his DIY has been on my mind for over a year and recently, when I was cleaning out my studio, I found my porcelain paint pen and days later found a blank travel mug at the thrift store. It seemed like it was meant to be. I don't know about you guys but I see these little faux-paper cup travel mugs at thrift stores all the time. Well, I see lots of travel mugs at thrift stores (maybe it's just us up here in coffeetown central, USA, aka the Pacific Northwest with our coffee addiction resulting in a surplus of travel mugs), but these seem relatively easy to come by at the thrift store. So if you're a cheap-o like me, I'd check a local thrift shop first before dropping some bones for a new one. I've noticed that people like to leave their empty paper coffee cups on random shelves at thrift stores too, though, so make sure you're not picking up the dregs of someone's old caramel macchiato. Has anyone else noticed this? I swear every time I thrift I find at least one old, empty Starbucks paper cup left on a shelf of knick knacks. Us thrifters are well-caffeinated folks, I guess. Also, forgetful? Or lazy? I'm not sure which.
If you're making a more complex pattern, like the herringbone pattern I did, you can sketch it on there with a pencil first, to have some light lines to follow. Something more simple, like polka dots, probably wouldn't require this, but I wanted to make sure everything fit right. If you want to just jump right into painting, though, go ahead! I used a straw to help guide my vertical pencil lines so they were parallel and straight. Then I drew in the angled lines.
Next, just follow your pencil template with the paint pen. You'll have to push down on the pen tip to get the ink flowing. I had to push down on mine pretty frequently to make sure the paint flowed freely. Have a scrap piece of paper on hand to prime the pen when you need to. Be careful not to smudge the wet paint.
Set the mug aside and let it air dry for 72 hours. If you want to make your design dishwasher safe, put the mug in the oven at 300ºF for 30 minutes to bake the paint on permanently. Voila! Fancy, custom, reusable travel mug! Drink your hot beverages in style!
I used a white mug, but I know that they sell them in many different colors, so if you wanted a more colorful version, just buy a plain, colored mug instead of a white one and draw on your pattern. At the bottom of the post I included some more fun pattern ideas if you're not into the herringbone. The sky's the limit!
Welcome! We're stoked you're here. Get cozy and we hope you're inspired to create a creative and joy-filled life!