DIY Sharpie Dinnerware

Update: I am so excited that so many people are loving and trying this project! Please note that as I do not have a dishwasher in my home, I have not personally been able to test washing my pieces in a dishwasher. To date, I have had zero issues washing my pieces with normal dish soap and a soft cloth. Some people are reporting issues with the marker washing off, so you may choose to do a test first.

DIY Sharpie mugs from The Sweetest Occasion

Today’s DIY project was completely inspired by this pin that I’ve been obsessing over on Pinterest for a while now. According to the pin, you can write or doodle on dinnerware with a Sharpie marker and bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and the design will stay permanently. Guess what? It really works! And it really is that simple. So I tried out a few different designs to create my own custom dinnerware and today I’m going to show you the pretty little things I came up with. This is so simple and such a sweet idea!

DIY Sharpie bowl from The Sweetest Occasion

Supplies -

  • White dinnerware (I chose a dessert plate, two mugs and a bowl)
  • Sharpie marker(s)
  • Glass cleaner + a lint-free cloth
  • Oven

DIY Sharpie dinnerware from The Sweetest Occasion

First up, remove any stickers or labels that might be on your dishes. I picked mine up at Christmas Tree Shop for $1 each. Then I washed and dried each piece and finally gave them a good scrubbing with glass cleaner and a soft, lint-free cloth just to make sure they were all clean and shiny. The first piece I tackled was a little dessert plate. I found a pretty adhesive stencil with a botanical design at Michaels, positioned it where I wanted it on the plate and filled in the stencil with a fine tip black Sharpie marker. You can use any color you like, although I really loved the black on white and used it for all of my pieces.

DIY Sharpie plate from The Sweetest Occasion

DIY Sharpie plate from The Sweetest Occasion

Next up, the cutest little polka dot bowl! I decided to just freehand cute oversized polka dots all over the outside of the bowl, eyeballing the size and placement as I worked. I was a little worried it would end up looking too homemade, but I love the slightly imperfect vibe. It’s modern and fun. These would be perfect for whipping up for a party or for making special, custom ice cream bowls for midnight snacks. You could even make personalized cereal bowls for everyone in the family! Seriously, the ideas are endless.

DIY Sharpie bowl from The Sweetest Occasion

DIY Sharpie bowl from The Sweetest Occasion

Then I tackled my favorite – super sweet and sentimental personalized mugs! As soon as I saw that now infamous pin, I knew I needed to make a pair of adorable mugs. This one was a little trickier as I just freehanded with marker onto each mug. I had to try each one a few times to get them just right, but luckily you can just wipe off the marker with some glass cleaner and a bit of elbow grease and start over if you mess up. That said, remember that the handdrawn quality is what makes these pieces so darling so don’t obsess over perfection!

DIY Sharpie mugs from The Sweetest Occasion

DIY Sharpie mugs from The Sweetest Occasion

DIY Sharpie mugs from The Sweetest OccasionDIY Sharpie bowl from The Sweetest Occasion

I completed all of the pieces one after the other and then baked them at the same time, using the 30 minutes at 350 degrees specified by the inspiration pin. To bake them, I simply placed them directly on the rack in the cool oven, then turned on the heat. After 30 minutes I turned off the oven and let it cool completely before removing my fancy new dinnerware. Once everything was completely cool, I tried scrubbing the designs and the marker didn’t budge a bit. Voila! It actually works!

Note: I should note that I don’t have a dishwasher in my apartment, so I can’t say for sure if they’d hold up to the dishwasher, but hand washing will get the job done.

DIY Sharpie mugs from The Sweetest Occasion

For most of my pieces I kept the marker design on the exterior, with the exception of the dessert plate. I’m not entirely sure if this would be considered non-toxic or not, so if you have little ones around I would definitely suggest just using the plates for decorative purposes, but the bowl and mugs are totally usable! You can do this on any dinnerware you’d like to jazz up or do what I did and pick up some inexpensive pieces and give them a custom look for literally pennies. These would be perfect as bridesmaids or hostess gifts, stocking stuffers come holiday season, a sweet little trinket for your beloved…you get the idea!

Many thanks to my lovely friend Alice G. Patterson who is going to be rockin’ out all kinds of awesome DIY shoots with me in the coming months. Stayed tuned for lots more!

{Design + styling by Cyd Converse for The Sweetest Occasion. | Photos by Alice G. Patterson.}

The fine print: Please link with love! As with all of our posts, DIY projects featured on The Sweetest Occasion may not be copied, distributed or reproduced without express written permission. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share this post, please link to this post directly for the DIY tutorial and do not include the instructions in your own post. Thanks so much! xoxo

44 comments

Comments

oh these are so cute! yes i was going to ask about the ‘safety’ of it. but for decorating the outside of a mug, totally cute. perhaps i’ll have my son make a mug or bowl for my husband. :)

What a great DIY! Thank you for sharing. Am going to get me some sharpie pens!

Love this DIY idea…it’s cute, looks really easy, and would be a great way to personalize dinnerware for guests at a wedding or party!

So many different type of “get-togethers” where this could be such a fun activity… endless possibilities!

This is so fun! I will definitely be trying this!

