Sharpie Marker Gift Mugs

Who knew that you could make sharpie markers on ceramics permanent by heat setting it? Heather from Whipperberry that is who!  Today she is here to share with us a very simple gift idea using a white ceramic mug and a sharpie marker.  I love personalized and custom anything so this is right up my alley. 


Hello all my IC friends! I’m Heather from WhipperBerry and I’m over the moon excited to be here with Beckie to share my Sharpie Art Gift Mugs today. I just adore Beckie and all her amazing talents.  She’s one lady I would LOVE to spend a day with, just to hopefully glean from some of her knowledge, talents & energy!! One talented lady I must say…

I love this pennywise presents series she’s running this month and I have a fun one to share…

sharpie art gift mugs

arrow design element from Rhonna Designs

Who doesn’t love a good hot chocolate mug during the chilly months and especially if it’s a mug full of LOVE?! That’s how I came up with my “A Mug A Love” gift idea to share. Here is what you will need…


light colored ceramic mug

a Sharpie

plastic sandwich bag

hot chocolate mix, favorite coffee blend, tea or Choffy

Kraft paper gift t

white chalk pencil

Optional Supplies

  • vinyl
  • vinyl cutting tool (I used the Silhouette Portrait)
  • burlap gift bag
  • bag embellishments (ribbon, bakers twine, whatever you would like to use to dress up your bag)

You can go big or minimalist with this project for sure. It all depends on your style and your budget.  Also, the sky is the limit as far as the design is concerned. I’ve seen some lovely hand written designs that people have created with their sharpies on ceramic mugs, plates and bowls.  I, however am not gifted in the hand writing area.  I have decent handwriting, but I’m too much of a perfectionist and I would blow through 150 mugs, (I’m sure,) trying to get it just right!! I decided to create a vinyl stencil so I didn’t have to go through that headache.  If you are artistically inclined, you can just skip this step and free-hand your design.

I created a design using my Silhouette Designer Edition software and cut the vinyl on my Silhouette Portrait.

Using the Silhouette Portrait

This way I had a custom stencil for my Sharpie art.  I placed the stencil on the mug and then carefully colored in the design…

Using a stencil to create a fun graphic on a mug with a Sharpie

I say carefully because, even with the vinyl the Sharpie ink can bleed through and mess up your crisp lines. What I learned is to press on the marker lightly and trace the edges first.  By doing that your design will come out perfect!

Once your design is complete, place it in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes to set the ink.  This way your design will become permanent and whom ever you are gifting it to can wash it, run it through the dishwasher, you name it and the Sharpie ink will not smudge!! How fun is that?

I did two different versions… A Mug A Love and Mug A Love, basically because I couldn’t decide which one I liked better. Yep… commitment issues.

Like I said before, it’s up to you and your budget as to how you dress-up your bag that goes inside the mug. You can take the minimalist approach and put your mix in a basic bag with a gift tag which would look lovely, or you could dress it up however you like. I chose to put my hot chocolate mix into a small burlap bag and dress it up with a small crocheted red doily paired with a simply Kraft paper tag. I wrote Merry Christmas on the tag with a white chalk pencil that you can find in any art supply store. It’s has a finer tip than your basic stick of chalk so it looks a little better.

Now all you have to do is fill it with your desired hot beverage mix and voila, you have a personal, yet inexpensive, not very time consuming gift to give to your friends and family.

mug a love hot chocolate

Come on over an join me at WhipperBerry… I have all kinds of simple crafts and fun goodies to share for this holiday season and any time of year really. Plus, I love to make new friends!! Thanks Beckie for having me over today, I had a ball!!

Here are some more gift ideas from WhipperBerry…


homemade vanilla extract /// anthro inspired snow globes /// hot chocolate on a stick

You can also find me over at…

Pinterest /// Facebook /// Twitter /// Instagram

  • Debbie refresh resytle

    These are awesome! Love watching my pennies :)

  • Vanessa

    I love this idea, Woo Hoo! I am going to try this. Will this work with the color sharpies as well?


    • Beckie

      I don’t see why not Vanessa ;)

    • Heather {WhipperBerry}

      I’m sure any color would totally work.

    • Christy

      All of them work, however yellow comes out more brown after cooked!

  • Christina @ Christina’s Adventures

    OK so I LOVE you Beckie, and I LOVE Heather too!! However, I made these mugs for myself and for bridal showers – and they do NOT hold up at all :( After just a few light hand-washes, the sharpie is un-readable :(

  • Michelle at Faith, Trust, & Pixie Dust

    Oh wow, what a great idea & it looks fantastic! Thanks!

    Warmly, Michelle

  • Lisa

    Cute, except it doesn’t really make it permanent. Like a previous commenter said, sharpie will wash/rub off.

