Tuesday, October 8, 2013

DIY Sharpie Mug - Does It Really Work?

So, I'm sure you've seen the Sharpie mugs all over Pinterest in the last couple of months.  They claim, "all you need is a marker, a dollar store mug, and an oven," but...the results seem to be varied.  Some say it worked awesome, others say it was a total fail.  So which is it?  Is it worth the effort to attempt this project, or will it be a total waste of time? 


I'm here to say that yes, it does work, BUT....maybe not quite as simplified as some claim.  
Here's how it worked for me.

I attempted this project months ago with just plain ol' Sharpie permanent markers and a couple of Corelle mugs I got at the thrift store.  I spent quite a while making a design, then I baked it just like the blog post told me to, and.....it was a complete failure.  It washed right off with just a hand washing in the sink. 

 So I did more research and found that in all reality oil based paint markers are really what you need.  These are a bit expensive, I think they were about $3.47 each at Hobby Lobby.  I used 40% off coupons so it wasn't SO bad, plus I figure these should last quite awhile and I can get plenty of uses out of them so they were worth it to me.  (You can find these in the artist's paint section at any big craft store.)


I also read that wiping down the entire mug with alcohol wipes is also a good idea to remove any grease or oils from your fingers that may be on it that would cause the ink/paint to not soak in to the glaze.

(source)

A few weeks after my first failed attempt I came across this image/post for BFF mugs, and it was my inspiration to try it again.  At the time, we were living in Ohio and were in the middle of preparing to move cross country back to Florida.  I was leaving a BFF behind, so this seemed like the perfect project to try out.  Fast forward many months to when I finally got around to actually doing this, and that'll bring you to today's post.  : )

  I started with a plain white mug from Walmart, it was a Better Homes and Gardens brand.  Something to remember about these is that, the cheaper the mug the better this project works.  The better quality the mug the better the glaze will be on it and it'll be more resistant to absorbing the paint/marker.  My dollar store didn't have any plain white mugs at the time so that's why I got one from Wally World.

The inspiration post said to practice drawing the states by hand and then use an eyeliner pencil to draw the outline on the mug, then do your marker/paint over that.  I wasn't confident in my state-drawing skills, so I went another route.


1.) I printed out an outline of each state and got it sized to fit the mug.
2.)  I shaded the back of each image with pencil lead.
3.)  I taped them to the mug and traced the outline with pencil.  Because of the pencil shading on the back of the image, it left the outline on the mug.
4.)  I traced over the outline with my paint marker, and drew a little heart where I had placed my dots.


I then let it dry a few minutes before I did my next step.


At this point I used the eyeliner trick to map out a pattern for my dash marks.


Then I went over the eyeliner with the paint marker, and once it was dry I wiped away any visible eyeliner marks. 


Here it is all painted and ready to go in the oven.  Now....let me share a bit of advice here.  As soon as my paint was dry, like 10 minutes later, I put it in the oven, but that wasn't the best idea.  Any areas where the paint had been a little thick ended up chipping off even after the baking process.  I had to fix them and re-bake it.


I should have, and what I would recommend for you, would be to let it dry for 24 hours before baking.


A lot of the posts that you see about these mugs say to bake it for 30 minutes at 350, but I recommend 425.  At 350 the glaze just doesn't get hot enough to absorb the ink/paint, so I did mine at 425.

I put it in while the oven was cold.  This allows the mug to heat up along with the oven so that it won't crack.  Start your 30 minutes once the oven reaches 425.  Also, once the 30 minutes are up, turn the oven off but leave the mug inside until the oven is cold.  Again, this is so the mug won't crack with any abrupt temperature changes.


One more thing I can tell you from experience is the colors can change on you.  The little hearts started out being a bright red, but after baking they had turned into a dark eggplant shade of purple as you can see above.  So just keep that possibility in mind if you decide to attempt a design that needs to have specific colors.


Once I fixed the chipping paint after the first bake and baked it a second time, I tested it out.  I washed it in a sink of hot soapy water just like I would any other dish.  It held up well.  I lightly scraped my fingernail all over it, it held up well.   I don't have a dishwasher so I can't tell you if it would hold up to that or not, but a regular hand washing was just fine.  

