Sunday, January 13, 2013

January Project: Sharpie Mugs

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that I have a project board that is a mile long.
(If you don't know what Pinterest is, get over there. Now. No, wait!! Go after you read the rest of this because it is highly addictive, and once you get started no one will see you for about a month...)
Anyway, I decided to choose one "bigger" project to do each month of 2013. I have my little weekly practice projects going on, but I wanted to make sure that I had something that I completed every month.
For this month, I decided to work on the Sharpie Mug projects that you see all over Pinterest right now. I made my first attempt a couple of weeks ago. I would show it to you here, but one trip through the dishwasher wiped out any artwork that I had created.
I knew this would happen.
Reading the comments after the various tutorials that I checked out, the most common complaint was that the Sharpie drawings did not withstand a trip through the dishwasher or even a hard scrubbing by hand. I tested out the veracity of those claims, and they were right on.
So I kept investigating--I really wanted to do this--and found a way that had more of a chance of success. Now, I have not put my mugs through the dishwasher. Yet. I might try out the white one (you'll see below) because I won't be too upset if I have to make it again. So far, though, they have stood up to rigorous hand-washings...
To start, I gathered my supplies:
  • Two cheap mugs (one was a freebie from decades ago and one cost $1.25 at Walmart)
  • A rubber stamp that I just wanted as inspiration
  • Rubbing alcohol (obviously not shown)
  • An oil-based Sharpie paint marker (about $4 at Michaels)
Ready to begin!
The first thing that I did was wash each mug, wipe it down with rubbing alcohol, then rinse it clean. While they dried, I stared at the white mug, trying to decide what I wanted to do with it since, as you can see, it was already embossed.
Eventually, I decided to keep it simple and all I did was put a dot of black ink over each of the raised dots on the mug. Cute and chic, so I left it alone!
The gray mug was easy as I had already tried this design once (and lost it to the dishwasher). Using the owl stamp as inspiration, I drew my own owl (a little slim but whatever) and added some free-hand words.

Yes, you read that correctly. "Owl be fine after my coffee." I am so punny sometimes!
After the marker had dried, I placed the mugs on a baking sheet in a cold oven. Following several recommendations I had read online, I set the oven to 350 degrees (mine probably runs at least 25 degrees hotter than that) and let it heat with the mugs inside. Once it hit temperature, I set the timer for 30 minutes, trying not to peek inside and listening for an explosion of mugs. No problem on either count.
After the timer went off, I left the mugs in there for as long as I could. I would have preferred to let them sit until the oven (and the mugs) was completely cooled off, but I had a casserole to make, so they came out after an hour or so.
And so far, as I said before, so good!
Now, as I said, I read through many blog comments trying to find the perfect "recipe" for these mugs. Some tips:
  • Use cheap mugs. I'm not saying to buy lead-filled death mugs, but if they are more expensive mugs, the glaze is probably more solid making it hard for the mug to absorb the ink.
  • Don't just use regular Sharpies unless you want to keep changing your design. Especially don't use them if your mug is meant to be a gift. It's just not worth the risk. Get to a craft store and get an oil-based Sharpie or find a real ceramic paint pen.
  • Some recent blog comments have suggested using a higher heat setting on the oven to better set the ink/paint. Your call as 350 degrees seems to have worked for me.
  • Don't touch the mugs with your fingers to see if they have cooled off yet. They haven't. Trust me.
And that's it! I can't wait to get to a dollar store to pick up more mugs. My next one? A plain white mug with a big handlebar mustache!! And maybe a lame witty saying like "I mustache you to make more coffee"!!
Tee hee!!
Now, off to start this week's creative project: Doodling!!
Have a great week!


1 comment:

  1. Those are so cute! Love it! What a fun project and yes, your puns are so funny!