How to Make Custom Sharpie Mugs Using a Simple Design

Have you seen all the cute ideas for homemade Sharpie mugs? There are just about every where. I was dying to try this for myself. I just adore handmade personalized gifts. Two of my children do not have common names. So finding anything with their name on it is a challenge. Let’s just say, when I decided to name them, my first thought was not will their name be available in gift shops? We have mugs in the house, but only one of the kids has a personalized mug with their name on it. I decided to make all of them personalized mugs with their initial on them using their favorite colors.

The stores around here had the little five pack Sharpie oil based marker set, but I wanted more! So I went to the best shopping place around and found a pack of 15 Sharpie Oil Based Markers (affiliate link). There were so many colors for so many projects. I think 15 will be enough for now.

Custom Sharpie Mugs

Custom DIY Sharpie Mugs Dot Design by Pounds4Pennies

Materials for Sharpie Marker Mugs

Oil Based Sharpie Markers (In favorite colors) (affiliate link)
Mugs of your choice

How to make Custom Sharpie Mugs

1. First pick out the mugs. The Dollar store is a great start. They did not have three matching white mugs in my store. It is a small store. So I went to my favorite place Ikea. Next clean the surface of the mug where you are going to place the sticker. I used a little homemade glass cleaner and washed them off.

Vinyl Application to Sharpie Mug for Sharpie Mugs

2. Next if do not have your markers at this point, stop and order them here. (affiliate link) Find some vinyl letters with the initials or design you want or you can use stickers. Here is something to think about, if you are designing a mug for a right handed person, be sure the handle is on the left side when placing your sticker. So the initial will face out when they are drinking. This just may be the OCD part of me. Do this in reverse for a left handed person.

3. Carefully place the stickers on the mug. Be sure to get out any air bubbles for a smooth clean letter on the front of the mug.

Applying Sharpie dots on Mug for custom Sharpie Mugs

4. Outline the sticker with little tiny dots using the Sharpie markers a few spaces apart. Leave enough room to add more. I started about a space between the dots then I went out three spaces then more and more space until the front of the mug was covered. I found 3 colors to be a good combination. For a little flare, make one color shiny with a gold or silver. Once you are done see if you need to add a few dots here and there to make the design complete. Let the paint dry for about 30 min to an hour.

5. Before baking carefully remove the vinyl letters. Bake the Sharpie Mugs in the oven at 350 for 40 min. I found many different times online for this, so I decided longer is better.

6. Wrap up the Sharpie mugs and give as gifts. I have only hand washed these to this point with no issues. See update below. I am going to test on a separate mug and run through the dishwasher to see if the design will stay on these Sharpie mugs. I will update this post to let you know.

DIY Custom Sharpie Mugs - Pounds4Pennies

My kids loved to get their personalized Sharpie mugs. I am making these mugs for everyone I know, just don’t tell anyone. These would be perfect for a teacher’s gift, Mother’s Day gift or Father’s Day gift. You can even use the oil based Sharpie markers on wine glasses for this design technique. These Sharpie mugs will make the perfect gift for any occasion and on any budget.

UPDATE: This L cup was accidentally put on the bottom shelf and washed in the dishwasher. I cringed when I saw it there. I just knew it had been ruined. But it came out perfectly clean and no dots were gone. It still looks the exact same. These are bottom rack dishwasher safe. (I still put them in the top rack just as a precaution)

Do you enjoy making personalized gifts?

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  1. Perfect gift idea…I’ve been wanting to test writing on mugs with a sharpie so this makes me happy to see how creative you can get with it! I need to get these markers, nice job and thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Love this! I will be featuring it next week at Meaningful Mama. I think it would make a fabulous Mother’s Day gift. Thanks for linking up at Mom’s Library. Pinning this now too.

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    • I used a Cricut machine to cut out the letters on vinyl. Then I carefully placed the stickers on the mugs. But you could also use large scrapbook letter stickers for the same effect. Ant letter sticker would work.

  4. I drew on the mug, now I’m ready to put it in the oven and bake BUT I’m not sure how it is supposed to be baked. So should you bake it with the base of the mug down (open end face up) or with the base of the mug up (open side down)? Also cookie sheet or no cookie sheet

    • I baked mine on a cookie sheet with open side up. I really don’t think it matters that much. Just as long as it is in the oven at the correct temp for the correct time. I hope this works for you.

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  6. you say above that you used med. tips? but the link you gave is for fine point tips? just double checking on which you used?

  7. I just made 18 of these for Xmas! Gold and black still need to bake them! Really hope the color doesn’t change!!!
    Putting homemade hot cocoa on a stick in them with homemade cookies as gifts! Super excited to give!

  8. Can someone post a link from where they got their sticker letters from? I can’t seem to find them anywhere! 🙁 THANK YOU!!!!

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  11. I just searched on Google images for letters that I liked and printed them off. Then I cut them out and taped the letters on. That seemed to work easily, and once I took the letters off no residue was left from the tape. 🙂

  12. I have seen these sharpie mugs everywhere and am trying to think of a way to prevent them from fading while baking and making them dishwasher safe. I thought about drawing in sharpie, finding a spray to seal it with and then using dishwasher safe mod podge.. and totally by passing the baking part. Has any one tried this??

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  14. When you baked them did it make a bad smell? Mine caused a horrible smell in my house.. any tips for this not to happen!?

  15. I can’t find any oil based sharpies that have a good variety of colors. Can you recommend anyt other options. Or stores I can maybe find more then a 5 pack. Thanks so much

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  17. I found my letters at the dollar store where I got the mugs. The oil paint sharpies I purchased at Hobby Lobby which can be a tad expensive but just use a coupon. I loved this project

  18. Can they be microwaved (if I buy a microwave-safe mug) after they are done? Thinking of making them for “mug cakes” as a gift.

  19. Thanks for a great idea! I think my kids will love to make them since they all like having their own hot cocoa mug – even though it’s already 90 degrees here in CA. Love the dollar store and can’t wait to try these!

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    • Yes they do. The paint needs to set and the oven heat sets the paint. Place the wine glassed upside on the baking sheet to give them more stability taking them in and out of the oven.

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    • I would not recommend them for food safe where you would eat off of the painted surface. But they are safe for the outside for decoration.

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