cobberson sharpie mug diy

So I’m sure by now you’ve seen the personalized Sharpie mugs all over Pinterest, and all the “sharpie-mug-fail/ too-good-to-be-true” pins and blog posts out there.  After doing a lot of reading, I just had to take a stab at the project, using all the helpful hints I found.  I came up with the idea to have a little checklist of coffee & tea fixings written on the mug, with little boxes painted with chalkboard paint where you could fill in your preferences like at Starbucks.


My idea resulted in both success and failure- success in that the oil-based Sharpie worked like a charm and has yet to wash off; failure came with attempting to use the chalkboard paint on ceramic.  It just comes right off in one piece like that weird peel off nail polish.

In the end, I’m happy with how the mug turned out.  Want to give it a shot?  Here’s how:

What you’ll need:

Pay no mind to that chalkboard paint behind the red X!




Before you start, wash and dry the mug to remove any dirt or oils.

Cut the transfer paper and the printed design to the same size.  Place the printed design over the transfer paper and tape to mug using masking tape.




Trace the design using a ball point pen.  Don’t go crazy trying to press really hard while tracing.  It will work just fine using your normal handwriting pressure.

Remove the printed design.  I removed mine in sections, line by line, so I wouldn’t smudge other areas when I began working with the Sharpie.


Trace over the transferred lines using the oil-based paint Sharpie.  Make sure it’s oil based- this seems to be where people have been running into trouble.  Regular Sharpies tend to wash off or just wear off with normal use, despite claims that baking the finished mug in the oven will make the ink permanent.  The oil-based paint is intended for use on things like ceramic and glass.


Since I don’t have the steadiest hand, I really needed a stencil to make the perfect circles in this design.  I ended up using a sheet of stickers (after the stickers had been removed and I was left with a sheet of empty circles), cut out individual circles and placed them around the guides I had transferred.

Here’s where I ran into trouble with the chalkboard paint.  I filled in the sticker circles with the paint and allowed it to dry for about 10 minutes.


When I went to peel off the sticker stencils, I ended up with these:


The layer of paint peeled right off, still contained in the little stencils.   So I nixed the chalkboard idea, reapplied new sticker stencils, and simply added the circle outlines and check marks.


Use an eraser to remove any stray transfer paper marks and you’re finished.  Some bloggers baked their mugs when using the oil based marker, just to be on the safe side.  I decided to go all wildcard and skip the baking, and it seems to be fine with normal hand washing.


Have you ever tried making a Sharpie mug before?  How did it turn out?

Find more DIY project tutorials here.  Happy crafting!



3 Comments on DIY: Personalized Sharpie mug

    • Good to know! I had to brush it on in such a thick layer, I was sure it would run all over the place if I removed the stencil too soon. I have a spare mug, so I'll definitely give it a try. Thanks!

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