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Tea season is upon us in Vancouver.

It’s never Winter that makes me crave warm cozy liquids and a blankie, it’s the BC Spring. Days and weeks on end of bone chilling rain, but with the tip tap of drops in the roof and windows that have a way of softening and soothing the soul. I have a complicated relationship with the rain. I hate it when we’re on a walk, drench and the boys smell like wet dog. I love it when I’m cozy and warm and I can just ENJOY it.

A post shared by Hannah Hillam (@hannahhillam) on

I have a really, crazy large mug collection.

I live alone, you guys and I have like 32 mugs. So, I did the only thing that makes sense and I was like “I NEED SOME DIY DOG MUGS” because that’s how my brain works. I have crazy dog lady problems. painting our own dog designs onto mugs was the perfect rainy day craft for a friend and I. e started out trying to freehand paint on the mugs. As it turns out? I am a terrible artist, I lack illustration skills on EVERY level and I would make a terrible mug designer. So, recognizing my limitations, I switched to plan B and used vinyl decals to create the perfect DIY Mug for dog lovers. Using the decals made this process SO DARN EASY that I think this would make an excellent craft project for school aged kids.

Here’s what you need:

  • Ceramic Mugs
  • Vinyl Decals (Get ’em on Etsy) or Scrapbook stickers
    I really prefer a temporary vinyls sticker for this project over a scrapbook sticker. I found the stickers were hit and miss in quality. Some stayed on; some didn’t. Some left a crisp clean line; some let paint bleed under the stickers. Vinyl worked 100% of the time.
  • Oil-Based Paint Markers, like DecoColour or Sharpie Paint Pens <- affiliate links
  • Hand Sanitizer (It’s crazy, but trust me!)
  • Optional: Dishwasher safe mod podge <- affiliate link

Let’s do this!

Prep the mugs by wiping them down with hand sanitizer. Wipe completely off and let dry. 

Apply your vinyl decal or sticker. Decide on a pattern. The polka dot look is classic, but don’t feel like you’re stuck with it!

Keep layering the dots in the same colour or multiple shades until the design is filled in, then wait for the paint to dry. 

Peel off the vinyl decal or scrapbook sticker. You don’t have to be limited to polka dots though! I actually LOVE the simplicity of just outlining the decal. 

And then, you can always get a bit sassy 😉 I’m kind of loving this one.


😂 😂 😂 😂 😂

If you mess up? Just wipe the mug down with hand sanitizer and start again. It’s super easy to fix areas! 

Let paint dry for AT LEAST 24 hours.

Open a window or two, turn on your hood fan and put your mugs in the oven. Turn oven to 425F and bake mugs for 20 min. Turn off oven and allow to cool completely. 

Your mugs are ready to use, but they need a little tender loving care. Hand wash only. Don’t soak and remember the markers are alcohol sensitive (remember how the hand san took the paint off?) so try not to toss a unfinished drink on them. (As if. Who doesn’t finish their drink?!). 

If you want to make these a bit tougher, you can add a coat of dishwasher safe mod podge. I’ve still never put them in the dishwasher, but rumour on the street is they’ll survive on the top rack only.

Add your favourite kind of tea, a good book and a dog or two and these mugs are the recipe for a perfect rainy afternoon. 

Do you have a favourite mug? Is it dog themed? Leave a photo in the comments!

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