DIY: Hand Painted Mug

October 17th, 2011

I’ve been wanting to try porcelain paint for a while, and it’s just as amazing as I anticipated. You have to give it a try. The holidays are coming up, and hand painted coffee/cocoa mugs would make great gifts!

DIY coffee mug

porcelain mug (mine is from CB2)
Pebeo Porcelaine 150 outliner (available at Amazon) There are transparent porcelain paints that you apply with a brush and outliners which are thicker and opaque. If you want to achieve the ink-like look that I did, go with an outliner.

How to:
1. Make sure your mug is clean and dry.
2. Paint! I tried using a tiny brush, but it didn’t work very well. I found that squeezing the paint straight out of the tube and onto the porcelain worked best. It looks a little gloopy in places, but I really like the overall effect. If you mess up just wipe the paint away with a wet paper towel. Some porcelain paints are not recommended for surfaces that come in contact with food. So just to be safe, don’t paint the inside of your mug! 
3. Once you’ve finished your masterpiece let the paint dry for 24 hours. Then, bake your mug according to the paint package instructions. After baking turn off the oven and leave the mug inside until it has gradually cooled to room temperature. After you bake it the paint is dishwasher safe.

DIY coffee mug


  1. Shawn

    Wow, that looks great and seems like a fun easy project to do. Thanks once again for an inspiring project that I can try.

  2. Your mug looks great! Thanks so much for sharing. This is definitely a fun project :)

  3. Katie

    Does it dry flat (more like paint) or sort of raised (like puff paint)? Looks awesome!

  4. Amanda (wit & whistle)

    It dries slightly raised, like puff paint but not quite so puffy.

  5. Alvin

    NICE! Will definitely try this project!

  6. What a fun project. Got to keep a look out for the porcelain paint.

  7. That is so cool. I can’t wait to try it!

  8. I love it! What a great idea for presents :)

  9. Love the herringbone!

  10. Ria

    I have decorated several mugs with the Porcelain pens, but you should have indicated the warning on the product : These markers are not recommended for use on surfaces that come in contact with food.

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      Oh thanks Ria, I didn’t see that warning on my paint packaging, but I will add a note above.

  11. Melissa

    awesome!! Gotta remember also to use an oven safe mug.
    And- in regards to the comment above- if it can’t come in contact with food, maybe its not best to put your lips on it? Or is this maybe a different product than the “pens” she used?

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      The paint I used (linked above) said it was nontoxic. I really don’t think putting your lips on after it has been fired would be a problem. I just wouldn’t paint the inside of the mug to be safe. It seems to me that a warning like Ria’s would refer to using the paint on a dinner plate or something similar. In that case as you eat and scrape silverware across the dish, it would be possible to ingest paint if it chipped off.

  12. This is a great DIY. I am definitely going to have to try this! Thanks for sharing. You make it seem so easy =)

  13. This is amazing! I just found your blog and feel in love with it! Awesome- thank you!

  14. LOVE this! This is on my list to make before the new year! Can’t wait to cuddle up with some hot chocolate inside this mug.

  15. Michelle

    this is awesome! Such a neat idea! :)

  16. I love this! I think I want to do this with a vase!

  17. Beautiful! My mind is swirling with possibilities. :)

  18. beautiful!! I’ve been dying to try those paints for a while, i love the design you did on the mug =)

  19. Wonderful project! I’d love to do this.

  20. Beautiful post, I will definitely try this one!

  21. mexerg

    Can i use my regular oven??? if so, at how many degrees?

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      Yes, you use your regular oven. It may vary depending on what brand of paint you get, but mine said 300 F.

  22. sarah

    this is amazing!!!! how long did this take?? i LOVE this idea! i think i might actually do this!

  23. laura williams

    i’ve seen your mug pop up on pinterest more than once. apparently more people are a fan, too!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      Awesome! It seems to have gone viral. If only I could come up with enough projects like this to post one everyday!

  24. Jane

    Question: For people that want to attempt this but are not the greatest freehand painters, is there a way to pencil in a drawing first and then go over it with paint? You think it can work?

  25. Jane

    Also! Could I get this paint at a craft store?

  26. What a lovely idea! I have tried the Pebeo paint before and found it at at my local Michaels craft store.

  27. Super simple, yet looks amazing!!

  28. Grace

    I’ve been looking for the right DIY gift for my boyfriend’s mothers birthday. This is perfect! She’s a big coffee drinker and loves handmade stuff. Thank you! One question, how do you know if the coffee mug is safe to go in the oven?

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      I didn’t know if my mug was oven safe, I just tried it! If you let the mug cool to room temperature in the oven after baking that should help prevent heat damage.

