Easy Dotted Sharpie Mugs

April 14, 2014

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Last Updated on June 18, 2020


If you have young kids, you probably know that Teacher Appreciation Week is just around the corner!  This year, I want to present my girls' preschool teachers with extra special teacher appreciation gifts because I just adore them and they work so, so hard all year long.  I can't wait to tell you all about how I created these easy, adorable dotted Sharpie mugs!

My twin girls attend preschool Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings and have two teachers.  Not only do Attley and Avery have a great time at preschool, they honestly have learned SO MUCH this year, and it's all because of how hard Ms. J and Ms. K have been working.  For example, my girls' class studied penguins in Feburary and one morning, when we had snow, Avery started rattling off everything she had learned about penguins.  Among the MANY facts she shared with me, she told excitedly told that penguins live in the snow.  She also told me that penguins have babies from eggs, and that they balance the eggs on their feet. I was impressed.  When I told Ms. J that I was surprised Avery remembered that penguins balance their eggs on their feet, she explained that they had practiced balancing eggs on their feet for that lesson.  WOW!  That is why she has an early childhood education degree and I don't :)  And it just demonstrates how much our girls' teachers care about teaching our girls, while having fun at the same time.  We are very lucky to have them.

Many of you may have seen my easy dotted Easter eggs that I shared over on Reasons to Skip the Housework.  The eggs were so fun to make.  I used a decoration method on the eggs that I originally saw used on mugs.  Once I decided that I wanted to make Ms. J and Ms. K customized gifts this year, these easy, dotted sharpie mugs came to mind right away!  So, I asked them what their favorite colors were and got to work!  This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience.  Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

Materials Needed to create easy dotted Sharpie mugs:

  • White mugs
  • Oil based Sharpie paint pen–these are the exact pens that I use: Sharpie Paint Marker Fine Point Oil-Based Pens
  • Craft Stickers
  • A working oven :)
  • Nail polish remover and q-tips to easily wipe off any mistakes that you make :)

Steps to create easy dotted Sharpie mugs:

1) Place a sticker on your mug.  You can place it wherever you like.

2) Using a Sharpie oil-based paint pen in a color of your choice, begin making dots around the edge of your sticker.  Heavily concentrate your dots around the edge of the sticker.  As you work your way outward, make your dots less concentrated.  You can use 1 color or multiple colors.

MUST PIN! Easy dotted Sharpie Mugs. Full tutorial by Designer trapped in a Lawyer's Body. #sharpiemugs

MUST PIN! Easy dotted Sharpie Mugs. Full tutorial by Designer trapped in a Lawyer's Body. #sharpiemugs

3) Allow time for your paint to dry.

4) Once the paint is dry, peel your sticker off.  If you notice any mistakes after you remove your sticker, just wipe them off with a q-tip that has a bit of nail polish remover on it.

5) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Once your oven is heated, set your mugs inside and let them “bake” for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn off the oven and let the mugs and oven cool down.

THAT'S IT!  How adorable and fun are these mugs?

UPDATE!  I've created a short video to show you how to make these easy mugs!  You can watch it here:

If you enjoyed this post, you should also check out my DIY his & hers mugs:

OMG, LOVE THESE DIY his and hers mugs! Designated talker and designated listener--so funny. / And if you are interested, I also created a fun printable to accompany the dotted mugs for Teacher Appreciation week.  I have thought many times that at age 3, it's amazing how much our girls have started to use deductive reasoning, i.e., “connect the dots,” all on their own.  So, I thought it would be just perfect to incorporate that idea into the printable, since I know our girls' teachers have a lot to do with just how many dots our girls are connecting these days!

MUST PIN! These easy dotted mugs make for the perfect teacher appreciate gift! Full tutorial by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body! #teacherappreciation #sharpiemugs

You can save the image to your computer by right-clicking on it and saving it to your computer.

I set my printer to print it on plain, white 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper, 9 to a page so that it was the perfect small, square size to attach to my mug with a ribbon.  I cut it out with scissors and glued it to a piece of scrapbook paper for some added interest and rigidity.

I LOVE these mugs and hope Ms. K and Ms. J will, too!  I know my girls will love presenting them with these one-of-a-kind gifts.

MUST PIN! Easy, dotted mugs for PERFECT teacher appreciation gifts! Full tutorial plus a free printable! by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body. #teacherappreciation #sharpiemugs

What do you think?  Will you be making these for the special teachers in your children's lives?  What color combination will you use?  And if you want to save this project for later, why not pin it for easy reference?