* Update - a couple of readers have come back and commented that theirs held up well in the dishwasher.  However, just to be on the safe side (and for the sake of the longevity of your mug) I would recommend sticking with a gentle hand washing. *

I filled it with some tea bags and sent it off to my friend.  It made her day!  : )
She did the last test phase for me, one that I forgot...testing whether the paint in the bottom of the cup held up against hot liquids.  She said she had Hospice on speed dial just in case she ended up drinking the "miss you" and suffered from paint toxification.  But not to worry, it held up just fine and medical personnel were not needed.

So...all in all I would call this project a success and now I know some tips for making things easier next time around.  

Have you tried this little project yet?  Was it a success or fail?  Any other tips you'd like to share to help others out?  Be sure to come back and let me know if this has inspired you to try one out and how it worked for you!



      
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52 comments:

  1. Must day I check your blog often and was thrilled to see a new post! Thanks for sharing this with us! I aleays see these linked parties on different blogs...that would be a good linked party "Pintrest Fails & How to make em work" :)

    Happy Fall,
    Sherri Smith

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  2. I love my adorable new mug! Your tutorial makes this seem easy and fun to do. The possibilities are endless.

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  3. What a wonderful idea. All of my bestest girlfriends live far away from me. I think this is a great gift idea. Thanks, Stephanie!

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  4. GREAT idea!!! I have a Grandson in Florida, so I think I will make one of these for him!!!
    Thank you!
    Hope things are going well for all of you!
    Blessings,
    J

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  5. That's really great! Thanks for the information.

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  6. Hi Stephanie, these are adorable. I think they look great.
    Jeannie

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  7. Have you had any feedback from someone who is able to run it through a dishwasher? I'm curious :) Great project! I'm looking forward to doing my own!

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    Replies
    1. No, no feedback yet on how they hold up with dishwashers. I'm curious to know as well.

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    2. I've made one set and put them through the dishwasher on the normal cycle. They turned out great! I'm getting ready to make another set now.

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    3. I followed the instructions, oil-based, 425* etc... It held up through the dishwasher for ONE cycle. I got confident and washed it again... A little chipped off... Again... A little more... Needless to say, they are not dishwasher safe. But, still a great and cute craft. Just warn giftees to hand-wash.

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    4. Thank you so much for giving us feedback on the dishwasher, it's good to know!

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  8. Thank you! I'm going to go make a sharpie mug now...

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  9. Thanks for this post: all the pics and detailed instructions are VERY helpful!

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  10. I am going to make these this weekend and was wondering does it make a difference if you use a stoneware or porcelain mug?

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    1. I'm not really sure about the stoneware vs. porcelain mugs. All I know is that the cheaper the mug the better this project works. The better quality the mug the better the glaze will be on it and it'll be more resistant to absorbing the paint/marker. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out if you decide to try a stoneware mug.

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    2. My mug says it's not microwavable safe will it be ok if I put it in the oven before it heats up and let it cool down with the oven as well?

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    3. I'm not 100% positive about this, but I would think that it would be ok. Generally when something says it's not microwave safe it means that after heating it in the microwave it will be really hot to the touch, versus dishes that ARE microwave safe that stay cooler to the touch even after heating. But I would think that if it slowly heats up with the oven, and then slowly cools down that would be ok. If you try it out, come back and let us know how it worked for you.

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  11. I have bought stoneware coloured mugs to try this on... will let you guys know if it works

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    Replies
    1. I tried it on stoneware mugs and worked just fine. :)

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  12. When you bake it, do you start the 30 mins once it gets to 425, or right when you put it in the oven?

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    Replies
    1. I just did this and counted the 30 minutes from when it hit 425. Worked perfectly.

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    2. I agree, count from when it hits 425. Put it in a cold oven, set your temp, then start your timer once it gets preheated to 425. After the 30 minutes turn the oven off then leave it in there until it's cold again.

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  13. Hello, I have been peaking around your blog and just love it.
    I love these mug ideas. I just recently made one of my own and it turned out perfect.

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  14. hi! this was extremely helpful! i just wanted to let you know, the link that you say has tips and tricks no longer works. i keep getting an expired page! but thanks!

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  15. Hello! My name is Emma & I'm currently working on a Valentines Day Round-up for my blog Vildmarket.com. This is a great tutorial for these mugs & I was going to feature it on my round-up. Just let me know if you would rather I did not & I will take it down.

