I have just made a Sharpie mug and while it looks great and has now become Lisa’s favorite mug I could have made it better… Much, much better.
I will let you know the 3 beginner mistakes I made, why my sharpie mug didn’t work and also address what I believe to be a mistake which is widely banded about on YouTube in Sharpie mug tutorials.
The biggest and first mistake I made was to use the wrong type of Sharpie pen. I didn’t know there were different types of Sharpie pens (no others are sold in the shops near me) but I should have used an oil pen and not the common permanent marker one.
This is why my sharpie mug didn’t work as the ink in the permanent markers washes off in the dishwasher and changes colour when baked in the oven.
The Sharpie oil pens are dishwasher proof nor should they be easily washed off in the sink… unlike the permanent markers that I used.
The 2nd mistake I made was that I didn’t paint enough ink on the mug. I used a “dotting” technique that required me to use the marker to dot around a stencil… You need many, many dots to make a clear defining line.
When I removed the stencil tape I found that the design was a little indistinct near where the stencil was. I recommend that when you think you have dotted enough, dot some more.
Mistake number 3 was not knowing that the pen ink changes colour when baked. Many of the lighter colours ended with an orange tinge which was not present before baking and some colours even disappeared!
Finally, a common myth that I saw in many tutorials and I believe is wrong is that “a cheap mug glaze melts in the oven”. My research into the subject of pottery glaze reviled that the lowest glaze melting point is 600C and as my oven only reaches 220C I don’t believe that the mug glaze melts.
However, I do believe that a cheaper cup and therefore cheaper glaze will be rougher and more porous than an expensive cup, so the Sharpie oil should have more to adhere too and be longer lasting.
Check out other Sharpie mug posts: