.
This is the scary part.
I know because I feel it (and so do my kids) whenever we sit down to make our first mug in a mug-making session.
My advice? Breathe deep. Trust yourself. And just start drawing.
It’s kind of like jumping off a dock–you just have to do it! Yes, that first mug is the most intimidating, but after that it gets easier and easier.
And… if you make a mistake, you can wipe off the pen with a damp paper towel as long as you do it right away. And remember, if you totally hate it, you can always go to the sink, wash it off and start over.
Let it dry for about an hour.
Then place the mug(s) in a cold oven.
Close the door and set the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the oven has heated to 350, let the mug(s) stay in there for 30 minutes.
Then, turn the oven off, leaving the mug(s) in there with the door closed until they slowly come back down to room temperature.
It’s important that they’re slowly heated from room temperature to high heat and then slowly back down to room temperature so that the mugs don’t crack.
This process takes a while, so start it in the morning and then let it cool throughout the day.
Be very careful not to touch the mugs while they’re cooling–they will be very hot!
To make sure the design really sticks, I repeat this oven firing process. You can also spray the outside with acrylic sealant, but I prefer to not add chemicals.
Next, choose your mug’s filler and wrap it up (adorable tags finish it off!)