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  1. […] DIY Sharpie Mug From: Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body […]

  2. Stefanie says:

    Hey, so I have read a few different ways to cook the mugs, I cooked mine at 420• for 1hr. I followed the rest the same, my black color faded to a silver glitter color and the paint scratches off, even other colors I used scratches off to, did I cook it too long? I just figured it wouldn’t hurt, but maybe it did… have you ever experienced this? Thanks

  3. Emma says:

    Hey! I just bought a mug for this craft and realized that the rim is gold and will explode in the oven. is there anyway not to use the oven?
    Thank you so much!

  4. Bevin-Anne says:

    Going to try this with stemless wine glasses to use as luminaries! (I hope the thinner glass holds up!)

    • Tasha says:

      I am interested to see how this works for you! I am worried about the temp for the glass. Definitely do research on what temperature to bake it.

  5. Rachael Rich says:

    I saw this and made some of these as Christmas gifts for my family! They turned out wonderfully I fell in love with how they turned out too. So happy I found your page for the oven and how long to cook it and to what degree. I used coffee cups for Target cause I didn’t know about the ones from the dollar store.

  6. Kaitlyn says:

    What brand were the stickers you used? I really like them.

  7. […] como en la foto, que por supuesto no está hecha por niños. La idea y la foto es de la página, Designer Trapped, allí podréis ver el paso a paso. Pero, en realidad, podéis acoplar la idea que más os guste a […]

  8. Jo says:

    I have just received all my items to start making sharpie mugs.

    Now I’m too nervous to put my pen to mug!!

    I want to write freehand, but I write like a 2 year old.

    I have 6 mugs to practice with, so I just have to go for it. Practice is going to be my only way.

    I’m reading lots of tips online, which are very helpful.

    Good luck to me.

    • Tasha says:

      LOL! You can do it. Practice makes perfect and at least you have 6 mugs! Good luck :)

      • Amy says:

        Did you wash them or rub them with rubbing alcohol before you started with the markers?

        • Tasha says:

          I cleaned them with rubbing alcohol to remove any residue and grime! Thanks for reading.

  9. Meena says:

    Hi can any mug brand be used for this project? Will it survive the oven heat?


    • Tasha says:

      I used dollar store mugs, so I think probably so? But it’s hard to say! Good luck!

  10. […] only need 3 materials to make these personalized mugs! (Get an adult to help you when using the […]

  11. Shannon says:

    As a PTA president, I’ve been looking for a thank you gift for the amazing vollunteers this year. This is perfect as I can personalize them with each person’s initial!
    Thank you for an inspiring idea!!

  12. Melissa says:

    Are these dishwasher safe after they are baked?

  13. Tatiana says:

    how do I put them in the oven? just on the rack on a cookie sheet with parchment paper?
    I am doing this project with my teens at work.

  14. […] To get the full tutorial for this DIY Sharpie Mug Craft Project, visit the wonderful people at Designer Trapped […]

  15. […] you love this post, be sure to check how to make these ADORABLE dotted Sharpie mugs.  They are even easier to make and if you want to make the “Designated Talker/Designated […]

  16. […] – Experimenting more with photography, buying my first oil-based Sharpie and whipping up a mug, using some frames we were given to put some of the boys’ artwork in, and thinking through […]

  17. These 7 Days says:

    […] Making a mug for small group and enjoying a new tea […]

  18. Terri Beck says:

    Hi Tasha! Thanks for your inspiration. I am also writing a creative blog and added a link to this page from one of my posts. Come by and visit!

  19. […] Easy Dotted Sharpie Mugs {PERFECT Teacher Appreciation Gifts}! […]

  20. Karrie Diaz says:

    I think the mug is awesome!!!
    Question- doesn’t the sharpie come off when washed?
    Can it be put in the dish washer?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Karrie! The mug can be hand washed ONLY if you use the exact Sharpie paint pens I use (there is a link to them in the post). They cannot be put in the dishwasher. I hope that helps!

  21. […] also packed some Peppermint fudge up in these cute little DIY dotted Sharpie mugs and threw in some homemade Raspberry Mint lip balm for my daughter’s preschool teachers. […]

  22. […] ruined making dots on your paper in kindergarten? Those skills can finally be put to good use! For this DIY, all you need is a coffee mug, oil-based paint pen, sticker, and oven. Click here to go to the […]

  23. Danette says:

    Sorry if you are seeing this again…….I typed a comment, refreshed my screen and then I didn’t see it there anymore.
    Does the mug have to be oven safe to 350 degrees? I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to buy a mug. The lady looked it up in the computer and it said that the mug I chose was only good for up to 250 degrees. I really want to make this project but am afraid of what will happen if I don’t use the correct type of mug.

