DIY Gifts: Mugs + Ceramic Paint Pen

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing gift ideas, including gifts to buy and gifts to make yourself.  Some of the DIY gifts will require prior knowledge in a particular area (mostly sewing, but possibly also knitting), but this one is something everyone can do (even kids!).

For the past few years, one of the easiest DIY gifts I’ve made (for lots of different people) is a hand-decorated ceramic mug.  I originally got the idea from DesignMom.  The first year, I used her idea of doing monogrammed mugs, but since then, I’ve branched out and done other designs.  All you need are ceramic/porcelain mugs (I usually get mine really cheap from Christmas Tree Shops, but you could also look for them at antiques/thrift stores), a porcelain marker (I use the Porcelaine 150 marker), and an oven.  The marker bakes on (follow the instructions that comes with the marker).  The marker is microwave and dishwasher safe, so be sure to choose mugs that are also dishwasher and microwave safe.  I made a mug for my mom about two years ago, and we’ve used it in both the dishwasher and microwave with no problems.

This year, I made four such mugs (so far) for my grandparents and two of my cousins.  I gave them to them yesterday, so I can show them to you now!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made this one for my cousin Iris back in the summer (for Christmas, though).  I “borrowed” a design I saw online.  It is the same on both sides.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the first mug that I wrote on the inside of.  I really like the idea of getting to the message at the bottom once you’ve finished your drink.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis one was for my cousin Jacqui.  If you aren’t a Harry Potter fan, you probably won’t understand what the saying means; it is a spell from the Harry Potter books/movies that summons something.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was on the back of the “Accio Coffee” mug.   My cousin really likes both Harry Potter and coffee, so I thought it was fitting.  Again, I was inspired by a mug I saw online.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor my grandparents’ mugs, I chose quotes and then free-handed the lettering.  This one was for my grandpa.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo help my grandparents differentiate between their mugs, I wrote ‘Poppy’ and ‘Nanny’ on the handles.


On the bottom of each of the mugs, I write a message, such as the one below.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is such an easy DIY and the mugs are so easy to customize for someone in particular!  If you have any questions about the process, be sure to check out the tutorial on DesignMom.  Enjoy!

Note: I have seen many people do similar mugs using Sharpies and then baking them on.  I have heard that the marker usually wears off, especially if you don’t hand wash the dishes, but have never tried it myself.  I recommend getting the Porcelaine 150 marker, since I can attest that it won’t wear off, even if you consistently put it in the dishwasher.