One of the main reasons why I craft is that we can create things that we wouldn’t be able to buy in stores. And what better way to express your unique self and personality? Here is a great example of doing just that: hand painted mugs. As you may have been able to predict, we went with botanical and floral theme for our custom mugs, but you can illustrate anything you want using the magic of porcelain paint markers. This is a beyond fantastic DIY gift idea, and it is super easy make. Get the kids in on this project for a great family bonding activity!
Tools & Materials
- White Porcelain Mug
- Carbon Paper
- Porcelain Paint Marker (Pebeo Porcelaine 150 in Amazonite Green)
- Porcelain Paint (Pebeo Porcelaine 150 in Malachite Green)
- Painter’s Tape
Find some of these materials in Shop This Project below.
- Gather the tools and materials listed above.
- Wrap tape around the bottom of the mug to create a guide for placement of the houseplant drawings.
- Cut out one plant from the PDF template with a piece of carbon paper in the same size. Tape it to your mug with the front of the carbon paper facing the mug and the template on top.
- Trace the houseplant drawing with a sharp pencil.
- The carbon paper will leave a faint imprint of the drawing on the mug.
- Trace this imprint with paint marker.
- Continue drawing houseplants, waiting for each to dry before moving on to the next to avoid smearing.
- Remove tape and wait for drawing to dry completely.
- Use paint to fill in the plants, leaving pots unpainted.
- Let mug dry for 24 hours and then bake in 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. Refer to your porcelain paint instructions for more detailed guidelines.
Follow our photo tutorial below for visual guidance to creating your own hand painted mugs!
The PDF template below includes all of the botanical illustrations from our house plant mug. You can print it onto a sheet of carbon paper in order to transfer the design directly on to your mugs. To get the line of botanicals as straight as possible, we added a strip of painters tape around the bottom of the mug for reference. Our other mugs were drawn freehand while looking at botanical images we found online. If you want to do a bit of practice before making your final mugs, we recommend picking up some basic dishes from your local second-hand store, like a Goodwill or Salvation Army. Instead of illustrating botanicals onto your mugs, you can also use this tutorial to write your favorite quotes!
The best part is that it is super easy to remove any marker if you make a mistake. Spray some standard surface cleaner onto a paper towel or cotton swab and wipe away the paint. Just remember you can only do this before baking the mugs to set the paint. We also recommend that do not draw any designs close to the lip of the mug. The markers and paint are non-toxic, but it’s always good to be safe!
We initially came up with this idea for a fabulous Mother’s Day gift, but of course you can make some for yourself to enjoy too. Browse through some of our other favorite Mother’s Day gift ideas, or head to our Mother’s Day DIY section for inspiration. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see what we’re up to daily, or join our creative community to start crafting with us. Do you have a DIY idea that you want us to bring to life? Leave your requests and suggestions in the comments below. Enjoy! ~ Lia & Team
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