How to Make a Dishwasher Safe Mug (and what not to do)

Time: 45 minutes (includes bake time)
Materials: ceramic mug, Pebeo Porcelaine 150 pen, oven

How to make a dishwasher safe mug (plus what not to do!)Last year I shared a tutorial for how to paint ceramic and make it dishwasher safe (also used on this ring holder). I recently discovered that the same company makes the specialty ceramic paint in marker form, which opens up what you can do design wise completely! For my first attempt, I decided to do polka dots. Sounds easy enough right? Well, I ran into a bit of a snag along the way and thought I’d share it with you, because hey, who doesn’t love a good craft fail?

 

How to make a dishwasher safe mug (plus what not to do!)

 

All you need to make your design permanent is the porcelaine 150 pen and an oven. You can use any ceramic mug and may even find good ones to makeover at the dollar store.

 

How to make a dishwasher safe mug (plus what not to do!)Okay, so when I first started this project, I thought that by using those hole reinforcements that I could come away with the perfectly placed polka dot. That when I was all done, I would be able to peel away the stickers in one fell swoop and boom, I’d be done in no time at all. Here’s what really happened.

Everything seemed to be okay until I went to peel the stickers. Because of the nature of the paint, all my dots came up almost entirely with the sticker. It looked like what a bubble wand looks like before you actually blow the bubble. Not only did I lose all the work, but I also had to peel the stickers one by one. Let’s just say my hand still hurts.

The good news here is that even if you make a mistake, you can correct it; your mug is not useless! Just scrub your design off with the rough side of a sponge, dry, and start again. You can remove the paint as much as you need before baking to set permanently.

 

How to make a dishwasher safe mug (plus what not to do!)What I ended up doing (which I’m not 100% happy with) was making dots the size of the marker tip. Once I finished and my design was dry, I baked the mug in the oven for 35 minutes at 300˚F.

Be sure to turn off the oven and let the mug cool down to room temperature inside before removing, otherwise it could break. It’s also a good idea to put the mug in the oven when preheating so that it doesn’t warm up too quickly.

How to make a dishwasher safe mug (plus what not to do!)So that’s my first attempt! I love how much control the pen gives, verses the paint, so I will most likely be trying this project again. Have you tried painting your own mugs before?

How to make a dishwasher safe mug (plus what not to do!)Since the mugs are completely dishwasher safe, you can use it for your morning coffee… or to hold washi tape. It’s up to you! And if you’re looking for mugs with a bit more color, check out another version of this tutorial I made for Curbly.

How to make a dishwasher safe mug (plus what not to do!) How to make a dishwasher safe mug (plus what not to do!)

 

  • Aw, this is so cute! I like painting my mugs too, gives a plain mug more character and make me happier to drink from it (:

    • Thank you so much! And doesn’t it? They also make such fun and affordable gifts!

  • Carrie Waller

    Awesome!! Just bought the pen and can’t wait to give it a try. I’m thinking some witty handwritten sayings…Suggestions are welcome!! ;)

    • Oooo how fun! I cannot wait to see! You should probably pick any phrase from Yes Please. Best book ever :)

  • HelloLidy

    Love your honesty! And I love how it turned out – I’m a fan of the smaller dots personally ;)

    XOXO

    • Aww thank you friend! They may be growing on me. It’s hard to judge since it’s just not what I had in mind going into the project, ya know?

  • I bought a porcelain pen several years ago and it is STILL languishing in the package. Argh–I’ve got to make one of these mugs already! :) Thanks for the extra inspiration. :)

    • Oh what?! You need to bust that out IMMEDIATELY Jennie! You’ll have so much fun :)

  • Rachel Smith

    Love the finished product! A tip I learned while making a dalmatian spot mug with the pebo pen, was not to put the paint on too thickly. I did multiple layers on the dots and it ended up bubbling and got gummy in the dishwasher even after being set!

    • Thanks Rachel! And thank you so much for sharing that tip. I love the idea of dalmatian spots too, hopefully it turned out on a second try?

  • I actually LOVE the randomness of your dots! Porcelaine paints are my favorite for ceramics. My tip from plenty of my own Porcelaine craft fails? The Mister Clean Magic Eraser lives up to its name if you change your mind about a design after it’s been sitting there for a little while. :)

    • You are so sweet thanks Lindsay! And thank you so much for sharing that tip. Must add the magic eraser to my toolbox asap. I’m sure it comes in handy all the time :)

  • I love these kinds of pens and I’ve decorated quite a few mugs now for friends and family – they make great gifts! I blogged about it a while ago here: https://littlekoo.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/how-to-decorate-a-mug/

    Mine are Porcelain Painter pens by Marabu, which don’t require oven baking. They claim to be dishwasher safe but I’ve found that even with just handwashing they do chip a bit after a while. I’d be interested to see if the Porcelaine pens last well!

    • Oh fun, thanks for sharing your project! I haven’t heard of the pens by Marabu, so thanks for the heads up about how they hold up overtime. So far my mug has been through the wash several times and no sign of chipping yet!

  • I really need to buy a ceramic pen. I think your mug looks great!

    • Thank you so much Elsa! And you totally should, they’re so fun :)

  • this is great news! I have a few saucers that broke from my collection. I can’t find any replacements for the life of me. This way I can fake it! None will be the wiser. muuuaahh hha ha

    • Oh how smart, I love that idea! Sometimes things just need a bit of paint, ya know?

  • Amy Loughridge Shimaoka

    If you want bigger dots, you can use the eraser end of a pencil and dip the eraser end into the porcelain paint to make dots. I use to paint with Porcelain paint on tiles and sell them at Craft fairs. Its a great medium.

  • ShimaOhana3

    If you want bigger dots, you can use the eraser end of a pencil and dip the eraser end into the porcelain paint to make dots. Just do not make it too goopy, otherwise the paint will bubble when you bake it. Also let it throughly dry before putting it in the oven. I let it cure for at 24 hours to a few days before baking. I use to paint with Pebeo Porcelaine paint on tiles and sell them at craft fairs. Its a great medium.

  • ShimaOhana3

    If you want bigger dots, you can use the eraser end of a pencil and dip the eraser end into the porcelain paint to make dots. Just do not make it too goopy, otherwise the paint will bubble when you bake it. Also let it thoroughly dry before putting it in the oven. I let it cure for at 24 hours to a few days before baking. I use to paint with Pebeo Porcelaine paint on tiles and sell them at craft fairs. Its a great medium.

    • So smart, thank you so much for sharing your tips and tricks! Will definitely have to give them a dry when I redo this project :)

  • This is gorgeous! The dots look so perfect! Lol, and once I tried to makeover a pink stapler by using those hole re-inforcers and like you said it didn’t work!

  • Kelcy Parrish

    Love this! Thank you so much for posting. :) Do you know how the colored Porcelain pens do with the baking? I know that with a colored Sharpie, the oven make the colors much darker. I’m so happy to have found this alternative to Sharpies!

  • Philen005

    Um, what happens if I bake for longer than 30min? Because I’ve moved into a new home and the oven is a bit tricky. So I put my mugs in while preheating, but then it takes a while for me to stabilize the heat at 300F. So by the end, they’ve been in the oven for about 40min … about 10 of those min. Is this bad?

    Also … how high can we allow the temperature to ‘stray’ before we cause damage? Sometimes my oven goes up to 320F before I catch it. Is this dangerous for quality?