DIY: Monogram Mugs

DIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

DIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

Friends! I’m so pleased to share our first gift DIY of the season. Maude made these fantastic monogrammed mugs over the weekend. Don’t they look terrific? The idea came when we saw these fun initial cups at Anthropologie and remembered our kitchen was lacking in hot cocoa mugs. We decided to create a whole set.

It’s a very doable project. Inexpensive. Eco-friendly. And family-friendly too — these mugs are dishwasher safe. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

DIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

1) We started with a trip to Goodwill, where we collected 8 plain white mugs. Enough for the entire family. There was even a little one without a handle that we thought would be perfect for baby food for June. Mugs were 50 cents each and we had dozens and dozens to choose from.

DIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

2) Then we gathered supplies. Scissors, pen, tape, graphite transfer paper, Black Pebeo Porcelaine Pen in Fine Point ($4 at Michaels, also available here) and a print out with the family’s initials.

For the font, I had something very specific in mind. I love the look of this Sketch Block Font and had it mentally filed away as the sort of thing a kid could replicate well — because it’s inherently imperfect. For this project, it worked like a charm! Since we were adding our own sketchiness, I started with a similar, but non-sketchy Rockwell font. Look for any slab-serif font (with names like Egyptian or Glypha) and they should work equally well.

DIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

3) Cut out an initial and a piece of transfer paper. Tape the initial and the transfer paper (dark side down) to the mug.

DIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design MomDIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

4) Trace the initial. Any pen or pencil will work and you’ll want to experiment with different pressures to see what’s best. You’ll just need a light outline. If you want, you can make your own transfer paper by rubbing a graphite pencil all over a sheet of plain paper.

DIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design MomDIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design MomDIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

5) Take your Porcelaine pen and trace over the lines of the initial. Get the edges nice and thick then fill in with diagonal sketchy strokes. A few notes:
– The sketchy strokes look best if they’re all one direction.
– The pen didn’t produce very smooth lines for us — which was fine because of the sketchy nature of the lettering. But later, I tried a red Porcelaine pen and produced very smooth strokes. So, I’m thinking my black pen was an old, dried out one. Who knows? This was my first experience with Porcelaine, so I’m not sure.
– It helped to have a blank paper handy where we could test the paint pen.
– We definitely got better at it as we practiced. So plan on it. Until it’s baked, the paint will scrub right off in soap and water. We redid mugs at least 4 times.

DIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design MomDIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design MomDIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design MomDIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

6) Once the lettering is done, let the mugs sit for 24 hours. Then bake them at 300 degrees for 35 minutes. It’s fine to bake them with graphite residue. The graphite will wipe right off even after they’re done baking.

DIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design MomDIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design MomDIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

7) And that’s it! Once they’re baked, they’re done. We pulled them from the oven, wiped them up and they were ready to go. For fun, we filled cellophane bags with hot cocoa mix and marshmallows and put them in the mugs.

DIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design MomDIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design MomDIY monogram mugs featured by popular lifestyle blogger, Design Mom

The project turned out so well that it has my mind spinning with other possibilities. Maybe we’ll make a monogrammed mug for their teachers with a Starbucks card inside. Or a matching 2-cup set for Grandma and Grandpa. Fun for Christmas, but equally fun for other events too.

What do you think? Is this a project your kids would enjoy? Are the mugs cool enough that you would buy one in the store if you saw it for sale?

Need more sibling gift ideas? We made several fun projects this year: Bleached Out TeesBottlecap MagnetsCustom Leather Patches and Photo Snowglobes. You can also find a list of projects from past Christmases here.

203 thoughts on “DIY: Monogram Mugs”

  1. Oh hooray. I always love seeing your family’s fantastically creative holiday DIYs. So impressive every year. This is definitely something fun you could do have all sorts of experimental fun with. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Did a more thorough reading and answered that myself. Clever, clever. I love that you riffed off of Anthropologie. Lots of pretty things, but also for pretty prices. Goodwill, though? That’s my speed.

  2. We also have the tradition of homemade sibling gifts, and mugs have been on my list for a few years. I have had a few ideas: pictures of each person on the mug, the inside painted a different color for each person, etc. Your monograms are a terrific idea and look great.

  3. Perfect!! I was just thinking my kids really needed their own special hot cocoa mugs (i.e., not my favorite pottery ones ;)!)…this is a GREAT idea!

  4. I think this is my favorite post ever. Good job Maud, and thanks for sharing your beautiful idea. I am definetly making these for Christmas. Question, is the pen totally safe? Could I have my son draw on a plate and then we eat from the plate?

  5. Wow – I love that! The fact that the cups are all different makes it even better. I think these would make great stocking stuffers, too!

  6. This is such a great idea. I have TONS of cocoa mix leftover from a recent baby shower. I see these as teacher gifts, for sure, with the mugs designed by the kids. I’ll probably have to pick up a couple extra mugs, because I’m sure the kids will want to make one for themselves, too!

  7. I loved this idea! We’ve been trying to come up with creative, fun and relatively inexpensive gift ideas for Christmas, and this definitely fits the bill. Thanks!

  8. Dang, girl. I love this idea. But then again, I love many of the ideas you have. My favorite element is that all the mugs are different shapes and sizes, but all white.

    I’m going to bookmark this using Del.icio.us. Which you also introduced me to. Yup; you’re my go-to girl for happiness and tingling in the brain.

  9. Brilliant! Maude obviously inherited your creative & design streak. I’ve been wanting to use the Sketch Block font for something for ages. Love it. Thanks

  10. And to answer your question: No, I wouldn’t buy it if I found it in a store. They’re cool enough to buy in the store, and I’m sure I could find things like this, but part of the coolness is that each mug is a different size and shape. I highly doubt any supplier in a brick-and-mortar store would go through the trouble of making every letter of the alphabet in many different sizes and shapes.

    Nothing made in a factory, anyway.

  11. AMAZING! And on so many levels, my favorite being that Maude was involved and every time she sees her family use a mug, will be so happy knowing she helped make them.

    Just wonderful.

  12. love this idea these are great. FYI I used to do a lot of gift making with those porcelaine pens and I always found that different colors had different levels of tackiness. The darker colors always tended to be stickier for some reason that the lighter ones. That could be why your red pen was different. I might have to dust off my box of those paints!

  13. Great job, Maude! Your sibs will love this gift. I want one, too! I am adding this to my list. My Anthropologie was out of my letter. Now I can makey own!

  14. I love this project!! I know my almost 9 year old would enjoy doing something like this. We may give it a try. Thanks for sharing!!

  15. Oh how lovely!! I can’t wait to make with my kids! I may even try to do their handprints on a plate using this technique! So fun! Thanks for your wonderful DYI!

  16. I love this idea! I was thinking of taking the kids to a pottery place to paint a mug with their handprints, but now I’m thinking that this technique will work!

  17. I love the idea of going to the Goodwill for the mugs. You save money and repurpose items that others gave away. Love it, love it, love it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top