DIY: Personalized Mugs (aka Sharpie Mugs)

This is a great little diy project, especially with Valentine's day coming up! You can customize a mug, plate, or any other ceramic dish of your choice and make it really personal for that special someone.

I know the diy sharpie mug has been around Pinterest a ton lately, but beware, NOT all sharpie mug tutorials work...I searched long and hard for a tried and tested method, and now that I've done the testing myself -- it has been confirmed -- this method really works! (Here is the tutorial I based mine off of, but I will outline step-by-step how I did my mugs, with added helpful tips)

Materials you need:
- ceramic mug (or dish), cheap dollar store or Walmart kind works better
- Sharpie oil-based paint marker, available at Michaels or any craft store (make sure it says non-toxic)
- oven

>> Make sure the mugs are clean and no oil or residue is on it before you start painting. If you want to, as an optional step, clean the mug with alcohol to triple check its cleanliness.
>> I just free-handed my designs right onto the mug with the paint pen, but it's always a good idea to practice or brainstorm your idea on paper. (tip: if you do mess up, not to worry, it really isn't 100% permanent! I found that nail polish remover can actually help to dissolve the paint...however it can get quite messy so only use this as a last resort)
>>When you are done designing your mugs, let them sit and dry, preferably over night~a full 24 hours. It helps to set the paint for the baking process.
>> Place the dried mugs onto a cookie sheet upside down, and set it in the middle rack of the oven. DO NOT preheat the oven! Once the mugs are in, set the temperature to 425 degrees F. Start timing 30 minutes once the oven reaches 425. While in the oven it did seem to give off a weird smell, so if you are sensitive, make sure you let the kitchen air out while the mugs are baking.
>> Let the mugs cool in the oven as much as you can before removing them. I just left mine until the oven was completely cool. This is to prevent any cracking from sudden changes in temperature.

After they were completely cooled, I tested my mugs by lightly scratching it AND hand washing it in warm soapy water, and they seemed to hold up well. I did not, however, put them in the dishwasher -- I was just too scared to...

The final product: