Custom Coffee Mugs

It has been quite some time since I have posted a new creation and I apologize. Sometimes life gets crazy and wonderful and you have to see where it takes you. Speaking of seeing where life takes you, a very close friend of mine who has been by my side for 6 years is moving away to begin a new chapter in her life. This change has inspired these custom coffee mugs.

I’ve seen this project various times online and on Pinterest, but I think what makes it so popular is the customization potential. You can create these mugs however you want, there are no rules or guidelines! As I mentioned, I made these for a friend who is moving away. Her first stop is Cleveland, Ohio and from there the map remains unknown…for now. It is very likely that their new home will be somewhere in Europe! This will help you understand what the mugs represent.

I purchased Great White Latte Mugs from Pottery Barn because I loved how tall they were. I also have a small obsession with Pottery Barn . You can use whatever mugs you want for this project.

This project has gained popularity online as “Sharpie Mugs”, but I did a little research. I found that not everyone has had good luck with this concept and many stated that the marker did not last and faded with use. I didn’t like how that sounded. I chose to use a marker designed for writing on glass, tile and glazed ceramics. You can find these DecoArt Paint Markers at Hobby Lobby for just $3.99. Combine that will Dollar Store or thrift shop mugs and you have a simple project for under $10.

Clean your coffee mugs with glass cleaner before you start drawing on them. My mugs were porcelain and Windex worked just fine. I was very nervous to start drawing at first because I wasn’t sure if my mistakes could be corrected. I found that if you do not wait too long, the marker can be wiped off with a little Windex. As time passes this gets much harder. I believe this aspect is also a huge benefit over the Sharpie marker concept as you may be stuck with any mistakes made with a permanent marker.

I chose to do one mug with the state outlines of New York and Ohio. The outlines were probably the most difficult part, but I was able to trace cut-outs that I made. I drew the state borders free hand and cut them out to use on the mugs, but it may be easier to print the shapes you want and use those. I taped the shape to the mug and carefully traced around the outside with my marker.


Next I drew a heart near the cities Buffalo and Cleveland.



The next mug was inspired by our friend JoJo and shows the connection and sense of humor these two have with each other. Layne immediately knew it was JoJo’s idea when she opened it! (Tip: if you’re going to write on the bottom of your mug, do not buy the tallest mugs you can find, it’s nearly impossible!)



The next one was inspired by the unknown and a love for coffee. I swear this girl sweats coffee. As she is unsure where life is going to take her in Europe, I decided to cover this mug with the word coffee in all different languages. This way, she will never be without wherever she goes.


We decided to have a little fun with the last mug because it is absolutely true.


Like I said, you can do whatever you want with these mugs and that is what makes them so fun and simple!

Once you have completed your drawings, let the mugs air dry overnight or for approximately 8 hours. Next, place them in a cold oven and set the temperature at 375 degrees. This will bring up the temperature of the mugs as the oven heats up. Leave them in for 40 minutes once the oven reaches 375. Lastly, let the mugs cool down with the oven door open. You want them to gradually come down from this temperature in order to avoid any cracking or damage depending on the mug material.

There you have it! Great customized mugs that are dishwasher safe!