Sharpie Doodle Mugs

The other day I told you about the process I take in choosing crafts to teach at camp.  Today I want to show you a super simple craft that our campers are loving already!

sharpie mug cropped

The supplies are quite simple:

sharpie mugs supplies

  • rubbing alcohol
  • cotton balls
  • cheap, white mugs (I found them at our local “Everything for a Dollar” Store)
  • Sharpie markers (I found them to be the least expensive in Walmart and Target)

Go ahead and ignore that Martha Stewart paint.  I had lofty plans of including it as part of the craft…but alas…


I didn’t like it at all!!


(Sorry, Martha!)  The good news is, rubbing alcohol washed that mess right off!!;)

In the end, I just went really simple.  I first wiped the mug really clean with the rubbing alcohol.  Then, simply picked up the Sharpies and started doodling!

mug with drawings

It’s definitely one of those crafts that you shouldn’t over think.  Once it’s all finished, the design needs to dry for 24 hours and then “cured” in the oven.  We decided to send the mugs home with the campers “uncured”, but we printed off the instructions to send home with them on cardstock.  You can just punch a hole in the top and tie it to the handle.  This is what it says:

“This special one-of-a-kind mug has been created with permanent Sharpie markers. Before washing it in any way, they need to be “cured” in the oven. To do so, place mug in oven. Turn oven on to 450 degrees. After oven reaches temperature, time for 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes passes, turn off the oven, but leave the mug in until completely cool or overnight. Hand washing is recommended.”

This craft is certainly not unique to me.  It’s all over Pinterest and the internet.  (That’s where I found it, after all…)  In fact, this article gives 21 tips on how to make them and also shows there are some very strong opinions on how to do them “correctly”.  I think that it also shows that although this craft may not last forever if the marker isn’t cured properly, the kids (and adults) sure do have tons of fun creating a special, unique craft.  It seems that the oil-based Sharpie markers are more recommended for this application.  However, paying $7.00 per marker wasn’t in my budget…

(For more camp craft ideas, see this article for links.)

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