DIY Long Distance Mug


For my man’s 25th birthday I DIY’d him this mug along with lots of teas and a tea steeper and latte whip (after buying a ticket to fly to England to surprise him for said birthday I was kinda poor lol).

I followed the directions from this site (Method #4): How To Bake Permanent Sharpie Marker

Some things I wish I knew before I started:

-Any Sharpie colour other than black will shift when you bake it! I painted a bright pinky red on mine and it turned a dark purple.

-In the above article it says that the best method for staying power is to use oil-based paint Sharpie and Krylon Crystal Clear sealing spray, however the sealing spray is toxic. As I had already bought it I applied a light layer only on the outside and not near the very top where your lips would go. Don’t spray it inside the mug! If you are still worried, try method #1 and use regular Sharpies (not acrylic!) and DO NOT use any sealing spray, however this method will fade over time.

-If you want professional, non-toxic, non-fading results try going to a place where you can paint ceramics!


-A white mug (some say the cheaper the better as it won’t have as strong of a glaze on it which may help the paint set).

-Oil-based Sharpie markers (I got mine at the local art supply store)

-Krylon Crystal Clear Sealing Spray

-paper, pen


First, wash and dry your mug. Make sure there’s no film or water on it before you begin.

Next, use the Sharpie to write your message on the mug. For the shapes I put a paper on my laptop screen and traced the plane and countries, then traced around it in sharpie on the mug. If you make a mistake it’s fairly easy to scrape off with your nails or a damp paper towel.

After that, go over your message a second time in sharpie.

The article I used said to let it dry for at least 2 hours. I let mine dry for 8. This is what it looked like after:



Next, place your mug in a COOL oven. You need to let it warm up and cool down with the oven so the ceramic doesn’t crack. Let it heat with the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. Let it cool in the oven.

Let it sit and dry for a couple hours. Don’t touch the paint when it comes out! It will smudge.

After it’s dried and cool, place it in the oven again and let it heat up to 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Let it cool in the oven.

Leave the mug until it is good and dry. I waited 24 hours but it would probably be fine after 2-4 hours. Then spray 1-2 light coats of Krylon Crystal Clear Sealing Spray (the crystal clear is water-resistant). Don’t spray it on the inside of the mug as it is toxic.

This is how it looked afterwards:


I’ll update you with how well it lasts! Have you tried making these? How did it turn out? Any tips?

Have you ever sent your lover a cool DIY or received one?

Come join us on the Long Distance Love page:

Stay tuned for my upcoming novel The Long Distance Diaries 😉

2 thoughts on “DIY Long Distance Mug

    1. I wish I could tell you but we haven’t used it very much and we don’t have a dishwasher. It still looks the same as when I made it though

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