  29. Katherine Foster

    How many mugs (similar size to yours) do you think one tube of paint would cover, thanks for great post!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      I’d guess around 5 mugs or so. I didn’t use much of the tube, so maybe even more!

  30. This sounds fun! I’ve seen several designs of this sold on etsy that I’ve been dying to make myself! Great for christmas!

  31. OH this is just beautiful and I adore the photos. I don’t think my hands are steady enough to do this, so I will admire from afar! If I didn’t have my adorable grandfather’s shakes for up close work, I would definitely do this for christmas gifts.

  32. wow that came out really well, and looked like it took a steady hand and a whole lot of patience!

  33. Thanks for sharing that. It’s been years since I used porcelain paints(by Pebeo), and they work great!
    They are dishwasher safe, but I think it shortens the life of the painting. I have a coffee mug I painted 5 yrs ago, it went in the dishwasher occasionally and the paint has started to chip off.

  34. I’m so in love with this idea! I posted a link to it on my blog’s ode to everything chevron today.

  35. Lindsey

    This looks like a great project and so fun, but it is so expensive.

  36. Stacy

    Hey! super cute! where did you get that mug?

  37. I have used this paint on flat white ceramic tiles bought at Home Depot. What I did was to put the paint on and then spray it with a fine spray of water (you can buy little fine sprayers at craft store). It made the colors run together in a really pretty way and after drying, I baked it and now I have these tiles as ‘hot plates’ for my coffee pot when I take it off the coffee maker heating element. You could also use these decorated tiles in lots of other ways!

  38. Is there a way to subscribe to your blog so updated posts come to my email? I would prefer that to all the other choices I saw. Thanks!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      If you click the subscribe link, at the top right of the popup window there’s a little white envelope icon. Just click that to subscribe via email using FeedBlitz.

  39. I want to try this for a Christmas gifts of my staff. I was thinking of purchasing some of the mugs from the Dollar Tree and then decorating myself. These would not come with instructions as to baking. Are you refering to instructions on the pen? Would you happen to know the specific temperature and time that I should bake the mugs for in this case?

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      The baking instructions are specific to the porcelain paint, not the mug you paint on. Baking instructions will be on the paint packaging.

  40. Melis

    For non-freehand painters: CARBON PAPER! I printed off designs/patterns that I liked and traced over them with a pen, placing carbon paper in between the design and the dish. After tracing over the design, the carbon paper left a “copy” for me to then paint over! After baking, the carbon washes off fairly easily!

  41. Luis

    Can you use a regular washable marker to draw the pattern on instead of a dry erase marker?

  42. meg

    Just happened upon your site and love it. Paper is my first love and work with it daily. Love this DIY mug.

  43. Yvonne

    I used this technique years ago on mugs I purchased at Walmart, to this date (12 years ago), I have used the mugs, microwaved them, dishwasher them and the paint is still intact… I did it freehand and I also used stamps. Need to try this with a more contemporary design!

  44. Samantha

    Fantastic idea! I will definitely be making my parents some gorgeous mugs very soon! :) One question to anyone who may happen to know. I saw that you can get the Pebeo Paint at Michael’s. Could anyone tell me how much please? I called but the woman wasn’t sure & I wanted to be sure before I made the 30 mile journey. :) Thank you!!

  45. Michelle H

    Beautiful mug! I love Pebeo paints. I had the same concerns as some of your other commenters for a project I was working on and so I emailed Dick Blick about their recommendations for use on mugs and this is the response I got:

    “This medium is for decoration purposes and we suggest keeping the paint application below the lip line on mugs. We do not recommend drinking from a mug that would have this area painted. This is a general rule applicable to the majority of media applied due to the risk of contamination and reactions between liquids (hot or not) and the application.”

    Based on that response I would be hesitant to drink out of a mug that was painted right to the lip. Perhaps there is a way to modify your beautiful design to end just short of the lip? Maybe create a band in the middle of the pattern with white space on the top and bottom? Anyways, your mug is beautiful!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      Thanks for looking into that Michelle! I’m going to keep drinking out of my mug, but it’s good to know Dick Blick’s official recommendation. :)

  46. vkk

    Love the work!

  47. Hannah

    I have a confession to make. I totally did this last year using this same design and it looks pretty similar to this mug (I did add some color to it though) !! I wish I could post a picture so you can see it… it got a lot of compliments. Thanks for lending me your creativity when I was completely lacking it. :)

    oh, and I did mine at a paint-it-yourself studio. painting all those lines was a lot of work…

  48. So nice! I hope it as easy to do as it seems!

  49. I love this DIY! Thanks so much for sharing:)
    I featured it in my Friday favorite’s post yesterday actually:) Hope you don’t mind! Check it out if you wish.

