If you’ve spent more than 5 minutes on Pinterest, I’m sure you’ve seen at least one DIY Sharpie mug. What a super cool idea, you draw on a mug with a Sharpie, you bake it…Voila! A wonderful customized mug with your child’s artwork to keep for all eternity. From the first one I’ve seen, I’ve wanted to try it.
Of course, if you’ve read one of these articles, I’m sure you’ve also seen how they just don’t work sometimes. The marker washes off in the dishwasher or just wears off over time. BOO! Well this didn’t deter me. I scoured the internet for the “best” way to accomplish getting Sharpie to stick on a mug. This is no small task, apparently there are many thoughts as to why it doesn’t stick. WhatEVA!! We tried it, I figured we’d at least have fun making them.
When we were discussing what to put on our Sharpie mugs, I knew I wanted to keep it simple. Drawing on a rounded mug would be a major feat for me, let alone Wonder Boy. He of course is in his allthethings Zelda phase, so he wanted to draw the Tri-Force. That was until Paige found these awesome mugs on sale at Etsy for $15 each. The mugs each had a cute kawaii anime face. The designs were simple, cute, and would be perfect on a mug. So we Googled “Kawaii Anime Faces” and found so many choices for simple cute faces that would be easy to draw. Plus, as an added money saving bonus we only needed two of the Sharpie Paint Markers to make it happen.
So let’s get started and make a kawaii anime mug!
Supplies Needed to make Sharpie Mug:
- Ceramic Mug
- Sharpie Oil Based Paint Markers (black and pink)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Cotton balls and swabs
We got our mugs at Michael’s craft store for $2 each, but I’m sure you can find them at the Dollar Tree or even a garage sale. In fact, according to some of the internet sources I read that a cheap mug works better for making a Sharpie mug. Why is a mystery, but that’s what the web says, and you all know that the internet is ALWAYS right *eye roll*. Either way, ours came from Michael’s since we needed to go there for the oil based Sharpies anyway.
Before we start let me give you a quick note on the Sharpies. In my internet wanderings, I’ve seen projects done with regular Sharpies, but many sources said that the Sharpie Oil Based Paint Marker worked the best. In my experience with any oil based paint, it’s meant to stay, so that’s what we went with for our mugs.
Before you begin
Before we started we decided to try and practice our anime faces. Or should I say Wonder Boy and I tried and practiced our faces. Paige, who can draw anime in her sleep, sat down, drew one on a sheet of paper and deemed it what she was putting on her Sharpie mug. Wonder Boy and I had a blast though trying out different faces.
I think we filled up half a dozen sheets of paper just making up different ones. We the picked our favorites and practiced them before selecting. In all honesty it was one of the funnest parts of the project. We laughed at our failures and praised our successes. Either way though I would suggest practicing first, it becomes much harder when taking the kawaii face to a rolling mug.
Instructions for Sharpie Mug
Once you’ve figured out the cute face you want to use you are ready to go. Put some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and clean off the whole mug completely. Then let the mug dry. Once the mug has dried completely you are ready to draw your face. If your Sharpie Paint Markers are new you will need to prime them first so read the directions on the markers before beginning.
Let the drawing begin!
WHOOPS! You made a mistake on your face!! No worries. The alcohol will take it right off. Depending on the size of your error, put some rubbing alcohol on either a cotton ball or cotton swab and use it to remove the paint marker. Super easy, and it’s good to know that the mistakes aren’t permanent. Just make sure you let the mug dry completely before drawing again.
So once our mugs were done, I searched for a way to cure them. Let’s be frank here, no one really has THE answer. If they did, there would only be one answer and instead of the dozen or so I found floating around the internet. So, no matter what, there is always the risk that the marker won’t stick. We, however, chose a mish mash of methods that I believe would give us the best chance of success. First we let them sit on the counter for 3 days. This was to give the paint markers the chance to dry completely. We then put all three mugs on a cookie sheet. Put them in a cold oven, turned the oven up to 400 degrees and baked them for 1 hour.
One thing I am 100% sure about is that you MUST put them in a cold oven. This gives the mugs the chance to heat up slowly so they don’t crack. That would be epically horrible to have a mug crack after waiting 3 days to bake them. Once the hour is over just turn off the oven and let them sit in there until they are completely cooled. Cooling takes a long time, especially when you are 9 years old and want to drink out of your new mug. So my suggestion is to put them in at night and then they will be cool in the morning.
To recap, here are the instructions to make a kawaii anime Sharpie mug:
- Practice drawing kawaii anime faces
- Clean mugs with rubbing alcohol
- Draw faces on mugs with oil based Sharpie Paint Markers
- Fix mistakes with rubbing alcohol
- Let mugs sit on counter for 3 days
- Put mugs on cookie sheet and place in the oven
- Turn oven up to 400 degrees and bake for 1 hour
- Let cool completely
Enjoy your Sharpie mugs with kawaii anime faces! Oh and if you were concerned that Wonder Boy didn’t get to add some Zelda flare to his mug. He put the Tri-Force on the bottom where there was a flat surface so it was easy to draw.
So Did It Work?
So now the REAL question is…did the paint marker stay on the mug? Yes and no. We made these about 4 months ago. Paige’s went into her room and became a pencil holder. So her’s is still flawless.
I’ve used mine about once a week, and although I’ve never put my sharpie mug in the dishwasher it just recently started showing signs of the Sharpie Paint Marker wearing off…sigh. I have to admit I was pretty disheartened since I was just getting ready to write this DIY. Let’s face it, a successful DIY is much better to write than one that states it didn’t really work. I still decided to write it for a couple of reasons. First, we really had fun with this project. So it’s worth doing. Secondly, I was thinking about all the crafts we’ve done that ended in the trash after 2 weeks this one still is in pretty good shape and is functional. So if you are thinking about giving this a try, do. Maybe you’ll get lucky or you can do what Paige did, turn it into a pencil holder.