Personalized Painted Mugs

With my kids attending two different schools, my family has a small army of teachers to thank with gifts. Gift cards are nice enough, but I’d love to give something a little more personal this year. After trying out this technique for making painted mugs, I think I’ve found my new go-to teacher gift. These are so fun and quick to make, once you start you won’t want to stop! I’m now brainstorming who else might enjoy a personalized mug.

Step-by-Step Tutorial

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    First, wash the mugs and let them dry completely. Before you start painting, you’ll want to test out the paint pen on a piece of paper, as they can leak when first getting started.
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    For a freehand design, just start painting! At first I was a bit intimidated to work without a stencil, but it was actually a lot of fun. It helps that the pen kind of forces you to go slowly since you need to maintain pressure on the tip to keep the paint flowing. Snowflakes or Christmas trees are easy designs to freehand, but use your imagination. To make my monogrammed mugs, I decided to use sticky-back letter stencils to make big blocky letters. I created mine by making a file and cutting them out of a sticker sheet on a Silhouette machine. However, you could use a sheet of letter stickers to create the same effect. You’d just need to remove the sticker and use the negative of the letter as your stencil.
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    Stick your stencil onto the mug. It helps to press the edge of the stencil down with your fingernail to make sure there are no creases. Then follow the edge of the stencil and fill it in with the paint pen. I found that no matter how smooth I got the stencil, the paint still wanted to seep under the edge if I painted over it. I got a good result by using the stencil as a guide and filling it in slowly and carefully. When you’re done, let the paint dry for 24 hours before removing the stencil.
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    After the drying time, gently remove the stencil.
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    If there are places where the paint has bled under the stencil, you can clean it up a little bit by carefully scraping up the paint with the tip of a knife. To cure the paint, bake your mug at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. I had so much fun making these, I almost don’t want to give them away!
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    This would be a great project to do at a crafting party, too. Just provide mugs, pens and a little design inspiration, and everyone gets to make their own special mug to take home.

Instructions Summary

  1. Wash and dry the mugs.
  2. Draw whatever you like on the mug with the paint pen.
  3. Or, to use a stencil, stick it onto the mug.
  4. Color in the shape of the stencil with the paint pen and let it dry for 24 hours.
  5. Carefully remove the stencil. Clean up any rough edges by scraping gently with the tip of a knife.
  6. Bake the mug at 350 degrees for 30 minutes to cure the paint.

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