We all know how the song goes: “Have a holly jolly Christmas, it’s the best time of the year. I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer!” And literally in Maryland, I don’t know if there will be snow- sometimes it snows, sometimes it doesn’t. There are times when I wish I lived in the Midwest where they get snow every winter. My husband is from the Midwest, so he knows all about it; and he’s been a real gem lately. I’ve been sick a few times this month- the weather’s been changing so much, which gives me a sore throat. I’ve also been feeling super groggy. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to go to work, and I’ve needed some soothing relief. So he’s been making me tea just about every night. This, of course, has sparked a crafty idea: let’s literally make a “cup of cheer” for the holiday season!
For this project you’ll need:
- A ceramic mug (A cheap one. The better the mug is, the less the marker will stick. A cheap mug’s glaze isn’t as strongly adhered, making for a better bond with the marker’s ink. Mine is from the Dollar Store)
- Oil-based permanent markers (I’m using BIC’s Mark It, you can also use Sharpies)
- Your oven!
This project is as simple as 1, 2, 3; and I’m sure you’ve seen this DIY Sharpie mugs before. But let’s put a Christmas twist on it. First, make sure the mug is clean. Rub the entire mug with alcohol to remove all the oils and dirt from the surface. I would recommend practicing your design on a sheet of paper first. Feel free to get some inspiration from Christmas movies, printables, anything holiday related. My mug has a whimsical theme, with inspiration from “The Cat in the Hat” and the Grinch. Once you feel like you know what to draw, you can either wing it and draw your design on the mug, or take a more exact approach by using painter’s tape to create straight lines or drawing parts of your design on with a pencil first. I did the latter. I took a pencil and drew on parts of the design at a time (it was very light and subtle), and then traced it with the marker. That helped a lot! If you make a mistake, wipe it with a small napkin or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. I can’t tell you how many times I had to do this!
Design done? Time for baking! Place the mug on a cookie sheet in the oven, BEFORE it’s fully heated. Then, heat the oven to 400 degrees. I’ve seen online that 350 degrees is enough, but it’s not. It’s not hot enough to get the glaze from the mug and ink to bond fully. Let the mug warm up in the oven while it’s preheating and then when it reaches full temperature, let it bake for 30 minutes. As the mug is in the oven, keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn (you’ll begin to see it turn brown). After 30 minutes, turn the oven off, but do not take the mug out. Let the mug cool in the oven, as taking it out immediately might cause it to crack.
I recommend hand washing this mug. I’ve tried using the dishwasher, but every time, the image eventually wears off. A light scrub in the sink should do the cleaning trick.
And there you have it! Whenever you, or someone else is in need of a little cup of cheer, try lifting their spirits by giving them a personalized mug! Happy DIY!