DIY: Permanent Marker Mugs

Here’s an easy craft for kids you can have on hand—just pick up permanent markers and white mugs at the dollar store, and have a DIY ready to go the next time your kids say, “I’m bored!”

These mugs are a craft you can use over and over again all year long. Just think: serving coffee in personalized mugs for all of your Thanksgiving guests during dessert or snuggling up with a nice cup of tea or hot cocoa on a cold winter day.

Things you need:

  • White ceramic mug
  • Permanent marker pens (darker colors work best)
  • Paper towel and water (for removing design if you want to change it) 
  • Cookie sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Oven timer


1. Do not turn on the oven yet. The finished cups need to go into a cold oven and then warm up as the oven warms up (to prevent the ceramic mugs from cracking). They also need to cool down as the oven cools down. Roll up your sleeves and remember that permanent marker stains clothing (but we know you’ll be careful!).

2. Take your white ceramic mug and begin to draw your design with your permanent marker.

3. Be careful not to smudge the marker as you design. Tip: If there are smudges or if you are not happy with your design you can easily wipe your mug clean using a wet sheet of paper towel. You can only wipe away the permanent marker before the mug is baked.

4. Re-draw over your design a few times to make the lines bolder (the permanent marker will fade after it is baked).

5. Add colors and details to your design with permanent markers.

6. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and place your designed Permanent Marker Mugs on the foil.

7. Carefully place the cookie sheet onto a rack in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 425°F. When the oven has reached this temperature, put the timer on for 30 minutes.

8. When the 30 minutes are up, turn off the oven. Do not open the door. Allow the mugs to cool in the oven for 2 hours. Once cool, carefully remove the cookie sheet with the permanent marker mugs. To clean the mugs, wash carefully by hand.

more boredom busters More Boredom Busters by Caroline Fernandez, photography by Martin Norris, is published by CICO Kidz ($14.95)