Friday, February 17, 2012

DIY Project: Chalkboard Heart Mugs

I made these cups as a Valentine gift for my fabulous book club friends, and while it took several days to finish, this project was quite easy.

I had this idea to paint mugs with chalkboard paint, but since I couldn't find chalkboard china paint that wasn't black (& I really didn't want a black heart for Valentines), I ended up making my own chalkboard paint.

What you'll need:
China paint in desired color - I used Pebeo Porcelain 150 China paint
China paint thinner - Pebeo Porcelaine 150 China Paint thinner
Dry White Unsanded Grout
paint brushes
oven safe Porcelaine china of your choice - I used large humongous cups
stencils or painters tape, to create a sharp edge on your design

What to do:
1. Make the chalkboard paint by adding a small amount of grout to the china paint, 2 tablespoons grout to 1 cup of paint is the correct ratio.
2. Mix very well, until the paint is smooth, and all the little grout clumps have completely dissolved. If needed, dilute the paint a little using the thinner. (I did not have any thinner, but I wish I would have, since the paint quickly got thick, making it difficult to get a smooth application. Make sure to use one that works with your brand of china paint & remember to keep the ratio of grout to paint.) A mortar and pestle would be great for mixing in the grout (Note to self: get a mortar and pestle).
3. Create the stencil for your design of choice. I used Avery label paper for my stencil, which worked really well. I folded my paper in half for symmetry, and then cut the heart out. I used the cutout heart as a stencil for the next label, so all the mugs would look pretty similar.
4. Stick the stencil to the cup.
5. Cover the stencil with a couple of layers of the paint, carefully remove the stencil, and let the paint dry for a full 24 hours.
6. Bake piece in the oven at 300 degrees F, for 35 minutes, or according to the directions on your paint of choice.
7. Let cool.


I stuffed my mugs full of heart-shaped butter cookies, a note, & a small package of chalk.

Here are some pictures my friends posted of their mugs on Twitter & Instagram:


  1. I love my mug and had no idea that you actually made the chalkboard paint yourself. That is so cool!

  2. I love that everyone else wrote something sweet or sentimental. :) But mostly, I just love my ridiculously oversized mug. When I'm not using it, I don't want to put it in the cupboard - I want to keep it on my desk so I can scribble on it.

  3. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love my mug! You are so clever; I had no idea you could make chalkboard paint! I'm very impressed! Thank you somuch :-)