  24. Danette says:

    Can you use any kind of mug? I went to Bed Bath & Beyond to get a mug, asked the lady if it was safe for the oven and after looking it up she said it was only good up to 250 degrees. I really want to make these but am afraid of using the right kind of mug.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Danette! I bought my ceramic mugs at the Dollar Store! I have no idea if there is a temperature limit on them, but they did just fine in the oven. I hope that helps!

  25. Haley Miller says:

    where did you buy the alphabet stickers? I’m having trouble finding some, thank you.

  26. wendy wagner says:

    It doesn’t matter how many times I make these, or what kind of markers I use , and I’ve used them all, they always washave off!!!!!!!!
    I don’t like that….:(

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Wendy! They will wash off with markers, for sure. But in my experience the oil-based paint pens that are then baked in the oven work like a charm!

  27. […] MUG Source: Designer Trapped Lots of teachers get mugs as gifts, but this one is awesome because it’s made by your child […]

  28. […] You don’t have to color inside the lines. You don’t have to stencil anything yourself. You just make dots around a sticker — we can handle that, right?! Get the full directions here. […]

  29. K. Bell says:

    Can I use the glass “jar” mugs for this project, or does it not work on glass?


  30. Dawn says:

    Thank you for the adorable project! With three kiddos in private school (and a resultant SUPER tight budget), this would be a great Christmas gift for their teachers. I think we’ll do them in school colors! :)

  31. Liesel Chamen says:

    Please advise if the oven temperatures are in Fahrenheit or Celsius. A lot of readers don’t use Fahrenheit in their countries which is a disaster in the making. Thank You ?

  32. This is such a great craft for child to help you with. I saw in your video that at one point you cleaned the porcelain with a Q-tip, was it dry or did you use something like rubbing alcohol or paint thinner ? Thanks for sharing and posting this great craft.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Diena! Thank you! The q-tip had a little bit of nail polish remover on it. It easily removes any little mistakes you make! I hope that helps!

  33. Kayla says:

    These cups are so cute I would love to make these?

  34. Nickiesha Wilson says:

    If you put the mug in the oven before preheating, is that safe?

  35. Pam says:

    Where did you get the stickers?

  36. Lou says:

    Are the dotted mugs washable?

  37. […] DIY renovations and simple craft and home decor projects, like her popular painted vinyl floors and dotted, washable Sharpie mugs. She will inspire you to create a beautiful and happy home on a budget. She lives in Greensboro, […]

  38. […] DIY renovations and simple craft and home decor projects, like her popular painted vinyl floors and dotted, washable Sharpie mugs. She will inspire you to create a beautiful and happy home on a budget. She lives in Greensboro, […]

  39. […] sorority house I’m on a board for and obviously had to throw together some personalized mugs. Here is the tutorial I’ve used to create Sharpie mugs that are […]

  40. […] on your mug and making confetti dots all around it with different color Sharpies you can create a cool monogram. This idea from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body is so […]

  41. […] DIY renovations and simple craft and home decor projects, like her popular painted vinyl floors and dotted, washable Sharpie mugs. She will inspire you to create a beautiful and happy home on a budget. She lives in Greensboro, […]

  42. […] 37. Easy Dotted Sharpie Mugs: Create a beautiful design with dots. […]

  43. Jamie says:

    What I love about this, is its so simple and even if it isn’t as pretty as yours or even a not so creative person tried it, it would still be amazing! And even a child could do it and same thing, the “messiness” of the childs attempts would make it that much more precious! I love this and I don’t give most things a try but I might actually do this one! Thanks for sharing!
    P.S. Even if it does wash off, the impact of the gift and the fact that it was made by hand would follow and stay with the receiver for a life time. And if you think it might come off, you could make it a pen etc mug for their desk or whatever, or tell them to hand wash carefully in typed instructions or script on a letter/card.

  44. […] Easy Dotted Sharpie Mugs via Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body […]

  45. […] 7. Dotted Sharpie Mug – Every teacher could use a nice mug to get them through the day {Get Directions} […]

  46. Ashley says:

    Does the sharpie wash off??? I made these as a gift and i dont want them to mess up after they wash them.

  47. […] personalized mug is easy to create using permanent markers and a sticker to create a reverse initial design. Even a […]

  48. Melissa says:

    I could not find oil based sharpies, will regular sharpies work?????

