DIY: Easy Monogram Mug

ReLocatedLiving_DIYInitialMugs_16 copy

Want to make sure you are invited back to next year’s Holiday Party?  Be sure to arrive with a thoughtful hostess gift.  Sure I could go with a bottle of wine, I especially like the botle dipped in gold I featured in my stylish, budget friendly Holiday Gift Guide, but this year, I wanted to do something that felt a little more personal.  And, nothing says personal like a DIY Monogram gift.

I seem to be on a bit of a Monogram kick at the moment, all my gifts are wrapped and labelled with my Chalkboard Monogram printables. Enter the Easy DIY Monogram Mug. My inspiration for this project came from here and here, but I wanted to give my initial mugs my own twist and my own aesthetic.  The mug pictured at top is what I came up with.  I like how it came out, particularly the two toned effect.

If you would like to replicate this easy, modern DIY project you will need:

1) Plain white mugs – you can find inexpensive one at your local thrift store or local dollar store

2) Sharpie pens – I chose silver and gold for a more festive look.  There’s a lot of debate about whether to use plain old sharpie pens or specialized porcelain pens for projects of this sort.  I used the plain old sharpie pens because that’s what I had on hand, but I’m certain the results would be more permanent with a more expensive porcelain pen.

3) Alphabet Stickers –  My stickers were just $1, but I’m pretty sure that if you got more expensive labels with stronger adhesion, you will likely get less paint bleed.  My paint bled a little under the labels, the down side of stickier labels is that they may not be as easy to peel off.

The photos below provide an illustrated tutorial on what to do.  I baked my mugs for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, then let them cool down slowly in the oven turned off.  So technically they were still baking for a while longer, however, I’m not convinced that the heat created the necessary bond between with mug’s glaze and the pen’s ink.  That said, I had the foresight to write  “Handwash” at the base of each mug.  Many of the DIY sharpie mug tutorials out there say that they are dishwasher safe.  Personally, I’m not convinced.

If you go here, there’s an interesting article about the use of sharpies vs. oil-based pen, baking temperatures, etc.  The author sounds like she’s really explored the limits of this kind of project and provides tips based on her experience.  Of course, I read it after the fact.

Since it is the Holidays I decided to dress up my mugs for giving.  I found gorgeous gourmet chocolate squares by a local new American chocolatier named Tcho.  The packaging makes the chocolate bars look like modern coasters, so I thought they would be perfectly paired with my DIY Monogram Mugs. I then packaged in a little cellophane bag and topped them off with a little ornament.

I think  little effort goes a long way with this project and I’m very pleased with the overall results.   Let’s hope the recipients like them as much as I do!


Finally, if you like this DIY project but just don’t have the time to pull it off, Anthropologie has a great selection of ready made Initial Mugs.

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