DIY: Personalized Coffee Mugs

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Coffee, tea and cocoa drinkers can never have too many mugs. Especially when the mug is carefully handmade by a friend or family member. Monogrammed mugs and mugs with a unique design can cost a lot of money at a specialty store, and you probably won’t find one with the exact message you wanted anyway!

Making your own personalized coffee cups is actually pretty easy, and you’ll find have the perfect cups for you or a loved one.

What Will I Need to Personalize my Coffee mug?

  1. You’ll first need to find an attractive mug. White is always a good choice and provides a clean canvas. The mug should also be dishwasher and microwave safe. When shopping for mugs at thrift stores, look for mugs that do not have any chips, scratches or stains.
  2. To paint on the mug, you’ll need paint markers that are designed to paint on glass or ceramic. These paints are water-based and can be used on heat-stable materials such as porcelain, crockery, terra-cotta, ceramic and glass. Some of these paints are a solid color while some have a blown glass look. Also consider outlining paints that give your design a 3D texture and paints that can be used to create a chalkboard on the mug itself. Take a trip to your local craft store, and pick out (or ask for help picking out) the paint style you want for your mug.
  3. Along with the mug and the paint, you may need a few other crafting supplies. Scissors, a pencil, tape and heavy crafting paper may be helpful to create stencils.


How do I personalize my Coffee cup?

There are several ways to transfer your design ideas onto the mug. Pick the method that suits you best. If you’re a great artist, try it freehand! Your designs will live for years on the cup. If you’re not blessed in the art department, try writing a simple message or single word, or tracing/stenciling a design on.

  1. Freehand. Outline the design on the mug using a pencil. Make the pencil marks as light as possible.
  2. Stencil. Cut a stencil, tape the stencil to the mug and paint inside the lines. This is an easy way to paint initials or monograms.
  3. Trace. Rub a graphite pencil on the sheet of paper. Place the graphite side next to the mug and then place the design over the piece of paper. Draw over the design, remove the paper and begin painting.


Before you begin painting the mug, make sure that:

  • The design fits on the mug and in the space you want.
  • The design (and paint) will not be in an area that will come in contact with the drinker’s mouth.
  • The colors look attractive on the mug.

Once the design is finished, it may need to be dried and baked to make the paint permanent. Read the manufacturer’s directions carefully.


How do I bake Paint onto a Coffee mug?

  1. Place the mug in a cold oven.
  2. Turn on the oven to 300 degrees F.
  3. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
  4. Turn off the oven and leave in the oven with the door shut until it has cooled.


Personalized Coffee cup Design Ideas

Here are a few ideas for customized mugs:

  • The initials of the recipient done in a fancy script.
  • A child’s artwork or handprints in the shape of a heart.
  • A saying or quote by a famous person that has meaning to the recipient.
  • The silhouette of a child or some other person from the recipient’s life.
  • The dictionary definition of a word.
  • A greeting such as “Happy Birthday” or “Merry Christmas.”

Making your own personalized coffee cups is pretty easy! Just pick up a solid colored coffee cup, ceramic paint pens and any supplies you'll need for tracing or stenciling. Then draw on your design and bake the mug if needed. All done!

Last Updated: December 20, 2012
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About Coletta Teske Coletta Teske has 25 years' experience in tech journalism, as well as home and gardening topics. She has freelanced for Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, published more than two dozen computer books for Prima Publishing and Macmillan, and worked as a freelance correspondent for West Hawaii Today. Coletta has been an avid gardener since she was 2 years old. While living in Hawaii, she achieved a lifelong dream of becoming a certified master gardener.

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