21 Tips for DIY Sharpie Marker Mugs

DIY Sharpie Marker Mugs at Craftaholics Anonymous

Images from Savvy SugarA Beautiful MessJust Imagine, & Tuts+. Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post to help keep this blog running!

21 Tips for Sharpie Marker Mugs

One of the most popular crafting trends right now is to use a Sharpie marker to add designs to mugs. {I’m sure you’ve seen them all over Pinterest, just like we have!} There are tons of swoon-worthy sharpie mug designs and ones that replicate high-end store mugs. It is definitely a fun things to do! But there are definitely tips and tricks to make your Sharpie + mug crafting experience a success. Jouan asked:

“I painted on mugs for Christmas. I used oil based sharpies and I baked them for thirty minutes at 350 degrees like most websites say to do, but it is coming off already. Is there someway to make the paint dishwasher safe?”

Answers below taken from this thread on our Craftaholics Anonymous Facebook Page

How to DIY Sharpie Marker Mugs Successfully

1. “I have done this before too, the best result are to let the sharpie dry completely for 24 hours then bake at a low temp oven like 225 for 2 plus hours. Even then I would still hand wash, I wouldn’t use the dishwasher. Also I used regular sharpies and it doesn’t come off. Good luck!” – Ellie B.

Pebeo Porcelaine Markers
Image from Amazon

2. “I haven’t found any process with sharpies that work. But I used Pebeo Porcelaine 150 Paint Markers
and they work great and do not come off. You can find them at Michaels or Amazon.com. I have even put them in the dishwasher. Stayed on great.” – Tonya D.

3. “It didn’t work for me! I just got a paint pen. They work perfectly fine and not any more expensive than sharpies.” – Amy F.

4. “Put them in the oven THEN turn it on to 450*. After it gets to temp, set timer for 45 minutes. Turn off but leave them in the oven til completely cool.” – Danielle C.

5. “I monogrammed plates and cups with Sharpie oil based markers and did not bake. Let dry for 48 hours been in dishwasher many times and none of mine have come off at all.” – Pam F.

6. “Here is what I find that works. Cheap mugs, Walmart are best. Regular sharpies. Wipe first with alcohol to remove any residue. Careful not to touch drawing area with hands. After putting design on, wait 24 hours. Then put in cold oven. Turn temp to 425 and set timer for 30 minutes. At 30 minutes turn off oven, leaving project in until it’s completely cool. Hand wash then do a test run in the dishwasher.” – Valerie M.

savvy sugar
Image from Savvy Sugar

7. “I read an extensive article about this somewhere. First, cheap mugs work best due to the inexpensive glaze used. Put mugs in COLD oven, turn oven to 450 (not 350). The glaze needs to re-melt to incorporate the marker into it!! AFTER oven reaches temp, bake for 30 minutes. Turn oven off.. LEAVE MUGS IN CLOSED OVEN (not yelling, just important). Cool for 15 min, slightly crack oven open and let cool over night. This should properly incorporate the ink with the glaze.” – Tracy B.

8. “There are markers meant specifically for ceramics and those I’ve had the best luck with. Over a year and they aren’t chipping.” Lindsay T.

9. “This method worked for me! Essentially I took off the glaze (with etching cream, but maybe sandpaper work too?), baked on the sharpie, then re-galzed with krylon spray. has been in the dishwasher for months and no fading etc.” – Janet B.

a beautiful mess
Image from A Beautiful Mess

10. “No. The only paint that works is glass paint baked on. Been there.” – Michelle W.

11. “Probably covering with polyurethane and hand wash only!” – Judi J.

12. “I have heard washing the mugs with Windex first helps.” – Tricia M.

13. “Not true (at least in my case). I bought porcelain paint markers specifically for this. Major fail and they were not cheap whatsoever. The sharpies worked and I already had them.” – Danielle C.

… More crafter tips for DIY Sharpie Marker Mugs

14. “I only handwash mine. A few months back I got a mug for a door prize and it washed off on the second go through the dishwasher so when my kids got some for Christmas I’ve made them hand wash, no scrubbing, only and so far they’ve stayed.” – Marzolf N.

Image from Tuts+

15. “You can get enamel/glass clear medium and paint over it with that and re-bake. That may help if that doesn’t work, then probably nothing will.” Kathy M.

16. “My aunt did it one year, I think she used car paint for scratch fixes. Not sure about the baking part. They lasted for years!” – Maria D.

17. “Use the markers meant for ceramics and porcelain. The oil based sharpies last for a bit but ultimately fade too. The claims are related to hand washing and who has time for that. Glass based paint too. I have used glass paint on other things and it has never faded. But don’t use on food dishes.” – Penny F.

18. “Martha Stewart Decoupage – I did glitter mugs. The decoupage needs to cure for 28 days but after its top rack dishwasher safe. I haven’t had any problems!” – Hollias E.

19. “I did these for Christmas gifts. Mine has been through dishwasher a dozen times for sure. I used oil based sharpies. Washed mugs first, put them in cold oven and heat to 425 for 20 minutes and left them in there until they cooled down. The cheaper the mug the better as it sets better in the glaze. But I haven’t had a hitch.” – Amanda W.