    <3 Leney

  50. Hello, I found your Blog in Pinterest and I am very happy for this ;D
    The photos are excellent and the ideas more. Very well explained everything.
    Your blog has turned into one of my favorite ones. Thank you

  51. Shauntel

    Can you use a ceramic mug?! Same paint as listed above?

  52. Mary cuthbertson

    This is beautiful. I have to try this with magic marker and then baking to see if that works….

  53. Seany

    Just wondering if you think I could do the same design with porcelain paint on stoneware mugs???

  54. Natalie

    Do you have these mugs for sale?

  55. okay…I LOVE these and just got all the goodies to make a few…but mine turned out awful!!! How did you steady your hands!? The slick rounded surface of the mug made the paint all squirrley and mine looks like 2yr old arts and crafts time while yours is so steady and even!! Need tips/tricks!!!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      Hmm… I think just rested my elbow on the table to help steady my hand. It does take a little practice to perfect your stroke, since it’s weird to paint on such a slick surface. After practicing on my mug for a bit until I felt like I had the hang of it, I rinsed the practice paint off and then did my final herringbone pattern.

  56. found this via pinterest..just beautiful & perfect design!

  57. Hi Amanda! Found you through craftgawker. This is a lovely effect you have achieved. I already had a mug printed with a photo, but I’d love to personalize it by adding my dad’s name to it – - now I know just how to do it. Pinning!

    The Thinking Closet

  58. Rebecca

    hey, I really love your mugs and am thinking about making them for Christmas presents! So, I am wondering how much paint it took you to make one mug? Like how many mugs you could make with each tube of paint? Thank you for your wonderful idea!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      I’m not sure exactly. My one mug didn’t even use half the tube. I’d guess you could do at least 5 with each tube? It’s hard to say for sure.

  59. irene

    how much was Pebeo Porcelaine 150 outliner? Was it at least under $10?

  60. Tammy

    I tried the sharpie on a mug and the only part that lasted was what was drawn on thick. The thinner lines washed off even after baking

  61. I just love your mug! I have just bought supplies to try myself, – i hope i have a steady hand like yours…. Thanks for sharing your idear! And merry christmas.

  62. Tara

    Hi! Thanks for this amazing idea! I didn’t see oven instructions anywhere-can you please advise?

  63. Stephanie

    Is it food safe?

  64. Chelsea

    I am thinking of doing this project myself, I LOVE these. I’ve had them on my favorites bar for a while. How is the cup holding up for you since you made it? Is the pattern still there, any fading, etc?

  65. Beth

    LOVE this! You could do it with stencils too….going to do this for some little girlfriends with a pkt of hot cocoa

  66. Steve

    I’m interested in doing this but I’m wondering about “baking”? Did you just bake it in the oven or do you need a kiln?


  67. Betty Lou

    found on pinterest. Using for my Snowman Soup mugs next year. Thank you!

  68. Arelys

    This is adorable! So glad I found this. How does washing work? Do you think the mug would still be microwave safe?

  69. Arianna

    What other places can you get porcelain paint??

  70. Thanks for the great inspiration. We gave you some link love over at Come visit!

  71. Lara

    hi! This idea is so great and fun to do.i was just wondering if i can use oven toaster or microwave oven? If yes, how long will i cook or heat it? Thanks

  72. You can use this on porcelain, ceramic and also glass. I’ve done this many times.

  73. Camilla

    hi I’m a little late to this, but can you use other colors? this is a stupid question haha.

  74. Joe

    What are the baking instructions of the Pebeo product? Can’t find em!

  75. Abbey

    Would this work on light switch covers?

  76. ahmed Alsayed


    What about Posca marker or On the run (OTR.265) would work the same as you said?

    Thank you

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      I’m afraid I’m not familiar with either of those products, so I’m not sure if they would work or not.

  77. Jessica

    Hi! I loved your mug so much I tried it and it came out great! I got the mug at Dollar Tree so it was inexpensive. My friends all want to buy these from me so I supposed I would ask if it would be okay if I sold a version of your beautiful mugs in my Etsy store? Thanks!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      Sure Jessica! As long as you use your own design rather than my pattern you are welcome to sell them in your Etsy shop. :)

  78. Erin

    Hey! It the mug already glossed? And the paint stays on after baking? I’m thinking about doing this for a birthday present. Just need to know if I get a mug already glossy or not. Thanks! Email me the answer too please!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      It’s just a plain standard porcelain mug, so it will have a shiny finish when you begin.

  79. Diane

    Hey, I noticed it’s been awhile since you posted this. Have you been using and washing the mug? If so, how is it holding up? does it still look the same way, or has any of the design come off?

    would really like to know!

    • Amanda (wit & whistle)

      After three years the paint is still perfect and un-chipped. I always put it through the dishwasher too!

I love your comments more than I love chocolate (almost).


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