Hi! Today I want to teach you all about how to draw on a coffee mug – and set it permanently! I’d been looking for something new to do for awhile, and here it is. A long time ago I wanted to do some artwork on a plain white coffee cup just for kicks, and I did.
I had fun, but I’m pretty sure back then I was using the regular Sharpie pens used to label stuff with. Now the design is still intact, but since I only used it as a catch-all for pens and pencils, it never went through the “litmus test” of washing it to see if my design would remain.
So if you want your design to stick and not fade or wash off, you have to use the RIGHT kind of tools, which I’ll tell you all about in this post!
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Can you draw on plain white ceramic mugs with a Sharpie? I say YES! However, it’s all a matter of getting the RIGHT kind of Sharpies. Now although I have scads of markers at my fingertips, the trouble is they are all water or alcohol-based.
Mastering how to draw on a coffee mug is all about using the right pen type, first you need some markers that are oil-based so your design will be permanent.
I saw this 5-pack on Amazon which appears to be pretty popular.
I almost bought it, only issue is it includes a white marker and since I don’t have any colored ceramic stuff that a white pen would show up on, I passed it on, and ended up picking out my preferred colors a la carte instead.
You can also get “extra fine” as well as “fine” (I picked up two extra fine by mistake, but it turned out that the tip does produce very good inkflow. So you can’t go wrong with either.
You’ll also need at least one plain white mug, or it can be another color as long as it has no writing on it you can write on it with light colors that will show up.
Next, you’ll need some paper and pencil, and (optional) some tape. These mugs I’ve got here are a little smaller than the average 11-oz, but I think they’re cute, and a set of 2 at that, means I get to come up with two unique designs!
Before you get started, dab a little rubbing alcohol around the surface of the mug as this will help the ink from the pens stick better. It would be a good idea to do this a few hours or the day before.
What Do You Want to Draw?
Now you may need to do a little brainstorming for a design you want to draw on the mug. I already have a shop on Etsy showcasing mugs with my own designs on them, so I used a couple of my favorites.
Etsy as well as platforms like Pinterest are GREAT for finding ideas, you can come across some funny memes or sayings (just don’t copy, but you can re-use a funny saying, or do your own spin on it )
Once you’ve finally decided on an idea, it’s time to execute it….Get a sheet of paper and pencil because we’re going to transfer our idea.
You can use it to transfer your final design on the mug so it will be flawless and easy to color over. I took a piece of paper and taped it over the spot that I wanted the design to be . Not the same as tracing, but it did help to get the proportions correct.
Drawing Your Designs
These pens have the roller ball thingy in them, so you’ll have to do the act of depressing the pen tip and then shake, shake shake with the cap on. Have some practice paper nearby to test out your pens’ inkflow first.
My pens were brand new and it probably took about a minute and a half per pen to get the ink to flowing.
Now comes the fun, you’re ready to draw your design! As a special tip, I have learned that these kinds of pens tend to “re-wet” when you try to draw over them, so best to keep designs simple.
I discovered that when attempting to add a little dimension to the moka espresso pot and the ball of yarn. Yes, that is a funny double entendre bit of humor aimed at knitters 🙂 It is based on one of my original Etsy store designs.
I think it got a few “hearts” (sales, I’m not sure…)
Although you want to avoid mistakes for the obvious reason these pens are permanent – if you do, don’t panic😳 . I did read a comment from someone that a little dab of Purell will correct a minor error.
When you are happy with your design…Now to set it on your mug or mugs permanently, they will need to do a little oven time. The recommended setting is 350 degrees for thirty minutes.
As a important note I want to point out these can be hand washed, but don’t put them in the dishwasher (found a source that told me.) Now my dishwasher quit working last month so it’s a moot point anyway.
Now you know how to draw on a coffee mug and create a design that will last! Enjoy your new hand drawn mugs – perhaps think about giving a few as gifts? Somebody you know is bound to LOVE getting one of these!🎁
Better yet, you could have a fun night-in with some friends or organize a party and have everybody create their own fun custom mug…the possibilities are endless 👍Have fun!