Mugging for the Camera

My coffee addiction takes center stage this week

Oh hey, I didn’t see ya there,

I love a goofy mug and I do own a ton. From one that just has the X-men to a set of espresso mugs that say “just divorced,” I use them all. As people return to offices, goofy mug culture will also return. So this week we are doing baked mugs. These are pretty easy, but there are a couple of tricks that make them work a lot better. 

First, you have to pick a mug. The less glaze on the mug the better. Look for one with some texture. I couldn’t find the best version of this, but it looks something like this.

They will work the best for this. I, unfortunately, used one that was less than matte, but it worked ok. 

You will also need oil-based permanent markers. The oil-based versions of sharpie or art pens will work the best. They have a different type of tip and usually will say it somewhere on the packaging.

Use the oil-based markers to make a design on your mug. You can draw or write anything on it. If you trust your kids with this type of marker, it is a great craft to do with kids. If your kids are a bit too young to use these markers, you can have them draw a design and then trace it onto the mug for them. 

When you are happy with your design, place the mug into your oven. Then turn on the oven and set it to about 275-300 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to put the mug into a cold oven and let it warm up slowly. If your oven heats up really fast, try setting it to 250 and then raising it manually. 

You want to let your mug bake for about 2.5 hours. If your oven is better than mine or your mug is less glazed, you could do it for more like 1.5. Check your mug sporadically to see if your design is bubbling or cracking (that means it’s too hot or it needs to come out.) 

In the end, mine looked like this. It doesn’t seem much different, but the ink of the design has now baked in and is slightly inset into the mug instead of lying fully on top. 

I wouldn’t put them through the dishwasher, but these mugs can be used and washed. If you used a less glazed one, your design should stay on even better over time. 

I used a silly Vine quote, but if you make this, show me what you do for a design!

For the endnote this week, I just wanted to talk about anniversaries. It’s been a year of quarantine, that was a hard truth for me to really unpack. Another hard anniversary is that it has been one year since the murder of Breonna Taylor. I think it’s a good time to remember that Black lives still matter and we should all still be speaking out and getting involved. If you live in NYC there are still daily events calling for racial justice, you can find many of them here. They also have ways for non-NYC-ers to get involved, but it’s important to look into what you can do for your community, whether it’s going to an event, donating to mutual aid, or making calls. 

As always, stay safe, and stay crafting