    Thank you in advance,
    *Emma

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  16. Hi! Thanks for the lovely tutorial :) Just wondering if I should bake the mugs individually or would baking them together be ok?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I haven't tried it, but I would think that baking them together would be just fine.

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  17. Replies
    1. VERY carefully, lol! I held the very end of the marker with the paint end down in the cup, and very carefully wrote out the words and hoped and prayed I had done it right because I couldn't really see what I was doing. I messed it up the first time, but I just wiped it off with some alcohol, let it dry, and tried it again. I got it right the 2nd time.

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  18. do you how much does it last? ;/ i guess its not for EVER..

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    1. I have no idea how long they last. I would imagine they'll last close to forever if you're careful about hand washing them and not putting them in the dishwasher, but I really couldn't say for sure.

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  19. Whats the eyeliner trick? And are you positive it doesn't work with normal sharpie markers??

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    1. The eyeliner trick is that you use an eyeliner pencil to draw out your image, then you trace over it with the marker/paint. Once the paint is dry you can just wipe away any eyeliner marks that are still visible. You'll want to do that before you bake it so there's no chance of them becoming permanent.

      I can't say 100% that regular markers don't work, I only know that when I tried them they didn't work, and washed right off. I only baked them at 350 though, and never did try the higher temperature of 425. Who knows, maybe the higher temps would have worked. If you try it and it works be sure to come back and let us know!

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  20. I hand washed mine after only doing one coat of marker and baking only once and some of the black rubbed off a bit. Now that I have just read your blog, I'm going to try doing a second and third coat of marker and baking a second time. Thank you for posting this!

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! I hope it worked out for you the 2nd time around.

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  21. Good post for sharing and it brings innovative and unique ideas and thoughts to do this kind of creativity and these mugs looks great and i appreciate all the endeavors done behind that. Good work Guys!!

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  22. I {really} LOVE this! I'm hosting a Sharpie crafts link party on my blog this week, and I'd love it if you wanted to link up! Favorites will be featured in a compilation post next week, & we're giving away a $50 Target GC and Sharpie prize pack! http://bit.ly/1c0IEvS

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  23. Thank you so much for this post!!! I tried this so many times - had great ideas from my kids - only to have it all wash off. I took your advice, bought the oil-based Sharpies, etc and it worked! I'm going to use this as a school auction idea - thanks again!!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad it finally worked for you and that I could be of help! Thanks so much for letting me know.

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  24. Hi! Thanks for the tip on the Sharpies! I tried a heart on the bottom of the mug just to test a bit and got the same result with the red, it turned a magenta-ish pink-purple. Are the photos at the bottom of your post the final product AFTER baking or before? And if they are the after, how did you fix the problem with the color changing? Any information you could provide would be helpful!

    Thanks again!

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    1. The photos at the bottom with the bright red heart were actually taken before I baked it. The eggplant purple color is what it changed to after baking. So yes, be very aware that colors do change during baking, except for black.

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  25. It seems to work so well! Thanks for the awesome review and that is such a gorgeous mug!

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  26. Found your site (a happy find!) while searching for the nitty griiy on the DYI Sharpie mugs. We want to use this idea as a simple craft takeaway at an upcoming Ladies Tea hosted by the women's ministry group at church. Thank you for all your great suggestions. We will have ladies from 5-105 & this seems doable for all...even me who doesn't posses a crafty bone in my body!

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    1. Oh that sounds like a such a FUN idea for a ladies gathering! And you're right, it's the perfect solution for ladies of all ages. I hope it turned out wonderfully for you.

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  27. My oven gets a bit smoky and an odd smell during the baking step, is this normal, or just my oven? Thanks!

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    1. Mine did get just a little bit stinky during the baking process, but not smoky. I would say that's probably not normal.

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  28. Good product and best tool for marketing and advertisement with a logo attached on the mug.

    Promo Logo Mugs

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  29. Do you have a recommendation for the best site to find outlines of states. I am going to try Maryland and it doesn't look very easy! Luckily the state my friend is moving to is PA, so I lucked out on that state. :)

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    Replies
    1. I just use Google images and type in, "Outline of Maryland" or whatever the state may be, then just take your pick from whatever images it brings up. Some will be more detailed than others, but there should be a couple that are a bit more simplified.

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