Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dishwasher Safe Sharpie Mug Tutorial

Have you seen the awesome tutorials on diy Sharpie mugs? I think they are super cute! I've seen it all over Pinterest in the last month or so. What a great idea for a gift, for yourself or someone else! I just hit up the Goodwill and bought up every blank tea cup and mug they had in the store, so expect some Sharpie mug art here soon. 

All of the tutorials that I've seen state that the Sharpie + baking method is fine, but will only hold up under hand washing. If you want it to be dishwasher safe you have to use special markers, like Pebeo brand. 

HOWEVER, while I was at the craft store looking for these Pebeo markers (which they, of course, did not have), I discovered that if you followed the instructions for baking your mug listed on the back of the Folk Art Enamel paint bottles, that you could, in fact, use a Sharpie, and that the mug would, allegedly, be dishwasher safe. 

I just had to find out if this was true! 

I did a little test run on a Goodwill tea cup to see how it fared... 

mug, sharpie, porcelain, cup, bake, tutorial

Looks like I was told right! Thank you kind sales associate at the Pearl City Ben Franklin Crafts! 

I washed this on the top rack, through a heavy cycle no less, and it really held up. The ink may be the tiniest bit faded, but it is no where near the damage that was reported in other tutorials. Those mostly said that the artwork was completely washed away. 

SO, what is this magical process you might ask? It's actually very simple. 

The most popular Sharpie mug method is to bake the mug at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Take this method and extend it a bit. 

1. Clean your cup with rubbing alcohol to remove all grease and dirt. (I didn't do this because I couldn't find mine, I washed it with Dawn and then rinsed it with hydrogen peroxide since it's what I had on hand.)

2. Use a Sharpie to create a design. Set aside for one hour.

3. Place the cup in a COLD oven. 

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once the oven is preheated, set the timer for 30 minutes. 

5. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off, but leave your cup in the oven until it is completely cooled. Approximately 2 hours. 

That's it! Easy as pie. 


By reading through comments on other tutorials I've noticed that not everyone has had the same experience with the Sharpie. Some claimed it washed off right away with hand washing. I recommend doing what I did, make a small design on the bottom of a cup, go through the whole process and then run it through the dish washer when you're done. This way you'll know for sure if it will work for you without wasting time (and a beautiful piece of art!).

Also, I'd like to say that although this process seemed to really set the ink into the porcelain, I won't be washing them in the dishwasher regularly. I'll stick to hand washing, and when giving as gifts, recommend they do the same. It is nice to know though that if a well-meaning husband, or child, sticks it into the dishwasher by mistake, that it won't be completely destroyed!

Be prepared for a bombardment of Sharpie mugs in the very near future! I'll be doing a tutorial on how to trace designs on to the mug for those of you who are uncomfortable doing it free hand!


  1. can you use hydrogen peroxide instead of rubbing alcohol

  2. I rinsed mine with hydrogen peroxide after I washed it with Dawn. I'm not sure it was really necessary after using the Dawn though. I don't think peroxide has the same cleaning power as rubbing alcohol. (For example, you an use rubbing alcohol to remove permanent marker on plastic, but hydrogen peroxide can't do that.) I'd just give it a good wash in the sink, pat dry, then rinse it with peroxide for good measure :)


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