Simple DIY Painted Mug For The Holidays

I am so ready for the cold weather; I know most people love sunny days and summer, but winter is my absolute favorite time of year! I love the crisp bite in the air and the snow on the ground, and my favorite thing is coming inside out of the cold and warming up with a big mug of hot chocolate. I’m already excited for winter, so I made myself a cute DIY painted mug for the holiday season!

Make a cute DIY painted mug for the holidays with paint pens and adhesive stencils! Great neighbor gifts!

This project only took about ten minutes (besides the baking to set the paint on the mug) and it turned out great—I love drinking hot chocolate out of fun DIY mugs! These mugs also make the perfect holiday gift for friends and neighbors. You could even give homemade hot chocolate mix in a little baggie along with the mug; just add hot water or milk to make a delicious cup of hot chocolate!

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How To Paint A Mug With Paint Markers

  • 10 minutes (time spent doing stuff)
  • 26 hours (time spent waiting around)
  • 26 hours 10 minutes (total project time)

Equipment

Materials

Supplies needed for making DIY painted mugs

Instructions

Start by washing your mug with soap and water, then toweling it dry. Clean any area you plan to paint using a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol; this will remove any oils or grease from your fingers.

Then all that’s left is to paint your mug! I used Elmer’s Painters opaque paint markers, which are designed to work on ceramics. Just shake the marker, depress the tip on a clean paper towel a few times until the paint starts flowing, then draw on your mug.

Use paint pens to make a simple DIY painted mug

I like using the Painters opaque paint markers on mugs because the colors stay really true, even after you bake them (some other paints gets pretty dark after they’re baked in the oven), plus the painted mug is washable and the paint holds up for years and years!

The mug I used already had a raised design on it, so I just added some color to the raised parts. I also used my adhesive stencils to add a few ornaments for extra holiday cheer.

Use paint pens and adhesive stencils to make a simple DIY painted mug

Just make sure when using stencils to really push the edges of the stencil down firmly before painting; you don’t want any paint to seep under the edges and ruin your design! If you do get any stray marks, you can always wipe the paint away with a paper towel. The paint doesn’t really stick to the mug super well until it’s fully dried and then baked, so you have a 5-10 minute window where you can wipe away any extra paint.

Make a simple DIY painted mug using paint pens and adhesive stencils

Set the mug aside and let the paint dry for 24 hours. Then stick the mug in a cold oven on a cookie sheet. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees F and let the mug warm up in the oven as it preheats; this will help prevent the mug from cracking due to a quick temperature change.

Bake your DIY painted mug to cure the paint and make it washable

Once the oven has reached 350, set a timer for 30 minutes and leave the mug in the hot oven. When the timer goes off, turn off the oven, but leave the mug in the oven while it cools down; again you don’t want to subject the mug to a rapid change in temperature or it could crack.

When the mug and the oven have cooled down, take the mug out of the oven and it’s ready for use!

Make a cute DIY painted mug for the holidays with paint pens and adhesive stencils! Great neighbor gifts!

I wash all of my handmade mugs by hand (even my washable Sharpie mug), just to ensure that the design lasts. But after curing for 24 hours and baking for half an hour, these mugs should, in theory, be top-rack dishwasher safe.

The dishwasher can be really rough on your dishes though, so the design may not last as long. I figure it’s always safer to wash by hand, and we have to wash dishes every day anyway, so it’s not too much hassle. 🙂

Make a cute DIY painted mug for the holidays with paint pens and adhesive stencils! Great neighbor gifts!

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Holiday adhesive craft stencils
Painters opaque paint markers
Ceramic mug
Make a cute DIY painted mug for the holidays with paint pens and adhesive stencils! Great neighbor gifts!

How To Paint A Mug With Painters Opaque Paint Markers

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Make a cute DIY painted mug for the holidays—all you need are paint markers and adhesive stencils. They're easy to make and they make great holiday gifts!
Active Time 10 mins
Drying/Curing Time 1 d 2 hrs
Total Time 1 d 2 hrs 10 mins
Yield 1 painted mug
Cost $8

Materials

  • 1 plain white mug
  • rubbing alcohol
  • cotton balls or cotton pads

Instructions
 

  • Wash the mug with soap and water, then towel it dry. Clean any area you plan to paint using a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol to remove any oils or grease from your fingers.
  • Paint your mug however you'd like! Just shake the paint marker, depress the tip on a clean paper towel a few times until the paint starts flowing, then draw on your mug.
    hands using painters opaque paint markers on a white ceramic mug
  • Place an adhesive stencil on your mug and paint inside of it to add a little holiday cheer. Be sure to push the edges of the stencil down firmly so no paint seeps under the stencil.
    hands using painters opaque paint pens and adhesive stencils on a white ceramic mug
  • Set the mug aside and let the paint dry for 24 hours.
    painters opaque paint markers above painted white ceramic mug
  • After 24 hours, put the mug in a cold oven on a cookie sheet. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees F and let the mug warm up in the oven as it preheats.
    Bake your DIY painted mug to cure the paint and make it washable
  • Once the oven has reached 350, set a timer for 30 minutes and leave the mug in the hot oven. When the timer goes off, turn off the oven, but leave the mug in the oven while both the mug and oven cool down. Once the mug is room temperature, you're done!

Notes

If you get any stray marks while painting your mug, you can wipe them away with a paper towel. The paint doesn’t really stick to the mug super well until it’s fully dried and then baked, so you have a 5-10 minute window where you can wipe away any extra paint.
After curing for 24 hours and baking for half an hour, these mugs should *in theory* be top-rack dishwasher safe. But the dishwasher can be really rough on your dishes, so to be safe I always wash my painted mugs by hand.

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Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Laura says

    4 years ago

    I have a charity auction coming up and I have to put together a basket for a silent auction geared at men. I have two jar mugs but they’re clear. Do you think it would work for me to paint the whole jar or do you think that would be too much? I was thinking a camo design or something to make it manly.

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      3 years ago

      I wouldn’t paint the top inch of the mug; you don’t want paint where you would put your mouth to drink out of it. But you could paint the rest of it!

  2. Abi says

    4 years ago

    I was curious how these paint pens compare the the Sharpie Oil Based paint markers. Which do you suggest for diy mugs?
    I really like your mug! It’s cute! 🙂

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      4 years ago

      I know the Sharpie oil based markers work really well and are pretty permanent if you’re careful when washing the mugs. So far these pens are working great as well, but I haven’t been using this mug as long as I’ve been using my Sharpie mug, so I can’t really say yet how long it’ll last with regular hand washings.

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