Handmade Holiday: Painted Mugs

Handmade Holiday: Painted MugsCan you believe the holidays are already here? At first I thought I was falling behind not decorating my house as early has a lot of people have done, but then I realized that Thanksgiving came late this year. Holiday lovers weren’t going to miss out on a week of the best season! I’ve felt slightly overwhelmed with how much I have coming up, but then I remember that its all fun, and allows me to be creative. So when it comes to gifting, there’s nothing I find more special as a handmade gift. This year I decided I was going to attempt to make most of my Christmas gifts, of course buying some I know people would really love. And the first handmade gift I have is something that will please anyone on your list, a painted a mug. You can completely customize it for the girls or the guys. Whether it’s tea or coffee everyone needs a mug, even if it’s occasionally used as a vase. I choose an inspirational quote for my mug, as a great motivator for someone how say has started a new job.

In this how to I’ll show you how to transfer a printed design onto a mug using a pencil. You can customize your mugs with porcelain pens, and create all sorts of original and favorite designs. If you feel confident in your drawing skills, it’s fun to create free-hand designs and patterns. I especially love this super easy dot mug, how lovely would it be in gold!

This technique can also be applied to other porcelain objects like plates, vases or teapots. And this how to works well on glass objects too! The design and gift possibilities are endless!Handmade Holiday: Painted Mugs

You’ll Need


Soft Pencil

Porcelain Markers or Permanent Marker {water-resistant}

Porcelain Mug {I found this one with a spoon at Michael’s, but use ones that are affordable, just keep in mind if it’s for a gift you’ll want quality a bit sturdier than found at the dollar store}

Printed Template


Wet Wipe

IMG_6842Clean your mug making sure it is free of grease and dust.

Print your design. Play around with the sizes to fit the area on your mug. I had to resize and print mine three times. Remember that your image will be mirrored onto the mug, so if you’re transferring words, print it mirrored first, that way you can read it on your mug.

Handmade Holiday: Painted MugsWith a lot of pressure, trace the basic lines of the image with your pencil, and fill in areas where it will be easier to see.

Handmade Holiday: Painted Mugs Handmade Holiday: Painted MugsAttach the paper, with the side of the traced design down, onto the mug using tape on all four sides.

Handmade Holiday: Painted MugsWith your pencil color over the lines of the drawing. This will transfer the image onto the surface of your mug. Make sure to apply a lot of pressure, and go over every detail of the design.

Handmade Holiday: Painted MugsCarefully remove the paper. You will see a faint outline of your design. The lines won’t be really dark, but visible enough to use as a guide.

Before using the porcelain or paint marker, shake the pen well and push it vertically onto a piece of scrap paper to check that the appropriate amount of paint is released.

Handmade Holiday: Painted MugsCarefully trace over the pencil outline with the marker to create the basic outline of your design. A helpful tip is to hold the mug on an angle, as the marker won’t write properly if horizontally.

Made a mistake?! Don’t worry, you can correct any errors by wiping them with a wet wipe. Make sure the surface is dry before you continue painting your design.

Handmade Holiday: Painted MugsOnce the basic outline is complete, you can go back and fill in empty spaces, add a few more decorative touches, whatever you’d like.

Metallics, like gold and silver, make the simplest things look more high-end or luxurious. If using a metallic paint marker I found it better to allow it to dry for 15 minutes. For the second coat, the paint went on better when I dotted the pen, instead of using strokes like the first coat of paint.

Bake mugs at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Cool completely before washing or using. Baking will allow you to use it in the dishwasher.

Handmade Holiday: Painted Mugs Handmade Holiday: Painted Mugs

Now if you just don’t have any time this holiday season, as there isn’t often much of it left to make your gifts let alone do all your baking, here are my recommendations for purchased gifts that are thoughtful and still show gratitude. If you’re going to buy, buy from local businesses and vendors in your hometown. Choose ones that do their part in giving back to not only your community, but society as a whole. If you’re going to buy from large companies, choose ones that offer opportunities to less fortunate like the The Little Market, or gives back, like TOMS. But whatever you end up gifting this holiday season, remember that there is no need to stress about it.

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