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These mugs are an inexpensive, quick and simple gift - but very thoughtful and great-looking! The secret is ceramic paint pens, which make it easy and fuss-free to create your design. They would make a lovely wedding gift or housewarming gift.

The artwork is the initial of each of the couple. I chose reds and dots for for the bride and blue stripes for the groom, but you can mix it up however you like!

I have used a Silhouette cutter to create the stencil, but you can create one by cutting by hand if you need to. If you are feeling brave you could even cut freehand!

Step 1: Create a Stencil

I created and then cut a stencil. The graphic was created very simply, just a letter within a circle!

I cut my stencil on vinyl with a Silhouette cutter. You could alternatively use any graphic design or desktop publishing program to create the graphics for your stencil, then print out and cut by hand. If you don't have, or don't wish to use vinyl, then sticker paper, wax paper, freezer paper and vinyl are all possible stencil material.

Step 2: Fix Stencil on Mug

Next, fix the stencil to the mug. If it is vinyl or sticker paper, then you can just stick it on, but if you are using waxed or freezer paper you will need to heat it up to fix it in place. If your letters have 'islands' that are not attached to the main stencil, you will need to transfer these over too. Remember that we want the circle with the cut out letter, not the letter itself!

Step 3: Spotty Mugs

For the spotty mugs, pick four or five complementary colours of porcelain pen. Starting with one colour then adding each in turn, build up dots of colour around the stencil. Keep building up the colour up so that the letter is clearly visible.

Step 4: Stripy Letter

For the stripy mug, again choose four or five complementary colours of porcelain pen. Draw stripes of random colour from within your selection, one at a time, until the whole stencil area is covered.

Step 5: Remove Stencil and Fix Paint

Once you are happy with your painting, you can carefully remove the stencil using a hook/probe tool. Then fix the paint according to manufacturer's instructions - in my case, I baked my mugs in the oven, though some can be left to air dry. Once you have done that, your mugs are complete and ready to be given to the recipients! I hope you like the mugs and that your recipients do too ;-)

Which brand of pore lain paint pens did you use? And how hot did the mugs needed to be heated for the pen work to cure?
<p>I love simple, and I love my Silhouette cutter. This is a great idea.</p>

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