A set of matching mugs are the perfect way to congratulate a happy couple! I have provided templates for 'Mr' & 'Mrs' and also the more gender neutral 'I do' & 'Me too'. As well as being cute, simple and elegant, they are also practical, and you can choose all kinds of options to personalise them further - you can add in their names, a wedding date or whatever takes your fancy, as well as using the colours of your choice. Although the hand-painting looks painstaking, it is easily achieved using a stencil.
You will need:
- Access to a computer running Silhouette Studio
- A Silhouette cutter (I used a Portrait)
- Any colour of vinyl, for the stencil
- Transfer tape or low-tack masking tape
- Metallic ceramic marker (I used Edding brand)
- Two mugs of your chosen colour or shape
Step 1: Create Your Design
First, create your design in Silhouette Studio. I created a simple artwork using the Ribbons and Banners font which is free to download. I have attached a template to download if you like! It contains 'His' & 'Hers' and the more gender neutral 'I do' & 'Me too'. Feel free to mix it up - alternative wording each side of the mug (or even on the base) would look great!
If you do create your own artwork, do remember to weld the text so that it merges like pieces of text into one. The Ribbons and Banners font in particular is formed in lots of tiny pieces.
Step 2: Create a Stencil
When you have created your design, cut it in vinyl to create your stencil. Remember to set your cutting blade according to the media. For my own machine, I use ratchet blade on 1 and thickness set to 5. This is a lot finer than the recommended cutting settings, but the goal is to 'kiss cut', that is, cut the vinyl but not the backing underneath. I find that the recommended settings cut all of the way through.
Once the vinyl has cut, trim to size and transfer to the mugs. I find the easiest way to do this is to use transfer tape or low-tack masking tape along the front of the stencil to keep everything in place. Only once I have transferred it to the mug do I weed out the waste material. I find this gives the cleanest transfer and the best result.
Try to ensure that you place the stencils in the same place on each mug - same distance from the top and bottom, and from the handle. Try also to make sure that you put the design on the correct side of the mug depending on whether each of the couple is left or right handed! These little things can take time, but they are what raise this gift from 'okay' to 'stunning'!
Step 3: Paint!
Paint the mugs according to the manufacturer's instructions. For the Edding pen I was using, I had to use very gentle strokes else risk 'flooding' the mug with too much ink. This took too long to dry and cracked as it did so.
Once you have painted your mugs, leave them until the paint is touch dry before removing the stencils.
Step 4: Remove the Stencils
Once the paint is dry, you can remove the vinyl stencils. I found that the best way to do this was to warm the vinyl slightly so that it lifted easily, and to use a hook/probe tool. Depending on your brand of ceramic pen, your design may air dry completely, or may require baking in an oven to fix the design. Follow the manufacturer's instructions, but do be sure to remove any vinyl before baking!
Step 5: Completed Mugs!
Once you have fixed the paint, your mugs are complete. I hope that you like them, and if you make them for loved ones, I hope that they do too!