DIY Hand-Painted Travel Mug

2This project has been on my mind for more than a year, and recently, when I was cleaning out my studio, I found my porcelain paint pen and days later found a blank travel mug at the thrift store. It seemed like it was meant to be. I don’t know about you, but I see these little plain white travel mugs at thrift stores all the time. Well, I see lots of travel mugs at thrift stores (maybe because we’re up here in “Coffeetown Central,” where a coffee addiction results in a surplus of travel mugs), but these seem relatively easy to come by at the thrift store. So if you’re a cheap-o like me, I’d check a local thrift shop first before dropping some bills for a new one. We thrifters are well-caffeinated folks, so you should have plenty to choose from.


  • Porcelain travel mug
  • Pencil (optional)
  • Pebeo Porcelaine paint pen
  1. I used a white mug, but these porcelain travel mugs come in many different colors, so if you want a more colorful version, just buy a solid color instead of white and draw on your pattern. The sky’s the limit!
  2. I sketched this herringbone pattern in pencil first, to have some light lines to follow. Something more simple, like polka dots, probably won’t require this. I used a straw to help guide my vertical pencil lines so they were parallel and straight, then I drew in the angled lines.
  3. Next, follow your pencil template with the paint pen. You’ll have to push down on the pen tip pretty frequently to get the ink flowing. Have a scrap piece of paper on hand to prime the pen when you need to. Be careful not to smudge the wet paint.
  4. Set the mug aside and let it air dry for 72 hours. If you want to make your design dishwasher-safe, put the mug in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes to bake the paint on permanently. Voilá! Fancy, custom, reusable travel mug! Drink your hot beverages in style!
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