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. Love with a capital LO! This is perfect – I’ve been thinking of making special plates and mugs for a while and not totally sure where to start. But of course every great projects starts at Goodwill. LOVE!

  2. This is EXACTLY what I had planned for my kids teacher gifts. I have the red mugs sitting on my kitchen counter just waiting for the monograms. I wasn’t sure about what paint to use, so this was helpful to know your experience with it! Thanks!

  3. Thank you for the inspiration. I have made shaving soap for gifts and the plain mugs were bugging me. Now I know how to finish off my gifts.

  4. These are wonderful!

    Not sure if someone asked this before but how did you make the stickers? My DIY this year for christmas gifts (my two year old is not quite big enough to make these ;-) is going to be mason jars full of homemade granola and I would love to top off each jar with stickers like these.

  5. What a great DIY project! My girls each received Missus monogrammed mugs as birthday presents from my sister (the perfect gift for a little girl!) I have also given them as wedding presents. . . the bride’s in Missus and a regular one for the groom.

    I like looking at everything in Anthropologie, and I always walk out of there with a new mug to give to someone. . . mostly because it’s the only thing I can afford!

  6. This idea is FANTASTIC! :) We’re big handmade people, so this is definitely going on my list of future projects. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  7. These are AMAZING. And they have an expensive look to them. I never would have guessed that they were from goodwill. Thanks for sharing. I am making these.

  8. I love the cups! I would love to try having my oldest make these for our family. Question for you: how to you go about making sibling gifts without the others seeing what’s going on? Do you have the maker stay up later than the others?

  9. Love this!! Okay. You totally inspired me. I teach kindergarteners – and I’m always looking for fun crafty-type gifts that the children can make for their parents for the holidays. I’m thinking this would be perfect for Mother’s Day. Maybe I can find tall, travel-size ceramic mugs?? The kids could definitely trace a design… and they would love that we bake them!!

  10. I am going to use this for my first grade student’s for their parent’s holiday gift. I am always struggling for something that is for all religions. This is going to be so cute!!!! Thank you!

  11. I’m knee deep in the middle of this project, I love it so far. Although, the black pen is bugging me. Maybe I just picked up a bad pen, but I’ve been trying to paint the same mug for 1 1/2 hours! I think I’ll try a different color tomorrow.

  12. Okay, I’m back. I went to Michael’s this morning and bought a different marker with a more blunt tip. Maybe it’s the fine tip markers are harder to get going? I just did a mug with this new marker and it took me 10 minutes. Phew! thanks for the great idea!

  13. Michelle Mecchi

    I really don’t know how you do, what you do. AMAZING! I need to take a workshop from you. I have three kids and can’t even get through my laundry pile, let alone accomplish what you do on a daily basis with SIX! I love your blog! It’s one of the first that I strated looking at about two years ago, this is my first time commenting, and I look it over most everyday since. Very inspiring. Thank you!

  14. Love it! I am going to see if I can find some time to do this as a additional gift for my son’s preschool therapists.

  15. I’m trying to do this…Question: How did you get the font printed up so large? I am using the Rockefeller font and the largest I can get is a 72 & it looks to small on these mugs. Ug. Anyone?

  16. this is brilliant. for younger ones it would work for them to just draw freehand without a letter, right?

    we are trying to come up with gifts to make instead of buy and i LOVE the ideas you have been posting.

  17. LOVE IT! I hope I am half as creative of a mother as you. Love the fact that you have them MAKE presents for their siblings. Much more personalized. Ak, can’t wait to make some mugs!!

  18. Awesome! Love that you got the mugs from Goodwill, and that they are all different! Looks most impressive when you have a big family to create mugs for :)

  19. I did something similar this Christmas. Rather than using carbon paper, I rubbed the back of the paper I wanted to trace with a pencil and then traced the front. It worked great and saved money!

  20. Love this! Though I have to say that I also love the look of the transferred graphite before you even started coloring in with the pens. Too bad that look would be too hard to do.

    I’ve used those pens before (well, the glass versions), but forgot how fun they are.

  21. Wow these are great! I wish I had seen this before Christmas but, I do know a bunch of people with birthdays coming up… wheels turning in mind…

  22. I loved your mug idea. I love simple, graphic craft projects! We had LOTS of family staying with us for the week of Christmas. So, I made everyone a mug with their initial on it – it saved us a lot of trouble trying to remember who put their coffee mug down where each morning! At the end of the week, everyone got to take their mug home with them.

  23. soooooo cute. i am going to make these for our family. we already have white mugs. i am all about the monograms. thanks for the idea.

  24. LOVE LOVE L O V E these!! This is going to be our teacher, therapists, bus drivers, grandparents, aunts, uncles.. it’s our gift across the board! FANTASTIC!! I’m excited about this!! Thanks for sharing!!

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