Mr Right Mrs Always Right
Image from Just Imagine

20. “Clean glass with rubbing alcohol first. Oil base isn’t for glass. Use Folk Art enamels paint applying with a brush or paint pens for glass only! You still have to bake for 30 minutes but let sit for 1 hour before you bake.” – Rosalie M.

21. “Use a clear coat enamel. The paint pens tend to chip pretty quickly. I do a lot of glass work with them and have the same result.” – Jamie F.

21. “I haven’t done it, but I heard the sharpies hold up much better if you let the design set for a couple of days before baking the dishes.” – Jennifer W.

Phew! So many awesome tips and tricks and different ways to do it! Have you done Sharpie Marker Mugs? What tips/tricks would you add to this list? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

Have a Craft Question you’d like an answer to? Post it on our Facebook page! Or follow our Pinterest page for loads of crafting inspiration! 


Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 51

    How am I suppose to trust anyone if not one person has the same answer? I need it cheap, cant go in the oven, and cant take more than three hours! let me guess- 50 people will say impossible and 50 people will each give me a different way! PLEASE HELP!

    1. 51.1

      Honestly, I think the only way to find out is try.. I got a dollar mug from dollar tree (which is good I guess since they say cheap ones work best) and already had a BIC 12 pack of markers, and right now I’m in the process of trying it out. Make your first design something super quick/easy just in case it doesn’t work :) I think I’m going to let it set for 24 hours just in case, and then figure out the baking procedure later :3

      1. ally

        Ya but what happens if I had bought a mug and can’t bake it at all?? It’s only dishwasher and microwave safe!

        1. The temperature you bake them at is about the same temperature as a heated dishwasher. So it should be fine.

  2. 52

    I just want to note that although many of these examples show the design going up to and touching the rim of the mug, in order to be safe, you should keep all markings 1/4″ below the rim or lower. Even if you use paint, this is the case. That way the chemicals in the marker/paint won’t come into contact with your mouth or the drink. Non-toxic and food-safe are two different things. Even the manufacturers of the markers and paint will tell you this.

  3. 53
    maria leilani jao

    i wanted to put picture of my daughter on the smooth side of a shell ..but i dont know how to do it..do you have any idea how i can do it..need your reply asap.since her birthday will be on june 21..i wish you could help me..
    im thinking if printing her picture on a transparent sticker then stick it on the smooth side of the shell will do..thanks and have a good day :)

    1. 53.1

      Order from walgreens, walmart or shutterfly for that. You’ll get a better result than from diy.

  4. 54
    Luba Bee

    Hey guys,
    A big cry for help here. I’ve been dreaming about Sharpie projects and was super thrilled when I finally had them in my hands as they are not sold in my country. I quickly jumped on a cute project for my friend’s baby baptism party – a white plate with design on top that I have spent hours on crafting. I did use the PAINT markers and baked the plate for 30 mins at 250 F. The colour came off with the first hand wash. After going through the list of help ideas above, I retouched my design, let it dry for several days and then baked it again at about 350F for 45 mins. When I checked the oven mid-session, the paint started to evaporate so I reduced the heat. As the result, the paint doesn’t stay at all and comes off with a lightest touch of finger.
    The markers look fine, they came from a trusted seller, all I can think of is the plate that is actually glazed. Should I use another plate without any glaze?
    Any hint or idea will be very helpful! Thanks.

    1. 54.1
      Stacy C

      I haven’t had any issues with using sharpies or bic permanent markers, but on the dollar store bakeware only. So the “cheap” stuff. I use rubbing alcohol to clean it. I then use carbon paper to transfer a pattern down (just wipes right off!) Then I begin my sharpie/bic pen work! If I make a mistake, I simple use a q-tip with rubbing alcohol & erase it. I was skeptical at first, but thought the best was to wait 48 hours before baking… just to make sure it had set up. I put them in the oven. I then turn it to 425… then bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven. I let them cool in the oven overnight. I have never had an issue. I don’t own a dishwasher. I just hand wash them.

      1. Amy

        Can you explain more about the carbon transferring of a pattern?

  5. 55

    Does anyone know how to get the gold to stay gold? When I bake it loses it shine, looks like weathered bronze or something afterwards. I have the Sharpie Oil pens that I am using.

    1. 55.1

      Following. I am having the same issue and would love to hear suggestions for this.

      1. Hook

        The golden pigments are the first ones to burn and get bronce-like or even black. Lower the temperature, althought I dunno if this diy technique allows a lower temp.

  6. 56

    Hi I have been using Sharpe on tiles they look fab but when I started lay them on the windowsill put them on the grout and wiped of the tiles started to rub off shall I bake them again after touching them up I don’t know help Janet

    1. 56.1

      Hi Janet, Did you use oil based sharpies? They’re different than regular sharpies.

  7. 57
    Debra Fabro

    Are you people so lazy. Really? Dishwasher? If you take the time to make something special you can’t hand wash the inside & spot clean the outside? Just saying…….

