DIY & Crafts

Festive Friday #1: Hand-Painted Mugs

Canadian Living
DIY & Crafts

Festive Friday #1: Hand-Painted Mugs

Hi friends, Welcome to the first Festive Friday! The project I tackled for this week's post is something that I've wanted to do for a long time – dot-painted china. I had visions of perfect presents dancing in my head when I set out to buy the supplies for this craft...and while my results were satisfactory, I'm also here to share a few hints and tips (because I didn't find this experience to be quite as easy as it looks!). First off, make a cup of tea, grab a couple of cookies, and turn on Hawaii 5-0 (it's still a little early for the Christmas tunes, I think). Next, gather  your supplies. gather-your-things You will need:
  • Plain white ceramics (I bought the mugs at Home Hardware for $2.50 each)
  • Ceramic paint (such as Pébéo's Porcelain 150 and Porcelain Outliners)*
  • A paint brush*
  • Paint squeeze bottles (optional)
  • Paper towels and baby wipes
  • Pencil, paper, and tracing paper...and maybe a pin and a fine-tipped Sharpie
*I got the paints and brush as a kit at my local DeSerres store. Next, decide how you're going to decorate your mug. Although the floral patterns Martha provides on her site are pretty, I decided that I wanted a mug my friend could take to work and use when it was break time. I traced some letter templates (also from the Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts) to make a template. trace-your-pattern I really liked the idea of dot-painting the china, so these dotted letters seemed like a perfect match. When you've got your pattern copied (and you could photocopy a pattern here if that seems easier), trim it and then cut a piece of tracing paper to size. Layer them on the mug as follows: tracing paper (chalk side down), pattern (pencil marks up), and then tape. Voilà. tape-it-all-together Now, this is where things got a bit squidgy for me. According to the directions, the next step was to transfer the marks to the mug by tracing the pencil marks with a ballpoint pen. I think this might have worked better for me if I was working on a flat surface, but the curved mug made this very difficult. After carefully tracing everything, I removed the patterns to discover that only the top part of the pattern had transferred...and then, so faintly that it's almost impossible to see here. reevaluate-your-options So after a brief break to eat cookies, I re-evaluated my options and went rogue. After wiping the messy dots off with a baby wipe (surprisingly effective!) I pierced the dots on the pattern paper with a pin, taped it back onto the mug, and then used a fine-tipped Sharpie to put tiny (permanent) marks on the mug. Much better. (Note: at this point it was 10:30 p.m., so I nixed the second word in hopes of getting a decent night's sleep.) Next, it was time to paint. I poured my chosen colour (a nice green) into a small bottle fitted with a tiny metal tip – perfect for applying tiny dots of paint – and away I went. paint-it-up You'll probably notice that that doesn't look like dot-painting at all. Three dots in, the paint started to run, so I went for full-on letters instead. Actually, I kind of like it! I let the paint dry overnight, and the next day, popped it in the oven to cure. The directions come with the paint, but it couldn't be simpler: Put your mug on a cold cookie sheet and put both into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 300F. When the temperature is reached, set the timer for 35 minutes; after that, turn the oven off, open the door and allow to cool completely. (Keep in mind that different products may have different curing instructions.) Overall, this was a fairly easy project, but I think I'm going to make some adjustments to my materials and methods and try it again this weekend. If you're going to try this (and you should, it was fun and would be a good group activity), I'd recommend:
  • Using flat, not curved mugs – or something super easy, such as a plate, platter or tray.
  • Using the pin+Sharpie method from the get-go. Just use a marker colour that the paint will cover completely.
  • Consider a paint substitution: Instead of the thinner, bottled paint, try the Porcelain Outliners for the dot-painting. The paint is just a bit thicker, and the fact that it comes in a tube means there's no need for any messy transferring.
I'll post more pictures of my finished mugs next week (with any luck I'll get to take some in daylight over the weekend, wouldn't that be nice?) and provide you with details on how you can share photos of your projects, too. In the meantime, have a great weekend!
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DIY & Crafts

Festive Friday #1: Hand-Painted Mugs

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