DIY Sharpie Mugs Inspired by the South

As I shared yesterday, I’m an early riser. There’s this cherished hour I have every morning filled with devotions, catching up on my favorite blogs, quiet time and a steaming hot cup of coffee. It’s a routine I look forward to every day. In fact, on those days I’m rushing around and don’t take the time to ready the day, I find myself a total grumpy pants…just saying.

We created a coffee bar area in our home about 2 years ago complete with generous mugs, specialty syrups and shakers of spices. It totally changed our mornings! It’s a very affordable way to add a bit of luxury to your day. Even if you don’t have room for a large coffee area, just having all of your flavored coffees (or teas), mugs and a few extras on a pretty tray is nice too.

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Several weeks ago, we were all laughing (over coffee) talking about the “Southern Sayings” we had taken for granted growing up. You know which ones I’m talking about (gimme some sugar), (goodness gracious), (heavens to betsy), (quit being ugly), (slow as molasses), (bless your heart), (kiss my grits)…you get the idea. They’re all phrases that most people that haven’t grown up in the South probably feel like they need a translator to understand.

I don’t know what it was about this conversation in particular but the whole time I was laughing I was thinking about making my sisters coffee mugs with these funny sayings. They’ve been crazy busy with the start of the school year so these mugs are going to make the perfect gift. If you’re looking for an easy to make teacher gift or want to jazz up your coffee station, this DIY is for you!

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Here’s what you’ll need to get started…


Coffee mug ( 20 oz mug similar here)

Computer, printer and white paper


Graphite pencil

Ink pen

Clear tape

Black or Colored Sharpie Markers that are Oil Based for hand wash OR DecoArt Glass Paint Markers for mugs that will be used in the dishwasher according to web reviews.

Rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs (just in case you make a mistake or need to touch up)


Make sure your mug has been cleaned and is completely dry prior to starting this project.

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Use clip art and programs like Word to create images you want for each mug. I chose “High on the Hog,” “Hold Your Horses,” “You Get my Goat,” and “Lady Fox” but you can choose whatever phrases or images you like. Print the images and phrases out on plain white computer paper using your home computer. You can find clip art online.

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Cut out the image you want to use with scissors (use caution and care as scissors are sharp) then flip the image over and shade using a graphite pencil.

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Next, center image on the coffee mug (make sure the shaded graphite portion is against the mug) and secure in place with clear tape. *The image SHOULD NOT be close to the rim of the mug where your lips could come in contact with the Sharpie ink. Sharpie ink should be at least 1 inch below the rim of the mug. Do not write or use ink on the inside of your mug. Please read the food safety notice at the end of this section.*

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Outline each image/character with a ball point pen.

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Once you’ve completed outlining each character/image, carefully remove the clear tape to reveal the transferred graphic.

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Use an oil based Sharpie marker to color in each character.

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Allow ink to air dry overnight.

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Place mugs on a baking sheet in a COLD oven and set the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake mugs for 60 minutes then allow the oven to completely cool prior to taking the mugs out of the oven.

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*Food Safety Notice:

Here’s information from Sharpie’s website regarding the food safety issue:

While Sharpie markers are AP-certified non-toxic, we do not recommend using them on areas of items that may come in contact with food or the mouth (such as the rim of a coffee cup). Sharpie markers are only recommended for use on ceramic or glassware when the product is being used for decorative or display purposes and not intended to come in contact with food or the mouth. If you intend to design a mug or a cup using Sharpie markers and then use the mug or cup, any such designs must be at least one inch below the rim where a person’s lips could touch.

I’m planning to wait at least 72 hours prior to hand washing or drinking out of these mugs. I’ll keep you guys posted on how they wash up especially after frequent use. Since we’re celebrating the first day of school today I thought I would create a fun school vignette featuring these DIY Sharpie Mugs Inspired by the South…

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Super cute, right? I can’t wait to share these mugs with my sisters. It’s definitely going to give them the giggles and I’m hoping the perfect way to start a busy school day.

DIY Southern Inspired Sharpie Mugs-Printable

See you guys back here tomorrow. I’m sharing an easy way to personalize your family’s pillowcases. Until then, I’ll share more of life behind the blog on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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    1. ha ha you guys are so funny! No playing, I almost made one that said “busy as a bee” but then I remembered I was Lady Fox 🙂 Hugs, CoCo

  1. These are so cute, CoCo, I can’t wait to make some for Aiden’s teacher. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thanks so much, Brandy. They can be used in so many different ways. Glad you like them. Hugs, CoCo

  2. Love these CoCo! So many possibilities for my coworkers 🙂

    1. Tell me about it, Casey. These mugs definitely open up a lot of possibilities. Hugs, CoCo

  3. OMG! I’m thinking Christmas presents already. I’m really interested so see how these hold up in the wash so keep us posted.

    1. Bonnie, I feel the same way! I’ve only hand washed these once so I can’t really speak for them yet but I will definitely keep you posted. I’m also excited to try the glass paint markers and do a product comparison so I’ll keep you guys posted on how that goes too. Hugs, CoCo

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