Monday, April 22, 2013

Crafting Adventures: Coffee Mug Quotes

My baby sister turned 18 this weekend.

Let's pause and let that sink in for a moment.

Okay.  Now that I've somewhat recovered, I'd like to share with you the little present I made for her on this momentous birthday.

She'll be heading off to college in the fall- Auburn University, but we forgive her for that indiscretion, poor dear- and college requires an awful lot of caffeine.  Coffee is best enjoyed when mixed with an inordinate amount of cream and sugar (and chocolate, if you're me) and when sipped from a really cool coffee mug.  So, I decided to gift BabySis a really cool coffee mug!

There are many tutorials out in blog-land for decorating ceramic mugs, but I was particularly inspired by this one from Design*Sponge.  I actually did this craft a few months ago, but I didn't want to spoil the surprise for BabySis.  I'm so excited to finally be able to share this with you all!

Rather than the cute illustration of the Design*Sponge example, I decided to go with a quote from one of my sister's favorite books- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  If you haven't read it yet, you haven't lived yet, so I suggest you drop everything and go find a copy NOW.  There are many beautiful reflections on the meaning of life in this book, so it was hard to find the right quote to use- I had considered making a matching set for her, but I figured she'd rather minimize the amount of potential dirty dishes in her freshman dorm room.

Here's a brief overview of how I whipped this up.

First, I needed to decide on a quote to use.

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I picked up a plain white mug from Target for around $3 and measured its height and circumference to determine how much real estate I could reasonably use.  Using Inkscape, I created a rectangular project space and set about arranging pretty words in pretty fonts inside that space.  Here, I used the quote "My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations," in the free font Mathlete (the "bulky" version) and included a couple of star vector images.  The stars look a little cheesy, though, so I got rid of them.

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Here it is again, only this time without the stars.  There is another quote from this book that I really love, so I decided to give that one a go, too.

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This says "Some infinities are bigger than other infinities," in the same font (the "bulky slant" version).

I decided to go with the first quote; I figured if BabySis ever finds herself unable to collect her thoughts, a steaming hot cup of caffeine could be just the thing she needs.

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 I printed the quote out, then cut the paper down so it would fit on the mug.

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I flipped the paper over and traced over the letters with a pencil, pressing down hard.

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Next, I taped the paper to the mug, wrapping it all the way around.  (To ensure the pencil fully transfers to the mug, make sure you tape the paper down flat.)

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To transfer the pencil onto the mug, I traced the letters again, this time on the printed side, again pressing down firmly, going over them several times.

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This is what it looks like when you remove the paper- the perfect guideline to trace over!

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I picked up this marker at Michaels- it's meant for glass and ceramics and IS NOT FOOD SAFE, so don't use it to decorate any surface that will come in contact with food (like a plate, or the inside of a mug or bowl).

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 Here's what it looked like right after tracing over the pencil marks.  If you look closely, you'll notice that it's nooooot quiiiiite perfect.  My hand wasn't entirely steady, the tip of the marker was not as fine as I'd assumed, and apparently I taped the paper on at a slight angle, so the words aren't entirely straight.  *shrug* The idea was for this to look like handwriting (only slightly neater than my own) so a few imperfections are acceptable.  All that was left to do was follow the directions on the packaging to cure the ink- for this marker, it meant letting it sit out to dry for 8 hours, then placing it in the oven for 40 minutes.

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Ta-da!  Pretty easy, don't you think?

What would you decorate a coffee mug with?  What are your favorite quotes?  Who's your favorite author?

Much love,
The Geeks

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