Sunday, February 19, 2012

DIY Project: Chalkboard Mustache Mugs

After I made the Valentines-themed heart mugs last week (& gave them all away), I've been thinking of a million different variation of that project. For me, this mustaches-themed version was the obvious choice for which one to try next.

I made each mustache a different shape & a different color, to help everyone keep track of which mug is theirs. And if that wasn't enough, I also make the paint into homemade chalkboard paint, so mug-chuggers can scribble their name on their mustache, using chalk. Try losing your cup in the crowd now!

I really love how these turned out. They look hilarious on their own, and even funnier when you drink out of them. They are also really useful when having guests over. I used more of my new favorite, over-sized mugs for this project, and they hold a massive 20 oz of drink. Equally perfect for coffee guzzlers & lazy pants alike.

I took a few more pictures this time, to go along with the instructions:

What's you'll need:
China paint (see images 1, 3 above)
China paint thinner (see image 1 above)
White-Dry non sanded Grout
Paint brushes
Exacto knife (see image 2)
Stencil material - I used Avery label paper (see image 2)
Oven-safe ceramics of choice
Mortar & pestle (see image 5)
Paint tray OR paper plates (see image 6)

Optional: bamboo sticks

What to do:
1. Assemble materials. (Duh.)
2. Create your stencil. I drew one side on my label, freehand, and then folded the label laterally, to create the other half, to match the first (see image 4 above).
3. Cut out your mustache stencils using the exact knife.
4. Apply stencils to mugs (see image 7), making sure the position of each mustache is fairly consistent throughout all your mugs.
5. Add some grout to your mortar & pestle, to remove all grout clumps (see image 5). This is a new step, compared to last time. I hoped this would decrease the number of stubborn grout clumps that I couldn't quite get rid of last time. I pestled the grout into a fine power, and it actually worked pretty well.
6. Prepare chalkboard china paint, by mixing paint with a small amount of grout, estimating the ration of 2 tablespoons to 1 cup of paint. Stir until smooth, & add a few drops of thinner if the paint dries out. Initially, I used a paint tray to mix my paint and grout, stirring with bamboo sticks (see image 6), but it was really difficult to get a smooth mixture. So, this time, I switched to pouring the paint on a paper plate instead, and then dusting with grout on top (you don't need that much), and that proved to be a far superior way to get a smooth chalkboard paint mixture (see image below).

Much better.

This method change made a big difference. The paint was much easier to apply evenly, without leaving brush marks, an the finished mustaches were much smoother, but still fully functioning as chalk board.
7. Let paint dry (photo 8) & then add a second coat. Let dry.
8. Remove stencil (see photo 9), and, if needed, correct any leaking paint smudges. I used a sharp tip of a bamboo stick to do small touchups, and they were perfect for the job.
9. Let dry for 24 hours.

10. Preheat oven at 300 degrees F. Cure ceramics in oven for 20 minutes, or according to directions on your paint of choice.
11. Let cool.

Mission "Mug O' Mustache" accomplished! (I totally realize it is completely ridiculous that I would call it that, but I couldn't resist.)

Now, come on over for a drink! Image Source: My Instagram

"Coffee? Tea? Milk or Sugar with that? And... which mustache?"


  1. I love this idea! They came out great and I love the little mustaches.

  2. Adorable. I love this idea so much, though I'd have a hard time not giggling at my guests when they drink from their mustache mugs.

  3. This is SO cute, Annelie! And hey, you got your mortar & pestle!