How To DIY Marker Mugs + 7 Stencils For Every Occasion

The perfect gift for any occasion is a mug. Why? It makes for a sweet reminder while they drink their morning coffee, has many uses such as a pencil holder and is easy to clean and store.  

A mug is also great for someone of any age to enjoy. If you want to take your mug to the next level by creating your own, we’ve got a few tips to make your DIY marker mug in ten easy steps. Check out our video below. For a sweet gift, pair a photo mug with a personalized hand-drawn surprise.

A great way to gift your mug is by adding cute details such as candy, pencils, and markers. For a back to school teacher gift, you can fill the mug with pens and pencils and include a cute personalized thank you note.

How To Create A DIY Marker Mug

Do you have a plain, boring mug that needs a bit of spicing up? You can use them to add personality to your home or even give them as gifts to your loved ones. It’s easy to create a DIY mug, you just have to follow a few simple steps.

What You’ll Need:

  • white mug
  • oil based permanent marker (very important if you will be washing and reusing your mug)
  • printable stencils
  • soft pencil (No. 2 works great)
  • tape
  • rubbing alcohol + cotton


  1. Wipe down your mug with rubbing alcohol. This ensures that you get any residue off.
  2. Cut your stencil. Make sure it fits the area of the mug you’d like to place it on.
  3. Flip your stencil over. Start penciling the area where the ink is. Make sure you press hard so that the pencil transfers darker. A No.2 pencil works great for this.
  4. Tape the stencil to the mug. Once the area is covered, grab two pieces of tape and attach to both sides of the stencil. 
  5. Trace the inked area with your pencil. Again, make sure you press as hard as possible.  
  6. Remove the stencil from the mug. Make sure that the pencil has transferred in case you need to go over it again. 
  7. With your marker, go over the penciled area. You may need to do this a couple times to make sure all spaces are filled in.
  8. Clean any edges. Make sure to go over any jagged edges with your marker for a cleaner look.  
  9. Bake your mug. Place your mug on a baking pan upside down (to reduce cracking) and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
  10. Let it cool. Remove from the tray and enjoy!

Oil Based Marker Vs. Water-Based Marker

You may be thinking that any marker will do for this project. It may be true that when decorating, they all look great.  However, we decided to test both water-based and oil markers. Here is what we found.

  • Oil markers are absolutely necessary if you plan to wash your mug. Water-based markers come right off, even when baked.
  • The oil marker is a bit messier, so be careful when using as it tends to run and smear easily.
  • The water-based marker has a more precise tip, so writing is a little easier. So, if you are only planning to use the mug as a decorative item, it’s perfect for that.

Printable Stencils For Your DIY Mug

Now that you’ve learned how to DIY a mug, it’s time to pick a stencil. There’s one for any occasion: Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, a hot chocolate bar, a coworker’s birthday and even a quiet tea night.

The stencils work best on a white mug since it’s easier to see the penciled area, but light colors such as pink, yellow or tan will work well too. The great thing about this DIY is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on the mugs. In fact, dollar store mugs work best because the glaze on them isn’t too thick.

Downloading our free stencils is a breeze. Simply click on our link below and save the .pdf to your desktop. Select your stencil and follow the instructions at the top of the page.

No matter what design you choose, creating DIY mugs is really fun. There’s no need to limit yourself to black and white, there are plenty of pretty metallics and colorful markers that can be used as well. To make your mug even more special, wrap it up in a tea towel and add a fun tag.