DIY Mugs

DIY Mugs

Back with another interns post. This week, Atiya and Amna (lifestyle interns, say hi if you haven’t yet)are talking about experiments with DIY-ing mugs. Since I’ve been looking for mugs myself these days, I’m thinking perhaps I can give one of these ideas a shot? I feel very clumsy with paints but the second one particularly feels incredibly easy. Check them out?
Obviously if you live on Pinterest and YouTube DIY tutorials all day, you’ll notice that we’ve been bitten by the DIY bug as well. We decided to pick up some inexpensive mugs and finally recreate those tutorials we’d been bookmarking on Pinterest. But, it gets better. We, Atiya and Amna are here to tell you that the beautiful curated aesthetic of a Pinterest tutorial is a LIE. This post has been in the making since Ramzan because Amna and I wanted to give honest reports for how these methods worked for us. So without further ado, let’s do this yes?

Note: Clean the surfaces of all your mugs and jars thoroughly otherwise the paint won’t adhere. We know this from experience so listen to us.

Idea 1: Marbled Doodles
First up we have a DIY marbled mug which we decided to make special by adding doodles as well. Let me tell you this design started out as a COMPLETE disaster till I said it can actually work as a two-tone work of art when combined with the doodles. Well, actually Amna came up with the doodles because she is the artist but I did make suggestions here and there so thora sa credit banta hai.

What you need
One plain white ceramic mug
Two colors of nail polish
Tub of warm water
Permanent marker

What to do
Fill the tub with water from the tap. Now, Amna and I found that if you heat up the water in the microwave for two minutes the water is at the optimum temperature for marbling. Over plain tap water the nail polish just fell through in globs. Over warm water the nail polishes spread in a thin film much better.

We used two colors of nail polish but you can use one if you like. Also, work very quickly in dropping the colors or your marbled pattern will get gloppy and wrinkly. When we tried dragging it with a toothpick it didn’t work so we quickly abandoned that ship and dipped the mug. It also helps that you kind of roll the mug quickly through the water in one go so that the pattern does not have time to coagulate.

Once you are done you can use a nail polish remover to clean up any areas you think are messy. We cleaned the rim of the cup for a clean edge. Then you can take a marker and draw on any designs you like. Spray with varnish and you are done! Step back and admire your handiwork and pat yourself for a job well done whenever you have tea. The mug is good for hand washing and the nail polish and the permanent marker won’t come off so you’re good.

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Idea 2: Metallic Minimalism
This design is clean and minimal with a metallic edge and simple for even the noobiest DIY-er because it requires no mad painting or drawing skills just a good aim with a spray paint can. So give it a shot and you’ll have a special mug that only took an hour to make.

What you need

One plain ceramic mug
Spray paint in a metallic color
Masking tape

What to do

So this design was ALL OVER Pinterest and it’s cool and metallic and minimal so we thought why not. Except that instead of covering the whole thing with tape, Amna decided to section of the design and cover the rest of the mug in newspaper. It worked out better too because there weren’t hours spent peeling a lot of tape off. 

One you have a clean design taped off, take the mug to a well-ventilated area and spray the shit out of it. And please do this over newspaper unless you want to have a splatter pattern of gold spray paint all over your tiled floor.

Leave the mug to dry for a good three to four hours and then take off the newspaper and tape. Spray with a varnish sealant and then leave to dry overnight and enjoy your morning cuppa in your own hand painted or in this case, spray painted mug.

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Idea 3: Pineapple ExpressWhat initially started out as a third mug design turned into this one for a mason jar because we had the materials lying around and we thought it will be a cool change from the two mugs.

What you need

All surface paint (We got these from Paras in Karachi)
A mason jar with a lid (These are available at any supermarket for Rs 150-300)

What to doAmna found this pattern from a YouTube video and decided to recreate it and it actually turned out pretty good. All you have to do is first paint yellow ovals all over the mason jar and leave them to dry.

Next, add the green leaves of the pineapple. This paint required two coats to become fully opaque so there was drying time involved in between. Watch YouTube videos, browse the DWW, check SnapChat while you wait for the paint to dry.

Using black paint, make little ‘V’s for the scales of the pineapples. Leave to dry overnight and then enjoy your lemonade in this adorable mason jar.

Anyone of these projects can work as excellent gifts. You can decorate the mugs and fill them with special teas, a tiny strainer or a hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. In the mason jar you can add a powdered drink mix and cocktail umbrellas. Wrap in cellophane and tie with a ribbon and you have the best gift of life. Cheers!
Atiya and Amna are all about the good life. From books, sci-fi to pop culture and fashion, you can find them always talking and joking over a cup of tea. Find them on Instagram at @atiya107 and @amnaabbas and their blog at @blogthegoodlife. To read more about these girls, check out the meet the interns post.


  1. I wonder if you ladies want to try a "decal marble" with nail polish next time. Pinterest is full of tutorials, so check it out. Also with permanent markers if you put the markers in a 100F oven, it "fixes" the color very well. Well done and I look forward to more dyis.

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