Victoria

This is adorable! Do you know if the same technique would work on glassware? Please let me know!

cyd

Hi Victoria! I assume it would although I can’t say for certain. It’s definitely worth giving a shot, because it’s so darn cheap! I would just choose an old glass or a cheap dollar store glass to give it a try first and then just go to town! Good luck!

So glad everyone is loving this post, it’s one of my favorites! :-)

Victoria

Ill give it a try.
My sister in law has chosen to theme her kitchen with octopi. It’s been a fruitless search for octopus wine glasses (which I think she would love, so I’ve been stuck on finding some). I think I’ll make my own now!

cyd

Love that idea, Victoria! If it works out, I’d love to have you shoot me an email with some photos and I’ll put them up on the facebook page! :-)

this is so fun! i’ll have to try this eventually!

Molly

Have you tried putting them through the dishwasher? Do they make it out alive?

cyd

Hey Molly! I actually don’t have a dishwasher in my apartment so I wasn’t able to try it out, but they hold up perfectly to hand washing with aggressive scrubbing. ;-)

Kelly

I tried this and mine did NOT survive the dishwasher. :-(

Veronica

ive done this and put them in the dishwasher and it does come off a little. i think if i kept washing them in the dishwasher it would eventually all come off.

Allison

Huge disappontment. I made a very intricate design. Took 3 hours to hand draw. Baked at 350 for 30 minutes. Let it cool in the oven. I used a sharpie. It all came off in the first washing

cyd

Hey Allison! I am so sorry to hear that. How did you wash it? I don’t have a dishwasher so I wasn’t able to test it in the dishwasher, but all of my pieces held up to vigorous handwashing with a scrubber sponge…

Trish

Do you bake them at 350 for 30 mins AFTER the oven is preheated (placing them in oven while it preheats) or just 30 mins TOTAL?? Btw, this is fantastic, cant wait to try it :)

cyd

Hey Trish! I put them in the cool oven, let it heat up, timed 30 minutes from when it reached temperature, turned it off, let it cool completely and then removed them from the oven. So glad you’re going to give it a try!

Michele

does anyone know if any of the other permanent pens will work, Bic’s Mark-It! Markers? They have more colors in a prepackaged group and thought I would get a set.

cyd

Hi Michele! I’m not positive, but I believe any permanent pen/marker should work. The nice thing is, this is so easy and budget-friendly you could try a test with a simple design and if it doesn’t work you could just use Sharpies instead. Good luck! :-)

Rachelle

I also decorated a few items and they all washed off when I hand washed them but today I purchased oil base permenant sharpie markers from Micheal’s craft store and I’m going to try it again to see if that works better! It’s a very cool idea and I hope it works!

Mary

I did this, tried several different kinds of dishes and it did not work, I tried the dishwasher as well as hand washing, it wiped right off with a sponge. Real bummer as it was a birthday gift

Erica

I tried this yesterday and the lettering washed off immediately (as shown in my blog). I wish it were this simple :( Oh well.

http://burkehareco.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/diy-design-cups-with-a-sharpie-fail/

So cute! I tried this too, and did a little review of my experience on my blog. I linked to your post because I loved your designs. Check it out: http://theyarntotell.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/diy-sharpie-mug/

Dani

Jaime

They make food grade markers made for this kind of craft. The ink bakes right into the dish and won’t come off. Local craft stores should have them.

cyd

Oh awesome – thanks for the tip, Jaime!

I shared a link to your post on The Craft Connection. I searched the Sharpie website and found their inks to be “Quick-drying ink AP certified nontoxic formula”

Kristen

I tried this too. It survived the hand wash with a soft sponge but rubbed off with a scour side of the sponge. If I was making these for myself I would’ve been more gentle and ok with that, but I was doing a trial run for gifts. It could’ve been the cheap mugs I bought. It is a great idea though and something I will do with my daughter, but not as gifts.

Elizabeth

Do the dishes have to be oven safe? That seems like a dumb question to ask but if you buy them at a dollar store are they all oven safe or does it have to say that on the dish?

Sarah

FYI to those with dishwashers – I tried this and it was really adorable! Then I made the mistake of putting it in the dishwasher and the pattern was ruined. Stick to hand-washing for these!

I did this today with my granddaughter and the colors changed. The pink didn’t show much, the yellow turned tan brown and green got darker. Bright colors look great. Next is the wash test.

Kellie

Does it matter what type of dishes you use? Corelle, stoneware, china, etc?

I tried our but mine seemed to wipe off after ;(

Kate F

Thank you for this post! I just made the prettiest mason jar with a floral decoration…my new change jar!

Aw, your Sharpie plates look gorgeous, well done! I have this linked to my DIY dinnerware post as well today, for inspiration!

cyd

So fun, Kate! Great idea!

Becky

I tried this on a glass cup and it scrubbed right off. I even put it back in for a second time and the sharpie still scrubbed off. Super bummed bc this is such an awesome idea. I followed the directions so can you tell what went wrong? …doesn’t work on glass? must be a specific type of surface?

cyd

Hi Becky! I did not try this on glass so I am not sure how to make it work on glass. My trials were all on ceramic/stoneware pieces. Sorry about that!

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