A couple of years ago, my sister tried her hand at decorating coffee mugs with nail polish. They looked amazing–I would have bought them if they were in a store! Then I started seeing a lot of DIY projects using oil-based Sharpies to decorate coffee mugs. I love the idea, so I finally grabbed some Dollar Tree mugs ($1/each) & three oil-based Sharpies (purple medium point and aqua & gold fine point $3.49/each at Joann Fabric.)
I did a lot of research, read a lot of articles, and watched a lot of video. Everyone does everything a little differently. These are not my original ideas and I benefited greatly from the consistencies I found in my searching. Since the oil-sharpie mugs require baking in the oven, I experimented with baking a couple of my nail-polish mugs too. Baking the mugs at 400 F for 30 minutes darkened the coloring drastically but left a very pretty, baked metallic look behind. I adore them but I decorated a few mugs without baking for contrast.
It is super easy to create these projects! The oil-sharpie mugs were allowed to dry for 24 hours before baking & then they are hand-wash only. The nail-polish mugs only had to be decorated & allowed to dry before use. I did go in with nail polish remover & get rid of any stray polish that found its way onto the rim of the mug or inside it. This is a great project for kids or for a fun girls night!
You Will Need:
- Coffee Mugs
- Oil Based Sharpies
- Baking Sheet/Oven
- Start with clean mugs, stickers removed.
- Draw on your design. **Draw free-hand or make a stencil for your design**
- Let the mugs dry for 24 hours.
- Do NOT preheat your oven: place the mugs on a cookie sheet into a cool oven. Turn the oven on to 400 F and let the mugs bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven & leave the mugs in the oven to cool off.
- Hand Wash!
You Will Need:
- Plain Coffee Mugs
- 2-3 Nail Polish colors per mug
- Nail Polish Remover (in case any gets inside the cup)
- Disposable container to use for dipping the mugs into the nail polish/water
- Start with clean mugs, stickers removed
- Fill your dipping container 3/4 full of room temperature (warm) water
- Choose your nail polish shades & pour a small amount of each shade onto the water. The polish should sit on top of the water–if the water is hot the polish tends to drop to the bottom of the container. I used an empty extra-large sour cream container.
- Dip & roll your mug into the polish. It tends to apply in a large sheet, so keep that in mind.
- **If dipping more than one mug, be sure to clean the water surface before adding more polish and dipping a second mug. I used a toothpick to drag any remaining polish off of the surface**
- Repeat steps #3 and 4 if desired
- Using nail polish remover, remove any polish that got inside the mug
- Allow the mugs to dry
- Hand wash (only) the mugs to remove any nail polish remover residue before using
I took things one step further and nail-polish dipped one of my baked sharpie mugs. It turned out perfect! The nail polish mugs are fine without baking. Baking the oil based sharpie mugs is mandatory to set the paint. The paint deepened in some spots & lightened in others. The purple ended up a bright pink but I like it. It is so much fun to draw your own designs & the nail polish is of course metallic, shiny, and beautiful. I highly recommend this affordable, fun, easy, gorgeous project!