  49. […] If you enjoyed this post, you will love how I use the same method on mugs! […]

  50. […] Easy Dotted Sharpie Mugs — via Designer trapped in a Lawyer’s Body […]

  51. Sarah says:

    quick question – where did you purchase the white mugs? Do they have to be a certain kind? I’ve been wanting to try this.

  52. Dana Lott says:

    Hi there!
    I absolutely love this idea!! Where did you get the stencil letters and these mugs? I love the shape of them and all I can find are ones with a circular base. Thanks!!

  53. Olivia says:

    Hi, I think that this is such a cute tutorial and I plan to make it soon. The only problem is, I can’t seem to find the right sized stickers and I was wondering where you got them from. Sorry!

  54. […] Easy Dotted Sharpie Mugs by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body […]

  55. […] recipient month-after-month! Subscriptions are available for kids, men, and women. 4. Make a cool sharpie mug that they’ll love to drink […]

  56. […] If you enjoyed this project, you will also love my DIY dotted sharpie mugs: […]

  57. […] die Sie gerne tun würden. Hier ist meine Inspiration für die heutigen DIY Projekt: über Heute morgen habe ich gingen zum Walmart und nahm ein paar Dinge .. Einige weiße Grund […]

  58. Alli C. says:

    Hi Tasha-
    I found your mugs online via Pinterest. I decided to make them for my son’s three teachers and my three managers and their families for Christmas. I even found the same stickers you used! 22 mugs in all!
    They were a huge hit with everyone and were perfect for my tight budget. Please keep doing what you are doing. Thank you again for the great idea!

  59. […] 1) Easy, Dotted Sharpie Mugs […]

  60. Kristen A Dartez says:

    I cannot seem to get the stickers to come off. They are sticking to the mug. What do I do?? Has anyone else had this problem?

  61. Robin says:

    I have done this twice and both times the color has changed. What am I doing wrong?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Robin! I don’t think you are doing anything wrong. I noticed that some colors do change slightly after baking in the oven (red seems to do it). Other colors remain exactly the same. I have no idea why. Hope that helps. Happy new year!

  62. christina says:

    I am just wondering if you can use tiles and make coasters instead of mugs?

  63. Amanda says:

    Hello! I love this idea… Only one problem! When u wash the mugs the sharpie comes off. Am i doing something wrong?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Amanda! Did you use the oil-based Sharpie paint pens and bake them in the oven? If so, I have no idea what the problem could be! Mine have held up well to hand washing. I have never tried putting them in the dishwasher.

  64. Elizabeth says:

    This was a great tutorial. I used it to make my own Sharpie mugs as Christmas gifts for my coworkers. Here’s how mine turned out: Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  65. […] just around the corner I’m always on the lookout for a good (and inexpensive) gift.  I found this tutorial for DIY Sharpie mugs and decided they were perfect for my coworkers.  Here’s an […]

  66. Jennifer J says:

    Thanks for the idea! My 10 yr old and i made these for our entire family. They turned out so cute!

  67. Inga says:

    Do permanent markers that aren’t sharpies work, too? And what are the problems with not putting the mugs into the oven after doing the dots etc.? I live in Spain, and sharpies aren’t available at usual stores, so I was wondering.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Inga! They have to be oil-based paint pen markers. I don’t think the brand matters as much as the oil-based paint. The oven helps set the paint to make it more durable. I hope that helps!

  68. Sierra says:

    Hello, I decorated a mug and used an oil based sharpie and it wiped off after I baked it for 30 minutes. Did I possibly do something wrong? Please help, I want them for a Christmas gift. Thank you.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Oh no, Sierra! I have not had that problem. I have no idea what might have gone wrong. You are sure you used an oil-based paint pen? If so, I can’t imagine what happened. Sorry!

  69. […] Spotted letter mug by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body […]

  70. michelle says:

    CAn you tell me what kind of ‘craft stickers’ to use?


  71. missy says:

    If regular sharpies are used will the result be the same or does it have to be the oil based ones?

  72. Diane says:

    Finally the oil sharpies are stated in these projects. I found lots on pinterest that complained because they were using regular sharpies. I did myself and washed off in the dish washers. If one put a lot of work into decorating would have been disappointed. Least mine were just reinforcement dots I did. I cover them up and went over it again in my colors.

    Thanks for sharing your post,

  73. Sharon says:

    What a fun idea! Do the mugs need to be made of any certain material? What did you use?


