Introduction: Heatproof Your Mug With Creative Sugru Designs!

About: The team behind Sugru, the mouldable glue that makes fixing and making easy and fun. Do-ers of the world it's time to get excited.
This is a great project for creating custom designs on your mugs that can double up as a heatproof coaster! In this project we will show you how to create the grass and flowers design above, but see step 6 for some more inspiration.

Sugru is ideal for this project because:
  • It's soft to the touch but also grippy
  • It has great heat resistant properties
  • It is available in the primary colours, meaning you can mix whatever colour you like!
  • It makes a super strong bond with ceramics
  • It is dishwasher proof
In this Instructable we will show you how to create the grass and flowers design at the top. With three packs of sugru (which you'll need to get all the colours) you can easily do this to two mugs. You'll just need to work efficiently to finish them while the sugru is still malleable.

sugru is not certified as food safe - make sure your design does not come in to contact with the top rim where people will be drinking from the mug. 

Step 1: What You Need

For this project you will need:
  • A plain mug (though you can do two at the same time with this amount of sugru)
  • 3 x mini packs of sugru*
  • Scissors
  • Scalpel (useful but not essential)
  • Dry tissue paper
*In this flowers design I have used yellow, blue and white. This allowed me to create different shades of green and bright flowers. For other ideas for designs see step 6!

Step 2: Colour Mixing the Sugru

Cut open the yellow and blue sugru packets using the scissors. Split each of these into four pieces.

Mix one piece of yellow and one of blue together, kneading them together in your fingers to create green. If the sugru is sticking to your fingers use dry tissue paper to wipe your hands clean.

Open the white sachet of sugru using the scissors. Mix about half of this with another piece of yellow and blue to create a lighter shade of green.

You will have a small piece of yellow, blue and white left over to do the flowers!

If you are doing two mugs simultaneously, take the time pressure off by putting these three open sugru packets in the fridge. This will significantly slow the curing process and make sure the sugru is still easy to form when you make the flowers.

Step 3: Creating the Grass

Tear off a small piece of the green sugru and roll into a thin sausage on a flat piece of paper. Turn the mug upside down and drape the piece over the base and side, ensuring you cover some of the base rim.

Repeat this to produce pieces of 'grass' that are different heights and angles. Continue this process for the other shade of green and until you have draped the strands all around the rim.

You will probably need less sugru than you think for each piece of grass. They look great if they are really thin! 

Once you're happy with your grass, turn the mug the right way up and gently press into a smooth, clean surface. Apply soapy water or use clingfilm to make sure it doesn't stick or tear! This will ensure your mug sits flat. 

Using the pad of your finger, gently pat each blade of grass down. This will securely bond it to the ceramic and also gives you a smooth surface finish. The key areas to make sure are securely bonded are the top and bottom of each thin strip as these are more prone to peeling. 

Step 4: Creating the Flowers

For the flowers we will use a small section of the leftover yellow, blue and white. 

Using the scalpel, cut off a tiny piece of sugru. Roll this into a small sausage and split in half - this is about the size you will need for each flower petal.

Create six tiny balls of sugru for each flower. Place one just above the blade of grass on a mug and the other five in a circle around it. Press down gently with your finger to flatten the flower. Use your finger to smooth over it gently and join all the petals together. 

I mixed some of white and blue together to get a nice shade for the blue flowers. Create as many flowers as you'd like in this way - I did eight on this mug.

Place a small white or yellow dot of sugru in the centre of each flower. Gently pat this down.

Step 5: Leave to Cure

Leave the mug overnight to cure, still sitting upside down.

In the morning you will have your own beautifully decorated mug! The benefits of using sugru around the base also mean the mug won't scratch or heat damage surfaces, meaning coasters are not needed.

You mug will be dishwasher proof once it has cured!

Step 6: Other Designs...

This idea can be developed and adapted to whatever mug and colour of sugru you have available!
  • Create a coaster on the bottom of a mug by rolling a sausage and pressing it around the base.
  • Create a coloured base by extending this sausage up around the edges. Use a rubber band to create a tidy edge. Decorate by wrapping thread around it or using glitter* or beads.
  • Create a love hearts pattern at the base - fold the bases under to create a coaster as well.
  • Are you green strands not thin enough to be blades of grass? Make into coral instead - create fish instead of flowers.
  • Make a moustache on the opposite side to where you drink from. This of course does not act as a coaster but we like it a lot anyway :)
*Glitter may wear off over time, especially you put your mug in the dishwasher.