Every once in a while I get a crafting request. As soon as the request is made, I take it as a full on life mission (I’m so worn out I just had to sit and think how to spell “mission” without a “t.”) to find a way to make the project. My competitive spirit combines with my stubborn side to create a full on obsessive crafting explosion.
A few weeks ago, my friend Rachelle asked me to find a way to make this adorable narwhal mug from Anthropologie. I mean, we all love narwhals (we had one as a topper on our wedding pie) but no one wants to pay $28 for a mug. I headed straight for the dollar store for the mug and used oil based Sharpies to create this fairly permanent nawhal shadow mug. I say “fairly” because it will totally stand up to hand washing and might stand up to a few rounds in the dishwasher. I just wouldn’t push it.
- Cheap white mug. Go to the dollar store for this. The glaze used on cheap mugs is poorly done which is what allows the oil based Sharpie to adhere to the mug. If you use a nice mug with quality glazing, the image won’t set.
- Oil based Sharpies – black and blue. You can find these will all the other Sharpies at any craft store. I will also add them to my Things I Like Amazon affiliate link.
- Contact paper
1. Cut out a piece of contact paper that is the height of your mug and wraps all the way around the mug.
2. Draw a narwhal outline on the paper. I know, some of you are like, “Listen lady, if I could just draw a narwhal I wouldn’t be reading this post.” I swear it is easy. I would scan the image for you to copy, but every mug is going to be a different size and shape so I don’t think it would be super helpful. Let me know if you want me to do that though. Might be better than the nothing I am providing right now.
3. Cut out the narwhal and stick it to your mug.
4. With your blue Sharpie, draw a little scribble somewhere on the mug and quickly smudge it up with your finger. You need to work quickly with the smudging as the ink dries quickly.
5. Keep scribbling and smudging until your blobs are looking as amazing as blobs can look.
6. Trace your narwhal shape with the black Sharpie.
7. Peel off the contact paper and fill in the shape.
8. Heat your over to the lowest temperature you can. Mine is 270 degrees F. We have an oven that runs 100 degrees hot so that the lowest we can go.
9. Bake your mug for at least 20 minutes. This sets the ink. I have had mugs take 20 minutes. I have had mugs take an hour. You know you are done when you can scratch the ink with your nail and it doesn’t come off.
10. Let the mug cool and drink up!
- If your blobs or narwhal shape are not looking good, just scrape the paint off with your nail or a paper towel and try again. Prior to baking you can scratch away any of the ink and start fresh.