We've been doing a Christmas project after Thanksgiving for the past few years. This year we decided to try these Sharpie mugs that are all over Pinterest.
I picked up some mugs on sale at Crate and Barrel:
Essentially what we'll be doing is decorate the mugs with dots of oil-based Sharpie markers around stickers. There are all sorts of horror stories on Pinterest about the marker just washing off. Turns out you need to use OIL-BASED Sharpie paint markers only. Regular Sharpie markers are not water-safe.
Then I raided my stash of alphabet stickers. Most of the mugs we saw were made using only one letter as an initial . Since we are over-achievers, we decided to go full on with a word or phrase. Plus this way we can use these as gifts for anyone. Of course if you know who you are gifting these to, personalized mugs are wonderful.
We had the best luck with foam stickers. There was some bleeding under the sticker with the very thin ones. Be careful about using flocked stickers - some of the flocking stuck to the adhesive and was very hard to remove. (We know this, of course, because we did it!).
Pretty easy technique - stick on the letter/letters you want to use, making sure the letter is securely stuck to the mug. Then shake up you paint pen and make a few test dots of scrap paper until you get the hang of how the paint flows. The gold and silver paint seems thinner than the other colors.
Now just start making dots around your sticker. Make the dots close together close to the sticker, then start to spread them out a bit as you move outward.
Feel free to do whatever moves you in the dots department - pretty sure you can't go to far wrong ! We made dots on the handle on some.
Mix it up and use more than one color, like the brew mug.
Remove the stickers and see how it looks. With all that dot-dotting, some dots go astray or leak under the sticker. We used a small artist paint brush dipped in nail polish remover to erase the errant dots and remove any residual adhesive front the stickers.
There is a difference of opinion about whether the mugs need to be heat cured to ensure that the dots are permanent. So we opted for the overly cautious approach: Double bake them. Put the mugs on a baking tray and into a cold oven. Heat the oven and mugs to 450 degrees for 30 mins. Cool and repeat. Just to be even more cautious, we added this advice:
Here's the mug-decorating crew at work. Aren't they very focused!
Boston Daughter, Austin Daughter and moi doing the dots.
These easy-peasy mugs make great gifts, assuming we can bear to part with them.
**Update** Breaking news: Texas Daughter (inadvertently) put one of her mugs in the dishwasher and the dots stayed dotty! No washing off, no color fading, so guess the double-bake did its job. Yippee!