DIY Sharpie Ceramic Mugs and Cups

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DIY Sharpie Ceramic Mugs and Cups are such a fun family project. Let the kids decorate and give as gifts, they’ll be a treasured memento.

DIY Sharpie Ceramic Mugs and Cups

I have seen this pinned many many times on Pinterest (including pinning it myself!). It sounds so easy and awesome. The only problem I’ve read over and over is that regular Sharpies will come right off after you wash the mug/cup. All the sites recommend hand washing, but that would never happen around here- if we have to hand wash it, it doesn’t ever get used! (and I am sure I am not alone there!) I did read a few comments that people have had much better luck with the oil based Sharpie Paint Pens. I always have the kids make something for the grandparents for Christmas and I knew this would be perfect.

Since I wanted something the grandparents could actually use every day, I went with coffee mugs and tumbler cups so we could color the outside and not have to worry about the paint pens being food safe or not. If you choose a plate, I probably would advise not eating off of it and use it for decoration only :).

I found the mugs and tumbler cups at Ikea of all places- the mugs were $2.99 each and the tumblers were $1.99 each. Score! (You can also find cheap mugs, cups, plates, etc. at dollar stores and thrift stores!) I got the paint pens all shaken up and ready to go for the kids and let them use their imaginations to color all the cups. My oldest definitely had the most fun with it. I had to help the other two along and they lost interest quickly :).

Sharpie Mugs and Cups

Once you’re finished with all your decorating, set them on a baking sheet and allow them to dry for at least 24 hours. Once 24 hours has passed place them in a cold oven (this is important! you want them to heat up with the oven). Turn the oven to 400 degrees and set a timer for 40 minutes. After the 40 minutes is up, turn the oven off and leave the cups to cool with the oven. Once they’re cool they’re ready to use!

The colors didn’t stay as bright as I would have liked but they still turned out awesome, all the grandparents loved them. My mom even washed their coffee mugs in the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle (extra hot!!) and they came out just like they had gone in.  Happy crafting!

These DIY Sharpie Ceramic Mugs and Cups are such a fun family project. Let the kids decorate and give as gifts, they'll be a treasured momento.



  2. What a fun craft idea! I think I’ll try it for scouts!!

  3. Great kid project!!!I’ve been using the oil markers also. Didn’t know you still had to heat them though!Shared a facebook like for you:) Stop by and share a like back:)

  4. I’ve been really wanting to do this with the kids. Stopping by from Pin Me

  5. I just Pinned this! What a great gift idea for the grandparents!

  6. I have seen this before too, but I hadn’t heard that they were handwash only or that the other markers work better. Thanks for the tip! I love the idea of making it a grandparent present. I love the idea of having my children make presents for others so it really comes from them.

  7. Thank you for these instructions! I’ve wanted to do something like this with my girlies, but whenever I’ve decorated mugs with Sharpies, the color comes right off when I wash them. So I will give these oil based markers a try AND will bake them as you suggested. I think this will be a cute idea for Valentine’s day…..maybe fill a painted mug with some homemade treats.

  8. We did this at Christmas and found that the Sharpie wiped right off. It lasts slightly longer with baking but still once the oils from your fingers have time to soak into the ink it comes right off. We ended up redoing our mugs then sealing with a clear acrylic sealer spray.

    • Did the spray help? I just finished adding a clear coat spray to mine and I have no idea if it will be safe to drink out of the coffee cup. O.O

    • Thank you for this comment. I made some mugs for my husband and I. It stay on for a few washes and then rub off. I will try it again with the sealer.

  9. Oh my goodness, you are so talented! You know what I also like? The fact that you come to Whimsy Wednesday each week. We LOVE your creations and inspirations!

    Take care,
    Kelly at Smart School House

  10. Found you on I Gotta Create link up 🙂
    I have been wanting to try these for the longest time. I always see the mugs at the dollar store and I’m so tempted. Glad to hear the oil based sharpies were successful. Now the next time I’m at the dollar store I’ll grab some mugs and give it a go.

  11. Daryl Reding says

    How do you know which sharpies are oil based?
    Is it safe to use after the sealer? Awesome project.

    • They will say “oil based paint pen” on them and they are the kind you have to shake and press the tip down before the paint will come out. I didn’t use any sealer with my project and I’m not totally sure if they are safe to eat off of after baking so I recommend only using the paint pens on surfaces you won’t be directly eating off of, like the outside of the coffee cups. If you’re decorating a plate I’d play it safe and not eat off of it :). Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Great idea – I will have to try this!

