The Proven Way To Make Your Sharpie Mug Design Stick

You must have already seen the sharpie mug tutorials all over the internet. They are possibly one of the cutest DIY presents people will actually want to receive. They are definitely a great way to add personality to your own mug collection too. Did you already try making them, but it didn’t work? We’ve put together the proven tricks to make the perfect mugs with a durable design, even in the dishwasher!


What you'll need:


Oil based paint sharpie markers


Alcohol wipes

Ear buds (optional)

Masking tape (optional)



The first and most important thing is what type of sharpie you are using. Regular sharpie will not work. What you need to use instead is an oil based paint sharpie. The second thing you need are really cheap mugs. Besides being wallet-friendly, cheap mugs usually come with a low quality glaze. This is usually a bad thing, but not in this case. Low quality glazes are less resistant to the marker at high temperatures, thus can absorb it better in the oven.



Even though most people don’t stress this enough, it is very important to clean the mug with alcohol wipes before you start drawing your design. It’s also a good idea to wipe your fingers as well. This will remove any grease that can otherwise smudge the fine lines of your design.



Alcohol is also useful for correcting any mistakes you might make while drawing. Dip an ear bud in alcohol and use it to erase the parts you don’t like. Using ear buds as an eraser is much more precise than using your fingers, as some people recommend.



Depending on your design, you might need masking tape to draw perfect straight lines across the mug. Many people recommend sealing the design with acrylic spray, but these are usually toxic, so avoid using them. However, some people use acrylic spray only to seal designs on the bottom of the mug. They recommend covering the top of the mug with masking tape when doing this.



Well, when you look at it that way, you’ll ask yourself the inevitable question: aren’t sharpies toxic too? The short answer is yes. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make these adorable mugs. Luckily, no one has complained yet. If you’re still worried, choose a design that encircles the bottom of the mug, like this one here:



Once you have your designed mug, you must let it dry for 24 hours. Many people bake the mugs after an hour or two, but most of them get poor results. When you let the paint dry completely before baking, there is less chance the design to chip off or fade when washed.



Once you have let your design dry, it’s baking time! The formula is as follows: bake the mugs at temperature of 350 degrees for half an hour. But the trick is to put the mugs in the oven while it is cold. Start counting those 30 minutes once the oven reaches 350 degrees. When the time is up, turn your oven off and leave the mugs inside until it cools completely. Do not open the oven at any time. This is very important, because any sudden change in temperature will cause the mugs to crack.

As for the maintenance, hand washing is always best, but if done right, the design can hold in a machine washer too.



Follow these tips and you will have the perfect mugs with design that will not fade or chip off for a long, long time, if ever. Do you know of any other proven ways to get the sharpie design stick? Share your experience with us!