Friday, December 20, 2013

Awesome Sharpie Mugs in 10 Easy Steps

Ok, so I admit, I have been kinda taunting you with the idea of these Sharpie mugs for the whole week, and I apologize for that, but I simply have not had time to write out the steps I took to making them.  But I promise, it is really pretty quick to make these, depending on how artistic you want to get, and quite a cheap and cute gift for the holidays too if you’re looking for something simple to give to someone you’re not totally sure about what to get!!

I have been dying to try making a few since I saw a couple floating around my Pinterest pages, and figured it was a great idea to send over to FM for the holidays since we’d be spending them apart.  So, like ay responsible Masters grad, I researched all the best methods, tips, and tricks to getting it done.  I normally am not the craftiest of people, and I don’t usually post my craft attempts on here, but I have to say, it was really fun to get to draw on the cups (kids would LOVE this poject), plus it’s an adorable homemade gift that you could adapt for anyone, so it seemed like something I should share with all of you!

So let’s get to it…

For this project you’ll need:
Plain white cups (the cheaper the better)
A plain sharpie marker (black is the best, regular/fine tip, not the really thin)
Rubbing alcohol & paper towels
A design & some minor artistic skills
An oven

Latex gloves
Aerated pizza pan

1.  Start out by grabbing a few mugs from the dollar store.  Honestly, the cheaper the better because the Sharpie will meld better with the patina that’s already on the mass produced mug.  Mine were from Dollar Tree, and obviously only $1 each. For that price I was willing to take the risk! 

2.  Locate a design you want to draw.  Once you’ve figured it out, you absolutely should test it out on plain paper first (with the Sharpie). I had to make quite a few sketches on paper before I was comfortable attempting it on the cup.  I might suggest a simple design if you’re not a seasoned artist, since drawing on a curved surface does prove semi-challenging!

3.  **Put on gloves** Remove all stickers and tags from the cup and rub down well with the alcohol, being sure to remove all traces of the oil from your hands touching it and the glue from the stickers.  It needs to be spotless or the marker will have trouble sticking! (Don’t forget the bottom of the cup!)  Allow to dry completely (about a half hour should be safe)

4. Start drawing! Get to doodling whatever it is you want to draw. Remember, the regular tipped black markers work best, the really thin and colored markers tend to turn colors or fade away when baking.  I found it easier to draw with the cup on its side and I was able to rest the handle on the table for stability.  Don’t forget to sign the bottom you little artist you!
4b. If you make a mistake you want to get rid of, take a q-tip with just a bit of the alcohol on it and wipe away the area, being careful not to let it drip or transfer to the rest of the design.  Let it dry completely.

5. Allow marker drawing to dry completely.  I left mine for about three hours and they were fine, but you can leave them overnight to be safe if you so choose.

6.  Place cups in oven, preferably on an aerated pan to ensure that they heat evenly, or straight on the wire racks, and set temperature to 425 degrees.  Yes, I just told you to put the cups in the oven without preheating, you read it correctly.  You want the cups to come up to temperature with the oven to make sure they don’t crack in the process (no one wants a drippy coffee mug!).

7. Allow cups for bake for 30 minutes.  If your oven takes a while to come to temperature, or if it’s a mighty cold day, use an oven thermometer to determine when the oven attains 425, and start the clock from there. 

8. Keep watching the cups every now and then to make sure that they are not turning brown, that the marker is not coming off, or that they’re not cracking or melting.

9. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and walk away. Just walk away! Don’t touch, don’t open the oven, just walk!  You want the cups to cool down with the oven, again, so they don’t crack with the change in temperature. 

10.  Inspect the marker, make sure it looks like it has all baked on, nothing is rubbing off, and the cup isn’t brown or cracked.  If you need to retrace the marker or bake longer, start from step 5 all over again.

Viola! You’re done!  And I assume they will look pretty awesome too!

I haven’t tried using a dark mug with metallic markers yet, or any colors, but I have not heard great things about it, so I’m not too sure if I want to give that a go. We’ll see.

Mine came out great, I love them, and I have to say, it did turn out better than I was originally anticipating.  So much so that FM couldn’t believe that I actually drew the design on the mugs, he thought I had them done professionally.  (Then again, I was showing him over Skype, so who knows, but they did come out nicely)

Give it a shot and show me all your awesome designs.  I’ll definitely be doing this again in the future for a gift or other surprise, and I’ll need some inspiration!!

Have a great weekend everyone! 

And don't forget to back it up with Whit today!

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