  13. I can’t get enough of my Sharpies. I love them. This is a great activity for the kids and for gifts. Thanks so much for sharing at Thriving on Thursdays. I’m featuring this at tomorrow’s party. Hope to see you again some time.

    Anne xx

  14. What a special gift for the grandparents. 🙂 Thanks for linking up to Pin It Tuesday.

  15. Hi Katie,
    Any updates on how these mugs have withstood the test of time? I am hoping to make some over the next few days! Thanks for being so detailed in your steps – it is greatly appreciated! 🙂

  16. This is great. Im thinking about doing this for my daughters birthday. I think it would be a great idea, can’t wait to see if they like it

  17. Before baking you can make corrections with running alcohol.

  18. New Crafternooning Mom says

    Sorry if this has already been answered, but what happens if you put the newly painted mug in the oven less than 24 hours from application?


    • Well, none of us have experienced this situation so unfortunately we cannot give you a definite answer. Readers, if you’ve experienced this, please chime in 🙂

    • I did this, it made the paint tacky again and it smeared. I don’t know if it would have been different if I had waited…

    • I put my mugs in the oven about an hour or so after I had finished decorating and they turned out perfect, I have done this with multiple mugs on multiple occasions and they have all turned out great! I don’t know why yours did that Rainy. The only flaw I have is that after a few runs in the dishwasher the paint may chip off and it can be scratched off. I recommend using a clear coat.

  19. Did you experience any color changing? I used these exact paint pens & followed your instructions to a T. However, after baking my colors changed colors?! The purple turned a pinkish & the blue turned a mossy green. Any ideas?

    • New Crafternooning Mom says

      I experienced the same thing, but was fine with the way it looked.

    • I have had the colors change with regular sharpies, but never with the oil-based.

    • I used the Oil based markers and my blue markers turned a greenish gold color once it had been baked. No more pretty blue on my cups…. I was disappointed, but there was nothing I could do.

  20. Where did u get ur mugs from!

  21. I just love this! I’m gonna make sure to buy those sharpies. I’ve been wanting to make something like these for a while and it could be a cute father’s day gift too! Thanks for the inspiration!

  22. I have the sharpies I am going to try this – thanks for sharing 🙂

  23. Father Day and Summer Activity … Oh yes!!! Thank you for posting.. now I just need to keep an eye out for white mugs … I can’t wait to have them do this.. I am always looking for NO MESS art activities for the girls. Connecting from the SITS DIY Link UP

    • I purchased my coffee mugs at the dollar tree for $1.00. They worked great. The oil based Sharpies are a little on the expensive side but are worth it! I made mugs with initials on them for several family members and they loved them. My first try was a success!

  24. Have you washed these over time? Has the paint come off? Just want to know if it really stays on over time.

  25. Wouldn’t just using any permanent marker work?

  26. Hello. I would love to try this for christmas but they dont sell sharpies in my country.. could you give me an alternative ? Can i just use permanent markers or something ? Thank you

  27. thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
    Made a cheap mug just to test it! Your directions were easy and perfect!!!
    Ran the mug through the dishwasher & it came out perfect! I will be making more now! Thanks so much for the detailed directions!!!

  28. I tried this but didn’t let the cups dry for 24 hours. Some of the paint has been wearing off. I’ll try it again with your tips.

  29. What brand of the marker pens are in your picture? They don’t look like Sharpie brand.
    I wonder if one brand is better than the other.

  30. I found my mugs at Walmart for .88 cents each. Score! Doing a fundraiser. . Needed cheap.

  31. This is my first time visit at here and i am truly happy to read everthing
    at one place.

  32. This seemed to work good for me all except…….all the colors changed. I used a regular black sharpie to write wedding message and it faded, but stayed on. The colors used for design were the oil based sharpie and they changed colors. Was a major change so as to not be able to determine what the colors were, but stayed on. I tried again at 350 for 2 hours and watched closely so I could lower temp if colors began changing. No noticeable change in color and has stayed on. I will not use dollar store products!!!!!! My mugs and plates were better homes and garden PORCELAIN. Not sure which if any made the difference.

  33. Michelle Briseno says

    Thanks for the great directions! I am helping my girls to decorate mugs for my husband for Father’s Day. The mugs are in the oven to seal the paint. I can’t wait to see the finished product. They are 2 and 3 so using markers is a special occasion.

  34. Awesome! Thanks for the tip on the oven! O would have pre-heated it otherwise 😬🙃

  35. Wonderful craft tips!!! I greatly appreciate them!!! Have a great New Year!!! We have done these but the colors washed off so I’m excited to try these tips 😀 Again, thank you!!!


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