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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

DIY Mother's Day Mugs

(I know, 3 posts in a weeks time, I'm a crazy woman!)

Soooo... are you all ready for Mother's Day? Or are you (like me) still running around getting things together? Well, here is ONE MORE gift that doesn't suck that you can definitely throw together at the last minute. Get to it. You've got 4.5 days.
(Side note: Sam's Grandmas, would you kindly avert your eyes until after the 12th? Thanksamillion)

I needed a gift for Sam to give to his Grandmas. This one includes baby finger prints... but really could be anything you want it to. Take this idea, personalize it, spin it however you want.
Both of the Grandmas are tea fanatics. Hot or cold-- but mostly hot. They always are toting around their mugs or hot tea sipping away. So I thought a personalized mug to sip their tea out of would be fantastic. I did a little searching on pinterest for some help. I found this handprint mug, and I said YES! and I found this wine glass which made me laugh, and I thought well, you can sip wine, you can sip tea-- whatever your vice is, I think it works.

I happened to have a couple white ceramic mugs laying around because we recently got some new dishes, and each place setting came with a mug. Even though we wanted place settings for 12 I didn't feel like I would ever need mugs for 12... so we kept about half of them, and put the other half in storage. But when I thought of this project, I went ooh free!!!
If you don't have plain ceramic mugs laying around... you can get these at the dollar store very inexpensively.
The only other thing you need is enamel paint. I used FolkArt Enamel in Burnt Umber and Foliage, purchased at craft supply store for about $2 each.
I started trying to free-hand my lettering with a tiny paintbrush... and I just don't have a steady enough hand. So I wiped that attempt off and went for plan B: a stencil. I got out my silhouette machine and quickly make a vinyl stencil for my letters. the stencil is a leeeeeetle finicky to  get it to lay correctly on a curved surface, but I fiddled with it a little and got it good enough.
Then I just dabbed my paint over the stencil-- waited about a minute for it to dray a smidge, then dabbed on a second coat. I peeled the stencil off while it was still wet... there were a few places where it had bled a bit, but that cleaned up fairly easily with a cotton swab, or if it has already dried too much, you can use an exacto knife to carefully scrape away the unwanted paint.
You can see my lettering is not perfect, but I felt like it looked good enough. Again, if you have a steady hand and good penmenship, you could free hand the lettering and it would likely be much much faster. I waited for the lettering to completely dry before adding the baby handprints on the side. It took my husband and I wrangling the toddler to make the handprint happen, and even still it was chaos, and somehow the dog ended up covered in paint-- so i don't have pics of that part. But... grab a small hand, paint on a thin coat of paint, press straight down and pull straight up, and wait for your hand print to dry. Try to block out the screams of childhood trauma from your *willing assistant. (*and by 'willing', I mean a toddler horrified that his hand is dirty and he is being held down, and hates craft time with mommy even more than he hates naptime.) Oh, I also freehanded the little heart on the 'tea bag'.
To cure the enamel paint (make it permanant) the bottle says you can let it air dry for 21 days (um, right, because you planned ahead and have 21 days to sit on this project) OR you can let it air dry for 1 hour, bake it for 30 minutes and let it cool. Um, I'll take door number 2 please. So here are my mugs sitting in the oven (please don't judge my dirty gross oven). As per the instructions, I placed them in a cold oven, turned it on to 350 degrees, once it had heated I set my timer for 30 mins, and when it went off, I turned the oven off to let them cool. I came back a couple hours later and everything was cooled and looked great!
 And there you have it! These will be stuffed with some tea, tied with a ribbon, and should be in the mail today on the way to Sam's Grandmas for Mother's day. I hope they love them, I think they turned out cute.
This was another pretty inexpensive gift-- you know me, gifting on the cheap! I only paid about $5 for the paint. If you didn't have mugs, you might be in the project more like $8-10, but still that's only $4 or $5 dollars for a nice personal mug, with leftover supplies (paint) for more projects.

So that's it! I hope you have been inspired to make something handmade for your mama or grandmother, or any special women in your life this mother's day! If you didn't see my other gift ideas (with tutorials!) check them out here and here.


  1. Super cute - and what a great idea for Mother's Day. My son is 18 months and while I love all the handprint crafts out there - I fear for the state of my house and can imagine his handprints on my walls and carpet. You are brave! :)

  2. Aw I love this idea!! My mom's bday is in 2 weeks….I think I'll make her one She loves stuff like this!Great post – thank you!

  3. What a nice gift idea! It may be less expensive, but the effort and love attached to the process of printing those mugs are definitely priceless. Not to mention that those are really cute. Haha!

    Tracy Webb