So many DIY projects are out there, but I seem to come back to “Miss You” mugs on Pinterest time and time again. I’ve read over 15 blogs about them from the total fails to the fading mugs and a few that have turned out great. After compiling all of the information, I whipped up a set of my own to give to a woman I’ve known all my life but is still so hard for me to shop for: my sister.
With her living on the tippy tail of the East Coast and me close to the tippy top, we see each other about once a year- these mugs are perfect for us, but I wanted to make ones that would last. Taking all the tips from all the previous pinners and posters, I came up with a set of mugs that are fun and withstand a nice hand scrubbing with hot soapy water (I can’t test a dishwasher because I don’t have one!).
Try these mugs for your favorite mama… or your most missed loved one!
First, find yourself some inexpensive ceramic mugs. The cheaper mugs have less glaze and thus absorb the ink in the markers better than a more expensive set. I used a set of mugs I’d gotten for Valentine’s Day years ago, that I have loved and knew were exactly what I was looking for. Give them a good cleaning, let dry, then use some rubbing alcohol on the space where you will be marking your mugs, to clean off any residue oils which can make the marker slide off. Set your mugs aside to air dry.
While your mugs dry, print out outlines of the states you will be putting on your mugs (or whatever design you’d like). A simple Google search of “State Outline” will come up with a ton of options. Downsize the picture to scale so that it will fit on your mug. Mark the places you each live in the state for an added special touch. Then with a pencil, trace the state through the paper (so when you place the traced side down it is facing the right way). MAKE SURE YOUR MUGS ARE DRY: Lightly tape the paper, traced side down, against your mug and use your pencil to shade over the outline. When you pull the paper off, a light pencil mark will remain!
Using a Sharpie Oil Paint Marker (NOT just a plain permanent marker) trace your design onto the mug (remember that if you use a color, it may not bake exactly as that shade or tone). I chose silver to do my whole design.
After I traced the states onto my mugs, I did a little freehand trail and words. A “Miss You!” and “#1 Big Sis!” were perfect to match up these mugs to each other. I went over any spots where the marker seemed too thick on the mugs, and then set them aside to dry overnight. In the morning I placed the mugs in the oven and then set it to 425º- it is key to let the mugs heat up with the oven to prevent any cracking. Once at 425º, I left them in for 30 minutes. I shut the oven off after that time, but left the mugs in, again to cool down with the oven and prevent cracking.
I took the mugs out and they were perfect! I gave them each a hot water/soapy wash to make sure they would hold up and then dried them with a hand towel before stuffing them with tissue paper and packing them up in a floral gift bag- included is a bag of organic coffee, a Starbucks gift card for busy mornings, and my signature touch: a mushy Hallmark Card.
So… for the woman who has everything or wants nothing- a gift from the heart (with a little treat inside) seems like the perfect way to go!
Happy Mother’s Day to everyone celebrating- I hope you get a few sentimental memories this holiday.