The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Impress your Valentine with a DIY project

My finished products. Photo credit: Cicely Chisholm

It’s the season of showing your loved ones just how much you care, and usually with gifts of some sort.

There’s still some time before Valentine’s Day, but it’s never too early to start planning out a something special for a significant other, parent, sibling, grandparent, pet or whomever else you might have in mind.

There’s always the possibility of buying gifts, but in case you want to try your hand at a DIY gift, here’s a simple solution that allows you to show off your creativity.

Hand-Painted Mugs

The best part about these mugs is that you can draw anything you want on them, and they’re pretty cheap.

The mugs came straight from a dollar store.

The pens are bordering on the pricier side with $5 for one, but you can use them for multiple surfaces and get away with making a lot of gifts.

They also come in a variety of colors.

Overall, I spent less than $15 to draw on four mugs, and that’s only because I picked three colors.

Write your significant other’s name on it, draw your cat or do some patterns. It’s all up to you.

The best part of this gift is you can do whatever you want. I’ll provide two examples but there’s no limits.

What You Need

The supplies for this project. Photo credit: Cicely Chisholm
  • mugs
  • paint pens (I used Sharpie, but there are a variety of possibilities)
  • painter’s tape (if you want patterns)


  • Clean the mugs.
  • If you want to make a pattern, use some painter’s tape, or any other kind of adhesive, to make into shapes. I chose a heart for Valentine’s Day, but they can be themed any way you like.
  • You can do lines, dots, dashes, or whatever else you like to follow the tape. You can also freehand.
  • Make sure to let each color dry if you’re doing multiple ones, but it shouldn’t take too long for it to do that.
  • If you happen to make a mistake, you might be able to carefully scratch off the excess.


  • Make sure you buy oil based paint pens or markers — NOT permanent markers.
  • If you use a regular Sharpie, you’ll need to bake it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, and even then there’s a possibility it’ll come off after you wash it a few times.
  • You should only hand-wash your newly designed mugs.
  • If you’d like, you can also do it on glass, wood and metal.

Now all you’ll need to do it fill it with whatever you want and gift wrap it. Just remember that the more personal it is, the more the other person will love it.

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