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Monday, 17 December 2012

Family/ Couple gift under $10

Years ago, when we first announced that we would no longer be giving store bought gifts I was also very clear that when it came to Christmas gifts everyone would be getting the same thing.
I do this mostly because it saves my nerves.  Thinking up one handmade gift a holiday is enough, I couldn't possibly think up and complete a different gift for each person on my list.   But it's not to be ignored that making several of the same thing is miles cheaper than making several different things.  

Happy Mug Set
This year our gift is simple, useful, cute and inexpensive. WIN! We are making mustache mugs.  Each family/ couple/ person will receive a set of four mugs and a half pound of our custom coffee blend. All for about $10!

Here's how you, too, can make some fun mugs to delight those on your holiday list. 
You will need:
- set of four white coffee mugs (we got ours on sale at Superstore) -$6/set
- black Sharpie OIL BASED medium point paint marker (Michael s craft store) $3 after coupon 
- double sided tape
- scissors
-rubbing alcohol 
-cotton balls
-cookie sheet

Before I go into how TO do this project, let me give you some hints on how NOT to do this project. 
1. You may read somewhere, or multiple places, that if you use a regular Sharpie marker on a glazed mug and bake it, the marker becomes water resistant and won't wash off with regular use.  This is simply not true.  That mustache will wash right off.  And you will feel frustrated. You might even cry if its 11:30 pm and your mugs are for a gift exchange happening the next day.....
2. You may have spotted some enamel paints made for ceramics at the craft store. I tried these paints.  They can work.Avoid the opaque version.  Opaque paint on a glazed mug looks unfinished and homemade, even though all my gifts are homemade I don't want them looking like it.  Avoid the 3D version.  You might think it doesn't matter because you will be brushing the paint smooth, but it doesn't work like that.  The paint is formulated for a dimensional and textured look and thats what will happen.  The regular glossy enamel paint is better but you still get visible brush stroke lines.  And no, using a foam brush to avoid brush lines doesn't work. The foam absorbs all the paint and then becomes thick and hard and unusable.   I cannot tell you how many supplies I went through before finally getting the look I was after.
3. I recommend the Sharpie oil based paint marker because it really is the best for this purpose.

To begin clean the exterior of your mug with the rubbing alcohol and cotton balls. This helps the paint stay on and is totally worth the effort.

Google "free mustache templates" and choose four that particularly speak to you. Print them, onto cardstock preferably but plain paper would do just fine.   Carefully cut out your mustaches and apply double sided tape to the back.
My personal favourites
Secure the template to your mug.
Holding the paint marker upright shake well and gently depress the maker tip a few times.  Then, using a scrap of paper or cardstock, while holding the marker downward (as you would to write) continue to depress the marker tip repeatedly until a smooth flow of paint is achieved.

Trace around your template. Then remove the template. Do this carefully, sometimes the tape is super sticky, but do get it all off.  If you are making more than one set of mugs keep the template for future use.
Colour in your mug with the paint marker. Allow to dry for 15-20 minutes.
Just in case you were unclear about the colouring step :)
Examine you work.  You may find spots you missed or would like to touch up- now is the time.
Looking closely you can see some spots that need touching up
Place your mugs on a cookie sheet and into a cold oven. Set the temperature for 350 and your timer for 30 minutes.  When the timer sounds turn off the oven but leave the mugs inside to cool.

That Guy enjoying his mug
Now your friends and family can enjoy the novelty of a silly mustache without the facial hair commitment. Because THAT is what's really on everyone's wish list this holiday season. :)

1 comment:

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