Monday, January 6, 2014

Being Crafty: Sharpie Mugs (Do's and Don'ts) Part 1 of 2

I first found this idea on Pinterest and thought it would be a fun project to try and maybe even a personalized gift idea - mugs you design with Sharpie pens.

I did this sharpie mug project two times. Before I dive into what I did right (the second time) I will try to explain what I did the first time so you won't make the same mistake I did - not that it was a big mistake but a learning process I would prefer NOT to repeat.

When I first saw the idea to make Sharpie mugs I immediately thought "how easy and cute, I already have tons of Sharpie's around the house". I found a white mug, gathered up some Sharpie markers and started on my design. 

These are just your everyday permanent Sharpie marker (NOT what you want to use on mugs!)

To make my design I simply used Microsoft Word, typed the letter and picked a font I wanted and made the font big so it would fit the mug. I printed it on white printer paper, and cut out the letter (leaving a border around the letter), positioned it on the mug and taped it down to hold it without the paper slipping around while I traced. What happen was good, actually! Sharpie pens tend to bleed through thin paper which left the outline of the letter I was tracing on the mug (I'm terrible at freehand). I went back and darkened the outline directly on the mug. I really apologize I don't have a picture to show this process. 

Doing the whole printer letter, tracing on mug thing really worked! I would highly recommend this to everyone!

Next I added the colored dots around the black letter with my colored Sharpies. I noticed some were smearing. I would leave the mug to dry for a bit but it wouldn't really ever dry and continued to smear. 

Once the design was complete on the mug I put the mug in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

The design still smeared a little bit. Well, that wasn't very helpful because the first drop of water the mug would touch, the design would wash away. 

I needed to seal it somehow and found a clear sealant. I found mine at Walmart in the craft section. For this you want the clear coat (I also got Matte finish) and made sure it says it will work on porcelain material. I turned my mugs upside down so the clear sealant wouldn't get inside the mug. Read the directions on the can before you spray. I did a light coat all around. In one small area I got to much sealant and the designed smeared a little. After that smearing incident, I made sure to do a very light, even coat around the mug. I let it dry and repeated the process about 4 times just to make sure the design was good and sealed so it wouldn't smear again.

This is the kind of clear matte finish sealant I used.

It did work! - no more smears! It could be hand washed only! It is not dishwasher safe. It was quite the process to go through and knew there had to be an easier way to make these Sharpie mugs.

Here are the only pictures I have of this mug! Honestly I love how the design turned out. I just didn't like the smearing of the Sharpie pens.

So to do a quick recap of the first time I did this Sharpie mug and what I learned here is my list of Do's and Don'ts:

  • Use any mug you would like.
  • Use any design or font you would like.
  • You can find a font or design online, print it on printer paper, and trace it onto the mug.
  • Bake the mug in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Do NOT use just any Sharpie pen - it take a special kind - the Oil-Based Sharpie pens is what you want!
  • If you use the Oil-Based Sharpie pens you don't need to use the sealant coat.

- Susan

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