Use a Sharpie Marker to Decorate a Coffee Mug

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I’ve seen this craft all over the web and thought it was high time that I take my Sharpie markers and start decorating ceramics! I’ve read that if you bake the ceramic after you’ve decorated then it makes the pen stay on the piece of crockery permanently. Only time will tell on this one!

To decorate a coffee mug, you’re going to need a plain mug – any colour will do and some Sharpie marker pens.

Use a Sharpie Marker to Decorate a Coffee Mug

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UPDATE! Turns out that regular Sharpie markers do not hold up so well – after several washes, they’ve all but faded *sad face* on the look out for a way to make this last!!

UPDATE #2 I discovered POSCA Pens in 2017, and they work on ceramic and porcelain (and so many more materials!). You have to bake the mugs afterwards for 45 minutes at 200C. I’ve also read that cheaper mugs work best for this craft. Check out the test results sheet from POSCA which gives full details about all the materials you can use these pens on.  You can also use oil-based Sharpie Paint Pens, which I didn’t even know existed until recently.

  • I bought some cheap (80p) plain mugs from the local supermarket – I would advise you do the same – you don’t want to go ruining expensive stuff!
  • I already had a pack of different coloured Sharpie markers – I love them! But you can pick up the plain black markers for a couple of quid.
  • Clean and dry your mug thoroughly before starting your design work.
  • Before you start drawing on your mug, plan out your design first and then draw! I made a little mistake and I used a tiny bit of nail polish remover (acetone) to get rid of the pen.
  • Leave your mug to dry for 24 hours before baking it.
  • Place your mug in a cold oven and turn the heat up to the maximum and leave for half an hour. (That’s gas mark 9 for me) Turn off the oven and leave your mug to cool down overnight. You need to do this so that they don’t crack.
  • On my first baking, I found that the coloured sharpies faded, but the black was fine. I re-drew over the colours and baked again as above. This time, the colours stayed. I think it may have helped that I had the design facing outwards, away from the gas flame. If you try this out in an electric oven, please let me know the results!
  • I’ve yet to put them to the washing up test, but ran a cold tap over them and rubbed over the design and nothing moved – so far so good!
  • Turn your mug (or mugs) into a gift for Christmas by adding a packet of coffee or tea and wrapping up in some cellophane or inside a gift box!

If you have a go at this, do let me know! I’d love to hear how the results turned out for you. I have read so many different ways of doing this craft and it would seem it can be quite trial and error! Me, I can’t wait to create some more Sharpie art on ceramics :D

This post is part of Cook, Craft, Create: December 2013, why not check out the other ideas this season?

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