DIY Sharpie Mugs

Looking for easy and creative handmade Christmas gifts this year? How about making your own DIY Sharpie mugs? All you need are a few simple materials to create these unique gifts that are great for any special occasion or celebration! Let’s get started!


First, you’ll want to make sure your mugs are clean from any dust or debris. Simply wash with soap and warm water, dry, and wipe down with rubbing alcohol. This will ensure a clean surface for you to work with and allow the designs to stick. If using the Sharpie paint pens for the first time, remove the cap and press the tip down to release the air pressure inside. Put the cap on and shake well. Gently press the tip down onto a piece of paper and allow the ink to flow to the tip. This may take a minute or so. When the tip is fully soaked with ink, the pen is ready to write. Avoid banging the tip against the paper as that will not make the ink flow any faster and will ruin the tip of your pen. Always replace the cap as soon as possible to avoid drying out the tip.

Tip: If you make a “mistake,” you can easily wipe away any stray or unwanted marks with a little rubbing alcohol placed on the end of a Q-tip. Be sure the pen mark is dry at this point, then gently rub away the ink. For larger areas, use a cotton ball or baby wipe dipped in rubbing alcohol.

If writing a sentiment, you’ll want to apply that first and then add any decorations or embellishments around it. Use an extra-fine point paint pen to write words and to draw outlines of shapes. For a faux calligraphy look, write in cursive the words that you would like on the mug. Then draw and fill in all the lines that you made on the down stroke for a consistent look. Allow outlines to dry before filling them in with the same or different color.

Add winter foliage with the extra fine tip black paint pen, and fill in with extra fine tip red and green pens once the outline has dried. Tip: remember to leave about ½” from the rim of the mug free from any of your designs to avoid contact with lips when in use.

“Let it Snow” Script & Snowflakes

When working on a larger surface, you can also draw in larger words or phrases with the medium tip marker and outline with an extra fine-tip marker in black. Add simple snowflake designs in in black and add highlights to the letters with extra fine white and silver markers.

You can practice your designs on a separate paper with pencil to get the idea down. It helps to use scrap paper that is cut to the size of your mug, especially if you’re writing a sentiment or creating a design that you’d like to be visible from one side of the mug. If you’re making an overall pattern, accurate placement isn’t as important, although you’ll still want to make sure your designs will fit overall.

Faux Mosaic Christmas Tree Mug

Don’t have the greatest drawing skills? No worries! Try free-hand drawing a simple tree shape with a black medium tip Sharpie paint marker. Looks a little wonky or like a kid drew it? Good! Now just split up the tree (or star, heart, any shape will do) into geometric shapes. Begin filling in the shapes with different colors. Try to avoid putting two of the same colors next to each other for a balanced look.

Now you have a bright and unique, stained-glass effect! This also makes a great activity for kids, as it is simple to do and the results are really fun.

“Be Merry” Winter Wreath

To create the base of the wreath, quickly draw three to four overlapping circles with the medium tip brown paint pen. When dry, use the extra fine tip black paint pen to write “Merry” in the bottom half of the wreath in cursive, filling in each letter on the down stroke. Write “BE” above “Merry” in a different font. This creates a more interesting look when you combine two different “fonts.” It also helps to write the larger word first so that it’s easier to center the smaller words.

After the sentiment is dry, add winter foliage (leaves, stems, holly, berries, etc.) with the medium and fine tip paint pens in green, brown, and red.

Ornaments Mug

Draw a few simple shapes (circles, almond, oval, star, etc.) with the extra fine tip black paint pen. Darken the outlines of the shapes and add designs on the shapes as well as around the ornaments. Fill in spaces with different colors. Try leaving some white space for contrast. You can also add little dots, stars, etc directly with the Sharpie paint pens to create an interesting background.

Try a variety of techniques and designs to create unique handmade Christmas gifts! You can write a variety of colorful holiday words, greetings or sentiments and pair them with simple black-line decorative shapes. Or try an overall pattern of different size and style items like Christmas trees, winter animals, cookies, etc.! The point of any handmade gift is giving from the heart, so have fun with it! Don’t worry too much about being Pinterest-perfect and you’ll create something fun and unique.

Not in the holiday mood or want to create something for all-year use? Try simple phrases that describe the gift recipient you have in mind or try drawing their favorite item, animal, etc.! Try using a reference photo or just look up “line drawings” of your subject matter for inspiration (like the line drawings of flowers and succulents below) and draw with the extra fine tip black paint pen.

To create a dishwasher safe mug, allow your designs to dry and cure for at least 3 days. Then place your mugs onto a baking sheet and place in the oven. Set the oven for 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius) for 30 minutes. It’s important to place the mugs in the oven and let them heat up gradually to prevent from cracking. Turn off the oven after 30 minutes and allow the mugs to cool inside the oven. Once cooled, remove from oven and let cure for another 3 days. Hand wash or place them in the top rack of the dishwasher to clean.

Homemade Christmas gifts are special, one-of-a-kind and a great activity for the whole family! You can also use your paint pens to decorate metal pails for holding holiday gifts and treats or decorating tags, boxes, and more! Any decorative item doesn’t need to be heat set--they’re ready to gift the same day. I hope you enjoyed this DIY Sharpie Mugs tutorial and are inspired to create and give your own DIY Christmas gifts this year.