7 Creative Ways to Decorate Color Mugs for Personalized Gifts
5 mins read

7 Creative Ways to Decorate Color Mugs for Personalized Gifts

Whether celebrating a newlywed couple or a long-term love affair, a personalized mug is a great gift. A witty saying or image can make the recipient smile each morning as they sip their coffee.

This DIY project is easy to do with materials, usually around the house. It’s also a fun project to do with kids!

Heat Transfer

Whether raising awareness for a cause or creating custom color mugs to sell in your coffee shop, being aware of color and design is essential. Using colors and designs that complement each other will create a cohesive, stylish look for your products.

You’ll also want to consider the type of paint you use, as different products have their safety recommendations. For example, oil-based pens are usually described as dishwasher safe, while acrylic pens should be kept away from the lips of the cup.

Stencils may be your answer if you could be a better artist but still want to decorate your mugs. They limit room for error and can give your profiles a professional-looking finish.

Sharpie Painting

One of the most popular ways to decorate mugs is by using Sharpie paint. The result is a fun and personalized gift that can be done by anyone, even those with minimal artistic skills.

You will want to use oil-based Sharpie pens rather than regular markers that wash off to make the best design. It would help if you also used masking tape to help you rough out a plan before painting.

Before you start drawing, wash the mug with soap and water. Then, wipe it down with rubbing alcohol to remove any residues preventing the paint from adhering.

Vinyl Stickers

You can use vinyl stickers to create a design that celebrates the recipient’s hobbies or interests. For example, a golfing mug is a fun gift for someone who loves to play the game.

To ensure the mugs last, use water-based vinyl and not acrylic. Also, apply enough pressure to transfer the vinyl onto the mug. This is because vinyl has microscopic mountains of color and requires a lot of pressure to transfer.

Alternatively, you can also use paint pens to draw on the mugs. But make sure you buy oil-based Sharpies for ceramics, as regular Sharpies are not dishwasher safe.

Paper Stickers

Creating designs for mugs with paper stickers is an easy way to decorate your mugs without much of a mess. This method is ideal for people who could be better at drawing and want to achieve an attractive-looking mug.

When choosing a design for your mug, make sure that the font you use is readable and that it matches the mug color. A mug with a logo or design that needs to be visible will likely deter customers from buying it.

Mugs decorated with witty or funny phrases can make great gifts for people who enjoy humor and a good sense of humor. They can also be an alternative to a gift card or a business promotional item.

Nail Polish

Nail polish is a type of lacquer used to decorate fingernails or toenails. It contains many chemicals, most notably polymer molecules (like nitrocellulose and dyes) dissolved in volatile solvents like butyl or ethyl acetate.

Adding nail polish to mugs gives them a unique and colorful look that can make for a great personalized gift. This technique works well on both glass and ceramic.

Decorate Color Mugs

Mod Podge

Mod Podge is a sealer, glue, and finish that can be applied to surfaces like paper, wood, fabric, glass, ceramics and some plastics. It is non-toxic and cleans up easily with soap and water.

You can find Mod Podge in different formulas, such as one that is dishwasher safe which is commonly combined with glitter. To apply, you must mask off areas of the mug you do not want to paint and then use a thin layer of Mod Podge. This can be smoothed out with your finger, a credit card or a pan scraper and allowed to dry before applying another coat.


Using paint to decorate mugs is an easy and affordable way to give personalized gifts. You can choose a design that fits the occasion or your loved one’s personality. When choosing colors for your mug, ensure the logo or design is light enough to stand out against the mug color.

Those with unique artistic skills can draw a custom design independently, or you can use stencils to help them. You’ll want to prepare the mug by washing it before starting work. Once you have the perfect mug design, bake it to seal your creation.

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