  • Erin’s Creative Energy

    I am loving the idea of this, but want to know is it considered “food safe?” I have seen this being done all over the crafting blogs and Pinterest, but cannot find a single thing about it being food safe.

    • Beckie

      I am not sure if it is or isn’t but if it is on the outside of the mug I wouldn’t be too concerned.

      • Erin’s Creative Energy

        I’m just curious because I see it on plates. Just wasn’t sure if anyone out there knew the answer to it or not. I wouldn’t be worried about the outside of the mug.

  • functional art

    Sorry to be another voice with bad news, but it really doesn’t work. Two very gentle hand washings and the ink is already damaged. However, there are a number of craft paints that are permanent on glass that would look really cute with the nice stencil you made.

  • http://[email protected] Natosha

    These are adorable! Heather – did you do anything differently to make sure the sharpie stays? I’ve also had issues with it not lasting in the past so I wasn’t sure if maybe I did something different than you.

  • Ann @ Not Just

    Great gift idea! Super easy too!

  • Heather B from SC

    It’s totally food safe… because it will wash off. Seriously, I’ve tried it every which way from Sunday with this kinda thing, and it always washes off. Even really really gently wiped with a rag. So cute… totally impractical. Use a different ink.

  • MJ @ 517 Creations

    I have had great luck with the Pebeo Porcelaine 150 markers! You use them jut like you would the Sharpie in this tutorial (LOVE the idea of using vinyl as a stencil), let dry for a few hours, and then bake according to directions. We made mugs as grandparent gifts last Christmas and they have held up beautifully through many, many runs through the dishwasher!

    • Beckie

      Thanks for the great share!

  • Alisa

    Absolutely LOVE this idea and am trying to gather supplies to make these for all my family. I especially like your mugs and am wondering where you purchased them. Thank you.

  • Jami

    Maybe try enamel paint from the craft store? They have some that is dishwasher safe.

  • Alisa

    Has anyone tried this ceramic paint?

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  • Dawn

    I’ve seen other blogs mention that if you don’t have luck at 350* to turn your oven to 400* next time you try. Baking them higher seems to help set the marker. I’m going to try it with a mug next time I get to the dollar store to get one. I’ll post it on my blog if I get around to finishing it…

  • Kathy

    All I can say is….It did not work! Took it out of the oven let it cool, wiped it off!

  • Shelley

    I found that a wooden tooth pick dampened with spit worked well to clean up any bleeding from the markers to crispen up the lines.

  • Tamarie

    I have been wanting to do this for a while now. I have a few questions. One, I don’t have a lot of money but would like to make a stencil, I make T-shirts and cut my own stencils out of freezer paper. Would that work on a mug? Two, I’m trying to get a splatter look (I am open to any ideas) my only idea would be to chop off the end of a sharpie and flick it onto the mug. I have no idea if a sharpie would even work that way. I’m hoping someone might be able to help. This page helped out a TON and I am very excited to try this!

    • Beckie

      I would try experimenting with using sharpies and then spritzing it with alcohol. The alcohol will make it look splattered and worn. I think you would be better of creating a stencil form contact paper so you get the stick onto the mug. They sell it at Dollar Tree. I hope that helps.

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  • annie!

    LOve this idea! Who woulda thunk it?!?

  • Trudie

    This seems like such a good idea and I was so excited to try it. Unfortunately my design washed off in the dishwasher with the very first use.

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  • Ninny

    I have heard that you need to use OIL BASED Sharpie Paint Markers, instead of regular Sharpies, in order for it to be permanent and keep through many washings.

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  • Jean

    Well I thought this was novel for my two girls (10 and 15) to make gifts for friends but Houston we have a problem! The ceramic mugs were washed, dried, and then decorated with the sharpie pens. I then baked the mugs at 350 for 30 minutes. Looked great so far. Well they decided we needed to wash the mugs so I sent them through the dishwasher (top rack) and to my disappointment about half of the drawings came off. My hot water heater is set pretty low due to younger cousins being close by so it wasn’t the temp of the water. Please help!

    • Beckie

      Ugh, I am sorry that happened. This project was a guest post by Heather from Whipperberry. Email her and see if she can help. Best of luck!

    • Jen Carter

      I read that this only works with the sharpie paint pens. :/

      • Rachel Holmes

        Even paint pens don’t work. You’ll need ceramic pens (got mine at Michael’s. A set of 6 colors was $16) and you just paint. No baking required

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  • Dawn

    I used oil-based sharpies, and baked the mug at 350 for 30 minutes. The next day I used the mug and washed it by hand. The ink wore off. Ideas?

    • Beckie

      Hi Dawn, I’m sorry that happened. This project was actually shared by Heather at Whipperberry. Maybe she can help.

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