One thing that I think makes a handmade gift special is how personalized it can be. This is what I love about the hand painted mug craft seen all over the Internet. Customizing a mug for any man in your life is pretty simple. Just think of some sort of inside joke or shared interest that the two of you have. It’s pretty easy to think of a shared interest or joke for brothers, fathers, friends, grandparents, and boyfriends/husbands.
I’m doing these tutorials from a husband prospective, so the mug I made is for him. I chose the phrase “ditto” because it has special meaning to us. We dated in high school, but our parents didn’t want us to have a relationship so young, so we tried to hide it from people for a while. We thought we were so clever by switching out the words “I love you,” with “ditto.” I’m not sure if anyone was fooled by our clever code, though. 🙂
Here is how you make a hand painted mug with the most success:
Handmade Gifts for Guys: Hand Painted Mug
- Inexpensive mug: the cheaper the better. You want one that has a cheap glaze because the more the paint is able to seep through the glaze, the longer the design will last. My mug was under $2 from Target.
- Oil-based paint markers: do not use regular Sharpie markers! Regular markers will not soak into the glaze properly. Use markers like these for the best results.
- Rubbing alcohol
- Masking tape
Clean the mug with soap and water, then once the mug is dry, rub the surface that you want to paint with rubbing alcohol. This will help remove anything that makes the paint not stick to the mug.
Block out the area that you want to paint with masking tape. I used it to mark the height of my letters and where I wanted the paint to go. The picture can give you more of an idea of how I did it. I have trouble with letter spacing, so I marked on the tape the placement for each letter.
Mark your design with masking tape. I started with a general outline and then filled in the letters as the whim took me.
Let the mug dry for 24-48 hours. I read that this was one of the biggest keys to whether your design would stick or not. Do not skip!
Place the mug in a cold oven. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Once the oven reaches temperature, allow the mug to cook for 30-45 minutes. Turn off the oven, and allow the mug to cool inside the oven to room temperature. If you do not gradually bring the temperature up and down while heating the mug, it could crack and destroy your hard work.
Some users report that after this, the mugs are dishwasher safe. Others say the design will still wear and chip. There are probably a lot of factors that go into whether or not the design will actually be dishwasher safe (like the brand of paint or the thickness of the original glaze), but for best results, hand wash the mugs. Or, if you don’t care a whole lot, stick it in the dishwasher and see what happens!
Check out these other awesome handmade gifts for guys!