A Handmade Father’s Day Gift

mustache-mug-thumb

For this Father’s Day craft, I’ll show you how to break away from the standard, boring crafts and make a $2 mug from Michael’s into a gift he’ll never forget.

Ever wonder how is Dad feeling on any given day? Let him tell you even before he’s finished his morning coffee!

The date of father’s day is Sunday, June 17, 2012. Creating this mug takes about 1- 2 hours if you really take your time with the drawing and lettering.

Step 1: Supplies

All you need for this project are:

  1. a white/creme ceramic mug
  2. permanent markers (Sharpie or Prismacolor work well)

Or, you can purchase a kit like they have a Michaels for about two dollars:

Step 2: Mustache Artwork

You can draw your mustaches freehand, or use the image I’ve created below. This artwork is sized to fit the standard size mug you see in this lesson. If your mug is larger or smaller, adjust the sizes of the mustaches to fit your mug.

Click on the mustache image below, and it will open the full size image in another browser window. Then right click and choose “Save Image As”. This will save the artwork to your computer so you can print it.

Print out the provided mustache artwork. Be sure when printing to print “actual size” and NOT “fit to paper” so that the image prints the proper size. Cut out along the black lines, and you’ll have artwork that fits a standard size mug.

Want me to provide different variations of mustaches for your Father’s Day craft? Leave a comment and let me know what you’re looking for!

Step 3: Tape Artwork to Mug

The template above is provided to give you a guide to drawing the mustaches on the mug. Tape the paper cutout to the bottom half of the mug as shown below.

The paper should wrap around either side of the handle, then tape each end of the paper together. Having these images on the mug will help you draw them the proper size and get them spaced right.

Step 4: Trace the Mustache onto the Mug with Pencil

You don’t have to trace with pencil if you’re in a hurry, but I like to have a light outline to give myself a starting point before diving in with the permanent marker.

Important Note: If you buy the mug I’m using from Michaels, only the outside of the mug is glazed for decorating. Don’t draw on the inside or bottom.

Step 5: Trace over the Mustache with Black Permanent marker

Depending on the brand of marker you’re using, you may or may not have to do two coats of ink to get a really opaque black. If you’re after a more “hairy” look, you may want a less opaque look, with the streaks giving a hair effect. Experiment and see what you like.

Step 6: Write words on the Mug

Once you’ve drawn the mustaches, now it’s time to write words to associate with each mustache. Depending on your guy, you may choose different words. The mustaches I have in the template are intended to be:

  1. Einstein
  2. Dali
  3. Hulk Hogan (or biker)

So I chose the words:

  1. Smart
  2. Artsy
  3. Tough

But do your own thing. The only limitation is the number of characters in a word. You don’t want three really long words or they will wind up reading like a sentence rather than individual words. Think about three words and how much space would be allowed between each one. Also, read on for a trick on centering and spacing words.

To center your word in the middle of each mustache, figure out your centermost letter (or centermost two letters). Write that letter/s first, in the very middle of the mustache. From there build out the word from the center, outward. This will ensure that your word is centered to the mustache.

See below, I started with the “T” in Artsy.

When you’re done with your lettering, wipe down your mug with some kind of all-purpose cleaner or window cleaner to get the pencil lead off the surface.

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Step 7: Extra Embellishments

You can add any sort of embellishments you want, but for this mug I wanted to add some color, and keep it masculine. I decided on a colored stripe along the bottom of the mug.

Start by masking off the area where you want the stripe to appear. I used masking tape, but next time I’m going to try a different kind of tape. You’ll see why in a minute.

Stripe is masked off, now I’m using the markers that came with the mug to create colored blocks. These markers blend pretty well, so feel free to experiment with blending the colors to create new colors.

Ok so look at the photo below and you will see the problem I talked about earlier. See how the marker bled under the tape? I didn’t push the tape down hard enough on the mug, so the marker seeped up under the tape and gave it some jaggie edges.

Next time I think I’m going to try electrical tape, or maybe scotch tape and make sure it is adhered tightly to the mug.

In the below image you can see it happened on both the top and bottom of the colored bar. It’s not horrible, but would have looked really cool if it were a super clean line.

So what now? Is our father’s day craft doomed? Hells no! ;) I try to treat every goof up as an opportunity to make it better.

I’m going to keep piddling with it to see if I can clean up at least one of the edges.

I think a black line across the bottom of the mug might look cool and pull in some of the black from the mustaches.

Step 8: Bake in the Oven

So how does all of this artwork survive multiple runs through the dishwasher? Ya gotta bake it on – at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Final Product

Not too bad for $2 eh? And remember you can draw any kind of mustache and write any words you like to make this Father’s Day craft the most special (and funny) he’s ever received.

[img src="http://www.jengordon.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/mug-drawings.jpg" style="round"]

Looking for other cool Father’s Day Crafts?

Here are some other ideas to check out:

Scrabble Board with Photos
Scrabble Board with Words only

Or here are a couple of other Sharpie marker craft ideas:

Mug with Metallic Design
Various Sharpie Art
Drawing on Fine China

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6 Comments on “A Handmade Father’s Day Gift

  1. How many times has it survived through the dishwasher so far? Thanks! Great tutorial!

    • Good question! It’s doing great after about five washings so far. I’ve read other reports that it stays on permanantly. I think it may vary depending on how thick you layer the ink. :)

  2. Love this…just came back from Michaels with the mug, and sat down to print the mustache template. But I got this error message when I tried to download the template…”This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it? It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for.”

    Can you help? I was SOO looking forward to making this super cute idea for my husband.

  3. Hi! I was wondering if 350 degree would be Fahrenheit or Celsius? thanks! (:

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