  74. Carolyn says:

    I love this idea. I want to do it for coworkers for holidays. The stickers you use, they have to be the large thick kind right? Are you able to reuse them? I have like 16-18 to make. Any suggestions?? Thanks for writing out the steps.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Carolyn! Yes, if you use the large, thick stickers, you should be able to use them SEVERAL times. You might even be able to use them 16-18 times, though I have never try that many. Hope that helps!

  75. Lyn Zee Gregory says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this idea, perfect for christmas presents for my parents !

  76. […] Sock Snowmen | Dotted Sharpie Mugs | DIY Glittered Pinecones | Mickey Christmas Bulbs | Wood Slice […]

  77. […] CUTE are they?!   You may have seen the wildly popular easy dotted sharpie mugs that I made a while back, but I think I love these even […]

  78. Giorgia says:

    Hello my name is Giorgia and I write from Italy.I reported your creation in my blog with reference to your blog and your photos. Thank you so much idea is really cute and original. Your blog is great I will follow you with pleasure and curiosity. Have a nice day! Giorgia

  79. […] you enjoyed this project, I think you love a thrifty gift idea of mine.  Come check out how I made these easy, dotted sharpie mugs! They would make fabulous Christmas presents for the coffee and tea drinkers in your […]

  80. Lori says:

    Tasha, I love the dotted letter mug idea! I no longer have preschoolers, but my 12 year old loves crafting, Sharpies, and gift giving. With Christmas just around the corner, this is something she can make for ALL the friends, teachers, and family she likes to give to. Thanks for such a versatile idea. I’m hoping they are dishwasher safe, just in case. Lori

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Lori! So glad you like this idea. Yes, this is a very versatile project and I am so glad to hear your daughter will enjoy it! I hope you both have fun making some mugs!

  81. Shari Jobst says:

    Help! I cannot find a source for the letter stickers. I do not have easy access to craft stores in my area (will even have to order the Sharpies) but could you share where to find the stickers? Thanks.

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Shari! Amazon would be a really great source for you. These look like they could work well {though these are not the exact stickers I used–just similar}: I hope that helps!!!

  82. […] You don't have to color inside the lines. You don't have to stencil anything yourself. You just make dots around a sticker — we can handle that, right?! Get the full directions here. […]

  83. […] You don't have to color inside the lines. You don't have to stencil anything yourself. You just make dots around a sticker — we can handle that, right?! Get the full directions here. […]

  84. […] You don’t have to color inside the lines. You don’t have to stencil anything yourself. You just make dots around a sticker — we can handle that, right?! Get the full directions here. […]

  85. […] Pinterest or Facebook!  And if you enjoyed this post, you will also love my post on how to create DIY dotted sharpie mugs, which would also make a perfect back to school […]

  86. […] I love how my glasses turned out.  I decided to make only two.  My glasses are larger than the Anthropologie ones and I don’t intend to use them to drink out of.  You’ll have to wait to see how I will use mine.  Oh and if you liked this post, you may also love my dotted, letter sharpie mugs. […]

  87. […] designertrapped – View Tutorial […]

  88. Kimberly says:

    Is there a difference between regular sharpies and oil-based sharpies? Thanks!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Kimberly! Yes, there is a difference. The oil-based sharpies are actually filled with oil-based paint. I hope that helps.

  89. […] DOTTED SHARPIE MUG from Designer Trapped | DRESSER MAKEOVER from Making it in the Mountains […]

  90. Sarah says:

    I love this idea! Wondering where you found your mugs? I love the shape of the ones you used. Thanks :)

  91. What a cute idea. I would love for you to share this at my Friday T.G.I.F. Linky Party. Have a great weekend!!

  92. What an awesome idea! It turned out great!

  93. Oh great call indeed! When I pick up those markers and mugs, I’ll get two extra for my husband and me :) TEE HEE!


  94. This is SUCH an adorable gift, I really love it! Nothing better than personalization/handmade and it’s definitely cuter than so many things I see in the store:) Great post!

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Sandra! Thank you so much! I think the girls’ teachers will love them. And I love them so much I want to make some for myself when I can find the time :)

  95. This is so pretty! I forgot about teacher gifts. Best mom ever. :)

  96. Jenna says:

    Can you wash it in the dishwasher?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Jenna! I should have mentioned that by using the oil-based pens AND baking them in the oven, they SHOULD be dishwasher safe. But, since I have not made any for myself yet, I have not actually tested it out. I did make some of these for my sister a couple of months ago and told her to run them through the dishwasher, but in an abundance of caution, she continues to hand wash hers.

  97. Stephanie says:

    I was JUST telling my daughter that we needed to get her teacher a gift for the end of the year! Im going to have to help her make this for her teacher!

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