  8. 58
    amada kellar

    have a question I paint ceramic Christmas decorations and houses christmas village I am asking what is the be and cheapist way to protect the paint with a glossy finish I used gl and is not what I want I am looking for a glossy look advise would be appreciated

  9. 59

    Have just tried new oil based sharpies on a ceramic plate, spoon and oil burner – basic quick design initially to see if works. Think I’ll oven bake tomorrow at 225 degrees for 2 hours plus as recommended here. (Has anyone ever had plate smash in oven?)

    1. 59.1

      always start with the oven cold – that is supposed to prevent the glass/ceramic from cracking… also be sure to let the item cool slowly in the oven too.

  10. 60

    I was reading through an article about the oil based sharpie markers on mugs and it says there might be small flames in the oven. Does this actually happen?

  11. 61

    My home oven is fueled by propane. Is it safe to bake the oil based sharpie designs in it? Has any one had experience baking these projects in a propane or natural gas oven?

  12. 62

    Why did my red change color ? I used oil based sharpie marker.

    1. 62.1

      The color changes in the oven sometimes. What color did you start with? They usually just end up more muted.

  13. 63

    so what do better? sharpie oil based or glass based paint? help plz

    1. 63.1

      I believe the glass paint seems to hold color better than oil based sharpies.

  14. 64
    Abel j Rodgers

    To TRACY B. Advice numbered# 7 , unfortunately no glaze on what is considered a FOOD SAFE or LIQUID SAFE mug or plate will even come close to “re-melting” at 450-650 degrees. It simply isn’t possible unless you have mugs glazed with a glaze that is not food safe or legal to even sell to the consumer. If you are in fact able to melt a glaze at that temperature throw the cups away and do not drink from them they are unsafe and potentially leaking toxins into your beverage or food. Possibly your mis-informed and assume the glaze is melting. Most likely the heat is helping to set the marker to the surface by burning of unnecessary dies and chemicals in the oil based or regular sharpies. If your glaze is more “porous” then yes this temperature could better adhere the markers paint to the surface. Your experience is a valid one, but your information just a little incorrect, at least I’m hoping it’s incorrect or you are using cups that are not “safe” to drink and eat from.

  15. 66
    Brittany Mixon

    Sharpie mugs do not work. I cleaned my mugs with alcohol, let them sit to dry for a day. Then I drew on the mugs with sharpies and let it sit and dry for 72 hours. I baked them on 350 for two hours and let them cool down with the oven. Pulled them out and washed them only to find everything had smeared or rubbed off.

    Trying again with porcelain marker and Martha stewart decoupage. Will let you know how it goes.

  16. 67
    Eva Merrick

    I tried the regular sharpies, baked for 218 C
    (425 F) left it in for 30 minutes I let it cool down in the oven then took them out and didn’t use or touch them for 24 hours. I’ve been using them ever since that was 2015 sometime in july. Hope yours come out.

  17. 68

    I didn’t let my plate dry for 24 hours, baked it and the colours all changed. Was it because I didn’t let it dry enough or poss too high temp?

    1. 68.1

      The colors will dull a bit in the oven no matter what you do.

  18. 69

    i’ve followed some of the tips above as had read them elsewhere and am still finding inconsistent results. I’ve read about using modge podge to seal the design (dishwasher safe) but the instructions as to if the plates should be baked first and/or afterwards are not consistent either. I wonder has anyone out there used modge podge and what did they find?

    I am using plates from IKea.. not porcelain but tempered glass (white). They will mainly be for decoration but would still like them to last all the same. suggestions please. thank you .

    1. 69.1

      I used dishwasher safe Mod Podge on my Sharpie Mugs but I did not like the texture left on the mugs. You could see the brush marks and the finish was not as shiny any more. I made more cups and did not use the mod podge and liked it much better.

  19. 70

    I used an Avery Marks-A-Lot Permanent Marker. I turned it upside down (because I wrote on the bottom). I put it in before I turned the oven on. I then put it on Broil at 450 degrees. Once it hit the temperature, I set a timer for 15 minutes, then turned it off, letting it cool in the oven, without cracking the oven for the first hour or so. I cracked the oven and let it finish cooling. It appears to be baked into the glaze, it doesn’t rub off with my finger… so we’ll see about the dishwasher.

  20. 71

    I’m using ceramic pens lost instruction sheet. anyone know how to bake them?

  21. 72

    I want to try this with a ceramic mug that hasn’t been glazed ever yet. Do I need to glaze it before putting it into the oven? Or can I get away with just putting it in the oven without glaze. This is a one time use item that will be tossed after or never used again.

  22. 73

    I’ve tried these mugs…bought them at Dollar Tree, cleaned them with alcohol, and used Sharpie oil based markers. Put them in cold oven then baked at 425 for 30 minutes, then turned off oven and let the mugs stay inside until they were cool (over night.) As soon as I pulled them out of the oven, I could see that some of the black ink had faded, and then when I ran my thumbnail over the letters, the black came off in my hand. So I read another blog that said put two coats of oil based marker on the mug and then put in cold oven and set to 350..once hot, leave them inside for an hour and then turn off oven and let sit until cool. Same issue…now marker comes off with my finger, no fingernails needed. I’d love to perfect these, but not sure what to try next…any ideas?